Trying Flat Stitches

I mentioned the other week that I was finally going to give hand embroidery a try. I’ve been cross stitching for somewhere around 25 years now, but I have always vehemently avoided hand embroidery. I thought it was to cutesy, too country, and not at all something I would ever want to do. Truthfully, I still feel that way just a little bit, but I now also see the beauty in hand embroidery.

Hand Embroidery Sampler - Flat Stitches

Hand Embroidery Sampler – Flat Stitches

I’ve finished up the first section of the sampler from Craftsy’s Design It, Stitch It: Hand Embroidery. The class is taught by Jessica Marquez, the author of Stitched Gifts. She goes through the stitches slowly, explaining them clearly and demonstrating them for the camera. The first section covers flat stitches like the running stitch, back stitch and stem stitch.

Close-up of my flat stitches

Close-up of my flat stitches

My stitches look okay… But I’m so used to the precision involved in cross stitch that the variations and slightly wobbliness bother me. I know that I will get better at making the stitches the same size with practice (I did play with stitch size in a couple of the rows to see how it would make things look), but the “homespun-ness” is part of this type of embroidery, I suppose.

I did learn a couple of things:

  1. If you print your pattern with a laser printer, you can use an iron to transfer the pattern. There is no need for a heat transfer pencil.
  2. I really don’t like using a hoop… I do nearly all of my stitching in hand, including hardanger. (Yes, I like to live dangerously! 😉 )
  3. Picking your own colours is hard. 🙁

Anyway! Onward to the next lesson and loop stitches. I so love the lazy daisy. :/

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7 Responses to Trying Flat Stitches

  1. Diya says:

    This is lovely! I always enjoy discovering different forms of needlework and you make me want to try this 🙂 Looking forward to your lazy daisies 🙂

  2. Kim says:

    Stepping out of your comfort zone can be exciting and a little scary. I think your stitches look great

  3. Kate says:

    They’re beautiful, Heather 🙂 I never got the hang of embroidery. Have fun with your stitching!

  4. Heather says:

    Have you seen the coloring by stitching? It definitely uses embroidery without making it look country.

  5. Dani says:

    Its always good to try something different and new!

  6. Dima says:

    I didn’t know that about the laser printer I’ll have to try it one day. For the hoop, are you using a susan bates hoops? There is a trick I learned in an embroidery class that makes them much easier to use. I have trouble picking colors as well, I’m constantly asking my mom for advice, she’s great with color. By the way, one other thing you’ll learn with embroidery is how to let go the little things. Once you get the hang of that, it becomes fun.

  7. Catherine says:

    I love your stitches, lovely, it is always fun to try new things.
    I did not know that about laser printers, good to know thank-you for sharing that tip with us.