Our everyday napkins just got a little prettier. All these sweet designs are from Sublime Stitching, and what’s great is that they come in various sizes so you can choose the right one for the scale of any project.
Hannah embroidered two of these, but it’s hard to tell which ones, isn’t it? She’s a natural.
A frugal trick I learned somewhere along the way is to use half-size napkins. For most meals, one does not need a full-size 18-inch square napkin. Most of the napkin ends up unused, and that makes for a lot of unnecessary laundry.
So back when I bought these napkins, I cut them in half and machine-finished the edge. Voila! Twice the napkins for the price.
I suppose if I were really frugal, I’d have quartered them. And now that I think about it, it would give us more to embroider, wouldn’t it? Hmm . . .
Lookie, everybody. I’m as giddy as Hannah. All it takes is a little inspiration, and now I’m on a roll.
Embroidery is not too difficult, and it’s a sewing endeavor with relatively instant gratification. What an enjoyable way to add a special touch to an outfit.
Who knew you could embroider more than napkins and pillowcases? Now I’m happily thinking outside the box.
I got out this jumper from Hannah’s bin of clothes that she’ll soon (maybe already?) fit into and decided it needed some embroidery work to match the pretty ribbon.
Who knew 20 years ago when I bought skeins and skeins and skeins of on-sale embroidery floss and painstakingly wrapped them onto plastic bobbins and organized them by number that I’d be using them for something other than cross-stitch, and also with a daughter? And that I might end up needing all those colors I hadn’t yet used?
It is very convenient to have oodles of floss in every hue imaginable, and I was able to find just the right shades I needed without a trip to the store.
I first spent some time practicing on scrap fabric. I had never done a petal stitch aka lazy daisy aka detached chain before, and I didn’t want to go and ruin a beautiful jumper in my haste to complete a project. I was able to work out a few kinks and decide on what I thought would be the best size.
I had no pattern, so I made a light pencil sketch on the jumper and followed that. I also learned that pencil markings on fabric are indeed erasable.
The petal stitch is very simple and makes a sweet posy, don’t you think? The center is made with French knots, which are a bit trickier but a lot of fun when you get the hang of them. The leaves are an outlined satin stitch.
I did that! Mom gave me a travel pillowcase to embroider on, and I did that! Of course, Mom helped me a little, but I did all the stitching! It was so fun!
A friend first taught me how to embroider, and Mom is showing me more.
By the way, the kind of stitch I used was backstitch.
This morning I told Hannah that I was going to go through her and Elisabeth’s closet because I was certain there were dresses in there crying out to be embroidered on.
I was right. I grabbed several of them, including this nice but previously plain thrifted denim jumper. The white X’s and red blanket stitching were already in place, but the entire front of the bodice was a blank palette. That never bothered me before, but Sublime Stitching must have triggered a dormant spot in my brain, because suddenly I’m seeing that everything needs embroidered around here.
I found a butterfly pattern in the book and iron-transferred it to the jumper, then agonized over which colors to use.
I do wish the book would have included many more pictures of embroidered patterns and not just the patterns themselves, because I’m a better copycat than creator when it comes to design.
Still, I’m happy with it, and I know Elisabeth is too.
Hannah has been busy with her needle too; stay tuned to see what she’s been working on.
I really do not know what I would do without interlibrary loan. This week I checked out the most delicious book, filled with a variety of sweet things to embroider (and just a few that you’d never want to).
Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart is aptly named, and within its pages you’ll find simple instructions (albeit with a bit too trendy talk) and lots of inspiration for embroidery. It made me run upstairs and grab a hoop, something I hadn’t done in years and years, with the exception of teaching Hannah a few stitches.
I ironed two transfers from the book onto some old, ratty, stained, scrap muslin, and decided to practice making something sweet just for the sheer enjoyment. The right pattern will do that to a person.
Hannah and I are going to have fun with this one.