For those of you who love to hand stitch, I highly recommend hand embroidery on wool. Thread glides smoothly through the cloth, no hoop is needed, your hands are caressed by the fabric, and knots (if you use them) hide in the bulky fabric. It’s a rich, gentle fabric ideal for hand embroidery.
Cut out wool shapes with sharp scissors and attach them to the background fabric with a pin or tacking stitches.Usually I stitch a Blanket Stitch around the edges to hold the shape in place.
Here you see that the Blanket Stitch in red has a second thread (green) whipped through the top edge of the stitch to give more definition to the outline of the shape. I’m also experimenting with stacking Fly Stitches to make leaf shapes using a variegated size 8 thread called Lettuce. Although the Fly Stitches are stitched closely together, it is easy to stitch through the wool.
My favorite source for colorful wool is hand dyed by Tracy Trevethan. The Wooly Ladies also carry wool suitable for hand work as do many of your local quilt shops. In the Rare Songbird project from my book, Joyful Stitching, I use a hand-dyed wool for the background. And many of these free tutorials on my Rare Songbird project from my book, Tutorial Page use their hand dyed wools as well. Give it a try. Your hands will thank you!
Thank you for celebrating the longevity of my plant and the publication of Joyful Stitching. Both have survived a year under my care. Hurrah!
And hurrah for the winner of the give-away of Joyful Stitching: Ellee. I hope you enjoy the book.
But wait, there’s more! I’d also like to give you all a gift and thank you for visiting my blog. Please click here to download a PDF of this pattern: Housing Department.
It was a year ago that this lovely plant along with the first copy of my new book, Joyful Stitching, arrived at my house. You’ll be happy to know the plant is still alive. It’s a miracle!
And in celebration of keeping the plant alive for a year, I’ll be giving away a copy of the book. Just leave a comment below and you may be the lucky winner. I’ll announce the winner on Monday.
Free-Form embroidery on wool by Sarah.
Thank you all for leaving comments for the wool scraps give-away. It’s always fun to hear about you’re creative plans. We all have such active imaginations that must be nourished with art making! And speaking of creativity, isn’t this embroidery by one of my students beautiful? Thank you Sarah for sharing your artwork with us.
I must admit, I owe my love of wool stitchery to my new book, Joyful Stitching. Writing the book taught me so much about the joy of free-form embroidery. (You can read a recent review of the book here.)
And now for the lucky winner of the package of wool scraps. I’ll be sending it out to: Jackie of Colorado.
Thank you all and keep on stitching!
It’s such a delight to see how people are using my book, Joyful Stitching. Here’s a great example of the Hand of Fortune project made by Susan. Susan is from the Big Island, Pele, in Hawaii. She writes, “Your book is fun. I’m a life long embroiderer, make lots of Hawaiian crafts, feather lei, lauhala weaving, other things too.”
Susan finds needlework very “grounding”. And I couldn’t agree more! Her interpretation of the project warms my heart. It makes me so happy to see embroidery work from around the world whether from big or small islands.
Thanks Susan for sharing your work with us!
Pam of Ithaca and her artwork.
I get the best ideas from my creative students. Meet Pam, who attended my class in Ithaca, NY in April. To my delight she walked into the classroom with this gorgeous embroidery of her hand. She says her hand-embroidery on silk was inspired by the Hand of Fortune project from Joyful Stitching.
A tracing of my grandson’s hand, age 3.5.
And then she gave me a gift.
Pam suggested tracing those tiny hands of our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews and stitching them too. What a great way to commemorate the growth of a child!
Thank you Pam for sharing your artwork and your stupendous idea.