There are 21 embroidery stitches illustrated in my new book, Joyful Stitching. I’ve found these to be the most useful stitches for free-form embroidery projects. Most are simple, easy stitches but I’ve added a few zingers to liven things up. With detailed step-by-step written directions and images showing how to make the stitches, you can’t go wrong.
Rare Songbird (detail) by Laura Wasilowski from Joyful Stitching
Lets say you are making a bird with very attractive legs. Then the Satin Stitch and the Cross-Stitch are a perfect combination. Put together, they make a lovely striped pattern that any bird would envy. Heck, I’d like to have striped legs like that! Here’s how to make the Satin Stitches and Cross-Stitches for your next bird leg adventure.
And the lucky winners (I couldn’t resist giving away 2 sets of the blue wool and orange thread) for the Rare Songbird project are Janet of dragonflyquilts and Lesley G. Congratulations! May your bird legs always be attractive.
Student work from Sisters, OR
Will you be at Quilt Expo in Madison WI this September? I hope so! I’m teaching 2 half-day classes of Improvisational Hand Embroidery on Wool. Here you see what my students created in that same class in a few hours in Sister, OR.
More student work from Daytona.
Join me and you’ll learn how to transfer your own design to wool, about needles and threads for your project, and how to combine stitches to built texture and pattern. It’s a fun, relaxing class.
You’ll get a kit packed with wool swatches, threads, needles, and a book with stitch directions. All you need is a pair of scissors and a thimble. Hope to see you there!
I’m not sure that I like the look on this sheep’s face. Pretty sure he looks rather too sweet and cuddly. Never trust a baby faced sheep.
But I’ve decided to fill in the face with more French Knots using a Size 8 Peas in the Pod pearl cotton thread. To distract myself from that goofy face, I’m adding on the Chain Stitch to outline the horns.
Next up for the sheep? More French Knots and Bullion Knots this time with a Size 8 Lime Frappe pearl cotton thread. This type of mindless stitching is rather soothing. You should try it.
You may have noticed that I keep my threads on binder rings. It’s a great way to keep them from tangling. Here’s a tutorial on how to make your own ring of colorful threads.
There seems to be a color theme going on here. Using more French Knots and Bullion Knots (Size 8 Violets pearl cotton thread), I latch on to the rainbow color scheme for the sheep’s body. And I fully embrace this color theme. Why? Cause I have no other ideas right now.
Maybe it’s the heat. My brain goes into low power mode in the weather and refreshing visits to the garden aren’t happening. My Princess Louise poppies are quickly leaving the scene but I managed to get this photo of one early in the morning. It looks so happy!
In keeping with the theme that I’ve lost touch with reality, my embroidered sheep acquires green fleece. French Knots and Bullion Knots (Size 8 Lime Frappe pearl cotton thread) placed closely together resemble the curl of sheep’s wool, don’t you think? These stitches also have the advantage of lifting off the surface of the fabric evoking the cushy texture of a woolly sheep.
This is what I love about free form embroidery. Like a good mystery novel, you discover as you stitch. Each stitch gives you a clue as to what the next stitch should be. And as you progress through the embroidery, you become more confident of how it will end.
Stay tuned for more fascinating sheep stories soon.