Stitch Tip #3: Redesign Your Embroidery

My fingers have gotten a lot of exercise! (Sadly, nothing else has.)

In writing Playful Free-Form Embroidery, I made dozens of step-outs for the photos in the book. I stitched each stage showing how to create a project making up to 40 different step-outs for a single project.

No wonder my fingers are so lithe!

Over the course of a year, I completed the step-outs for 6 projects and wrote directions on how to make the design at the same time. This project, Natural Gardening, was one of the easiest for me to illustrate, having only 14 step-outs.

Today’s Stitch Tip: Redesign Your Embroidery Project

Now, after all a year of work, I can’t just toss those step-outs away!

How can I recycle or use the step-outs to trigger a new design? Maybe by looking at those partial versions of a project in a different way.

Here is one example of a redesign of a Natural Gardening step-out. Most of the background black fabric was trimmed away from the stitchery. The silhouette of the design is stitched onto a turquoise felt fabric using black thread. Even more hand embroidery is added to the surface of all the fabrics.

One of the joys of rescuing my step-outs is that I can improvise designs. I don’t have to write directions. Yipee! And I can create more complex embroideries.

Take a look at your embroidery projects. Is there a way to redesign them? Is there a way to add more excitement to your stitching time?