Embroidery 101

See how fun and easy it is to add embroidered embellishments to your linens. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

rxr2205_4_embroiderystitches

Materials and Tools:

cotton pillowcases
light fabric pencil
embroidery floss
iron-on transfer designs (optional)
embroidery needle

Note: The term embroidery is actually a general way to describe the art of decorating fabric with thread or yarn using a needle and basic stitches. Embroidery includes cross-stitch, quilting, crewel and smocking.

Steps:

Basic Backstitch

1. Separate the six threads of embroidery floss so you have two lengths of three threads each. Draw a design using a light fabric pencil (it will wash right off), or use iron-on transfer designs, which are available at most sewing and craft stores.

2. Begin by bringing the needle up through the fabric a short distance from the start of the design. Make a stitch backwards, inserting the needle at the beginning of the line. Next, bring the needle up the same distance in front of the first stitch so that the stitch and the space on the surface are even in length. Keep working in this backwards fashion following the line.

Herringbone Stitch

1. The herringbone stitch makes a great border and it looks somewhat like an off-balance cross-stitch. It also stays more even if you draw light parallel lines first.

2. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the left end of the lower line. Bring the needle across diagonally to the right on the upper line and insert it down through the fabric. Come back up along the top line, half the distance back toward the first stitch, and then cross over, creating an identical-length stitch but in the opposite direction to complete the bottom-heavy "X".

3. The next stitch starts on the bottom line, directly under the top of the first stitch and the pattern continues in this fashion for as long as you want the border.

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