There can come a time where you’re short of money, but you can never be short of ideas! This is a simple (well it can be) way to give something sentimental and unique to a loved one. So, for this Mother’s Day I decided to give my mum a memento that showcases my creativity with this embroidery hoop. It ended up looking a bit juvenile but I’m mostly happy with the result. In the future I hope to learn an expanse of embroidery techniques to design plentiful hoops!
an embroidery hoop
fabric (enough to cover hoop)
Gather all your materials! I bought this 27cm/10.6inch hoop from The Works for £3. You can use any size depending on how long you want to spend on the design and the simplicity of it also keep in mind spatial awareness. For the canvas, get a fabric of your choosing that covers the circumference of the hoop. You can buy some from a fabric shop (I had some leftover from a previous project) or use some scrap fabric or repurpose an item of clothing you no longer wear. To embellish the fabric, you can buy an assortment of embroidery floss (I bought this pack from Wilko for £4) or buy individual skeins of the selection of colours you’d like to use. Of course, to attach the threads you’ll need a tapestry needle (bought from Wilko £1.20), generally a needle with a large eye. For a lot of my demonstration video you can see me struggling to get the floss through the eye of the needle. Scissors to cut the fabric and threads, pens and paper if you want to plan and draw out your design. Lastly, fabric markers to trace out your design as a guideline. Unfortunately, I don’t have any, so I used a pencil.
1. Once you’ve got all your supplies, get your hoop and lay it across the fabric and cut out a square that is just a tad larger than the hoop.
2. Use the screw to loosen the outer part of the hoop and spread the fabric on the inner hoop to start.
3. Make sure your placement is to your liking and overlap the outer part on the fabric. Tighten the screw and stretch the fabric.
4. Now is the time to trace out your design with a fabric marker, ideally, you’d have the sketch prepared beforehand, or if you’re more free-spirited you can do either by eye.
5. Here is where we can actually get started. Thread your needle with your choice of colour and start stitching! Don’t be worried about pricking yourself since these needles are quite blunt – though your fingers can get a bit sore after repetitive work.
For this stem at the top I use this lovely olive-green colour backstitching along to the end. This fabric only stretches along the warp threads (horizontally) so bear in mind the type of fabric you have when stitching. For the flowers I did somewhat of a deviated version of French knots. You can see the proper way to do them when I proceed with the blue flowers at the bottom, however I feel that this version possibly allows for more texture.
For the text below I use this wonderful deep purple colour and a backstitch.
For the middle flower I used a purple less deep than the former and a backstitch. In the middle of the flower I referred back to the deep purple colour. After this I filled in the remainder of space with the lighter purple.
With this dark green floss, I use a backstitch for the stem. For the leaves I do detached chain stiches/lazy daisies. And for the flower I use the same technique with yellow.
For the next stem I use a lighter green thread backstitched and blue for the flower and the proper way to do a French knot.
Last stem is dark green backstitched with a red flower which I tried to support with leaves underneath and encroaching on the sides.
And for the silhouette I used this brown floss backstitched.
6. When you’ve completed your design, trim the edges of the outside and do a basting stitch around the border to secure and finish the hoop.
In total this took me about 6 hours. You’re probably best off not procrastinating until the day that you’re meant to offer up the gift which I maybe did or didn’t do… I was rushing and so I definitely cut some corners and the perfectionist in me is dying right now but I’m still pretty proud of the end result – let’s just put all the mistakes down to artistic license. I hope to make many more of these as they do make great gifts and decorations. As said at the beginning, I would love to gain more skill in embroidery techniques and you guys will hopefully see me embark on that journey!