Tossed Cookies

Art + Embroidery = Shortcut

As you may remember from earlier this month, I recieved a package with everything I needed to learn to embroider!  (I haven’t worked out the sewing machine part of sewing yet…)  And I’ve finished my first embroidery piece!  I love it, and I’d like to display it in a frame someday…  Of course, proper embroidery protocol calls for an iron-on pattern, but who follows instructions??  For this quickie, I borrowed a technique I learned years ago in a middle school art class.  Steps after the image and the jump.


Look at it!  I know, tension’s probably an issue, it needs to be ironed, and I should’ve waited for daylight, but I love it!!  The labeling was all freehand, and I’m still not sure whether I was to add the blood flow arrows.  I do like that it’s color coded and everything, though.  I’m thinking I might try some satin stitch too, inside the heart.  I also initially made the blood vessels with 6 strands, but ended up pulling up all my stitches in favor of 3.  Thoughts/critiques? (please!)


Currently Watching: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

The Embroidery Shortcut

1-  Get your design on a plain sheet of white paper.  You can print it, use an original design, or whatever.  I would suggest scanning any original artwork that you care about, because you’re about to do all sorts of things to it…

2- Using a graphite pencil, rub the pencil over the entire backside of your design (like a rubbing).  You’re going to want a nice layer of lead on there, so don’t be shy!

3- Place your paper (design facing up) on the top of the fabric.  Using a sharp pencil or ballpoint pen, trace the design, pressing firmly.  The graphite on the back of the paper should transfer to the fabric, just like carbon paper!  If you’re worried about moving your fabric, you can pin the paper and fabric together.

Suggestions/thoughts:  Graphite washes out of fabric very easily, but you may want to test it to be sure.  When I did this, my graphite layer was rather light and, as I continued embroidering,  the design lightened.  You can retrace the design directly on the fabric with a pencil to darken it.  Also, pencils come in different grades, or levels of hardness.  If you happen to have artist pencils on hand, try a softer lead, like a 4B.  If not, a regular #2 pencil (aka HB) should be fine.

That’s about everything.  While I’m sure real embroiderers are planning to TP my house and egg my windows, I hope this helps you!  And sorry about the word to image ratio…


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