Start the year with a stitchalong!
I would love if you could join me at this stitchalong creating a sampler of 50 different embroidery stitches, one a week for the next year. This started as an idea for a personal project just for myself but I then thought wouldn't it be wonderful if I could do it with lots of other people, as one huge group sharing our stitches and learning together in 2018.
If you love the sound of this, super, as I think I'd feel a bit silly doing it on my own now!
As we start 2018, we always have great plans for the year ahead and a spring in our step. I always find the beginning of the year seems like a good time to start new projects and I'm eager to learn new skills. So if your a beginner or even a more experienced stitcher I hope you'll find a little time each week to sew an embroidery stitch. Originally I'd planned to do a 100 stitches, one a day, but I'm not the best at keeping up with challenges and I didn't want to start a project knowing that its more than likely I'd fail after a week or two. So I'm hoping that one a week is far more managable for us all.
We all lead such hectic lifes and its so important to take a step back and concentrate on the now. So I thought the excuse or challenge to to complete one stitch, once a week and give it your complete attention would be the perfect way to do something that makes you happy and live in the moment. And of course I hope it will be fun too as we're doing it all together as one huge group. Well that s the plan!
So how does it work?
Okay so each week, starting this week I will be posting over on my INSTAGRAM and there will be a video tutorial of the stitch for that week on my instagram stories. I will post details of the embroidery stitches as groups of ten, so you can see what stitches we will be embroidering for the weeks ahead. Then obviously when the first ten weeks have passed you can find out the next group of stitches and so it goes on until we reach the end of the year. I also plan to write some other blog posts dedicated to the stitchalong and hand embroidery here on my brand new blog.
You can of course dip in and out as you please so don't feel like you have to do all 50 different embroidery stitches to take part, although it would be nice. But honestly I'd just be happy you were taking part and joining along in my very first stitchalong.
All you have to do if you decide to join in is to tag your pictures on instagram with #stitchaweek so that we can all see everyones embroidery stitches as the weeks and months progress throughout the year. Its also a marvellous way for you to meet lots of other people, I hope, and of course learn a few embroidery stitches along the way.
I will of course be sharing some of your stitches on instagram and here on the blog too, so we can inspire one another over the year.
What do I need to start embroidery?
The wonderful thing about embroidery is that you don't actually need that many supplies to get yourself started which is great if your a complete beginner. Here are just a few essential tools and supplies you'll need to take part in the #stitchaweek.
1. Embroidery Hoop
I personally prefer a wooden hoop but you can also buy plastic ones too. These come in different diameter sizes and if your just a beginner I would recommend using a 6 inch hoop. The embroidery hoop keeps your fabric taut as you stitch and can help stop your fabric from puckering too. Some people prefer not to use one but I would say its an essential tool especially for some embroidery stitches.
The choice of fabric is up to you but I'd start with a cotton or linen, something of medium weight that's not too loosely woven. I like to embroider on vintage linen fabrics or bed sheets. I would also start with a white coloured fabric or atleast a pale shade so you can see your marks that you'll make on the fabric.
Its important to bear in mind that different needles do different jobs. Having the right needle when you are starting will hopefully make things less frustrating. There's nothing worse than trying to thread a needle over and over again. To get you started I would recommend you use embroidery/chenille needles, these have a longer eye than a sharps needle, so easier to thread. They come in sizes 1 to 12, the most common are size 7 and 9. As with any needle the bigger the size the finer the needle. The needle you choose will also depend on what floss or yarn you choose to use. You may also want to use tapestry needles, which are handy when you are doing a whipped or laced stitch. A milliner/staw needle can also help when doing a wrapped stitches like french knots and bullion knots as the shaft and the eye are the same size. I also like to use a long darner needle when embroidering too. This helpful NEEDLE GUIDE is an interesting read if you'd love to find out more about different types of needles.
4. Embroidery threads
To start embroidery you'll need something to sew with. Traditional embroidery floss, has six stands and can be spilt. My personal favourite thread to use is a perle cotton, a twisted yarn that has a slight sheen to it. Whatever type you decide to use they all come in a marvellous array of colours so you can have fun choosing your pallette. Using different types of thread while sewing your sampler can help you see how different a stitch can look when you vary the threads and thicknesses.
Its best to use a pair of embroidery scissors, these are usually smaller than craft scissors with a very sharp point so you can cut threads close to the fabric.
6. Fabric Marker Pen
Lastly its always useful to have some kind of marker tool so that you can draw design lines or guides onto your fabric. I'd recommend a water soluble pen or my firm favourite is a frixion pilot pen as its a really fine tip and can be removed with heat.
Would you love to join the stitchalong?
Thats wonderful news and hopefully you'll meet some new stitching friends that love embroidery just as much as you do. Get your embroidery hoops at the ready, along with the other essential supplies above. We'll be starting from the very beginning this week.
Remember to join me on INSTAGRAM and tag your photos and include the stitchalong hashtag #stitchaweek. I can't wait to see who's joining in too and please do share if you know anyone else that might be interested too.
Here's to a year filled with happy stitching!