We like learning things, and we like making things so we asked [color]Stacey Sproule[/color] of Silver Threads and Golden Needles to give us a ‘How To’ on embroidery. Silver Threads and Golden Needles is a part of Rhubarb’s one-to-one performance series.
How to Embroider an ‘I love Rhubarb’ Patch
Let’s get stitching! Here’s a sample of embroidery using four basic and easy to learn stitches, satin stitch, backstitch, chain stitch, and split stitch.
What you’ll need-
a square of muslin, cotton, or linen roughly 10” square
an embroidery needle (or a needle of a comfortable length for you with a large enough eye for embroidery floss)
6-ply cotton embroidery thread in red, purple, light green, olive green, and forest green
good light and a comfortable chair
The following template can be printed out and traced onto your fabric using a chalk marker:
Split the thread into three strands and smooth out the kinks, then thread the needle.
Beginning with the lettering insert the needle through the back of the fabric and make a stitch about 5mm long, then come back up further along leaving a space about 5mm between the end of the first stitch and the needle and then insert the needle back down into the hole at the end of the first stitch. Making a closed line that can follow curves. Continue in this manner following the outline of the text.
Next for the stem of the rhubarb work split stitch as follows-
Insert your needle through the back of the fabric and make a small stitch about 5mm long, then insert the needle back up through the middle of that stitch, splitting it. Continue in this manner working in straight lines to fill in the area.
For the leaf each blocked off area is worked in satin stitch, to set up for satin stitch use back stitch to outline an area to be worked. Then working in straight lines insert the needle through the back of the work at the bottom of the outline and then pull it back down at the top of the outline. Coming back up as close as possible to the place where the needle was just pushed down fill in the area attempting to minimize the amount of thread on the back of the work and trying to place all stitches on the front as smoothly and close together as possible. For some areas this will require placing shorter stitches in between to fill in the area as efficiently as possible.
The finishing touch on this piece is an outline of chain stitch around the bottom edge. Coming up from the wrong side of the work make a small loop on the top and then insert the needle back into the same hole that it came up in. Before pulling the loop so tight that it disappears insert the needle back up through the back of the work and through the loop. As you pull it tight the new stitch holds the loop on the surface. Continue in this manner following the outline as closely as possible.
And that’s all there is to it! Make me proud!
Stacey’s show, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, takes place February 22-24 as part of the One-To-One Performance Series. Click here for more info.
For more about Stacey, visit her website.