Today I thought I would share how I go about embroidering a stamped image.
First, let me be honest and say that I was not the person who came up with this great idea. I first saw this on Minki Kim’s site and it looked like fun so I wanted to try it. She does hers by machine and you can certainly do that too, but this tutorial focuses on embroidering by hand.
When I found these adorable girly stamps at Joann’s I knew they would be perfect for embroidering. They are not too big and so won’t take very long. But you can of course to do any stamped image ( or any traced image for that matter). If you already own rubber stamp “stuff” this is a great way to cross-use your supplies for another hobby ;).
Alright, so here is what I do to get ready: First I choose my background fabric. I have worked on both muslin and ( I believe) Kona cotton, both in an off white. You can choose any color you wish, but keep in mind that you have to be able to see the stamped image, so the darker the fabric, the tougher it will be to see. Press your chosen fabric so there are no wrinkles.Now cut your fabric to the desired size ( this will depend on the size stamp and hoop you are using). My stamps are small so I cut my fabric about 5 inches square.Now it’s time to stamp your image on the fabric. I use a dye ink and have no idea whether or not that is the best one to use because I’m not sure if it’s waterproof. Because I am not planning on using these in a quilt that is going to get washed I was not concerned about the ink that much. I know you can buy inkpads for fabric so if you plan on washing your work I would recommend looking into getting one of those. My stamps are the “cling” type, meaning that I remove them from their backing and attach them to an acrylic block. Many stamps come already attached on wood blocks. Those are fine to use too! Just use what you already own.Ink your stamp well! Just placing your stamp on the ink pad will not do. I pick up my ink pad and dab it all over the stamp and then some more. You don’t want to miss anything! When you stamp it is important NOT to rock your stamp back and forth. You want to push firmly but steadily in a downward motion so that you don’t get a blurry imprint.Stamp as many images as you need and then make sure to clean off your stamp ( and acrylic block). I find that baby wipes are awesome for this, but you can also use dish soap and water.Now that your image is stamped, you are almost ready to start embroidering. One final thing I like to do is back my fabric with some batting( but you could also use some fusible interfacing). I like the way the project handles when I back it with batting, plus it also allows me to “travel” with my thread without it shadowing through to the front of the work. Now place your layers in your hoop and you are ready to begin. Your hoop size will depend on the size you stamped, but I recommend a smaller, rather than a larger hoop. You can always re-adjust your work, and smaller hoops are just easier to maneuver.Now comes the fun part: Choosing your thread and “coloring in” your image. It is nice to have a BIG selection of thread to choose from, but you can start small and add on. Embroidery thread is pretty cheap and you won’t use much. I use DMC, or Aurifloss, or Cosmo floss. It is your personal preference, but do make sure that you can separate the strands. These images are small and you don’t want to use 6 strands of floss! For most of these embroidered girlies I used one strand of floss for the fine details ( fingers, eyes, details on dress) and 2 for outlines of hair and clothing. You need to decide what you like best! I use a long, thin needle that has an eye that I can easily thread. Again, use what you prefer to work with.
Now you are ready to start stitching. Knot your thread and come up from the back.My stitches are pretty small. I am going to do a simple back stitch so my needle will go back down behind where it came up, like this:And now I will bring it back up next to the first stitch, like this:And then back down again.I will continue like this until my whole row is finished:And then I will move on to the rest of the outline of the hairand then I will add some detail here and there. There is no need to embroider every single line! That will make your work look way too busy. Just choose here and there. You can always go back and add more!Continue working on your stamped image, switching to different colors as needed, until you are happy with it. Remember to use 1 or 2 strands of floss. I ignore details that are just too finicky, like the pleats in the sleeves, but if you want to highlight them, by all means, embroider them. I think the secret to these is to think “less is more”. This is how my girly looks so far: I haven’t decided yet whether I want to embroider more details on her dress…I might go in and add those pleats with a single strand of floss….or I might not ;).
So there you have it. For those of you who are participating in my Facebook group challenge, I hope you have received your images and enjoy “coloring in” your girlies. For those of you who are interested, pull out some fabric and stamp something fun and get to work.
If you need or would like some helpful hints on how to embroider, here are some links you might like:
Craftsy embroidery classes: Find them here. I have never taken a Craftsy class that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. They are truly worth the money…..but….if you sign up for Craftsy Unlimited you can access all of these classes for free all the time…a great deal, especially when you consider you get FREE shipping on everything as a member as well, AND you get access to free patterns every month! Try it for free for 7 days and see what you think. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose! Click here to try Craftsy Unlimited: http://shrsl.com/qpho
For some basic embroidery videos, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic6hve0QU-8. In the sidebar you will notice other videos too.
I do hope that you will give this a try. I think the possibilities are endless when you start using stamps, and embroidery is such a great portable ( and cheap) project. Enjoy and have fun and don’t hesitate to ask questions if something confuses you!
Until next time~ happy creating!
( This post contains affiliate links, meaning that IF you buy something through one of my links, I will receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. You should also know that I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe to be wonderful!)