All Arts Challenge

All Arts Challenge: Embroidery

Embroidery was a new skill for me. I saw this kit at Michaels and picked it up because I loved the way it looked, and really wanted to try something new. I started it last year during the Fair, ironically before the concept of the AAC came about.

The craft: I would describe embroidery as coloring with thread. It can be used to embellish anything really, from pillow cases to clothing. You can stitch free form, or buy iron-on transfers to guide you. One form of embroidery is called “Chicken Scratch” and is worked on gingham fabric, using the grid lines. 

My piece: My kit came pre-stamped with the outline, and a “paint by numbers” chart to follow, telling you which threads to stitch where. It also has a basic explanation of different stitches. For example, most of the work is done in “satin stitch”, though special techniques are used for the “lazy daisies” (the pink flowers above Live Life) or the orange dot at the center of the lazy daisy, which is a “French knot”.

The work: I liked the portability of the project, and kept it with me most days in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Although I started it back in August, I didn’t pick it up again until January, and didn’t get serious about finishing it until April, when I was home sick several days with what can only be described as the Plague. I was alternately entertained by my “thread coloring”, or frustrated. The butterflies in particular gave me trouble, and I ripped them out several times. But for the most part, it’s a simple craft to pick up, and it kept me occupied. I really love the way the piece turned out, and will most likely continue to do pieces here and there as I find ones that inspire me. I even have a few things of chicken scratch pinned on Pinterest! I also recently found (and fell in love with) another kit called “Cardinals In Dogwood” (see below), which I will start as soon as my AAC projects are done!

Tools: I recommend plastic stretcher bars, which hold it taut for you while stitching, a good needle threader (I love the one linked below – I always break the flimsy ones that look like dimes with a tiny wire sticking out of them!), and a nice needle nanny. In many of my pictures, you can see I have my needle threader and needle stuck to the work with a magnet. This is a genius idea, and I’m surprised how many stitchers have never seen one before! You can use something simple, like plain magnets, or buy an adorable one below.


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