Mindful stitchery – hand embroidery



Turn of the sewing machine and settle down to a more sedate pace, the gentle art of hand embroidery is creative mindful meditation. Far more transportable than machine sewing, hand embroidery can be enjoyed while watching a good film, sitting in a waiting room or travelling by train. You only need a few skeins of thread, small embroidery hoop and a good long needle.

While embroidery techniques might seem outdated they are essential to the dressmaker, couture sewing is always hand stitched – these techniques can give your garment a high end finish!

There are two forms of embroidery that delight me, the vintage style spring pastels on cotton and the glorious vibrancy of folk art on wool.

I am planning a hand embroidery afternoon – with tea cake and stitchery, so I thought I would create a few samplers.


One of the most challenging aspect is to create evenly spaced stitches especially on cotton this sample is only 6inches wide by 8inches long on a 100% cotton.


This close up shows the weave of this cotton – getting the spacing right is essential especially for stitches that are woven.

As you can see the couching, weaving and cross-stitches need to look uniform so there is a great little trick I can offer you.


Create a grid using washable marker pen, the guidelines will help you to create even stitches but they can be washed away after the project is done! (You did not see them in the earlier example!) once you have completed a few stitches with the grid, you will get a feel for the distance needed and will be able to stitch evenly without.


Using wool felt creates a whole different effect, like folk art, this piece was created some time ago by eye!


And it is easy to use ribbon weaving to create a nice frame for stitches, this time using tapestry wool.

If you fancy an afternoon of Tea, Cake and embroidery I am running a class on Friday 11 March 2016 – details here.

ttfn x

19 thoughts on “Mindful stitchery – hand embroidery

  1. Thank you for the water soluble marker tip. Random people keep saying the marks could come back from them. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but it scared me into using chalks, wax, and chalk pencils which for me are 100x harder to work with. Your afternoon class sounds lovely too. Wish I could attend but I’m a little too far away over in the US… I hope everyone who attends has a wonderful time!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi lovely to hear from you, thank you for your kind words. The marker pen I use is great – it really does disappear. The cotton I used was white and the blue lines were lovely and strong, but with a spritz of water they were gone! I think markers have come a long way in the last few years.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Mindfulness – hand embroidery | Fred the Needle

  3. I bought an embroidery class on Craftsy last week and need to do something like yours to practice. When I saw your sampler all neat I thought Wow and still think wow when I realised you’d done it with lines drawn on. I think I’ve got one of those pens somewhere! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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