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Take Up Embroidery

Celebrate National Craft Month by learning a few embroidery stitches. This timeless style of needlework has been with us forever. Genteel ladies worked on their embroidered samplers. My mother did crewel embroidery back in the 60s. I remember stitching peace signs, flowers, and hearts on my denim shirts in the 70s, and how many of you have dish towels with the days of the week, teacups, or kitties stitched on them or pillowcase wedding presents featuring your initials?

If you’d like to learn classic embroidery, check out Teach Yourself to Embroider from Kooler Design Studio. It walks you step-by-step through the history, supplies, the basics, transferring designs, and the actual stitching with diagrams for each stitch. Plus, it includes 15 traditional projects: a butterfly and flowers on table linens, an iris on a denim shirt, floral monograms, floral-embellished fingertip towels, four fun bookmarks, and more.

Looking for more contemporary designs? I really love the patterns in Stitch This! (created by the Leisure Arts design team), Modern Primitive Embroidery by Jennie Baer, and Mary Engelbreit’s The Art of Embroidery. These designs are fresh, up-to-date, and most are even quick-to-finish which helps them fit right in a busy stitcher’s schedule!

Stitch This! will show you how to create you own patterns from a favorite photograph, how to embellish your embroidery with beads and chalk, and how to experiment with different fabrics to create your own unique artwork.

Modern Primitive Embroidery is all about sweet phrases and simple designs that work up fast. It features lots of flowers, birds, sheep, and seasonal designs—all with patterns drawn in three sizes, so you don’t have to fool with reducing and enlarging!

Mary Engelbreit’s The Art of Embroidery lets you transform Mary’s illustrations into fabulous home accents. Plus, we show you how to make your projects more colorful by using permanent markers rather than additional stitching time.

Are you an advanced embroidery artist in search of a challenge? Discover beautiful, elegant Hardanger with Teach Yourself Hardanger Embroidery. “No way,” you say. “That’s too hard.” But I’m here to tell you—don’t let this type of embroidery frighten you! I do admit that the first Hardanger piece I attempted did terrify me! It looked so complicated, and the idea of cutting threads on the fabric of my stitched piece left me panicked. Seriously though, Hardanger really only involves a few basic simple stitches that even a beginner can master with heirloom results. Give it a try!

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