Thursday, 21 January 2010

Learning Embroidery



One of my "Before 30" goals is to learn embroidery. Although I used to do some cross-stitch (really easy kits!) as a child, I haven't done "proper" embroidery and I haven't done any needlework since my eyesight got worse.

If you want to be inspired by what's possible, go and check out Elizabeth Braun's beautiful work over at Sew In Love. Elizabeth is also a seriously lovely person who has had no end of patience for my newbie questions. She encouraged me to practise on smaller things, and on fabric I didn't care about, before starting a big project.

So a few days ago I went and bought myself a small embroidery hoop, dug out some scraps of fabric, and threaded a needle. The fabric had some flowers printed on, and I thought it might be fun to trace around one of them with stitches.

Flower

I finished up and showed it to my husband.

"That's that, then," he said. "You've learnt embroidery. Next?"

He was joking, of course, but it made me realise that I hadn't really defined that goal very well. Most of my other goals are measurable, specific things - despite being designed to encourage me to spend time on the things I enjoy doing. How will I know when I've "done" this? I'm only sure that I'm not there yet.

23 comments:

Autumn said...

Cute!! I like it!! And lol @ hubby, I have to agree with both of you on this, yes you've learned it but I know what it's like to not be at the level of expertise that you want to be.

What a fun talent! I want to get back into knitting before my 30th

~Autumn

emma said...

I think you'll know you've 'learned it' when you've made something you impress yourself with (i.e. something that you know was difficult but you're pleased with how it came out). I'm doing the '101 in 1001 days' challenge and one of mine is 'learn to crochet' - as you say, it's not a definable goal, but I plan on ticking it off when I've made something that I genuinely feel proud of and that I know was difficult.

forgottengenius said...

Embroidery is very fulfilling; like painting a picture one small stitch at a time. It's a wonderful idea you came up with, to trace the outlines on a piece of fabric. I find that if one enjoys the simple things, then mastering them shall be a natural development of that. Good luck with everything and make certain you show us your progress!

Louiz said...

Very lovely flower. Looking forward to watching your progress.

The Good Cook said...

I love embroidery. Sadly I have not practiced it in many years. Now that it is cold and dark perhaps I should pick some up... I have all the needles and hoops and beautifully colored threads... thank you for some inspiration!

The Royal Family said...

very cute, and embrodiery can be fun, and frusterating!

stopping by from SITS

The Buzz
Brandy

lakeviewer said...

Love it! This new skill will personalize all your linens if you so desire.

phd in yogurtry said...

I'd say you're off to a very cute start!

Melissa B. said...

Love it! My uncle used to do embroidery on long business flights, to calm his nerves. He actually got quite good at it! SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did...

Mrs. Scribe Reviews...

Elizabeth Braun said...

Wow! Thanks, I am seriously flattered!=) Ask all the questions you want - it's a pleasure to help.=)

I think you've come up with a great idea here and made a good start. It looks really effective and is a great way to get used to the actual mechanics of stitching, ie getting used to using a needle and thread for decorative purposes, rather than just sewing a stray button back on! Looking forward to seeing your projects over the months and years to come.

'Learning embroidery' is indeed a massive undertaking as there are more styles, techniques and individual stitches than you can shake a stick at! I read that the International Embroidery Research and Development Centre here in Taiwan has catalogues well over a thousand stitches alone! 1400+ seems to stick in my memory, but I'm hoping to visit the Centre in Tainan this year and see if I can't get an article on it published in one or more embroidery mags. I doubt I'll be learning the whole stitch file though!!=)

I'll be interested to know how your goal defines itself as you get to know more and more of what's on offer. I too have been thinking about where my stitching studies are to take me and will probably be commenting about that on blog with my next update.

OK, now back to the needlecase....

BLOGitse said...

wow, that's a good start for your new hobby! :)

http://BLOGitse.blogspot.com

Joanna said...

Embroidery is the one thing I've been to chicken to try yet. I once picked up a counted cross-stitch kit, looked at it, and went back to my nice, safe scrapbooking and sewing machine. Way to go for trying something so time consuming and detail oriented. Stopping by from SITS by the way!

carma said...

I'd say it qualifies - check it off your list - unless you are really interested in it :D

BTW, just reading your profile - impressive! You are going to accomplish big things (beyond the embroidery ;-)

Swirl Girl said...

I can barely sew a button! Good for you!

here from SITS sharefest

(now I am going to read about your vegetable lasagna!)

Tracie said...

I used to cross stitch, too. I did a little embroidery when I was younger. Have you ever checked out Sublime Stitching? They have some great patterns.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

My mom cross stitches and also embroidery but I've never gotten into it. I love that flower!

Thanks for stopping by and entering my giveaway :)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Hey - me too! Except for that "before 30" part since, well, you know... Maybe "before 40"?

Martin and Luschka said...

Your husband sounds like mine - ever practical and unphased by my fleeting interests!

Errant Knave said...

Looks like a great start. It'd good you didn't save it for the last few days before your 30th birthday.

Emma said...

I've also made a before I'm 30 list, although it's nowhere as detailed as yours (so I don't feel bad if I don't accomplish something). But I love embroidery. Maybe it should be more of a specific project? Like embroidering a table cloth or something like that. In any case, have fun with it - that's the most important thing!

Chef E said...

You have quite the following my dear!

I learned embroidery as a child since my dad's mom, and my own mother made our clothes and would decorate them to the obsession'ably point of me looking like a huge birthday cake at times in my childhood photos. I found when I attended school having talents such as this gained me attention and ribbons. I think not in our own children times. although my own kids wore 'not birthday cake' but simply adorned clothing I had made, and I am glad I have those memories!

Now and then I go to the local art store and pick up a small piece and make something, and give it to the local thrift store. I just cannot bare to think of a relative actually feeling like I made them a treasure. Is that not sad.

Keep plugging away if it feels right. Things take practice, and those rug rats of yours will look adorable in them!

Mainland Streel said...

I love the look of embroidery and have wanted to learn for a really long time (I dabbled a little when I was younger but have forgotten everything). I will check out Sew in Love...thanks! :)

purplume said...

I too love embroidery. In Japan they do sashinko which comes form a word that means little stabs and refers to short straight stitches like you have done here.
You have enhanced this flower. Beautiful!

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