Hello all you beautiful ladies! My name is Jaime Garrett, for those of you who don’t know me. I, with my husband and four kiddos, attend the New Song Woodbine congregation.

As a mom, I struggle to find a creative outlet that does not include popsicle sticks and play dough.  Problem is, I can’t seem to find the time to paint a mural or write fiction novels amidst soccer practices, PTO Meetings, loads of laundry and dishes that seem to multiply at speeds of biblical proportion.  Having welcomed our little Savannah after three boys, I began to notice the lovely hand embroidered designs on baby clothing.  I hadn’t really considered hand embroidery, because I’m not 80!  But once getting past my preconceived notions, I’ve become an avid amateur hand embroider.

What is hand embroidery?  Well, I’ve learned a lot about it of late. Like, the fact that it dates back to the 5th century BC and is mentioned in the Bible! (Exodus 28:4).  Ok, enough with the history lesson.  Today, I would love to share with you a couple of simple hand embroidery stitches.  I have found it to be easier than expected and convenient to take on the go.  It’s fun to pick your color schemes and offers a sense of accomplishment.  Give it a try!

I am going to share with you three very commonly used and very simple stitches. They are called Split Stitch, Straight Stitch, and French Knot. You can use any kind of material/fabric. I like to go to the local thrift store and pick up different things to embroider on. These are all the supplies you will need for a simple hand embroidery project.

image1 Supplies

1) Straight Stitch:

  • Fig 1: Bring the needle out from the fabric, at  point A
  • Fig 2: Put the needle in through point B, as shown. This creates a single straight stitch.

Imagine2 Straight

2) Split Stitch

  • Fig 1: Bring out the thread out through A and put it in through B
  • Fig 2: Take the needle up C splitting the thread between A and B. Note that C lies half way between A and B.
  • Fig 3: You will come up with the needle half between each stitch splitting it before going back under with the needle.
  • Fig 4: Your stitches will have a chain effect as you continue

image3 Split

3) French Knot: 

  • Fig 1: Bring the needle out through A.
  • Fig 2: Now, place the needle close to the fabric. Wrap the thread around it 3 times, as shown.
  • Fig 3: Keep the longer end of the thread pulled with your fingers while putting the needle back in a point just close to A or even through A.
  • Fig 4:Pull down the needle through the fabric. You will see your first french knot formed.

image4 French KnotI would suggest practicing a line of each of these stitches before starting your embroidery project.  After you have done that you are ready to get started.

For the project below I chose to use a white napkin. First I draw on my pattern straight onto the material using a quilter’s pen.  A quilter’s pen washes away with water. After I have my pattern the way I like it, I place material into my hoop pulling it tightly.

image5 Hoop n Pattern

Next you are ready to start sewing. In the pattern I chose to do I used the three different stitches I showed you above. I separated the embroidery thread into three strands for everything but the lettering. On the letters I used all six strands for a thicker fuller effect. I marked with my quilter’s pen which stitches I used where. Thread your needle making a knot in the tail.  When you complete a section make sure you are ending each thread with knot on the back as well.

image6 Back

Then iron on the interface over the stitches in the back. The interface will protect your stitches during usage.  Finally, I washed away the blue ink from my quilter’s pen and ironed my finished napkin. There you have it!  A simple little hand embroidered napkin!

image7 Getting Started

image8 Finished


Jaime Garrett

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