Hand Embroidery Without a Hoop: Stitch Sampler | April Sproule | Skillshare

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Hand Embroidery Without a Hoop: Stitch Sampler

teacher avatar April Sproule, Mixed Media Textile Arts

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:05
    • 2. Stitch Sampler Project

      1:35
    • 3. Tools and Supplies

      6:03
    • 4. Project Preparation

      6:01
    • 5. Stitching Basics, First Stitches

      8:37
    • 6. More Stitches, Design Options

      10:28
    • 7. Steam Blocking, Filling Shapes

      8:45
    • 8. Background Stitches, French Knots

      6:54
    • 9. Finishing and Display

      6:27
    • 10. Conclusion

      1:06
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About This Class

   Hand embroidery without a hoop is one of the most useful skills I've learned as a textile artist, and now I’m happy to share my process with you in class. As you learn the basic workflow for this process, you’ll see the great advantages revealed in your Stitch Sampler project.

   This class is suitable for all skill levels, from first time stitchers to those with more experience. The goal is to make your hand embroidery projects more enjoyable and rewarding to create while achieving vastly improved results.

You Will Learn How To:

  • Dramatically improve your skillset by learning to hand embroider without a hoop
  • Choose the right tools and supplies for projects
  • Achieve great results using simple stitches
  • Make confident color and design project choices

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

April Sproule

Mixed Media Textile Arts

Teacher

Hello, I'm April Sproule. I'm a mixed media textile artist who lives in northern California. I've done lots of different types of surface design with textiles over the years including hand dyeing, printing, painting, art quilts, and lots of other things. 

My business is Sproule Studios, and there you will find an assortment of items from hand embroidery kits to stencils for painting fabric that are all designed by me.

 One of my favorite artistic mediums is the hand stitching of textiles. In the past few years I've been doing all my stitching without an embroidery hoop, and that's the topic for my first Skillshare class. That has resulted in a vast improvement in both the quality of my work and my enjoyment in the process of stitching.See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, my name is April Sproule and I'm a mixed media textile artist. Hand embroidery without a hoop is one of the best things I've ever learned to do as an artist. And that's why I'm so excited to be able to share this technique in the class with you. A few years ago, a friend of mine showed me some hand stitched sample she had made without using an embroidery hoop. She recommended I give this a try. And even though I was really skeptical that it would actually work, I tried it out. From that point on. There was no turning back and I quickly adapted this method from my own creative practice. In class, we will cover the basics of going hoop lists as I like to call it. And in the process you'll learn the simple workflow used here to make sure you get the best possible results. The class is suitable for those of you who are just getting started with hand embroidery. But it's also great for those experienced teachers who will find lots of tips and techniques to improve their work. You will learn the best tools and supplies to use and why basic design and color options, how to achieve great results using basic stitches in different ways. And of course, by going hopeless is so much better and easier to do. I've always been a really creative person. And now as an artist, designer and instructor, one of the things I'm most passionate about is helping others reach their fullest creative potential. My business is sprawl studios and you'll find lots of inspiration in the galleries there, as well as short tutorials in the blog section on related subjects. I've explored lots of different types of artistic mediums. And hence stitching is one of the most enjoyable, enjoyable, and rewarding art forms I've ever practiced. Hence, stitching can be used for both decorative and utilitarian items like fine art, clothing accessories, journals, and lots of other things. Let's move on to the stitch sampler class project and find out more about what you will actually be making. 2. Stitch Sampler Project: For the class project you will hand and brighter and eight inch square of fabric with a contemporary design. The project I've designed for you is a lot more fun than doing street little rows of stitches. When it's finished, you'll have a piece of art that can be displayed or added to another project later on. The stitch sampler is a series of geometric shapes stitched with a combination of six different stitches. You will learn to use those stitches to create visual impact and a cohesive design. Throughout the class, the focus will be on developing your stitching skills so you can eliminate, eliminate the use of a hoop and achieve better results in the process. I love repurposing things. This project would be great to do on an old linen napkins or another special piece of fabric. Here's some of the information covered in class. You will learn why using the right tools and supplies is important. The project preparation includes information on marking and using a stabilizer. And the six different stitches will be learned a couple at a time and add it to your project as you progress. The simple workflow includes the outlining of shapes, adding details and steam blocking or work. This is incredibly helpful. And finally, you will learn a great method for finishing and displaying your beautiful art. The class resources include the supply list, a color photo, and a stitch reference guide. Let's try dive into our project and get started. 3. Tools and Supplies: Next, I'd like to talk to you about the tools you'll need for this project. First off, we have the friction, friction markers that I use for marking fabric and they are heat erasable. So to remove those marks, I just flip my fabric over to the back side and gently steam it without putting any pressure on the stitches and all the marks magically disappear. I've never had trouble with the marks reappearing or not being removable. And I've used these exclusively for about the last three years, so I'm pretty happy with those four markers. Next we have embroidery needles. So embroidery needles have a very sharp point and a larger eye that makes it easier to thread the needles with several strands of embroidery floss. This pack is a size five to ten. The size ten needles are the smallest ones, they're the shorter ones on the outside. And then towards the center, you have the size five, which are larger. And so you just need to use the right size of needle that will accommodate the size of thread you want to use on your project. Next we have embroidery scissors, so you don't have to have special embroidery scissors, but you just need a small pair of scissors that are sharp enough to cut your thread. And I only cut fat, I only cut thread with these scissors and I never cut fabric because that would probably dull them really fast. And just trimming thread with them. They've lasted for several years without even having to sharpen them. So they're great little scissors. Next, we have pins, straight pins. These are actually dressmakers pins and they have a glass head and a nice shank That's very sharpened thin. It's great for painting a lot of layers together and holding everything intact. Now I use a ruler. So this is a drafting ruler and you can find them in just about any art supply stores. So this particular one is two inches wide and 12 inches long. And as you can see, it's marked off in 1 eighth inch increments. And these are the rulers I use for all of my pattern drafting and design and things like that. And it's what I use for marking my fabric. Then the last item is optional, and you don't have to have it, but this is bee's wax. So many years ago I was trained as a tailor and we had to use bee's wax to do all of the really fine hand stitching on the garments. And what it does is it keeps your thread from getting nodded and tangled up. And I can't so without it anymore. I've tried it with the embroidery and it works really great. So I recommend you give it a try. Next, I'd like to talk to you about the supplies you'll need for your project. I will start out here with the embroidery floss. Embroidery floss has six strands of cotton thread that are lightly twisted together. And you can separate those strands of floss and use one strand for a very fine stitch or up to the full six strands for a much heavier stitch. It just depends on what the effect is that you're after. Now I prefer the DMC because it's really easy to find anywhere. The colors are great and they are completely color fast, which is important in thread because you never want to use a thread like a hand dyed thread that could possibly beat, bleed, and stay in your fabric because that would be really disappointing. And next you can also use Perl cottons. Cottons are two strands of thread that are twisted together and you would not separate those strands. So it's a heavier and heavier thread usually for your main fabric, for your project, you want to use probably either cotton or linen. You can use silk if you like. Just depends on if you're used to working with SOC. For first-time, I might recommend linen or cotton. You just want to make sure your fabric is not too tightly woven that it's hard to get your needle through. And that's why I like the linen because it's so easy to stitch. Then I also use a lot of times it's silk organiza as a stabilizer. So it goes underneath your fabric and it stays in, it doesn't wash out or anything. It just stays attached to your fabric. If you are using the silk or again, that's optional if you don't have to use it. But if you can get your hands on some, you might want to give it a try. I think you'll really like it. Then you'll need some regular sewing thread in just a neutral color. If you're going to use the organs as the stabilizer with the top fabric. And you'll be able to base your layers together with this so it holds them all securely and you don't have to worry about anything shifting. And then of course you'll need your pattern. And it is in your resources. So it is an eight inch square. When you print this out, just make sure that you have an eight inch square. And it hasn't shrunk the actual size of the pattern when you print it out. And you can see the fabric is, the pattern is Mark dark enough so that you can see right through it to mark your fabric without using a light box or a window. And we'll get onto that next. 4. Project Preparation: We are ready to go ahead and prep our fabric for our project. You will need your pattern printed out on white, just white paper and your project fabric. You want to make sure you have the right side of your fabric up. If you can't tell the difference, it probably doesn't matter that much. I'm going to use these. I'm just lining up my edges. I have an eight inch square and my pattern is also eight inches square. I'm putting my fabric over the top of the paper. I'm just putting right through all the layers. My pattern is eight inches square and also my project fabric is eight inches square. I'm just pinning into the corners. I'm pinning you can see from the inside out towards the corner, but just sort of assurance that I'm not pulling that in the corner too much. Here. I will put one more pin right in the center to hold everything securely. And I can move these pins around as I need to. When they get in my way. I'm going to use my ruler and my blue friction pen. Sometimes it's a little bit easier to go ahead and mark these lines. Like just put a little dash here with the blue. I'm going to move this over on the pattern. You can see that a lot of the pieces, these shapes are overlapping. And so you want to make sure you draw the ones on the top first so that you hopefully don't forget to stop marking when you get to the where they intersect there. I'm just marking dark enough to where I can see it. As I continue marking here, I will go over it with you later. But what I tend to do is I do a little bit of markings, so that's the minimal marking I need to get started on my project. And then as I make design decisions working through the project, then I will mark Moore. And what that allows me to do is to mark a little bit, stitch it, and then steam it before I go on to the next step. And that's one of the ways that I keep my work so nice and flat and free of puckers and gathers. All right. I'm done with all of my marking. I think it took me about eight minutes to mark the whole thing. Now. I will show you what I have. Now we can base the top fabric to the background, so you just need to play short silk or Gansu underneath and then center your, your project fabric on the top with the marking on the right side. On the top side, then this is where your pins come in handy. So I pin in the center of each side. Now you are ready to base your layers together. So go ahead and take your regular sewing thread and run it through your wax once or twice, and then tie a regular not in the end of your thread. And I usually start basing about a quarter of an inch from the raw edge of the linen or the top fabric. You can just do long stitches just to speed up the process a little bit. You're gonna be pulling all these stitches out later on so it doesn't matter that you can see none. If I was doing this on my own project, I would use a matching color threads, so it's not so distracting. Here is my piece all base it to my stabilizer. So the linen is on top. The stabilizer, the Silk Road Banza, and the linen is all marked. And as we get going, I will show you, I only mark a little bit of this at a time and I'll explain that later. It'll make a little more sense. Here's what it looks like. Based in, you can say went in about a quarter of an inch from the edge all the way around and then roughly through the center, both horizontally and vertically. 5. Stitching Basics, First Stitches: Let's get started with some stitching basics that I use on a regular basis. First off, I use DMC embroidery floss. I'm very happy with the quality. They have a lot of different colors. It's inexpensive and I get really great results with this work. Now, when I first started embroidering again a few years ago, I wonder why. A lot of times when I pulled the thread out from a CK-MB, it would get all tangled up. And other times it would pull out really smoothly and I wouldn't have any trouble at all. I started paying attention. And I realized that if I pulled my thread from the end with the number, the lower end, there was usually a little short tail, sometimes tucked away in here, but a little short tail extending off this end. And if I pull my thread from that end, 90% of the time, it pulls out evenly with no knots, no problems at all. And when I'm embroidering, I hold my thread and the tips of my fingers and I major it up to my shoulder, which on me is about 24 inches. And that's the length of thread that I like to use because I don't like to read thread my needle constantly. And embroidery floss is six strands of thread that is loosely twisted together. And what you want to do is separate those strands according to how heavy you want your stitches to look. So you can stitch with anywhere from one up to six strands. My average amount that I use is two strands. So all I do is pull it apart here at the end. And then I hold it both ends in my left hand and I run my finger all the way down the center to keep it from tangling. Then I set aside my fourth Strand's over there. I have my two strands. And when you're threatening your needle, it's helpful to hold your needle really close to the end. I mean your thread very close to the end. And then just kind of push your needle onto it. It goes right through the eye of the needle. Then I leave the one in shorter. I like to use beeswax when a stitch so many years ago I was trained as a tailor and we were taught to always wax our thread to keep it from getting all nodded and bunched up. So I ran it through the wax a couple of times and through my fingers. And it helps tremendously. Now I'm going to tie a little knot. These are my favorite knots to use. So I placed my thread with a tail and down and I hold it with my thumb. I go over the top of my needle and I go once or twice and wrap it around. And I pull this end under and then this end goes over the top. I hold it loosely, my finger and then pull my pull my not through. Then I just have a little tail right here that'll trim off. Now, I'm ready to start stitching. The first stitch I'm going to demonstrate for you here will be the stem stitch. I use this a lot for outlining shapes. It almost looks like a little braid. And all I'm doing to create my first stitch is I came up right at the starting point, going back over it. So a little over an eighth of an inch. It depends on how short you want to make your stitches. And then I always want to make sure my thread is landing in the same direction. So you can either go up above or you can have your thread going down. And so here I'm going in again, down backup in the same exact hole. And then I bring my thread down. I go over to the right, back in the same exact hole where the last stitch ended and pull it. You don't want to pull it too tightly. And to go over not quite a quarter of an inch, you can go way smaller if you're going around curves, you can go much shorter. And that makes a nice curve. Or if you're doing something like lettering. And so I just keep going and you can see how it's starting to form a really nice little stitch here. You want to make sure that your stitches aren't so tight that they are peppering your fabric or so loose that when you hold it up, you can see light underneath your stitches there. So I just want to go up here to the corner and I'll show you how I would go around the corner. This is the stitch will be doing to outline all of our rectangles to get started on our project. There I came up, here's where my needle came up for that last stitch. I'm going to go back in the same hole right here. Go down and then just take a tiny little stitch underneath. And then I can come back up in the same hall. If I hadn't done that little extra stitch there on the backside, I would pull my thread right through this. I'll go across to the next corner and I'll show you that again. I'm going over to the right one stitch. It makes a really nice clean line. It's a little bit raised up, so it gives you a nice amount of dimension there. And then when you finish your last stitch, you just go down in your last hole. Bring it up and then do your underneath the stitch couple of times. And through the loop, pull it tight and trim your thread. The next stitch I'm going to show you is the backstitch. And I'm going to come up one stitch to the left of where I want my stitching dash will start to actually start there. And so I pull it up and I go back one stitch to the right and then I go over to the left, another stitch. And I pull that up. And now I go in the same hole, which is kind of hard with a not there sometimes in the same hole. And then I go to the left, to the right one stitch and then to the left. So there are the same distance. And it makes another really nice smooth line for outlining shapes. But it lays a little bit flatter on the fabric. Then, then the stem stitch does. You can use this one for doing lettering and things like that too. But I kind of like the impartial to the stem stitch because it's a little bit more. Then again, do your little stitch on the corner right there. Here you can pick up just a couple of threads because you have them, your thread over the top. Who's a blank area with no threat over the top, you would see your little tack stitch there. Now I've gone up and I've turned the corner and I'll show you in a second if I hadn't done that little tack stitch. So again, starting, I'm going starting up one stitch from where I want my stitching to actually begin going back and then forward. I'm going back and forward. Stitch in the corner. I want to show you this. So see here you have a nice clean corner. If I hadn't done that little tack stitch, I would end up with a thread that went diagonally across here, which if I'm using a dark color and a really light fabric, it might actually show up. And so then I will just go back down here again. Start my other line down here. I'll go ahead and finish this on the backside. If you're gonna do this again, go through once, twice, and then the third time, pull it into a little knot. There you have it. 6. More Stitches, Design Options: Now I'm going to do the running stitch. I do two different variations of this. So I'll go ahead and show you the first one which is the more regular one that you see. In this version. The stitches, the distance of the stitches and the distance in between the stitches is the same, so they should be roughly equal. I like to stack several stitches on my needle at once, like this, because it goes really quickly and my stitches actually come out a lot more evenly. You can see I have three stitches on there. And so I just pull it through. And then you can see how it's Packard and then I just smooth it out. When I get to the end. I'd like to do tiny little catch stitch there. So I'm just going one thread over so it doesn't pull through. Then I'm pulling it tightly. Good thing I checked on the bat because I had an extra loop there, nine coming up on the row below. I'm going to turn it around because I'm working from right to left. Now I'm staggering my stitches. So you'll be able to see it when I pull my thread through, I try to line these up, but I'm doing the opposite. So I'll show you when I get to the end of the row, you'll be able to see it a little bit better. This is a great stitch for filling in large areas with stitch and it gives a beautiful texture to the fabric and just a really nice feel. Okay, so here you can see where here this is the thread on top, the blank area. And here it's the exact opposite. So here I have blank on top and then the thread, and that is staggered all the way down. It gives a really nice look. All right. This one, you just smooth it out a little bit and flip it over to the back. You can see this looks exactly the same on the front and the back because our stitches were the same length. I go under a loop twice, Try not to catch the fabric and then pull it through and make a little knot. Could do another one if you wanted to, if this was something that was going to be washed, a lot, might want to do that. All right, so now I have all of my shapes outlined here and it's marked it will be marked on your stitch reference. And as far as where I used which stitches. So you can refer to that in your handouts under the resources. Now I'm ready to start stitching this square here. I want that to be my focal point and it's bigger. And it will have more stitching, it'll be more filled in. For this section, I'm going to use a long and short running stitch. That means I'm starting doing a long stitch like three-eighths of an inch long, probably a little over a quarter. Then in-between. I'm just catching a couple of stitches. I mean, a couple of threads. Alright. I'm going long. Then just catching a couple of threads. I want these stitches to be more solid. That's the idea here. I also don't want to outline the shape at this point because I want to see how it looks, where it's just bad. Kind of blends into the background fabric a little bit more. So you can see I'm actually start stacking three stitches on my needle at a time and then pulling it through. As you pull it through, just pull it taut, and then you can smooth it out. I just automatically smooth it out with my fingers so it's not drawn up in puckered. When you get to the end here. If you have to make a little short stitch, that's all right. It doesn't matter. Usually when I do the long and short stitch like that, try to make sure my stitches don't line up exactly. I ended up with a little bit of a short stitch here. Here you can see how my gaps here are offset a little bit from my first row. And that's what I'm trying to do. If you don't do that, they tend to line up and make rows. Let's get back to this. I'm going to continue working my running stitch. The long version with the gray thread over the top. I'll just do one more room. Now I'd like to show you the straight stitch. For this is the straight stitch. It's not a satin stitch because I leave more room in-between the stitches. I don't want it to be really solid. And all I'm doing is going back and forth with that. Here I will start down here. I've marked my lines. And all I'm doing is coming up from the back. And actually I'm using three threads here because I want it to be a little bit thicker. I'm going straight across and then I'm coming up at an angle to where my next stitch is going to start. I'm going up here. Then I'm gonna go, I'm going to go straight across. And then I'm going to go up a little bit. I sort of push it up a little bit with my finger underneath because I want to make sure that I'm not pulling these stitches to tie it in here. I don't want them loose, but I don't want this to get all scrunched up as I'm stitching. I go straight across. Just watch as you go. If you get things too close together, too far apart, you can take it out. And I like to do this a little bit uneven. So this, for this piece, I'm going to leave some gaps in here. You can see how I have some gaps. It's open in some areas, so I have a little bit more variation. I also left space to add some gray. And because I'm going to have gray here, gray down in this square to fill this in. Then I wanted a little bit of gray here. It's nice to have things in at least three different places, whether it's color or shapes, whatever it is. Because then it keeps your eye moving around the piece. So it's just kind of a nice general rule to follow. With composition. I will just continue on with that. And then I will come back in a little bit and I will show you what I have done. Alright, so last night I was able to get quite a bit of stitching done and make some progress on my piece. I'll share with you what I did. I managed to get another layer of gray stitching done over the top of this square. So I had the blue underneath and then the gray stitching on top of that. Then I did the stitching, my orange stitching and these long shapes here. I'll probably go back in and add some gray later on. I've added in some rows as stem stitch in the dark blue to create this more solid area here. And then also here, I've added in some gray stitching using the straight stitch that we learned in the last lesson. 7. Steam Blocking, Filling Shapes: The last thing I'd like to share with you in this lesson is how I stitched these little rectangles in the turquoise over here. First I'm going to show you how I would mark those. This is on just a piece of scrap paper, but I would mark my fabric exactly the same way. I had this long rectangle in the shapes. And I wanted to break it up a little bit instead of just doing long straight lines. So I broke it into three equal sections. And this is the one section on the top side of that rectangle. Here I've marked a quarter of an inch and all I've done is market quarter in quarter of an inch from this outside edge and then marked in three more sections on the fabric. It's smaller scale than that. And so I marked just, just a little over an eighth of an inch from each row. And so I'm doing the backstitch with two strands of turquoise floss. And I've already gotten started here. So I will go ahead and stitch up to the corner. And it'll show you again how I do that corner. This is a nice way to create some more texture and interest in the rectangular shapes without filling it in solid, which usually takes quite a bit of time. So there we go, right to my corner on the back and then I take a little tiny stitch here on the corner, pull that up, come back out. When I start my next row across, I'm gonna come up one stitch, the left, and then back in that same hole. And then proceed with my backstitch cross. Then I will continue doing smart stitching and show you what it looks like when it's done. My little rectangle and I have all three rows stitched that I need to have stitch for this area. And my goal for this lesson was to go ahead and get everything stitch that I'd already marked. So again, the way that I like to work is I do the marking that I absolutely have to for each part layer of stitching and I stitch that. And then when I get everything stitch that's been marked them, I steam block it again. I will go over that with you next. Alright, so now I'm just finishing up that last little area there. And a lot of times people want to see the back of my work. And so this would be what it looks like. You can see it's not too messy. You can see where I've got my little knots and then also where I did my little back stitches to secure my thread. Sometimes I will end up with an area where there's a knot and a loop that I don't discover until much later on. I don't like to go back and undo those because usually I have to do a lot of stitching, ripping out. And so I usually just leave it and if I have a loop, I just tack it down. So it's not real obvious. Here we have the front side and I have all of my areas stitched that I've marked so far. And so now I'm going to go and steam block this. Next we'll review the steam blocking process. So anytime that you do any stitching, whether it's by hand or machine on fabric, it draws the fabric gap. And so you'll get areas that are Packard where you don't have any stitching. The way that I rectify that is by steam blocking. And so I flip my fabric over to the back side and steam it pretty well. You didn't get it pretty moist. Then I gently stretch it out with my hands. I don't put any pressure on the fabric because that would flatten out your stitches and you don't want them to be flat and mash down. I hold my my iron about a quarter of an inch above the surface. And then when it's cooled off a little bit on the backside, then I turn it over again and do the front side. And you will see that this helps a lot. I have a lot of steam with my iron, as you can tell. And I put pins in and then stretch it out a little bit. So this is helpful, especially if you have any straight lines in your work because they often become distorted as you stitch. And that's just because you can see I have so much more stitching in some areas than I do in the end, it all works out fine. And so of course, all these areas were marked perfectly straight when I started stitching, but then they become distorted. As I work. Here, I'm just stretching it and making sure all those lines are straight. You can use a ruler if you like. And then I'll stretch it out a little bit horizontally and make sure that things are just nice. And even then now's a good time to start looking at how I'm going to fill those shapes in as well. So we don't want everything to be solid, but I'm trying to add a lot of pattern, different patterns and texture to this piece. And that's what makes it so interesting. In that gray square, I think I will probably go back in and do a little more stitching. But you see if I had marked the whole thing, I wouldn't be able to go back and redo all of this or I'll be marking it twice as what I would do. I usually will mark and then stitch what I've marked and steam block it and then do more stitching. That process of marking, stitching and steaming makes a huge, huge difference. Semi work. And I think it'll work really well for you as well. I'm back and I actually got quite a bit of stitching done last night, so I'm anxious to share with you what I did. I've gotten this piece a lot more filled in. And I did another row stitching here in the gray that's using two strands of that gray. I also use two strands of greater fill in these bars with a straight stitch. So I added some gray to the orange. And it actually makes that orange really pop because it's got something a little bit darker in value. If you look up here where I've only done one stitch, the stitches tend to kind of blend together a little bit more and it actually looks brown. So you want to do probably at least two strands of the stitches across. And then down in here I filled in some of the gray and then I added in, I added in several rows of the stem stitch using two strands of the dark blue floss. And then up here as well, I did the same thing here. So I added more lines of the stem stitch straight across and then here to fill this in and just give it a little bit of variety, but a little bit more texture. I did a running stitch with two and also three strands of the dark blues loss. Now I'm looking at this piece and these areas, the turquoise look kind of washed out to me. And they just need a little bit more to make them pop. And so here I've added some French knots around the outside border. And so that's what I will show you how to do next. A lot of people have trouble with French knots. I'm not sure exactly why, but I will show you how I do them. I think they're really easy and they add a lot of interest to your work. 8. Background Stitches, French Knots: Next stitch I want to demonstrate for you is the French knot. Now for some reason a lot of people have troubles stitching the French knots. I think it's because they're thread gets really tangled up. And I'll go ahead and show you how I do them as really easy. When you first start out, makes sure that you don't pull too tightly. Because if you do, you'll pull your thread right through the fabric. And what you're gonna do is hold your needle down close to your fabric. I'm going to wrap my thread around twice. So I'm actually using three strands of embroidery floss here, and I'm wrapping around the needle twice. Now you can do this stitch with one strand of floss or you can do it with six. If you do it with six strands of floss, it's just harder to pull it through the fabric. So what I want to do is hold my thread down close to my needle. And then as I pull my needle through that not going to hold this thread, it doesn't keep it doesn't get tangled. By holding onto it. It keeps it from getting tangled. So again, I'll come up from the back, wrap it around my needle twice. Go not in the same hole but over like one or two threads. And they pull it not really tightly, but I pull it down to the bottom of my needle. Then I slide my needle through and hold onto that loop. I get a nice clean little. Not when I'm doing a lot of French knots to fill, say like to fill an area or cover, cover larger area. I usually don't go any further than a half an inch between the stitches because it just makes it harder to keep it all flat. So there's my last stitch. And then I would just go over on the back and do a couple of loops. Not catching your fabric. Then tie a little knot, trim it off, and then you're set to go. Alright, so in the rectangles, here are my, here are my first samples that I did. And here I'm going to do the same thing. So I'm going to wrap my thread around the needle twice and then pull it through. That's actually looking kind of small so I could actually wrap it three times. It'll be a little bit bigger. I'm coming up from the back going right in the center of those two rows of stitching. Now I'm going to wrap it 123 times around my needle. Put my needle in just a couple of threads over, pull my thread down gently, and then hang onto my loop of the thread. As I pull it through the fabric. I'm going about little over a quarter of an inch in-between these stitches. So 123 and I liked the look of that a little bit better. So you can experiment, see how big you want your notes to be. There. There you have your French knots. Next I will show you the seed stitch, or some people call it the rice stitch. This stitch, just little. You can do these long or you can do these really short. I'm just going down and I'm only going over like an eighth of an inch. They're tiny little stitches. But what I think will happen is it's going to hold all these layers together really nicely. Where I don't have any stitching, like over in here. I think that'll look really good. I was going to do French knots on here. But I think that's a little bit more than it needs. I don't want the background stitching to compete visually with everything else I had going on, which is quite a bit. One thing with the rice stitch, received stitch, as you try to go sort of at a diagonal and offset your stitches so that they don't line up visually. And fats, lot of times I go, instead of carrying my thread off, off across the back. Like this. If I'm doing the longer stitches, especially I won't go down. Then decide exactly where I want my next stitch to be. And go over and then down again. Now, I will come back later when I have all of my French knots, Stan, and also my seed stitch in the background. 9. Finishing and Display: For this piece, I've decided to mount my embroider panel on an eight by eight inch gallery wrapped canvas panel. And what I'm doing now is prepping it. I've masked off the front side with just blue painters tape. I'm painting one coat of paint on and then I'll flip it over and do the backside. I'll do the same thing on the back. This is a lesser quality paint and so I will have to let it dry in-between coats and add another coat of paint to the top and that should cover it pretty well. I will show you in a minute how to attach the embroidered piece to the Canvas. I really liked the way these pieces look. They look nice, just sitting on a desktop or hanging on the wall. And it's a pretty quick way to display your work. I've just recently started mounting and finishing my work this way. And what I do is I just buy a small, this is an eight by eight inch gallery wrapped canvas panel. I mask off the back side and the front side where I don't want the paint to go because I'm using white fabric, that gray paint could show through the fabric itself on the front side. And I don't want that to happen. So I'm just painting on the very edge and making sure that's covered. Now, I've done all of the stitching. I did my final steam blocking. I've checked to make sure all my basting threads are out. Now, all I have to do is trim the backside. I'm trimming off the silk or Gansu. And it's much easier to see these little stitches from the back side. So that's what's holding my raw edges together. And I really don't want to cut that stitching. I'm going to try it as trim close, but like a fraction of an inch beyond. I really don't want to have to go back and repair that. Now I'm ready to mount it to my Canvas. Now I'm using, It's like a temporary basting glue for fabric. And you can use a double stick tape, whatever you happen to have. So I'm just going to put a light row. Tiny bit. Haven't used this glue for this purpose, but I've used it for a lot of other projects. I'm going to put a couple of rows across here. My reasoning is that if I want to, I want to be able to remove this piece from the canvas panel. I'm applying a little bit of pressure from the back so it makes contact with the glue and the fabric. Okay. And then I'm going to flip it over from the back. I'm going round couple of little tiny rows here. Just attack it on there. Getting close to the edge. But I also don't want the glue to squish out onto the canvas. Should probably let that dry on those two edges. You can see how it's just nicely conforming to that curved edge. I'm pressing it down firmly attached. All right, So now I'm done. And I think that looks great. I think the painted canvas edges really show this piece off nicely and I'm really happy with the way that looks. I will take one more photo, completely finished. Share that with you in a minute. In our conclusion. 10. Conclusion: I hope you enjoyed working through the lessons in this class. By now, you should feel pretty comfortable stitching without embroidery hoop. If you're new to hand embroidery, don't be overly concerned about your stitch length in the beginning. That consistency is something you'll develop over time. And everyone's stitches can look a little bit different. I think of it as being that person's signature style. You're stitching will become more consistent with every project you do. You're building up muscle memory and that's a really important thing. The things you thought were difficult will come to you naturally after a bottom. The best part of any creative practice comes when your focus shifts from the final outcome, becoming immersed in and thoroughly enjoying the process of making. I can't wait to see your project when you're ready to share it. And please never think your work isn't good enough to show it. Show to anyone. It absolutely is. And we would all love to see it. Thanks for watching.