Painting with Thread: How to Embroider Fruit | Chloe Amy Avery | Skillshare

Painting with Thread: How to Embroider Fruit

Chloe Amy Avery, Embroidery Artist

Painting with Thread: How to Embroider Fruit

Chloe Amy Avery, Embroidery Artist

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8 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Intro - Painting with Thread

    • 2. Getting Started

    • 3. Choosing Colours

    • 4. Let's Get Stitchy

    • 5. Highlighting and Blending

    • 6. Splitting Threads and Dark Tones

    • 7. Using White and French Knots

    • 8. Finishing

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About This Class

This class will teach you how to paint an orange - or any other fruit you like - with thread.  You will learn some embroidery tips and techniques along the way, but more than anything this class focuses on how to treat your fabric as the canvas, your floss as the palette and your needle as a brush.

You will learn how to:

  • Prepare you hoop
  • Sketch your fruit onto fabric
  • Select your colours
  • Blend your colours
  • Use satin stitch
  • Create French knots
  • Apply highlights
  • Build shadow
  • Finish a hoop for hanging

Chloe will take you step by step through the process of embroidering a hyper-realistic fruit from blank fabric to finished piece.

Meet Your Teacher

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Chloe Amy Avery

Embroidery Artist


Chloë Amy Avery is not an embroiderer.  Not in the traditional sense.  Chloë uses thread as paint, a needle as a brush and her tray of floss as her palette.

Chloë hand embroiders large scale, intricately detailed, hyper-realistic art-work.  Her obsession is nostalgia, childhood and memory.  Her subject, more often than not, is food.  Food transports you.  Food encapsulates culture.  It tells our stories.

At first glance Chloë's work could be mistaken for paint.  But the atypical medium and texture of thread forces the viewer to question what they see.

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1. Intro - Painting with Thread: Hi, I'm Khloe Amy Avery, and I am an important I create things that this on this even when I say embroidery might be thinking older ladies and Philly flowers. Or you might be thinking Arts and crafts movement in traditional techniques. That's not the kind of embroider air use, threadlike pain and a needle like a brush. My tray of flux is my palate as an artist, a broke apart with nostalgia and memory, which has meant that for years have mostly been embroidering food. Why it started with lived in accident. I miss people on a missed home and I miss London. It was when I tasted something particular, like Marmite or cabbage, Tripler or birds catched it. That memory just came flooding back. This class is about food sounding much more universal than those refined flames. Today I'm going to teach you how to embroider and orange to paint an orange with red 2. Getting Started: I expect today I'm gonna take you have to employ your piece of free. I'm gonna take you further processed off sketching for you to choose in your colors, teaching you a few stitches, and we're gonna come up with a product at the end that is locker life like a piece of fruit . I hope you enjoy the process. I'm gonna take three step by step, so it's really easy for you to understand. And you can translate this into any piece of fruit you want on. Even if everything that you could take into objects of subject This is the orange we're gonna uses a guide today. If you want to see this up close, you can check up my INSTAGRAM account is a guide. Is that at Chloe dot Amy, don't Avery. So we're gonna need for this project on embroidery. Hope this one's 21 centimeters and then we need a square piece of cop in this 31 centimeters. So then you have a bit of room extra to play with at the end, and to finish off your final piece, we're gonna put that in the hope in a minute. Also need to a pair of embroidery Scissors. They're just easier to handle. Smallest, Is is You can also have a bigger pair handy if you want to. So you got any different size needles? I've got about four here. Now you're thinking wider. Any different size needles. Now, the reason is you have six strands within a one scheme. And as I'm working, I like to take maybe two or three. Sometimes I take the whole scheme. Depends from what I'm working on at the time. How thick you want it on what look you wanna have. So it's important to have a very in size of needles. You also want lots of friends. Okay, so my collection afraid is very big. It's really important when you're using the threat to paint with that, you have a huge range of colors, so choosing the threats can be a little bit tricky. But later on, I'm gonna show you how to select your colors to get a really stick look on your face. Okay. So first of all, we're going to stop what? We're in a fabric into a hoop. So simply take the who part at this point is quite loose. Put your fabric put late there, bottom of your hoop inside of your poop on the table and lay your common, of course, the top in Arsene Square. So you've got rough, the even amount around the site, and then you're just gonna place the top of the hoop. I want your fabric compressed them. At this point, it's fairly tight, but it's got a bit of about it. So what you want to do is just pull gradually around your hoop just to make it really nice and tight all the way around. You want to also make sure that the warp and weft of the fabric is staying pretty straight . You don't want it. One kicks. It's not gonna help with your finished pace, but when you're satisfied that it's really nice and tight, it should be re bouncing the widow so you can tough it like Sounds like a drum. The really good noise. If you've got it right eyes, then you can go ahead and try it in the top really tight so that it's ready for station. So now we're finished, pop one, and we're ready to go 3. Choosing Colours: Welcome back to part two. We're not gonna create a lifelike free. Normally, I would work from a photograph. But today because I'm teaching you these are general work straight from his. You're gonna choose the colors based on this important. So which had been created. This is the fun bit of choosing colors. Now, you might think yet in orange, Scott. Really? So we need orange. Agree? You're right. But there's a lot more to it. So I'm gonna show you how to pick the colors. That gonna make it. Have a look at this place here. Nice and close so you can see that there were loads of different colors involved. This is how we're gonna go about choosing. We have got pinks in their yellows, some white for really sharp highlights. And we've got some dark orange is almost ready in there, actually. And then again, same on the grain. You've got, like, a couple of different tones of grain toe for the highlights and for the darker areas shadows. So we're gonna go about choosing our colors. This is gonna help us. We're definitely gonna need some of these oranges. These is gonna be, like, quite a based off color got darker, darker colors in here on what God wants. Um, almost breads there. That's, like orangy red, some darker tones. Check out some yellow eyes. This one and then, like two yellow a bit softer, that middle highlight there. And I'm with the white. Definitely. Definitely gonna make need That too. Bring out this highlight here, and we got some pinks going on on a peachy color. This is a really important to blend your pigs to make it even more lifelike. My even want a bit of a cream in here, Every guy and then we've got brains again. The same process with the grain within a guy for some lighter areas with these ones. Get out the books. There we go. Then we're going to definitely go Dhaka. Sometimes it's surprising how Doc, you can go with these pieces with the shadows that would take up even darker piece there. And then we really wants amid mitt grains as well. It's gonna go for to mid grains so we can blend it. Well, there we go. We have ah, orange colors. They don't look all that orange at this point, but they're gonna blend them to make them really laugh like you might be thinking at this point, I don't want a friend, so we're gonna dio, but you can go to your habitations, which will provide you with, like, a boat by. Or you can pick the friends individually. If you want to work on a certain project or you can go to your local Internet provider, they will provide you with many, many friends in a bundle. Vote. Pray good price. I don't worry. You don't need to have this many colors, but it will definitely get a good law. 4. Let's Get Stitchy: okay, part free. We're gonna get sticky. But before we need to put out drawing on Thio. Going to use this under news this today as a is the vice of for a guideline for jewelry. But you could you two fight time if you have one. Or you could just have improved its first import this bit. So we're going to start by drawing a circle now. I'm not gonna talk straight in the middle, so won't get believes in moving over to one side low. It's really simple because it is an orange. Can't really go wrong. Just gonna draw really rough circle. Now I'm using a pencil you could use and embroiders, so which would disappear. But to be honest, you're gonna go over anyway. You're not going to see any of this so quietly using a pencil which doesnt fate. And you can I see clearly now. Good about in quote there. Place where the stock comes out, they're gonna just draw. This is all Freehand. Do you know what? If it doesn't look quite like your photo that you're copying from, or even like this, that's OK, because it's your own piece of work. So We don't all want them the same. Want to look a little bit like her own? So you go do the leaves. You might actually want to draw it on a piece of paper before you get your idea down. And then copy off of that. Or you could even hold up to the light and copy it through soon enough. That break you can cope it for, Didn't you hope? Every good. So we have a basic orange with the legs. Okay, so we're gonna start with this orange fridge that this is gonna fill out the most of the bulk of this orange chair selects. Just use the whole thickness of this. We're not gonna spit it in any way. Just cause it would be a really good Let's not go too long on this. I don't want to get in. Not a It's front. This up. Yeah. Every guy. Maybe We take you a while to Friday. I'm very practiced. I'm not tell you well, but that's the joy of it. Then you want not the end. So it's not going to come free fabric. So you've not at the end, and then we can start stick to now I'm gonna show you satin stitch, which is basically maybe your main filler for this area. Okay, you're gonna pull. You need a fruit at this point, Isn't really matter where you start, and I don't tend to take starting any place. And then from there, I just see where it takes May. You can either go back to here to where you are for stitches, go Him. Not that, or you can come right up next to it. The casing here is that you don't you want them pretty close to each other. You don't want to see any of the white fabric on tonight. So I showed you just now how to do the second city in two different ways. I'm going to go fruit back over each one and just show you the benefits of each one. So firstly, you could go in from underneath on to the top you could Then at this point, comes straight up next to it like this and then go back. Maybe down here now, for the benefit for that is, as you pull it fruit and you can to say if you turn over on the But here you can see that it's only used a small a small amount, afraid just on the front hair. Now the other way. You could do it if you come back up here and got across and then you could just using your finger underneath to push your needle. Fruit started fruit back to where you started just next to it. Pull it through. But when you look at the back here, you can see that you've actually is double the Fred. So most of the time I tend to go in and then next to it because you're reserving a lot of your friends. They're not using to twice as much. So, but sometimes it's Sometimes you just feel like actually I want to do a bit quicker. It will cost you afraid, but sometimes it's worth it. You can carry on. You know, this is a lot quicker to do it this way, depend that much work. You go, you've got lots of the same color. So as we create in this orange, we obviously looking at all right, it's not is curve a So in order to do that to get that effect, we could just do it in straight lines. It might look a little bit flat. So using the technique where you're doing it a little bit faster with a set satin stitch, we want to create little bit of a curve which might make that you're just feeling it a little bit. As you go, it might not look as ordered, but this way you're creating a little bit more of a curve rounds. You could start with a couple of lines in a row here and already you're beginning to get a little bit of a curve here on a bit of a guide to build upon like this. Of course, at this point I'm using It's a quick method here, actually, here. I'm not you. I'm not going away back all the time. To the original point I've gone in up que con strict. Is that she Quite relaxing. So I'm really into this, Fred. So I'm gonna stop there. I'm gonna put it fruit. I'm gonna tie this off because you don't want to try and squash your needle through, and it becomes very awkward. So all I do it the back turn over. You got your thread for on the back now threat for some of the friends that would you, on the separate create it will not pull it tight. And then I do one more, just to be sure. Let me just show you in slow motion. Just you can really clearly see. So I just choose one of the threads that's already been used back there. You don't want to go through to the front, just poke, poke it through and then make a little not by going through the lope that you just created . Pull it tight. You made it. No, just a security. Just do an extra one. Same process for the look. As you can say, this bit is just about filling in most of the color. Both cover here, but I'm still trying to continue to fill in and curves just to give, like, a definition, the orange this note will normally take me. I don't know, maybe often hour to an hour, depending on how small the stitches are. But I'm quite experienced, and I guess I've just got to learn to be quick. If you're quite new to this might take you a while. I want to choose a smaller size fruit you. Good. Come along. This is room up to about to finish. Desperate looking good was Do follow me still following the curve just to create Nice. So as you can see, it's taking shape. Aziz, you can see it. Well, not this epic hole here in the middle. So I'm leaving this on purpose so that I could fill it with the light of color on this quite big area. This in the hood. Also, there's no point in we've put in any orange in there. Just wasted Fred Really? On that area covers quite quite a big patch. So I've left that in the middle and become blend. Okay, so we finished part free just in the main main base color down for an orange. This is what we're aiming for. But this could be translated to any fruit. So, for instance, cherry here is not smaller. The same principle applies. You got your mid times. Then you got your highlights. And your shadow areas is well, which using some darker colors. So this could be translated in sex. Smaller could be a fruit. It could be anything else as well. But using the same principles of light times, Mitt time stopped 5. Highlighting and Blending: I just remind you what we're doing. We are created out life like orange. Hey, the guy Close look. Lives of colors involved there. So take a reminder of what we've just done. I've done a little bit of cheeky fill in here, so I've done all over. He's got the base colors down for a midtown to go orange, which obviously orange time Andi got leaves, which are midterm. Greatest. Well, you're gonna feel differently, so you can see. Here we go. Okay. The next pop is that picking out? Just the whole orange we've got. Our base comes down already, but next, we're gonna be working on this edge Peace around here. So we're gonna pick out the highlights, which are, as you can see, pinks, peaches, a little bit of creams in there. We're going to start by picking out this harlot. Okay, so here we have the four colors. We're gonna be need in the moment, so I'm gonna move the times out the way we're not gonna need them for Well, let's move them. They're gonna start with this pink time, and I'm going to stick with my feet, Canedo. So if they can't bigger hope because I want to stick with six strands off this threat. At this point, we're not gonna split it yet. I knew when we get onto some of the finer details of the color or start splitting it and we'll use a smaller needle that's freed up Pinedo No, at the end like it did before. What was the I'm doing it one handed, but that's just how if, uh, used to doing that, but do, however you want to do it. And they were going to stop my stitch in around this edge here. And if we've got the pencil line so we can simply stick on on this pencil, I'm here to start covering up that so we would go to see it when it's finished. The guy saying something. Stick to him. This working your way around you concurred again. Not we did before just to create really nice textural orange. Nice curve. Okay, says you can say, I'm just filling in. It's nice pinky tone here. You think you that's not an orange, but if you wait and see in a minute, and by the time we've added value PCI tone in between the pink and the orange he's going to start to blend there. Gives it that lifelike. Okay, so we've got a picture time, which is a little bit of a blend between these ones. So we're gonna cut left off again. We're going to use six threads together. Denny, when we get into details, Wanted to split it. Fred, this African Taino saying process you can and lots of different tones in if you want to. As you get more experienced. Obviously that means changing the fred a little bit more. So now I was simply doing this sort of creating a little bit of a blend between the two colors. So, you know, gonna stitch like a line between the tow. You want a bit of the pink coming into the orange with a little bit of interruption from this peach color. You really don't want to create a peach line all the way through. Might mean that you want to go into this pink a little bit more in a smaller stitch just to give the effect of it being nice and blended. Now, you could if you want at this point as well. Hey, big guy. At this point, but you finished your lymph ifs Fred. Here, you might even want to take two strands in the same color. Just be a bit. Take your time and do a bit more blending. It's the more time you spend on this, the more lifelike it's gonna be a basically, well that if you introduce another another peach tone that again will just create a really nice blend. So as you can see already, you can start to see there's no sharp lines anywhere there to take this round this corner a little bit more corner. It's not Corner is easy. Uh, the guy I got just a few little tiny stitches in the pink just to blend it a bit more there . So again, six that I have not seen. Just a four block of color might do the same here on the dark orange. So as you step back from your pace, you're gonna see it's much more of a year blended pace. So this stage of good just take it was a little minute to look at it. Okay, we're looking pretty blended there. You can see we introduced the page in this. Chris came in, and I suspect there, so they're going to stop on that for now. You can always come back to the color again. If you feel well. I only need to look more. But at this point, I'm going to just tie off, Not it off. We're gonna introduced. 6. Splitting Threads and Dark Tones: Okay, so now we're gonna look back at my original here on. As you can see, the already around this part is quite a bit darker because of the shadow of the leaf on the top of the orange Is not Captain is much like, So we're not gonna pick some dark up colors. You get some mid tone off. So these are my two dark times I used on the orange this point, we are gonna split. Afraid so you go thinking, What is this? Spit Fred's business. OK, so we're gonna cut a limp. Not this. And the importance off not using the whole scheme together. So is so that we can get some details as we don't want to. Just put a block off darker shade on, and it just totally change the look of the orange. We want to keep it that realistic look. So this comes in six Strand's. At this point, I'm gonna take two. Here we go. Now. This is a bit tricky. Maybe with a bit of extra might take you a little bit of a while to get the neck. I'm really terrible. I'll put that in your mouth. That comes arrive. Ready, ese? Very good case. You got two strands there. Gonna pick a slightly smaller nido. Just so please don't want to make up dig a hole in the fabric that we need to go away overrated up. Then we're gonna stop adding some darker turns into the top of that orange underneath leaf to create. Okay, so I'm gonna start stick him as I do. My seven stitch Still sound sitch. I'm gonna make sure that go right up to the edge of that grain there. So we've got no highlight. Covered through the top of the are managed A so you can see the shadow. Now, just take the time. You could do long stitches. You can do some smaller ones, to be honest. Very in off. Stitches will really help. Create, realized. Look at the end. Maybe gonna come down into a little bit that high, like there. I'm doing a bit of a cheeky second stitch here. I'm coming straight back through with my finger underneath, pushing it, pushing the needle back up again. This is a bit of a quicker method, but it does use more friends. So if you want to save when you fret, Or if you prefer to go straight through and then straight back up again, that's fine. Everyone's got their own little knack of doing it and you'll find what works best for you at this point is well, because you've only got two strands you might want to do a little bit of like cross hatching. You might want to go over the thread in a different direction. So here I've just gone over, crossed over it. She's creating a different texture slightly darker in places, or you could spikes it out. So I'm not wanted Dio really spaced out on the darker color like I did with the blend. Another page in the pink. You want a really soft line? I don't want to see any hard lines. Yes, I'm just looking at taking a look again. I've put bit of dark in on. I just know it's gonna be a picture on the where the stem comes out here out of it. Peach in here. And then just I'm gonna look a peach to the middle here to start stop blend in this highlight area here on. Then I'm gonna do that and then we'll show you how to do some even highlighter lighter bits . Take a look at your piece. So far, I think we have finished this stage, which is great. We're gonna be onto the next stage very shortly where I'm going to show you how to do some highlights. And a teacher of French know there are a couple of ways you could do French. No, I'm gonna teach you the way that I like to do it. Are you ready? 7. Using White and French Knots: I said, this is our original weapon from today. This is the one I'm showing you step by step on, how to create your arm. Okay, so we're gonna move on to some highlights, but for this section, we're gonna need these yellows. Now, at this point, it might look a bit strange, but once we've finished the whole piece, the yellow for really work. I'm going to start with this lighted yellow with some of this on. Then later, when we come to the white, says you're gonna be like some really sharp highlights in there on this one. We're gonna split the Fred again. I'm gonna take free this time. This state. I'm just going to stop my life together. Oh, but just blending in this edge around the orange like we did back with the peach in the pink tones. We don't want a sharp line. We want a really soft line. Yes, you can see for the Nansen yellow. You can see the edges nicely blended. Now, according to the little bit of painting there they could take No. As you want smaller stitches, we could take longer ones. Moved on to the top here. Spotted a little bit of yellow, which I'm just adding right now to the highlight around the stalk their I've moved on to the bright yellow. At this point, you're gonna add No, as much as this yellow on I've only taken two strands was we don't want this color to dominate it said is quite bright yellow. So like I did with the dark, darker tones really want a little bit because we don't want it to be overpowering on the whole piece. But we do want to bring our highlight. So let's bring in a brought you and I Okay, so if I did the yellow in and now we're moving on to the white, Okay, so this time we've taken two friends again because we don't want the white to be overpowering. Now, I'm gonna show you some highlights just around this age here, and then we're gonna move on to show the French Not sometimes your friends do get a little bit stuck. Just take your time and put him through carefully. So I am going to show you house to a French. Not now on here. You can see the This here is a French No Because you're really sharp little spot of color on his interest in texture as well. I'm gonna show you how to do it Normal speed on Go slow Right down Seacon, Steve. Step by step. How to create your own case? You're gonna bring the needle up from the bottom at this point. Like to put down my hope. The take the thread in this other hand as well. Your needle is quite close to the base off where you're Fred has come through. You go around the needle free times to three. Pick up your hope on then your need was gonna go back in right next to or as far as close you can to the point you came out off, then put it fruit. Pull it tight. There's your friend shop. Okay, So I'm gonna do again. Really slow motions, you can say So. You gonna come up from the bottom pull you need all the way through. Take the base of the Fred in your other hand. Put your needle very close to the base of where your friends come through in a wrap it around one to free. You put in it quite tired. This point. Not too tight that you can't. Then a minute. Let your need around back into the hole. You're gonna go back through the way you came up. Closest possible. Oh, look, I've put it to type. So you can at this point, you can take the needle out rough again. 12 three in free that ho and grab it from behind. There we go from Lens, you know, so you can use these just some really sharp highlights on your pace. So I'm gonna fill in this middle section with some white highlights again, back to a certain stitch. And then I'm gonna aunt add in some orange French dots just to interrupt the highlight a little bit again, creating a lifelike orange. Okay, so we've got a highlight. Peace in the middle. I think we've done unless bit I'm gonna add a few orange prints notes just to finish off. It's not gonna take many give a really nice texture and an interruption on a highlight there. Yeah, life like effect is only gonna be like I'm gonna do it. 33 French notes. But those French notes are going to make all the difference just given it really nice texture. You know, Finish the room. Was John on this bit good? Okay, I'm gonna just leave it at that, Actually. Is your already okay? Well done, guys has done at the orange, which is brilliant. Okay, so at this point, you should be able to sit back and be quite chuffed with yourself. Creating this bit. We are gonna move on to the Great Lakes. I'm not going to do this on camera, but it is the same principles as we create the orange fruit. So we're gonna pick out mid times. We've already got that based down actually on here on. Then we're gonna pick up highlights. Look atyour shadows where they are. Pick up the highlighted areas. Ads like greens. You might even one little bit. Why, in their depends how far you want to go. That is your decision. I'm gonna do offspring next eight 8. Finishing: Okay, guys, you've done. You've finished your face. You got away done your green leaves and you made tone should highlights and shadows and should be finished. At this point, you should be really proud of yourself finishing the orange so well done. This next bit I'm gonna show you how to finish off the back. Now there are a couple of things you CanDo. I'm gonna show you a basic way to finish, and then I'm gonna show you just what you could do to finish it off in a different way. Okay? I won't tell you. Step by step. Okay, so in front of you, if you have finished embroidery. Brilliant. But we have a lot this extra fabric that we don't want to say. It doesn't look very nice to display it. So I'm gonna show you what to do with it. So when we started off, we cut it big enough. Round the outside. It's round about five centimeters bigger than a hoop we're gonna do. You gonna turn over so we can now say the buck with our embroidery? We're gonna cut a circle five centimeters all the way around the edge. So it's a creating a bigger circle will take these corners off. OK, do you can't measure or you can do it by June. It by I will be absolutely fine. That's not how I do it effectively. We just cut in the corners off this. This is this is a really simple way of doing it. Mention it all off, making it really need, but don't brush it. There's nothing were so finishing, spending time on something and then rush in the last little bit and then been disappointed with how it is finished. It is simple, but take your time. Okay. Mover excess perfect. Got a circle around the outside. Gonna take your NATO handsome threat. You could do this in the same color as your background. Fred. I'm going to do it in orange One. I like to use a compliment. You color also, So you can see here what I'm doing. Okay. No Taeko a fair lymph because it's gonna go away around the outside. Okay, I'm afraid upon NATO and on the and this time you want to really secure? No. So maybe no, it a couple of times. So it's not gonna pull through as you start stitching. Now you want to go roughly about 2.5 free centimeters from the edge of the hope again, You don't have to be really accurate, but just take the time because it will make a difference on how it finishes. So we're going to go about three centimeters out off the hope here. We're gonna just your simple running stitch fool around you hope they pull it from. So this big enough not here is not gonna pull for you. This is really important that this doesn't get dragged through with the rest of stick juice . Where does continue running Stitch to Fanning's close to give up. Okay. As you could see off finishing up here continued the running stitch all the way around the Hope round about three centimeters away from hope. Right? We're not going to go on top of this. Not here. Simply at this point. Do not gonna tire. No, but you are gently kind of pull on this end, and as you can see as you pull it governors a way around Magic? No, the guy. Okay. What you're looking for is a really nice, tight, secure fabric just inside. You're finished pace. I'm gonna have taken off the nature to put it in. We'll just put it back home there when you're happy with how far you've pulled it in and you just want to secure it, Really? Hold that tight. Forget about free the fabric, my tie and not to secure. That is one way to finish do embroidery. And you can at this point, leave this exposed at the back. Or like on some pieces that I've done. You can cut a circle just the inside size of that hope there. And then you can just stitch you So you totally covered the back. Depends what you're how you're displaying this. So if you wanted it on a wall, you could leave as this. You wouldn't see anything on the back. Or you could put a nice felt pace on the back of Well done. You did it. You are now finished your embroidery fruit. Now, one thing you could do which I like to do is just a ribbon, Aren't you hope tied at the top? Of course, this was orange because orange fruit and then you could just hang up when you're finished. So how have you enjoyed that? Guys gets sick