Stitching Woodland Creatures 101: Exploring Texture in Hand Embroidery | Floor Giebels | Skillshare

Stitching Woodland Creatures 101: Exploring Texture in Hand Embroidery

Floor Giebels, Embroidery Artist

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17 Lessons (1h 41m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:39
    • 2. Class Project

      2:38
    • 3. Materials

      6:51
    • 4. Basic Stitches

      11:25
    • 5. Color Palette

      3:04
    • 6. Transfering Your Design

      6:22
    • 7. Hedgehog's Face

      7:08
    • 8. Hedgehog's Fur

      6:05
    • 9. Hedgehog's Spikes

      4:09
    • 10. Squirrel's Face

      8:48
    • 11. Squirrel's Body

      10:17
    • 12. Squirrel's Tail

      6:16
    • 13. Fawn's Face

      8:38
    • 14. Fawn's Body

      6:16
    • 15. Fawn's Legs

      3:15
    • 16. Backing the Hoop

      6:40
    • 17. Final Thoughts

      0:36
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About This Class

Traditional embroidery is one of the most fun and fulfilling ways to create something special with your hands. With my class, Hand Embroidery: Stitching Woodland Creatures 101

we will focus on demystifying the process of creating different and believable textures. The techniques learned can be used to embroider any animal.

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We will go over the following:

  • Materials needed
  • In this class we will be using simple stitching techniques to create advanced effects.
  • We will look at how to choose your color palette, and how I chose mine. 
  • How to trace your pattern
  • For the hedgehog spikes we will make a rough texture, in contrast with some of the softer textures.
  • In the squirrel section, we will use needle painting to give a blending effect, and to create soft, fluffy textures. 
  • Whilst making the fawn, we will be creating a contrasting pattern in the fur.
  • In the last section we will be looking at framing the hoop ready for display

Links

You can also check out my Instagram and show your result with the hashtag #woodlandcreatures101

You can also check out my original art at my etsy shop

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Flora and I'm an embroidery artists from the Netherlands. My work is a combination of traditional embroidery and mixed medium. In this class, I'm going to show you how to approach textures by stitching tree woodlands animals. My personal journey with embroidery started in 2016 when I had a bad knee injury, and my life was basically upside down. Because I had a limited mobility, I really turned to embroidery to heal me in those times, and to also keep me busy. But it wasn't until I posted one of my needle paintings on Reddit, that was the moment that I felt this could be more than just a hobby. That night, I posted my picture on the Reddit pics and didn't think anything of it and just went to sleep. The next morning that I woke up, I was shocked because I was on the front page of Reddit and my story was completely sold out. I received a lot of questions and a lot I hope to cover today. In this class, I'm going to teach you everything you need to know about embroidery. How to get started from basic stitches all the way to backing your hoop. We'll learn how to create textures with tree woodlands animals. For the hedgehog, we'll go over how to create the spikes and how to create rough textures. The squirrel is all about the fluffy textures, but also about soft blending with inner stitches to create a really smooth and effortless look. Finally, we have the fur. With the fur, we're going to create a pattern in the stitches and how to add an extra layer over your fur. With all these animals, I'm going to show you how you can create a contrast within your stitches, and also how you can make it blends for a real realistic look. This class is perfect for beginners, but also for seasoned artists who want to step up their texture, contrast, and blending game. It's also perfect for just anyone who just wants to create something with their hands and just disconnect a little bit from the virtual worlds. By the end of this class, you will have a beautiful embroidery piece ready for display. I hope you will join me, and let's get stitching. No there's a dance. I should not do a dance. Join me, let's get stitching. 2. Class Project: I'm really excited about the project because, I don't know I love embroidering animals and it's so much fun. I really want to share that experience of fun with you. So in the PDF, you can find everything, all the links, all materials, the threads, everything that I use is in there. Also the patterns are in there. I would love it if you would embroider all of them with me. But my suggestion is just think of yourself like, what is the technique I really would like to do? Would I like to do the spikes? Is that something that I would really like because I use all six strands and it's a bit chunky, and I love hedgehog. Or like something, a fawn, very delicate and very detailed. But also it's really cool to have that embroidered, I think, a fawn. You can also go for this one. This is really focused on the shading parts. This is really focused on the fluffiness of the tail. There's so much different things for you to see what you want to do. I would love if you would post it in the project section, so that we can all see what you learn from it, what you felt was really helpful for you. Maybe also things that I haven't thought about which like, oh, I did this different. I already said this in the color palette, but this community is so creative when it comes to color. Not only like embroidery itself, because sometimes I see things that people made and they're like is my first time doing embroidery and I'm like, what? I mean, that's amazing. I mean, we can also suggest that it's because of someone's teaching skills. No, I mean, seriously, it's super cool, and then also the colors, they blew me away. So really go nuts with this. I would love to see all of your input. Let's start.[MUSIC] 3. Materials : For our next lesson, we are going to talk about materials. I'm going to show you what kind of materials I use personally, and what other materials are out there. You can choose for yourself what materials you would like to use. All of these materials that I'm going to show you is basically everything you need to complete all the projects. For all the animals, those are the materials you need. Materials are also a very personal thing on what you'd like to use and your preferences. For instance, when it comes to needles, I'm going to show you a picture right here in the middle now. These are John James Needles. These are my favorite needles because they are not so long, they come in this really gorgeous package and it's a nice way to also keep them in. They're small, but they're pointy. These are my favorite needles. I'm going to say that it is good to use a needle with a sharp point if you're going to use one strand. I don't know where I got these from. You can just see. I do use these, these are tapestry needles. Tapestry needles have a sharp point, but they also have an eye that you can fit all the six threads in. I would recommend this one also a tapestry needle to do the spikes. Also, everything can be seen in the class projects. There's a section in a PDF where you can see all the links and everything that you will need so that you don't have to look it up yourself. I have some handy links for you for that. When it comes to fabric; mine crinkles so fast, but when you put it into hoop it's not crinkly anymore. So it doesn't matter. But when it comes to fabric it's very important that it doesn't have a stretch, because when you have a fabric that stretches it can plucker, it can become distorted. It's important that it doesn't have a stretch, and what is also important that it has a tight-knit weave so that there's not a lot of space between the threads. I would recommend twill or even weave cotton, just a cotton that doesn't have a stretch. For scissors, I have this scissor, but actually it really doesn't matter that much what kind of scissor you use. Embroidery scissors, you can get them anywhere. You can also use your own scissors. This is the hoops that I use. You have hoops that are made from bamboo, those are the cheapest hoops. You also have hoops that are made from plastic. This is a normal wooden hoop. You also have hard wooden hoop that are like real fancy wooden hoops. In the Project section I'm also going to put in the hoops that are really nice, but those are very expensive. I use a lot of hoops, so that's why I go for the middle-class hoop. This is a DMC book that I bought years ago when I just started embroidery just so I have a reference for all my colors. It's very handy to have if you want to pick up colors. But what I do have, which is maybe a little bit controversial, one might say, I don't use actual DMC colors most of the time because I use colors that I get in bulk and sometimes these are DMC threads. You can find them sometimes on eBay, but these are threads that I bought on Amazon. I bought a lot of threads on Amazon, and these are a very good quality. Again, the link is in the PDF. But in my opinion there are really good quality and they're not that expensive especially if you're just trying out embroidery, then this is just a really good thing to start with. What I want to show you, the color code is the same code as the code from the DMC. So what I want to show you that, this is code 3023, and then you have here the same one from the DMC. You can see that it is very similar. It doesn't now look that similar because the thread lays on top of it which gets another different kind of shade, but they're all very similar to the DMC colors. When I use that color I'm also referencing to the DMC, so there's no confusion there. Now we have the last thing that I want to show you. This is really my go-to pen. I use it literally all the time and that is the friction pen, remove by friction. What this pen does, it's just with a normal tip. It's quite thin and you can write, do whatever you want on the fabric and then you use your hairdryer and it disappears. This is really handy to have. Now, you know what materials to use. Go online, look for yourself what kind of materials are out there, what you think you would like to use. The options I gave you are just my preference, but there is so much more out there, especially with the needles [inaudible]. Look what you like. Again, everything is listed in the PDF, so you can look at yourself at the links and go over them yourself. Now it's time to go over the stitches. 4. Basic Stitches: Now we're going to talk about the stitches. I'm going to show you all the stitches that I used that we are going to use in a project and not only will you see a lot of stitches, but also my tips on how to get like a nice workflow because that is something that I think is important that you don't have to look at the back all the time or half to make knots. I just like to have steady workflows where I can listen to my podcast, listen to my audio book, and that's also really what I want for you to really just relax and don't have to think too much. That basically is really what I would like. First thing that I really want to show you is, how to use these threads. Because when you buy threads, you will have a string. You will have this, this is like floss and in this floss you will have six strands because in this class, for every animal, we're only going to use one strand except for one where we're going to do the hedgehog. Then we're going to use all six of them and I'm going to show you a really easy way of how to get one out. Here you have my floss, it has six strands. I'm going to show you how you can pick only one out and then don't get it tangled. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to just from all the six trends, I'm going to get one out and I'm going to hold on to all the other remaining five strands. You're just going to pull that one out. You see that we have one and these are the ones we have left. There's no tangles and this is a method that I use to get one strand up. We have our needle and we have our tread. What we're going to do is, we're going to go in and I want to show you the back. What I generally do is, I don't make knots. I don't do anything. I keep my finger, my thumb on it, turn it around, and when I turn it around, I keep this finger on it, and then I start stitching. I'm just doing some stitches and after I've done four stitches approximately, I let it go. Now what you can do if you want to make it easier for yourself, you can cut this a little bit shorter so it doesn't get super messy on the back. But to be honest for me, I don't knot it because it's now secure. It's not going to go anywhere you can see, I'm really doing my best to pull it and nothing is happening. I mean, of course, you can knot it if you want but for me, that is just way too much effort. For instance, we have a piece and there's a little curve in it. You can see that there's a curve in it. For instance, this is a face and face you want to have flat stitches, so you don't want have too many fur going on the side because most of the time the fur is smooth on the face and also with the eye, we want to have a straight line. I'm going to show you how we would do a straight line. First, we just make small stitches and you go up a little bit more, you come up here. You can go underline, you go up, and then you put it back in that same stitch where you began and that's really going to put that stitch again. How long you're going to make that stitch, all depends on the curve because here we have a lot of curving, so you have to make the stitches small. The smaller the better and this is like a part you have to really look close. You go into the same hole because if I would do it too far, this will not become a curve. Don't make your stitches too big and then we go into the same hole and sometimes that is a bit tricky, you really have to look, and that's how you do it then. It's also like feeling around with your needle, just go around with your needle. In the beginning, it's difficult, but you will get the hang of it. Now, for instance, if this was a neck, like a transition of a neck and something that I like to do when I trace something is, I like to make the hairs. For instance, if this would be fur, I would draw out the fur lines to know, okay, that's the direction I want to go and then I would make stitches that vary in length. It's a bit more playful with the color. If we make fur, we just go in with different length of stitches. First, we're going to do one color and I'm going to show you how we blend in the other color and the reason why I'm not making them all the same length is to get a little bit of playfulness in the ends. Because also with animals, it's not the same length. You want to have a little bit of that playfulness. I know that people are very hung up on like long or short stitches, but it doesn't have to be that precise. For instance, I want to go in with a darker color in between. Then I will make this a little bit, go here. I like to work the opposite way, so I like to start them with the end [inaudible] myself in, work myself the opposite direction and then I just look for some room where I can put my other needle in and that is where I put it in. Here you can go pretty far up. Usually, I go back a little bit and fix it up, see where I can still put some other colors. Maybe I want to add another color. Sometimes I want to have a color in between where I made my fur. I just make little stitches go into certain direction. This is also my way of blending [MUSIC] could be fur and I could be truly thinking to myself, I hate this color, I don't like it, I want to have another color or I want to have another color in the middle. What do I do? This is really how I like to work. You build it up, you change it up. I like to see my needle, for instance, if you really, really want to change it, this is another color, then you can go straight over all the other stitches and you can make it even longer. Here you see that I'm really making the other stitches disappear. But you can also say, hey, I want to have these in-between, so then you just go in-between here, this stitch and see how far you want to go. Now we've gone over all the stitches. I hope that it now looks easier for you and my advice to you is to pause this video and just do those stitches over and over again until you have like a steady workflow and it feels natural to you and just use some different color threads to see how the contrast works with the colors already. Next stop is the color palettes. 5. Color Palette: Now, we're going to talk about the color palette. In this lesson, I'm going to show you how I choose my color palette based on what reference pictures, and then I'm also going to show you how to pick them because it's different with embroidery because you have to keep in mind all the contrast, and that there is enough contrast in the colors. Let's begin. So on camera it may look like it's always perfect and I always have the right colors, but it's absolutely not how it goes. I sometimes have to redo it or try out different things. So it's definitely not always that I get it right the first time. Here you get to see my reference pictures, and this is basically how I choose my palettes. Then I literally go to my embroidery threads box, which is very messy. It's a lot of threads tangled in each other so that's not a pretty sight, but it works for me. I like to go into that box and I pick out all the colors, see its all tangled, that I think will fit with the palette. It's very important that you have a lot of contrast for your threads. That's basically what I do. Here, you see that I just picked this one out as my main color for everywhere, and that's how I choose my palettes. The same goes for all my embroideries. I literally just go over to them, look at the picture, see what colors fits with that and then I look at the embroidered piece, it needs to have lots of contrast. I don't get it always right in the first time, but it is all about looking at your reference picture and choosing the color show that, and thinking about it needs lots of contrasts. Now you know the color palettes, and how I come up with color palettes, and how I really do that. I really want to encourage you to just go with your own color palette. It's totally fine to go with the colors that I use and there's nothing wrong with that, but I would like you to get creative and get out there. Because always when I look at everything on Skillshare in my projects, everything that this community makes is so creative, and especially with the color choices. It's color choices that I wouldn't even come up with, so get wild. 6. Transfering Your Design: Next up is getting the picture actually on the fabric. It's always a huge thing. I see it all the time on Facebook and on Instagram. It's like how do I get my image on the fabric? I get it because when I just started embroidery, that was my main Google question in the search bar. How to get my embroidery on the fabric? I didn't understand and everything was so much effort, it seems to me. I'm going to show you my way that is effortless. In my opinion, that is not that difficult. But I'm also going to show you a way that you don't have to do anything yourself, that you just send it off to a company and that you have a pre-printed, nice little square coming to you in your house. If that is what you like, if that is what you prefer, then I want to show you both those options. Here we have the pattern and what we're going to do to trace it is that we're going to go up to View, and then go to Actual size. This is for a 17-centimeter hoop. I have a bigger hoop here. I'm going to place it on my screen, and I'm going to use my friction pen. So what I'm doing is I'm going tilt the screen a little bit. Make sure that it's on the brightest setting. You can see that I have a really good view of my image. This pen will not do anything to your screen. This is a little tip that I also want to show you. Because you can see that this fabric, like almost all cotton fabric, you can really easily see through that. So what I do is that I first use, you see here, I'm using fabric, just blank fabric. Then on top of that, I'm putting my pattern that I traced. You have to make it a bit looser for that. So this is also a really handy tip. Make sure that both sides are really tight. But this is just something that I do, which really helps me and it's just a really easy way to transfer. What I am going to do now is I'm going to show you a way that you can do this without having to touch any pencil or any tracing that you buy the fabric with the image, printed on it so that you don't have to do it yourself. I'm going to show you how to do that. So what we're going to do to do that is we're going to the Spoonflower website and I'm going to upload my design that we have here. We're going to choose our file. So I already made the file in a way that you don't have to do anything anymore. It is a PNG file, so that means that it doesn't have a background. Otherwise, if it would be a different file, they would also print all the white around it, and that's something you don't want to. You confirm the copyright because this is all yours and you can use it, and then you upload it. When we upload it, you can see that it automatically makes a repeat design. What we first going to do to make sure that this is not going to be the way that is printed, we're going to use a fabric. I'm going to use the Petal Signature Cotton. Now, they have a lot of different cotton. I think they also have linen, Belgian linen. You can use so many different kind of fabric. I'm going to use the Petal Signature Cotton and I'm going to use a test swatch, very important, not a fat quarter. We're going to use a test swatch because I made this design for a test swatch. We're going to put it in the center. This is the actual size that you're getting it. So choose your fabric, use a couple of fabrics, see what you like, use a test swatch, and then you add it to your cart. So now you know how to get your image on the fabric the way you can do it yourself or you can have let it done and have it shipped to you. I also would like to advise you to do some research on how to get your image on the fabric with a printer. I don't have a printer so I didn't feel comfortable talking about that when I cannot actually show you how to do it. But you can also look online and look at options what you can do with your printer because you can print fabric. 7. Hedgehog's Face: So for our next woodlands animal, we are going to make the hedgehog. The hedgehog is so much fun to stitch because not only do you have the fur and the nose and the eyes to play with, but you also have the spikes that is really different and takes a lot less time to make, so you really have those two dynamics to play with. We're going to start off with making the nose and the eye, and the ear. Okay, so here we have our hedgehog and I have drawn the pattern on the fabric. We are going to start with the nose and as you can see, I made a pen mark on top of the nose and that is where I want the shadow to be, so that part we are going to make gray. Okay, so now that I have my shadow done, now I'm going to use a really dark brown to fill in the rest of the nose, so I am just making little strands towards my lines. It doesn't really matter how you fill up an area, you can do it with really long stitches or really short stitches. That is all up to you how you want to do that, it may seem like really messy how I'm doing it, but this is just the way that I do it. I'm all about the end results, I'm going to pass the gray line, and don't worry about if you don't see the gray line anymore, we're going to go over that again. So now that we fill our nose in with brown, you can see that the line that we made here is not really visible anymore. Everything is always trial and error, you just have to try stuff, so I'm going to go in over it again, so I'm really building it up, now you see that it really pops out. We're going to make this a little bit bigger because this is a nostril, and it goes all the way up to here. On the bottom, there's always less light, so use your darkest color in the bottom of the nose, and on the top of the nose, you can use really light colors because that's where the light shines on. We're going to take a lighter brown stick that on top, a bit more, if I don't like it, I'm just going to remove it. To really finish off the nose, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to get a white thread and I'm going to use that right under the other gray threads, and at some point it's going to be really difficult getting your needle through. So here you see that the nose is done, it really looks good, but all the shading on top and on the bottom and the white. Now we're going to go over to the eye, and the eye we're going to make it completely black. What I like to do is I like to go over to the lines and then just fill it up. What I'm doing here is I'm just going to start in the middle of the eye, and I'm going to go and fill this up. Now you can see that this entire part is black, the part of the eye in the middle is never really black. It always have some different colors at the edges, so that is what I'm going to add. I'm going to take a light gray, not the lightest gray, but lighter gray, I'm just going to make that on the edge. The eyes always so much fun too, because it really makes the piece, in my opinion. I'm just going to go in those lines, and this really makes the eye, I love doing this, the little specks of white, I'm going to do that on the top. You just want to take your white, and this is not something that's very precise, where light hits is never super precise so it doesn't really matter. So here I'm going to make a quite thick one, just going to put some stitches next to each other, move it so it touches more the top, and then next to it I'm also going to make a little bit of white. You see that really makes the piece. To frame the eye, I'm going to take a brown, especially like animals have like this line around the eye, I like to recreate that, and you really see how realistic it looks. Now that we've finished the eye, we're going to go over to the ear, and what we're going to do is, we're going to start with some really dark thread, so we're just going to make stitches towards that line. We're going to do that in half a circle just like the shape of the ear, and if you're not comfortable with that, you can also draw your line out. Again, it doesn't have to be very straight and very neat, because with an ear it never really is that precise, there's always some different shapes and colors. In the middle, I'm going to do like a peachy, no, actually, it's not peachy, mauve. No it's also not mauve, I don't know, or pink? I just like saying the word mauve. Just going to put these in-between, doesn't matter, you can put it as high as you want or as low as you want, it doesn't matter, all ears are different. So now you've done the nose, the eye, and the ear, and keep in mind that the lights. So where does the light fall with the nose? In the nose, it usually goes on the top. And play around with those colors. 8. Hedgehog's Fur: Now that you've finished the nose and the eye and the ear, it's time to frame the rest of the face with stitches. We now have laid our base and it's just working around those features, those face features. You now see it coming alive more and now you can build it up with the shading with the fur and everything. That's what we're going to do now. We are going to use the same color thread we used for inside of the ear and we are using the line as our guarding point and we make stitches from that line towards the eye. You can also make it easy for yourself to make lines for the stitches. After the eye, we are going back to the nose and make the stitches go upwards towards the eye. I'm going to do a combination of two colors, I'm going to make a line here, such as draw out the stitches, so the lines. Here it goes like this, here I want to have it next to the eye. This is just for me to know where I need to stop, which direction I need to go, bounding the process. For the first part here, I want to make it a little bit darker than here, here I'm going in with a lighter shade, just making short stitches. You're really pushing stitches into another stitch and you continue doing that until you don't see that line anymore. Now that our line is not visible anymore, we're going in with a lighter shade. What I'm doing is I'm going to go with my needle in the other stitch. It doesn't matter where the stitch is, it doesn't have to be in the stitch just place it somewhere on top. It's actually very similar to this color. Here it's all about the direction of the stitching and then it flows nicely. Here, we're going to do the same, first follow the eye. So what I do when a section is done, I really want to look at it and think, "Okay, with my color choices, I see that this one completely disappears." You don't really see the difference in the colors anymore, only slight. I wanted to pop it out more, so this is how I usually do it. I make changes while I go and I want to show you also because it's so easy to do, you can make a plan upfront, but it doesn't always work out. I see now, for instance, this can be much darker. Sometimes it's better to do that afterward, to just think like, "Hey, something can be improved here." I want the eye to stand out more so I'm going to frame it with a darker thread. There's something that I really want you to note is that you can always change things and don't stick too much to what it should be or supposed to be. If I don't like it, I can always change it again. We are going to continue what we are doing moving upwards with stitches and now we are going to use a white thread. I'm going to do that all the way here because that's where we're going to make our spikes. We went all the way to here and what we're going to do now is we're going to make it clear that there's a separation between the head and this little piece of fur that is the body. How we're going to do that is we're going to take gray, and you can see that it's quite a bit of contrast, but you also need that kind of contrast, so there is a separation. The background you see my dog walking by, "Hi, hi." Showing you that we're only going to go a little bit to the side. Just placing it a little bit between those other threads. I really see that there is a separation between the heads and here, the body. Now I'm just going to get my white thread again, here I can go a little bit over the ear. You also don't want to make it too perfect, we want to make it more realistic. Now I'm going to go in the ends of the gray and we're going to go a little bit over this line here. With the fur it's better that you go a little bit more up than too much down. Because then you can always decide to put the strikes a little bit more up, then you are not really that dependent on this line. We also don't need to look at that line anymore. Now you've framed it with all the stitches. I hope it was fun because this is quite a nice thing to do, it's just like making the same stitches. I want you to keep in mind that with the white, that it's also fine to go all the way with the white everywhere and then put this in as last. You can do whatever you want with that. You can lay it on top or do it like me and first the white and then the gray and then the white again. That is all up to you. 9. Hedgehog's Spikes: Basically you're almost done with the hedgehog. The heavy part is done. This is really such a different side that we're going to do because it's so much rougher work, we're going to use all six strands and it's just playing around with stitches in two colors. Because we're using all six strands, we're going to use a different needle. It has a bigger eyelet. So you can put all six strands in. It does have a sharp tip so that it's easy to go through the fabric. I'm going to show you how I thread this needle because the eye is not super big. I'm going to do that whole icky thing where I'm making it work. And I'm going to make it really flat with my nail and then squish it through, and then I have them all in. For the base, we're just going to make straight stitches going down with only the brown. This is our first-line done. And now we're going to use our a crude, this is like an off-brand from Amazon. And now we're going to go a little bit higher. So as you continue with the spikes, I'm going to make this stitch from the brown sideways. It's going to be irregular. Because hedgehogs, the spikes are very irregular and all over the place, so I'm trying to recreate that. You can also just go already and go the other way. Now I want to go back with a lighter color, and not every stitch has to be a certain direction. Think here I'm going to do a little bit more. I also like to go in the other stitches, going back into with this color. So now we are done with this part, with our spikes. I hope you manage to do this, and I hope that you have a better understanding of how to stitch a hedgehog and the features and where you need to do the shading and how to separate the neck from its body, and just an overall feeling of how to make a hedgehog. I hope you will make many, many more. 10. Squirrel's Face: For our next woodland animal, we are going to make the squirrel. Immediately what stands out is the tail and its fluffiness, so that's a whole different texture that we're going to do. I'm going to guide you through the whole process of how we're going to make that, how we're going to create all that fluffiness. The first thing that we're going to focus on is the face. In this lesson, we're really going to focus on the balance between detail, but not too much detail. Because when you add too much detail in a small section, it can become very messy very quick. How to find that right balance between, okay, I want to make it realistic, I want it to have that the eyes look realistic. You want to have that look that it's realistic, but how do you achieve that without adding too much and then you have no idea what you're looking at anymore? That is something that I had in the beginning a lot, that I just add too much detail and then I'm just confused. Over time I now know where to put in the most detail and where I can add little things to make it look realistic. It's really about balancing those two things. As you can see what I did I made it on the fabric. I already did a lot of the stitching directions just so I would know which direction I need to go. I will probably add more as I go along, but I already wanted to do all the fluffiness of the tail. We're going to start with the head. It's important to have the eye and the little nose and the ears. This is much smaller than the other ones so this is really quite tiny which is also fun to do because then you can really see how to add really tiny details. I'm going to start off with the eye. We're just going to fill this up. I see that I made it very round, but we're going to make it a little bit more so that it has a tip here. It has a slight curve going in. I'm just going to make that whole area black. You see that I'm really looking closely where I put my needle because it's such a small area. I love making these, it's so much fun to add so tiny details. I'm ignoring this little tiny bit that I overdrawn, sometimes I try to correct my drawing mistakes with my embroidery. Make sure it's all filled in. I'm already going to do the white specks in it. I'm just going to take a white put that on the top. I usually always do the specks on top, it's just a safe place to put them. This is what I'm doing for now, I can always change it later. Especially with the eye, it's good to just first do the rest a bit and then go back and look at the eye and maybe add a bit more black, or maybe some gray tones. I always go back and look like maybe it could be a little bit different. But for now, I think this looks good. I'm just going to see how it will look after we've done the whole face and if I still like it that way, or I maybe want to change it. Now I'm moving on to the face and I'm going to start with the nose. You see that here I made a line. That line is for a really light red, this is the lightest red that we're going to use. We're going to use it for the nose area. We going to follow these lines as usual. We have to be careful not to make the black disappear. Watch out where you place your needle so that it doesn't go in the black. I'll bring this now a little bit more up I see, taking [inaudible] that's the nose area. Now we're going to make this part all the way up till here. Just going to go in the other stitches to make a really smooth transition. Now we're going all the way to the top with this color. It's not really red. It's like brown red. When we're talking about an animal's head, they're usually straight on the face so they fall upwards or downwards. It's smooth. Thinking about making this a bit more sent out. I'm going to use two colors for that. The color I now already have. But I'm going to use one color in it, so to make it more reddish. Not going to cover everything with that red, I'm just going to use little stitches. That we have a little bit of a more reddish look in it. I'm just going to go in with little stitches here and there. Try going in, and we're going to make a shadow with this reddish color. Make it a bit more thick so you can really see it as a shadow. That's enough. There's just the illusion of some darkness in there. Now we're going over to the ears. We're going to use one color. You see that our ear have drawn out lines for the little stitches of hair. I'm first going to follow these. Now that we've stitched out all the lines here, you just basically now going to fill in the ear from here till there. Here we're going to do the same on the outside of the ear. This we're not going to touch now. I'm going to outline it also with this reddish color and I'm going to use a dark brown. Now what we're going to do, because that's something that I forgot to do, is I wanted to outline the eye with a lighter color. In the beginning, I said that I might want to change the eye up, but now that I did everything from the face almost, I'm like, "No, it looks good." Sometimes you just, well not sometimes, with me it's actually always, I'm looking at the whole, how it looks and then I see if something needs to change. This is the same color as here, brighter nose. I'm just going to frame it alongside. I'm just making a line around it. See, that looks so much better. Now that we've done the head, you now know how to deal with very tiny eyes and a very tiny face. You now also have an understanding of how to have the proportions, with the small nose, the eyes, and to play around with straight stitches going down. Now we're going to go over to the neck parts and the little hands and feet. 11. Squirrel's Body: Next what we're going to do now that we've done the head, we're going to focus on the body. Again, this is how are we going to add detail without making it look too messy. Of course you're going to go over this, how to shade the leg and the white and belly. But what I really want to put the emphasis on is the little claws. Now we're going in the same color as we had here, and now we're going to make those legs again, those fur. I'm going to use this again and follow these lines first. We're going to use very small color variations, and this is a really small color variation. It's a slightly a bit darker than this color. I'm also going to do that here in the neck. You see that there's a small color difference. It's not that much, but it's enough to make a shadow between the neck and the body. We're now now going to use this color that we use here and we're going to go all the way till here, little leg. We're just going to leave the hands now for what it is. We're going to focus on that when we're done with the body. We're going to do that as the last. What I always do is now I zoom out and I'm going to look at it and I'm like, I now already added a piece of the body, but what is it that I don't like? I think this line is way too harsh. I think we need to have some more of these brown. We need to have this more fluffed out, I think. I just want to go in here. I'm going to start here and I'm going to use this. Should I make this transition a bit smaller. What I'm going to do, is I'm just going to go in here. It looks like the face actually is attached to the body because now the transition is a harsh line and I don't like it. I see now that it's a really different, because here we want everything to be smooth, but the transition also has to be smooth. This looks way better. It's way smoother and the transition is way better. Now that we've done this and this looks really good, I want to go on further to the leg first. What we're going to do because we want to make sure that that leg is seen as a leg, so we're going to use a darker color to make that shading. We really want to make a transition going from the body to the leg. I'm going to start here and put the stitches in sideways here. Again, we're going to use that color here for the leg. Now we're going back in to the other trends. Let's first do that so that we know that we have the good direction. This something that people have a lot of problems, they're like what direction? Because you have this awkward part but you just bring it together. I'm going to do the same as we did there. But now it's not like a whole half circle, it's just from one side to another. That's nice. Now we're going in here and we're going to make this white. That's the belly and we're going to make that white. We're going to finish this up and then we're going to make that until here and then we're going to do the feet. For the feet, we're getting a dark thread. We're just going to outline this and it's not anatomically correct. We just want to have the illusion that we're going to have the little feet. Here I'm going in this little one to make it a bit more round-ish. Here it is from the side view. We're going to not make a lot of toes. I think one. I'm going to do one here in the middle. Now we're going to use just the same thread that we're using here and we're going to fill this in. Full disclosure, this is for me also a difficult part of the feet. But it's the illusion of making feet. It's not really important if it doesn't look exactly like feet because from a distant you don't see that and you cannot be good at everything. For me, that is this. Hands and feet, I find difficult. But if I have the illusion that it looks like feet for me, that is good enough and I am then happy with the results. Now we're going back to the arms. We're just going to make this clean this up, fill this in. Here we also want the fur. I'm just going to make those little fur stitches. Here we're going to stitch a bit over the white because the fluff falls over the belly. Now we're going to going towards the pen. Now we're going to change our stitching direction a bit. Do the same thing with the hand. Here little those stitches in, look very closely. Here I'm going to do one dark curve around, then we're going to go in here and stitch those little outlines. You can see now that you really see the illusion of having little tiny hands. Now you know how to stitch the body. Now you really know how to do the basics on fur and how to make that transition. This is a really important element and applause if you managed to do that. You also know how to do the thing I find to so difficult, the tiny hand and the tiny feet. I would also love to know in the discussion section, how did you experience the hands and the feet. How was that for you? Maybe you have tips that you can share. We're all here to learn. If you have something that you can help me with, then please do. Now we're going to go over to the tail. I love the tail. The tail is so much fun. 12. Squirrel's Tail: The last but definitely not least, now that you've done the body we are going to go over the tail. I was so excited to start with the tail because it's much fun. We can really let loose for a bit it's really just putting long strands in and then at the end we're going to put little stitches in and then at the very end I'm going to show you different technique that I use to make the hairs really fluffy, so that it really looks like it's fluffing out. That's what we're going to do now. It looks much fun to stitch. I'm really happy that we know finally at some point where we're going to stitch the tail and because when you start somewhere with the fur like we did here and here you have the shadow. We also want to have that shadow that we're starting with the tail, so the shadow of the tail. We're going to make little stitches going up and we're just going to follow our lines that we made. We going to start here at the base. The first part is dark and the reason why we do that is because here is the shadow and also generally in this fluffy tail you go from dark to light. We're going to go up here with dark and here we're going to add more dark and solely we're going to make it more lighter. Here I'm going to go in with another dark thread is not as dark as this one so that we have nice overflow. Here I'm going all the way in with dark color, it's also because that's where the light hits. The light hits all the way on the top, and again these are also things that are very personal. I like how it looks. You see that the more I go upwards the less I use. Now I'm going to fill in on the bottom that I haven't done but I don't want to make it all too the same. You can see that here I might do it in the middle but there's a little bit of a change in the way the fur is going so it's not all the same length. What I say in all the products of the lessons that I make, this can always change because I just look at it from a distance when I'm a little bit done and think like, is this nice grading? Is this nice? Do I need to add more? Here you see what I did. Here are the doctorates now and here I just flipped it out with the red thread that we did here. What I want to do is I want to have that light thread to gradually go up and get more and more and more because here I wanted to have it the most. This is giving me a good amount of contrasts. Puts them in randomly you really get that fur effect because we have the contrast and you can really see how the affect is different that we didn't start all the way to its bottom but we start here in the middle. You have that transition of contrast going on. Here we're going to fill in the empty space that you see here it's a light thread but I now I want to get a whole new color, it's like an orangey color and I want to define more the fact that these are tiny flakes of hair. How I'm going to achieve that? How you can achieve that is put individual strands of a different color in it. I'm just going to place it everywhere in a little bit because now you can see that we have long lines and I want to break that up a bit with a different color. I'm just going to go in everywhere a little bit. Here but I think I need to break it up a bit, maybe here there. You can see if I go inside ways of it, that it really breaks it nice up. It creates a little bit of a different effect and this is also why I love about the embroidery you can always just layer stuff up and it will look so different. Just one stitch you can create a whole different texture. I chose to not really focused on like, this is how it's supposed to be. I'm just thinking about texture. How can I create texture? How can I make this get more texture and because this color is a bit of a mixture of everything, you can see that it really works well. If it wasn't too much of a contrasting colors you should see otherwise, it wouldn't work because it would be too obvious that I'm making cross stitches but because I'm not doing that it really works. This is almost good. I'm just going to put it in a little bit here in middle and maybe a little bit more there at the end on top. I want to show you how it looks when we go really close because then if you go really close it might look a bit, what's going on there, that it doesn't look quite right. Don't get too hung up on how it looks from really close or that these stitches looks like that's just a bit odd. You're not going to look at your work that up close. Saying, it's a little details don't look at them too much. Look from it from a distance and then be like, do I like this? If it's yes then that's all you need to do and you're doing a good job. I really hope you have fun stitching the squirrel. I hope if you really like to squirrel and you manage to make a squirrel, to upload it in the gallery in the project section in gallery. I would love to see all the different squirrels that you guys make because I'm excited to see them. This community is so creative I cannot wait what you come up with. I hope you're going to stitch a squirrel. 13. Fawn's Face: Next we're going to stitch a fawn. I was really thinking about this one because I really wanted to show three different techniques for stitching something. Because here we have those stripes, those little dots in it, I really wanted to show you a technique that you can use for it. I really wanted to have something that has a complete different texture where you have really a pattern in it. That's why I chose a fawn, and I think it really looks really pretty embroidered. We're going to start off with the head. Again, this is a small head. We're going to try to put as much detail as we can without making it look messy, which is very difficult because, I'm speaking for myself actually, I have a tendency of going too far. I'm like I'm going to add this, some a little bit more of this and this and this. I can always take it out, but I prefer not to. I'm going to show you how to add detail without making it look messy. Also because with the fawn, we have something that we don't have with other animals, and that is that the nose is pretty big compared to the eyes. That's also what we're going to focus on, how to get that shading of the nose and that little mouth so this is where we're going to start with. I'm going to start out with doing the eyes, and the eyes are going to be black. Now that I made the eyes, I'm going to do a little speckle in the eye here. I'm not going to do too much detail. This is all the detail I'm doing with the eye. This is another trick that really helps. If you're like the white is a bit too much, then really push it down because then the thread will go more into the fabric. You really want to focus on the wedge shape here, so we want to emphasize on that with a lighter thread. I'm going to follow that wedge shaped line. I want this lighter color that will give more detail to the eye and we're emphasizing again, on that shape. You want to keep in mind that this is fur, so we're going to make little stitches going up so that we can put another color in there. Now that I am done with the eyes, I'm going to go over to the nose and we're going to use a really dark brown. We're just going to use that on the whole nose. Here you can see that I made this curve because I was till questioning should I make it curvy or straight. But I think I'm going to go straight because every picture that I see of a deer, the nose is straight. I think we got it a little. Because it is such small art, we don't want to use too much detail. I'll just make little stripes here so that it really is a sharp light head again. As long as you still have to watch where we're going to use it, we're going to use it on the sides. You can go pretty low with that because again, we're going to have another color here and you can always go over that color. Now I'm going to make a really thin line of pink because you want to really make sure that this is the mouth. You really have to think about what are the key parts that makes this look realistic. Color is the lightest [inaudible] but also close. First of all I'm going to stripe but I think I'm just going to go in like this so that it blends in with the white. You see that I am really looking closely where I point my needle. There're so many stitches now, so the sound is also quite heavy. See this is really something that happens and it's not bad, but you have to really watch out because if you pull too hard and the needle is not coming out, you can really hurt yourself. Not only can you hurt yourself but you can also get blood on your project, and that is really unfortunate. First we not only done the eyes and the nose and the mouth, we now first going to go over and fill out the face, and then we can put in stitches afterwards where we want to. Let's first fill up this entire face because a deer head is so much different than in other head. It has such a different shape than other animals, the eyes are big, but here is the nose bigger than the eyes. It's a very different look. You're also going to build it up different. First we're going to go in and put our stitches in here so we can see how it already looks with the embroidery in it. As always, in my opinion, it's better to first put in all the stitches and then afterwards it can look. What needs to change? Because I already see that some things that I did maybe need to changed, I'm seeing that this white thread here that I used as a light source. I don't like it. Had said that the white is just a bit too much. I'm going to use some gray and see if that looks better if I put that over it. I definitely think this looks better. Here I want to make a V-shape a little bit going up with stitches that are darker because always with deer you see that at the nose, which is actually with most animals that here it is quite dark at the base of the nose. We're also going to do that, and this is quite a big, big contrast. This here makes a little bit more movement of face. Now I want to go in with a lighter shade and frame that's on the sides. I'm going to start with the eyes to put it over there. This is the same color that we use here for the eyes, go up. We're also going to use it for the inside of the ear. Now we're going to use our dark brown again and make some streaks in it because in the ear we also have, especially with the deer, you have the ear canal, you have all these things that are inside. We're going to make that illusion, that there is a lot of depths in there. What I want you to keep in mind is just trace the main features of the face. Don't get too hang up in the different color stitches because I don't think it needs that many shading in the face. I did a lot of shading in the face, but I don't think it necessarily needs that much shading. So don't get too hang up on the shading in the face. The next we are going to do to body, which is quite relaxing after the face, I think. 14. Fawn's Body: [MUSIC] Now we're going to do the body. I'm really excited about this, and this is just a guess, I don't know, but I think a lot of people think that to do this pattern is that you first put in these lighter spots or that you use two colors at the same time. We're not going to do that. I'm going to show you a really easy way on how to create this look. [MUSIC] You're now going to do the body, all this body and then we're going to do the leg. I'm going in here, with the same color that we use for the hill face. Here we're not going to make really fur stitches, we're just going to make them going down, because these ones are also always a bit smoother up. Then we have that contrast in here and here where we're going to fluff it out. Because I still have some thread over, I'm going to put this in here, because here we're going to have that transition from white to brown. I always like to do that. When I have extra thread, I like to use it in a place I'm going to use it in. Now I'm going to do the neck. The neck, we're going to start off with a lot of thread. We're not going to do whites, I think because that is a bit too much drastic, but a lighter color. We're going to put also some other colors in it. But with this deer, what I want to show you is really the technique that I use, just fill everything first in and then go blend it with a different color. I just want to show you how much easier that is. Right now I just want you to use this thread and we're just going to fill it in everywhere. This whole section we're just going to fill in. With this front, I really want to show you the technique of stitches over stitches. I really want to show you how you can get the blending effects. We just first get your layer in there and then create a second layer. Much easier if you find it difficult to blend colors. It's just a way for me that works with needle painting. What we are going to do, because this deer, of course the texture is very different, you're going to have a lot of spots in here. What we're going to do is, we're going to first make this parts. The legs we just enough, not going to do anything with it yet. We're going to fill this whole part in with this color. We're just going to do it like this. Like strands, connecting strands again, till we reached the end. That's what we're first going to do and then after we're going to put in a those spots. Let's fill in this entire piece. I'm going to use a color is not quite white, so that off-white. We just randomly going to put in a lot of those spots. This is a technique to do it. We're just going to go in here first. We're going to make them irregular because we have to make sure that there's not perfect spots. Also not too irregular because we have to be able to see that they are spots. A bit more. [MUSIC]. The reason why I do it like this is because for me, it is easier to put the spots in. I have a better view of how it's going to look, how much I'm going to put in, it's just easier. The downside is you use way more thread, because you can see that I use a lot of thread for the body. But on the other hand, it's not that much more because this spots are not that big. It's an easier flow for working in my opinion. You have a better control of what you're doing and how it's going to look. In this middle I also want to make it white, because there is the belly. I want to make sure that you can see that there is some belly action going on. [MUSIC] Okay, so now you've done the body and now you know how to use the technique of layering and shading in a different way. In my opinion it feels less complicated. I hope you manage to do that. Now you know how to do this technique, which is really cool because I've really love this technique. It makes it so much easier, nicer workflow, and you get to see direct results which I love. Don't forget the project section. Love to see how you made this look. Also I would love to see it if you use this technique or that you were not a fan of it and you use a different technique. Also I would love to know that. Because what works for me may not work for you, and I'm very curious to hear about that. Next up is the legs.[MUSIC] 15. Fawn's Legs: Now that we've done the body, I'm going to show you how we are going to do the legs. If you went through this phase, this is going to be a nice, easy-breezy task for you. Let's begin. Now we're going over to the legs and I want to extend that whiteness to the sides here because then you can see here that it still has this curve from the belly. I think this is enough, I need to put a little bit more in here because I don't want it to be brown. We're just going to put it somewhere in here, so you're just going to make one straight across line in here and you see that we then covered this space that goes a bit from the belly to here. Also I wanted to show you that there's nothing wrong with making really long stitches. If we just have one color, these legs are so tiny that we can just do that. That's how are we going to do all the legs. We're just going to do all the leg, makes stitches from here to there, till these parts. These we're going to make black. Let's do that, just make them all this color. You can see that I filled in the legs, and now I'm going to do the last part. The tiny last part, that is making these things black, it's just straight forward. I'm just going to fill this in. Now this is done. We have done the legs and now that we've finished our fawn, I hope that you are a little wiser on how to create a pattern of color, to add different colors in a way that is easy for you and doesn't make you like, that is too daunting for you because I feel these patterns can look really daunting. I hope I helped you with that. 16. Backing the Hoop: For this part, I'm going to show you how to finish off your piece. Now, I'm not going to really go into how to get this all good because I love this. I love the messy back. You know, that's just personal preference. I'm also going to show you how to glue this down because I like to use glue to just push it down and to frame it. That's what I'm going to do now. I'm going to show you how to do that. Now I'm going to finish off my embroidery and here you see the squirrel that we made. What I'm going to do first is I'm going to use my hairdryer, a funny thing, because I was teaching a workshop for kids. There were like six plus, and I said, well, if you were to remove the markings, you're going to use your hairdryer, with a heat setting and this one goes like, you mean a hairdryer? I was like, yeah. Exactly. I mean a hairdryer. It's like when you do embroidery, I have stuff that I don't use anymore for normal usage. I just use it for embroidery. It's like a hairdryer. Yeah, of course, it has a heat setting, but a hairdryer wouldn't just the hairdryer. If you don't have a hairdryer, then you can also use a hot pan. Just put a towel over it and use the hot pan to remove all the markings. I'm going to use my hairdryer. I'm going to turn it on. You really have to put it close on the fabric, and absolute really close because now I'm looking at it. If you look closely, you can see that there is still some markings. I'm going to go back in with that. Now you can see that it's gone. Yes, all the markings are gone. Now I'm going to turn it around. This is the back. For me. I love it. I love it that it's all messy. You can see what had happened and I mean, it's super messy, but I like how it looks that you can really see what happened. What I usually do is I make these little stitches that you can see too, I'm just going to remove them and just cut them off. Not too much because then you have to change it, it will fall off. I like the look of this, so I've just like the way it is and because I use the double fabric, you will not see anything in the front. It will not shine through. That's why I use a double fabric because I don't want anything to shine through. Now I'm going to glue it down. What you can do if you're not comfortable with the gluing. You can just have a circle of fabric or a circle of paper. Lay it down here, so that you know that no glue is going to dribble down. I'm going to use textile glue, but you can also use a Pritt Stick. Pritt Sticks works really well, and they don't dribble, so it's easier for you to use it. I don't have a Pritt Stick right now. This is the glue that I could find, but textile glue or Pritt Stick, are great to use. What I do is I'm going to cut this down really short. The reason why I'm making it as short is that I just wanted to have it just go over it, now that I have to glue it down all the way down. I'm going to first do my first layer and squeeze a little bit. Then I use both of the fabrics. Only the layer underneath will stick, which is fine. I'm just going to press it down, I'm going to do it all the way around. Now I'm going to do the same with the top layer. Now it is done. Now I'm just going to leave this to dry. There we have it, it's done. Now what you can also do, if you want to frame it, it's just a little tip. It seems obvious, but for me, I really didn't know because I saw someone who had it framed without the hubris. Like how did they do that? Then I saw her. What she did was she just remove this hoop. You can also have it like this, and you have this nice circle. You can hang it up. You can choose to have it in a circle or have it like this. 17. Final Thoughts: Here we are. You made it. You can always comment in the comment section. I try to react as fast as possible. If you have any questions or something is not clear, then please let me know in the comment section and I will answer. Don't forget to upload into project gallery because I would love to see all your work. Also don't forget to leave a view. I'll love to hear what you think about this class and thank you so much for watching.