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. Class Project

    • 3. Materials

    • 4. Basic Stitches

    • 5. Color Palette

    • 6. Transfering Your Design

    • 7. Hedgehog's Face

    • 8. Hedgehog's Fur

    • 9. Hedgehog's Spikes

    • 10. Squirrel's Face

    • 11. Squirrel's Body

    • 12. Squirrel's Tail

    • 13. Fawn's Face

    • 14. Fawn's Body

    • 15. Fawn's Legs

    • 16. Backing the Hoop

    • 17. Final Thoughts

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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.


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


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


1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Flora and I'm an embroidery artist from the Netherlands. Most of my work is a combination of traditional embroidery and makes Media. And in this class, I wanted to show you to traditional embroidery when it comes to woodlands animals. We are going to look at three different ways on how to stage a woodlands animal. We are going to stitch a hedgehog, a squirrel, and a font. They all have very different textures and patterns. And I'm going to show you all different ways on how to stitch them. However, since this class essentially focuses on domestfying the process of creating different unbelievable textures, the techniques learned can be used to embroider any animal. I've chosen the font, the squirrel, and the hedgehog as our subject because the font is perfect for learning how to create patterns within your stitches. The hedgehog is good for learning how to create spikes and rough textures. And finally, the squirrel will teach us how to create a fluffy texture and how to work with contrasting our stitches creating shadows. Towards the end of the class will back your hoop and you will have a beautiful embroidery arts ready for display. I wanted to show you how easy it is to do embroidery and how much fun it is to do something with your hands and make something really with your hand. If you are new to embroidery then this class is also perfect for you because I'm going to cover everything that is related to embroidery, all the stitches, all the techniques, and all the materials on what you will need for this class. And if you already know how to do embroidery, then I hope you will find some new techniques that will help you with your nieto painting. So maybe you also want to know a little bit about me. I live in the south of Holland and I live in unit Beach, which is really nice. I live here with my dog and my boyfriend. And I have a background in graphic design. But in 2016, when I was scrolling through Instagram, I saw these amazing embroidery artists. And it was such a fun new way that I was like, "oh, this is so cool." But it will look very daunting to me. And what I did, I was just really zooming in on all these pictures on Instagram and just go for it and tried it myself. And I realized that it wasn't as difficult as I thought it was. So very soon I could embroider my own animals. And here we are today I'm teaching you how to do embroidery, which is crazy. So I hope you will join me. 2. Class Project: I'm really excited about the project because I love embroidering animals and it's so much fun. I really want to share that experience of with you. In the PDF, you can find everything, all the links, all the materials, the threads, everything that I use is in there, and also the patterns are in there. I would love it if you would import all of them with me. But my suggestion is, just think of yourself like, what is its 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 strength and it's a bit chunky and I love a hedgehog or like something a fon, very delicate and very detailed, but also, it's really cool to have that embroider, I think a fon. You can also go for really this one. This is really focused on the shading parts. This is focused on the fluffiness of the till so 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, and maybe also things that I haven't thought about which you're like I did this different. I already said this, this community is so creative when it comes to color, not only in embroidery itself, because sometimes I see things, I kid you not sometimes I see things that people made and they're like this is my first time doing embroidery. I'm like what? That's amazing. We can also suggest that it's because of someone's teaching skills. It's super cool. Then also the colors, they blew me away. Good notes with this. I would love to see all of your input. Let's start. 3. Materials : So 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. So you can choose for yourself what materials you would like to use, and all these materials that I'm going to show you is basically everything you need to complete all the projects. So 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 too long, they come in this really gorgeous package and it's a nice way to also keep them in and they're small, but they're pointy. These are my favorite needles. I am going to say that it is good to use a needle with a point, so with sharp point if you're going to use one strand. I am going to show you, I don't know where I got these from, [inaudible] , I do use these. These are tapestry needles. So tapestry needles have a sharp point, but they also have an eye that you can fit all the six strands in. So I would recommend this one also, a tapestry needle to do the spikes. Also, everything can be seen in a class projects. There's a section in a PDF where we 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. So 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 pluck out, it can become distorted. So 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 evenly 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 scissors you use, embroidery scissors, you can get them anywhere. You can also use your own scissors. This is the hoop 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 heart wooden hoop, those are 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 out 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, in my opinion very good quality. Again, the link is in the PDF, but in my opinion there are really, 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 DMC and you can see that it is very similar. It doesn't 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. So when I use that color I'm also referencing to the DMC, so there is 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. We move by friction so what this pen does, it [inaudible] a normal tip, its quite thin and you can write, do whatever you want on the fabric and then use your hair drier and it disappears. So this is really handy to have. So now you know what materials to use, go online, look for yourself what kind of materials are out there, what you would like to use, 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, just buy a couple, look what you like. Again, everything is listed in the PDF so you can look at the links by yourself and go over them yourself. Now it's time to go over the stitches. 4. Basic Stitches : So now we're going to talk about the stitches. I'm going to show you all the searches that I use that we are going to use in the projects. Not only will you see a lot of stitches, but also my tips on how to get 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, or I can listen to my podcast, or listen to my audio book. 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 this threads. Because when you buy thread, you will have a string. You will have this. This is floss. 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 when we're going to do the hedgehog. There we're going to use all six of them. I'm going to show you a really easy way of how to get one out. So 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 strands, I'm going to get one out. I'm going to hold on to all the other remaining five strands. You just going to pull that one out. Then you see that we have one. These are the ones we have left. There's no tangles. This is a method that I use to get one strand out. We have our needle, and we have our thread. What we're going to do is we're going to go in. I want to show you the back. So what I generally do is I don't make knots. I don't do anything. I keep my finger and my thumb on it. Turn it around. When I turn it around, I keep this finger on it. Then I start stitching. I'm just doing some stitches. After I've done four stitches approximately, I let it go. 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 it. I'm really doing my best to pull it and nothing is happening. Of course you can knot it if you want. But for me that is just way too much effort. So for instance, we have a piece. There's a little curve in it. You can see that there's a curve in it. For instance, this is a face. In a face you want to have flat stitches so you don't want to have too many fur going on the side because most kind of fur is smooth on the face. So, also it's 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. So you come up the line, you go up, and then you put it back in that same stitch where you began. That's where you're going to put that stitch again. How long you're going to make that stitch all depends on your curve because here we have a lot of curving. So you have to make these stitches small. The smaller the better. This is a part you have to really look close. That you go into the same hole. Because if I would do it too far, this will not become a curve. So don't make your stitches too big. Then we go into the same hole. Sometimes that is a bit tricky. You really have to look. 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. For instance if this was a transition of a neck. Something that I like to do when I trace something is I like to make the hairs. So for instance if this would be fur, I would draw out the fur lines. That's the direction I want to go. Then I would make stitches that vary in length. It's a bit more playful with the color. So if we make fur ridges go in with different lengths of stitches. First we're going to do one color. I'm going to show you how we blend in the other color. 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. 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 and work myself in, work myself the opposite direction. Then I just look for some room where I can put my needle in. 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. I made my fur. I just make little stitches going into a certain direction. This is also my way of blending. This could be fur. I could be 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 sink 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. Then you just go in-between here to stitch. That is a technique that I use almost all the time. We've gone over all the stitches. I hope that it now looks easier for you. My advice to you is to pause this video and just do those stitches over and over again until you have a steady workflow, and it feels natural to you. Just use some different color stitch to see how the contrast works. But it's in 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. 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's enough contrast in the columns. Let's begin. 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 re-do it or try out different things. It's definitely not always that I get it right the first time. Here you get to see my reference pictures. This is basically how I choose my palettes. Then I really go to my embroidery threads box, which is very messy. It's a lot of threads tangled in each other. That's not precise, but it works for me. I like to go into that box and I pick out all the colors that I think will fit with the palettes. It's very important that you have a lot of contrast for your threads. That's basically what I do. You see that I just picked this one out as my main color for everywhere. The same goes for all my embroideries. I literally just go over to them. Look at the picture, see what color fits with them, then I look at the embroidery 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 colors you get, and thinking about it needs lots of contrast. I'll have all the threads linked in the project section. Also in the beginning of every animal, there will be a guide on what threads you have to use. So now you know the color palettes and how I come up with color palettes and how I do that. I really want to encourage you to go at your own color palette. It's totally fine to go with colors that I use. 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 like everything that you make, that this community makes, it's so creative and especially the color choices. It's like color choices that I wouldn't even come up with. So get well. 6. Transfering Your Design: So, next up is tracing the picture, getting the picture actually on the fabric. It's always a huge thing. I see all time on Facebook and on Instagram. "How do I get my image on the fabric?" I get it because when I just started embroidery, that was my main good question in the search bar." How to get my embroidery on the fabric?" I didn't understand that everything was so much effort. It seems to me like. I'm going to show you my way, that is, effort lost. 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 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. So you will have the pattern. 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. And 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. Then what I'm going to do is, I'm going to tilt, so what I'm doing is I'm going tilts the screen a little bit. You can see that I have a really going to make sure that it's on the brightest setting. You can see that it have a really good feel of my image. This pan will not do anything to your screen. This a little tip that I also want to show you because you can see that this fabric, almost all cotton fabric. You can really easily see through that. So what I do is, I first use fabric. Choose blank fabric. On top of that, I'm putting my pattern, that is, made here that I trace. You have to make a bit looser further. This is really also a really handy tip. Make sure that both sides are really tight. But this is just something that I do which it really helps me and it's just a really easy way to transfer. What I'm going to do now is, I'm going to show you a way that you can do this without having to touch any pencil, 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. What we're going to do, we're going to the spoon flower website. I'm going to upload my design that you have here. We're going to choose our file. I already made the file in a way that you don't have to do anything anymore. It is a PNG file. That means that it doesn't have a background. Otherwise, if it would be like a different file they would also print all the white around it. And that's something you don't want to. You can find a copyright because this is all yours and you can use it and upload it. When we upload it, you can see that it's automatically makes a repeat design. What first we're going to do to make sure that this is not going to be the way that it's printed, we're going use a fabric. I'm going to use the parallel signature cotton. Now they have a lot of different cotton. I think they also have, Belgian linen. You can use so many different kinds of fabric. I'm going to use the parallel signature cotton. I'm going to use a test watch, very important. No effect Water when you use a test watch. Because I made this design for a test watch, and we're going to put it in the center. And 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 watch, and then you add it to your cards. Okay, so now you know how to get your image on the fabric the way you can do it yourself or you can have it done and have it chipped to you. I also would like you to advise you to do some research on how to get your image on the fabric with the printer. I don't have a printer show. I didn't feel comfortable talking about that, when I cannot actually show you how to do it. You can also look online and look at options where you can do with your printer because you can print fabric. 7. Hedgehog's Face: [MUSIC] >>So for our next woodlands animal, we're going to make the hedgehog. The hedgehog is so much fun to stage 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. And 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. 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 Grey [MUSIC]. 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'm just making a little strands towards my lines [MUSIC]. 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 am doing it, but this is just a way that I do it. I'm all about the end result. I'm going past the Grey line. Don't worry about if you're like, oh, 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. I'm going to go over it again. So I'm really building it up see, now you see that it really pops out. You're going to make this a little bit bigger because this is a nostril. 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 little 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 great threads. At some point it's going to be really difficult getting your needle, true? No. So here you see that the nose is done, it really looks good with 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 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. So now you can see that this entire part is black. The eye, the part of the eye in the middle is never really black. It always has 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 a piece. In my opinion. I'm just going to go in those lines. Oh, and this really makes your eye. I love doing this. The little specs of white, am going do that on the top. So you just going to take your white. And this is not something that's very precise. Where light hits, it's never super precise as it doesn't really matter. So here I'm going to make a quite thick one. I'm just going to put some stitches next to each other, a little bit so it touches more of the top. And then next to it I'm also going to make, a little bit of what, you see that really makes the piece. To frame the eye am going to take a brown, especially like all the animals have like this line around their eye. And I like to re-create that. And you really see how realistic it looks. Now that we've finished the eye, we're going to go over 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 to words that line. We're going to do that in half a circle, just like the shape of the ear. 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.[MUSIC]. In the middle I'm going do a peachy. No, actually it's not peachy. Mauve. No, it's also not mauve. I don't know, old pink. I just like saying the word mauve. I'm 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, doesn't matter. All ears are different [MUSIC]. So now you've done the nose, the eye, and the ear. And keep in mind that, the light, so where the light fall with the nose? In the nose it usually goes on the top and play around with those colors.[MUSIC] 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 really just working around those face features. You really now see it coming alive more. Now you can really 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. I 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. You should just draw out the stitches to the line. Here it goes like this, here I want to have it next to the eye. This just for me to know where I need to stop, where I need to reach 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 sure you're really pushing stitches into another stitch. You continue doing that until you don't see that line anymore. Notice a 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. Actually very similar just pull out all that to the direction of the stitching and then it flows nicely. Here we're going to do the same. First follow the eye. What I do when a section is done, I really want to look at it and think, with my college choices, I see that this one completely disappears. You don't really see the difference in the colors anymore, only slight. I want it to pop it out more. 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 and 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, 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 notice 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 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 a 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 that 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. There is a separation. 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 head and here the body. I'm just going to get my white thread again and here you can go a little bit over the ear. I 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. I'm going to go a little bit over this line here. Look it's first better that you go a little bit more up than too much down because then you can always decide to push the spikes a little bit more up. They are not really dependent on this line and we also don't need to look at that line anymore. Now you've framed it with all the stitches. I hoped 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 a white everywhere and then put it as last. You can do whatever you want with that. You can lay it on top or do it like me in first of whites and then a gray and then a 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 type that we're going to do because it's so much rougher work. We're going to use all six strands. 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 doesn't 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 hole equating, where I'm making it wet, and I'm going to make it really flat with my nail and then squeeze 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 [inaudible]. Again, this is an off-brand from Amazon, and now we're going to go a little bit higher. So to 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 the place 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. 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. Just overall feeling of how to make a hedgehog. I hope you will make many more. 10. Squirrel's Face: So for our next woodland animal, we are going to make the squirrel. Immediately what stands out is the tail and it's fluffiness. So that's a whole different texture that we're going to do. I'm going to guide you to the whole process of how we're going to make that, how we're going to create all that fluffed dense. The first thing that we're going to focus on is the face. And 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, small section, it can become very messy, very quick. So how to find that right balance, I want to make it realistic. I want it to have that the eyes look realistic. You want to have that look of being 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 and overtime I now know where to put it in most detail and where I can add little things to make it look realistic. So it's really about balancing those two things. As you can see what I did, I made it on the fabric and I already did a lot of the stitching directions so just so I know which direction I need to go. I would probably add more as I go along. But I really wanted to do all the fluffiness of the tail and we're going to start with the head. So 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 they can really see how to add really, really tiny details. I'm going to start off with the eye. So we're just going to fill this up. See that? I made it very round, but we're going to make it a little bit more so it has a tip here. So it has a slight curve going in or am just going to make that whole area black. And you see that I'm really, 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. And I'm ignoring this little tiny bit that I kind of overdrawn. Sometimes I try to correct my drawing mistakes with my embroidery. Make sure it's all filled in. You know I'm already going to do the white specks in it. Am just going to take a white, put that on the top. I usually always do these specks on top. It's just a safe place to put them. Okay, this is what I'm doing for now, I can always change it later. So, especially with the eye, it's good to just first do a rest a bit and then go back and look at the eye and maybe add a bit more black or maybe some gray tones. So I always go back and look like hmm, maybe it could be a little bit different. But for now I think this looks good and 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 we're moving onto face and I'm going to start with the nose. And you see that here, I made a line, and that line is for a really light thread. This is the lightest thread that we're going to use. And we're going to use that for the nose area. We are going to follow these lines as usual. We have to be careful not to make the black disappear. So watch out where you place your needle so that it doesn't go in the black. Am putting this needle a little bit more opposite so it can really get to the nose area. Okay, so now we're going to make this part all the way up to 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 are usually straight on the face so they fall upwards or downwards. It's smooth. Thinking about making this a bit more sent out. So 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. So I'm not going to cover everything with that red. I'm just going to use little stitches and we have a little bit of a more reddish kind of look in it. Here I'm going to do it. I'm just going to go in with little stitches here and there. So we're 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. It's just the illusion of some darkness in there. And then we're going over to the ears. We're going to use brown color. And you see that up here I have drawn out two lines for the little stitches of hair. So I'm first going to follow these. Notably stitch at all the lines here. You're just basically now going to fill in the ear from here till there. And here we're going to do this thing on the outside of the ear. So this we're not going to touch now. I'm going to outline it also with this reddish color. Now I'm going to use a dark brown. So now what we're going do because it's something that we forgot, that I forgot to do, is that 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, right now it looks good. Sometimes you just, well not sometimes. It means actually always I'm looking at the whole outlooks and then I see if something needs to change. And this is the same color as here by the nose. Just going to frame it alongside so I'm just making a line around it. See that looks so much better. So now that we've done the head, you now know how to deal with very, very tiny eyes and a very tiny face. You now also have an understanding of how to halve the proportion with the small nose, the eyes, and to play around with straight stitches going down. And 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, is to focus on the body. Again, this is how we are going to add detail without making it look too messy. We are going to go over this, how to shade the leg the white and the belly. But what I really want to put emphasis on is the little clause. We are going to use the same color as we had here. We're going to make this like [inaudible] fur. I'm going to use this again and follow these lines first. We're going to use small color variations. This is really small color variations. This is slightly a bit darker than this color. Also you're going to do that here in the neck. You see that there's a small color difference. It is not that much, but it's enough to make a shadow between the neck and the body. We're now going to use this color that we use here. We're going to go all the way to here. 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 like now I zoom out and I'm going to look at it and I'm okay. I noted 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 this brown. I think we need to have this more fluffed out I think. Just one to go in here. I'm going to start here and I'm going to use this. Try to make this transition a bit smoother. What I'm going to do is, I'm just going to go in here so that it looks like the face actually is attached to the body. Because transition is like a harsh line and I don't like it. I see now that it's really different. Because here we want everything to be smooth, but the transition also has to be smooth. This looks way better. Is way smoother and transition is way better. Now that we've done this and this looks really good, I want to go on further to the leg part. What we're going to do, because we want to make sure that the leg is seen as a leg. 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 sideways here in. Again, we're going to use that color here for the leg. There we're going back in to the other threads so let's first do that. We know we have good direction. I think this is 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. Now, it's not like a whole half circle, it's just from one side to the other. That's just nice. Now going in here, we're going to make this white, that's the belly. 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 do the feet. For the feet we are getting a dark thread. We're going to outline this and it's not anatomically correct. We want to have the illusion that we are going to have the little feet. Here I'm going in this little one and make it more roundish and here it is from the side view. We're going not make a lot of [inaudible] I think like one. I'm going to do one here in the middle. There we're going to use the same thread that we're using here. We're going to fill this. 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 distance you don't see that and we cannot be good at everything. For me that is this, hands and feet I find difficult. But if I have the illusion that looks like feet for me, that is good enough and I'm then have to keep the results. Now, we're going back to the arms we're going to clean this up, fill this in. Here, we also want the fur. I'm just going to make those little fur stitches and here we're going to stitch the O for the Y because the fluff falls over the belly. Now we're going towards the hand. We're going to change our switching direction a bit. Do the same thing with the hand. Here are the little stitches. Look very closely. Here, I'm going to do one that curves around. Now we're never going in here, and stitch this little outlines. You can see now the illusion of having little tiny hands. Up to now you know how to stitch the body and 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 manage to do that, and you also know how to do the thing that I find so difficult for the tiny hand and 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. We're going to go over to the tail. I love the tail. The tail is so much fun. 12. Squirrel's Tail: And last but definitely not least, now that you're done with body, we are going to go over the tail. I was so excited to start with the tail because it's so much fun. And we can really like let loose for a bit, it's really just putting long strands in. And then at the end we're going to put like little stitches in. And then at the very end, I'm going to show you a different technique that I use to make the hairs really fluffy, so that it really looks like it's fluffing out. So that's what we're going to do now. It looks so much fun to stitch. I'm really happy that we're now finally at the point that 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 your 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're going to start here at the base. So 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. So we're going to go up here with dark and here we're going to add more dark and slowly we're going to make it more lighter. So here I'm going to go in with another dark thread. It's not as dark as this one, so that we have nice overflow. So here I'm really just going all the way in with a dark color, that's also because that's where the light hits. The light hits, of course, all the way on the top. And again, these are also things that is very personal. I just like how it looks and you see that the more I go upwards, the less I use. So 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. So 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. And what I say in all the parts 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 I think like, "Okay, is this nice grading? Is this nice? Do I need to add more?" So here you see what I did. Here are the dark threads now and here I just fluffed it out with the red thread that we did here. What I want to do is I want to have that light thread gradually go up and get more and more and more because here I wanted to have it the most. So this is giving me a good amount of contrasts. Put some in randomly you really get that fur effect because we have the contrast. And you can really see how the effect is different that we didn't start all the way there to the 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 with a light thread. But, now what I'm going to do, I want to get a whole new color. It's like an orange-y color. And I want to define more the fact that these are tiny flakes, tiny flakes of hair. And how I'm going to achieve that? How you can achieve that, is put individual strands of a different color in it. So I'm just going to place it everywhere 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. So I'm just going to go in everywhere a little bit. Here, where I think I need to break it up a bit. Maybe here a bit. You can see if I go inside ways a bit, that it really breaks it nice up. It creates a little bit of a different effect. And this is also what I love about embroidery, you can always just layer stuff up and it will look so different. Just with one stitch you can create a whole different texture. I tried to not really focus on like, "Oh, 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? Because this color is a bit of a mixture of everything, you can see that it really works well. If it was a too much of a contrasting color, you should see, otherwise, it wouldn't work because it would be too obvious that I'm crossing, making cross stitches. But because I'm not doing that, it really works. I think this is almost good. I'm just going to put it in a little bit here in the 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 like, "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. Same with the little details, don't look at them too much. Look from it from a distance and then be like, "Do I like this?" And if it's yes, then that's all you need to do and you're doing a good job. I really, really hope you had fun stitching a squirrel. I hope if you really like the squirrel and you managed to make a squirrel to upload it in the gallery in the project section in the gallery. And 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 so I cannot wait what you come up with. So 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. Here we have those stripes, those little dots in it, I wanted to show you a technique that you can use for it. I wanted to have something that has a complete different texture, where you have a pattern in it. That's why I chose the fawn, and I think it looks really pretty embroidered. We're going to start off with the head. Again, this is a small head, so we're going to try 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, and 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. With the fawn, we have something that we don't have with other animals, and that is 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. That's what 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 push it down, because then the thread will go more into the fabric. You really want to focus on that winged-shape here, so we want to emphasize on that with a lighter thread. I'm going to follow that wing-shaped line. Or just a lighter color 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 area. Here you can see I made this curve, because I was still questioning, "Should I make it curvy or straight?". I'm going to go straight, because every picture that I see of a deer, the nose is straight. I think we got it here a little bit. Because it is such a small head, we don't want to use too much detail. I'll just make little stripes here, so that it really is a sharp light hitting it. As long as you still have the white thread, we're going to use it, and 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 make sure that this is a mouth. You really have to think about what are the key parts that makes this look realistic? Light is definitely one of them, but also colors. First I thought I made a stripe, but I'm just going to go in like this, so that it blends in with the white. You see that? I'm really looking closely where I point my needle. There's so many stitches now, so the sound is also quite heavy. See this is something that happens and it's not bad, but you have to watch out, because if you pull too hard and the needle is not coming with you, you can hurt yourself. Not only can you hurt yourself, but you can also get blood on your project. That is really unfortunate. Now that we've done the eyes, and the nose and the mouth, we're now first going to go over, and fill out the face. Then we can put in stitches afterwards where we want to, let's first fill up this entire face. Because a deer's head is so much different than any other head, it has such a different shape than other animals. The eyes are big, but here is the nose bigger than the eyes. So it's a very different look. You're also going to build it up different. We're first going to go in and put all 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, I can look, "Okay. What needs to change?" Because I already see that some things that I did maybe needs a change. I'm seeing that this white thread here that I used as a light source so the light hits it, that the white is just a bit too much. So 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 deers, you see that other nose, which is actually with most animals, that here it is quite dark at the base of the nose. We are also going to do that. This is quite a big contrast. This here makes it a little bit more movement of face. Now I want to go in with a lighter shade and frame knots on the sides. I'm going to start with the eyes to put it over there. This is the same color that we used here for the eyes go up, we're also going to use it for the inside of the ear. We're going to use our dark brown again and make some streaks in it, because in the ear you also have, especially with the deer, you have the ear canal, you have all these things that are inside. We want to make that illusion that there is a lot of depth in there. What I want you to keep in mind is, just trace the main features of the face. Don't get too hung 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. Don't get too hang up on the shading in the face. Then next, we are going to do the body, which is quite relaxing after the face. 14. Fawn's Body: Now we're going do the body, and 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 or first put in these lighter spots or that you use two colors at the same time. We're not going do that. I'm going to show you a really easy way on how to create this look. So we're now going to do the body, all this body, and then we're going to do the leg. I'll go in here with the same color that we used for the whole face. And here, we're not going to make really fur stitches. We just going to make them going down because these ones are also always a bit smoother up. And 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, and the neck we're going to start off with a lot of thread. We're not going to do white, I think, because that is a bit too much drastic, but a lighter color. And 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. So I just want to show you how much easier that is. So right now, I just want you to use this tread, and we're just going to fill it in everywhere. This whole section, we're just going to fill in. And with this fun, I really want to show you the technique of stitches over stitches. So 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. Because this deer has, 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. So the legs, we're just not going to do anything with it yet. We're going fill this whole part in with this color. So we're just going to do it like this: strands, strands, connecting strands again, till we reach the end. That's what we're first going to do, and then after we're going to put in those spots. So let's fill in this entire piece. I'm going to use a color that is not quite white, so it's off white, and we're just randomly going to put in a lot of those spots. This is a technique to do it. So I'm just going to go in here first and, 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 more. A bit more. And 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 the spots are not that big. It's just a better, 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 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. 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. So I hope you manage to do that. And now you know how to do this technique, which is really cool because I've really loved this technique. It makes it so much easier, nicer workflow, and you get to see direct results, which I love. Don't forget to project section. Love, love, love to see how you made this look. Also, I would love to see it if you used this technique or that you were not a fan of it and you used a different technique. So 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. 15. Fawn's Legs: So 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. So 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 this to be brown. We're just going to put it somewhere in here. So just going to make one straight across line in here and you see that we're done cover this space that goes a bit from the belly to here. This also, I want you to show you that there's nothing wrong with making really long stitches. If you 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 are just going to do all the legs, makes stitches from here till there, till these parts. These we're going to make black. So let's do that. Just make them all this color. Okay, can you see that I filled in the legs and now I'm going to do the last part, the tiny, tiny last part, and 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. 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 that is too daunting for you because I feel like these patterns will look really daunting. So 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 MSE back. 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 and that's what I'm going to do now we're going to show you how to do that. So now I'm going to finish off my embroidery and here you see a squirrel that we made and what I'm going to do first is I'm going to use my hairdryer, funny thing, because I was teaching a workshop for kids, they were like six plus and I said, well to remove the markings, you're going to use your hair dryer with a heat setting, just one girls is like "You mean a hairdryer?" I was like, "Oh, 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 or just use it for embroidery, so it's like a hairdryer, of course it has heat setting, but, just a 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, and you really have to put clothes on the fabric. Absolute really close because now I'm looking at it and if you look closely, you can see at the mouth that there is still some markings. I'm going to go back in with that. [MUSIC] Now you can see that it's gone, all the markings are gone. So now I'm going to turn it around and this is the back. For me I love it, I love it that it's all messy, you can see what had happened, it's super messy, but I like how it looks that you can really see what happened and what I usually do is I make this 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 chance It will fall off but I like to look off this, so I just like it 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. So 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 and just lay that down here, so that you know that no glue is going to dribble down. So I'm going to use textile glue, but you can also use a print stick. Print sticks work really well, and they don't dribble, so it's easier for you to use it. I don't have a print stick right now, this is the glue that I could find but textile glue or a print stick are great to use. What I do is I'm going to cut this down really short. [MUSIC] The reason why I'm making it this short is that I just wanted to have it just go over it and now that I have to glue it down all the way down. So I'm going to first do my first layer and then I use boats of the fabrics. Only the layer underneath will stick, which is fine. I'm just going to press it down and we're going to do it all the way around. [MUSIC] Now I'm gonna do the same with the top layer. [MUSIC], and now it is done. Now I'm just going to leave this to dry, and 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 hoop and i was like "How did they do that?" Then I saw her. What she did was, she just removed this hoop. So you can also have it like this and you have this nice circle. You can hang it up. So you can choose it to have it into 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 in the project gallery because I would love to see all your work. Also don't forget to leave a review. Love to hear what you think about this class, and thank you so much for watching.