Embroidery on Photographs with 10 Simple Stitches | Peggy Dean | Skillshare

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Embroidery on Photographs with 10 Simple Stitches

teacher avatar Peggy Dean, Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Ideas & Inspiration


    • 5.

      Sourcing Photographs


    • 6.

      Using Color as Guiding Inspiration


    • 7.

      Embroidery Thread Known Secret


    • 8.

      Tips for Threading Your Needle


    • 9.

      10 Basic Stitches


    • 10.

      Preparing Your Photograph


    • 11.

      Mark Making with Thread


    • 12.

      Color Fill with Thread


    • 13.

      Architectural Highlights


    • 14.

      And finally...


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About This Class

I'm thrilled to bring you a class all about hand embroidery on photos, where you will learn 10 basic embroidery stitches that will enhance images of all kinds. It doesn't matter what skill level you're at with fiber art, whether you've never touched embroidery or you do it for a living because this class is going to bring you a new way to stretch your creativity by looking at objects, details and colors in a new way, and I'm going to walk you through all of it step-by-step. 

We'll be covering:

  • Color combinations
  • 10 stitches to enhance photos
  • Several styles of embroidery on photos, such as mark-making, color fill, and adding unusual objects
  • Most importantly: How to embroidery on photographs without damaging or tearing the image

This class is super simple and enjoyable to follow along with, and you might just find that this is once of your new favorite pastimes (so you're welcome in advance ;)


Music Credit: DJ Quads - It's True

Meet Your Teacher

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Peggy Dean

Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

Top Teacher


 Snag your free 50-page workbook right here!


Hey hey! I'm Peggy.

I'm native to the Pacific Northwest and I love all things creative. From a young age I was dipping everything I could into the arts. I've dabbled in quite an abundance of varieties, such as ballet, fire dancing, crafting, graphic design, traditional calligraphy, hand lettering, painting with acrylics and watercolors, illustrating, creative writing, jazz, you name it. If it's something involving being artistic, I've probably cycled through it a time or two (or 700). I'm thrilled to be sharing them with you!

Visit my Instagram for daily inspiration: @thepigeonletters, and head over to my blog for more goodies curated just for youuuu.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey guys. My name is Peggy Dean. I'm an artist and educator and I'm super excited about the class that I'm bringing you today, all about embroidery on photographs. This class is very fun because it doesn't matter what skill level you're at, if you've touched embroidery before or not. What this class is going to bring you is a way to stretch your creativity and look at objects and images and colors and challenge each and everything that you think during that process. I'm going to walk you through all of it step-by-step. We're going to be going over color combinations and my tricks on how to really isolate some that are sure to boost so much interest in your pieces. We're going to be going over how to formulate different types of imagery with different types of stitches. I'm going to show you some basic stitches that are ideal for photos and most importantly, I'm ready to be showing you how to embroid around photographs without damaging them, without tearing your paper. We're gonna get into all of it. It's going to be super simple and a bliss for you and this is probably going to be one of your favorite new pass time. So you're welcome in advance, let's join them in the class right now. 2. Class Project: I'm so glad that you have decided to join me. The project for this class as mentioned before.We are Going to be embroidering on photographs. So you are going to create something very unique to you. You might have an image sitting around that your home. You might have an image that you find online. You might have some awesome thrift stores nearby that carries some great vintage photographs. You might already have some, dig through your family archives and find some really unique vintage photos,Landscapes did through magazines like really get yourself in the creative zone and see what objects appeal to you. I will go over inspiration soon. But for now, this is; put it in your head, planted in your mind that you are going to be looking for a photograph, and you are going to embroider on it,and your going to add some ornamental flare. However you see fit. There we go. So feel free to work along with me or take everything analysts okay.Work on your own, re-watch any segment that you need to. Here we go. 3. Materials: This class, you do need some supplies as you probably imagine. The first thing that you're going to need is embroidery thread. And these come in a bajillion colors that you'll probably find out. If you don't have them already, you can search for them. Just look up embroidery thread, there are pretty inexpensive and a little goes a long way because, I'll get into it later. Because they have multiple threads on each one. I'll get into it later. So you need embroidery thread, you also need a needle. What I will say about the needle, is if you can find one that's really thin the whole way up, that's going to be your best friend for working with photographs. So you need your needle, you need your embroidery thread, you need some scissors, don't have to be adorable like these but if they are then they're going to be more of a joy to work with. You need your photographs. So we are going to be going over sourcing images but you do need a photograph. It can be a vintage photograph, those are a lot of fine. It could even be a personal photograph that you have, of a family member, or you and somebody, it doesn't matter. It could be a landscape. If you want to sketch first, then you need a pencil. And then this one is optional, but I super, super recommend having a dense foam pad. So this is for filtering actually, but you can use like the back-end of a sponge if you don't have a dense foam pad. These are pretty inexpensive also, you could grab them for under five bucks. If you search from online, just look at dense foam pad faulting and it'll come up. Those are what you need. Again, you've got your embroidery thread, a needle, scissors, your photograph, and then optional pencil and foam pad. So grab your supplies and lets build on to it.[MUSIC] 4. Ideas & Inspiration: I wanted to quickly talk about some different ideas that you can think about as you approach your own photos and what you want to do with embroidering them. So this one was one of those ones where I inserted my own object and then I did some little accented bursts of color to act like shrubbery, and then I inserted another object that was not already there. That is a really fun way to go about doing these projects, but you'd probably want to sketch that out first, so you know exactly where that's going to go especially line work like this and that way you can create those equal amounts of spacing, so you know where to keep your thread. You can just do that with a pencil and then anything that you might see like I sketched right here so that I see that pencil line. I can always erase that later. Another way to do this would be to do some accident pieces. We're going to walk through this one together. But you can see it just adds a lot of really fun interests with pops of color, just with some very simple stitches. I think that is such a fun, unique way to go about doing this project because it's a little bit goes a long way and less is more kind of concept, so really fun. The next one, we're going to go over this one in the class as well, and this is where we are filling in some dense areas of stitching. This is more time consuming, but you can see all those little dots and circles that are holes, there you go. That are on the piece and you want to really be careful about, so we're going to walk through it. But overall, it adds a lot of dimension because you have this now three dimension to it, and then with a little bit of accent on what's happening. This is a really fun experimental way to go about embroidering images. This one's pretty similar. It has that real major density here, and then it's just got a back stitch that shows some outline along with some French knots. So that's a fun way to do that. So that's basically inserting that image that wasn't there before, matched with accenting an object that's already there. Then you can also, of course, always out of border. Here's a style that is very fun to do because you're basically just using existing lines and just doing a quick highlight over it to create a really fun and unique piece, to just highlight the architecture, geometry and wall note. This one's a work in progress for me, so don't judge it too hard. But this is where I am using the shapes that are provided to insert basically just the same kind of knot over and over to build up density to create a floral field. I have this field of grass that was here before, and I'm filling that with my own color and then I'm going to use this shape in these areas here to do the same thing with flowers. So those already exist. I may go for more, I'm not sure yet, but those are just the examples that I want to share with you so that you can start thinking about how you want to attack your own project. But again, we're going to walk through some of these, thinking in terms of what you could do, something more abstract, or geometric, or accented, or filler enhancing, things like that. So let your mind wonder and we'll get started. 5. Sourcing Photographs: I want to talk about sourcing photographs, because you can use your own photographs, or you can use something like a vintage inspired photograph which is my favorite to do. Something you want to keep in mind depending on how you use your photo. Copyright's so tricky, especially when it comes to like collage and embroidery, and things like that, that we use photographs for. So the safest bet is, to go to a thrift store and find a super, super, super old photo. I have visited a thrift store nearby that I have in my town in Portland, and I have found all of these vintage images that I am really excited to play with. You can see that they can arrange a lot of portraiture. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with these. I can either accent them, or I can like replace their face with some flowers, or something like that. There's also some old buildings, which I can use their geometric shapes to really play with. I have a couple of colored photos so I can play with matching color, so things like that, postcards. That's kind of what I was looking for. These two are gold mines for me, I think they're just kind of creepy and awesome. Yeah, that's what I look for, but if you don't have access to vintage photos super easily, I'm going to show you where it is that you can actually find them. If you haven't heard of Flickr Commons, it's your new best friend when it comes to sourcing vintage photographs. When you go to Flickr.com, you go Flickr.com/commons. It's F-L-I-C-K-R.com/commons. You see this search right here, you want to ignore this search. You actually want to go to the search bar just below, where it says a common sampler, and that's where you can search for images. Otherwise, you can just browse what they have. But let's say you have this cool idea to do some embroidery on like an old airplane or something like that, so I can search airplane and then see what comes up here. I've got color photos, I've got black and white photos and they're really cool. I could open up one of these, and then I could do something really magical with this picture. The commons are open source, so they are available to the public to use however they want to, because they don't have copyright restrictions. I might save this image to my downloads, or screenshot it, whatever is easier, and then maybe go through, look for some more that might be interesting, like this one's really interesting to me. I could do a lot with that. It's a little bit blurry, that's something to keep in mind, but I could save it just in case I want to play with that. Continuing on. This one's pretty cool. This one's cool because it's trailing something behind. If only that was a little bit more of a landscape and had more of that detail in there. You can see, you have so many choices, and if you can just grab some really thick nice paper, I recommend Red River Paper for everything that you ever have to print, and I've linked to that so that you have that information. But I use there 88 pound polar white paper and it prints gorgeously. I don't know if that's a word, but I'm going to use it. Yeah, I'm going to look through these and see what I'm thinking. Some of these are really, really cool. They may be a little more blurry, but I'm really drawn to this vintage style. I'm just going to go through, and what I'm looking for is like, is there space above, or do I want to focus on the plane itself? Where can I envision threads being? Something really interesting and intricate. Like here, I might have some geometric lines coming from each of these. Or here I could do something like that, where there's some lines all going to the corner. I'm actually going to save this, because I might do that later. That would be fun. Continuing on. Color is a fun play too. Like this one has this really nice a red tone to it so you could play with that, okay. Let's say I wanted to do something. In the stack of pictures here, I have a lot of people standing. Suits are always really fun, when somebody's in a suit, because then you can put an app, that embroider, like an animal head, or some geometric shapes, or something cool like that. Let's say you're looking for a portrait like this, and you don't have direct access to vintage photos, you can look up portrait and see what comes up. See how I searched right up here, you don't want to do that. If you do that, It's coming up with Flickr photos, that are more modern right now and that is going to make it so that they are not copyright free. Poor vintage, and vintage is fun. I'm going to go back to Flickr Commons here, and then say portrait and see what happens. This is what I'm looking for. For one, this is such a good collection of portraits, for exactly what we're looking for. Things to keep in mind and identify in these photographs is like, okay, what outfit are they wearing? This is a really pretty outfit, I might want to use that later, so I'm going to save it. I think it's really cool and I could do something around her, or I could do something on her face, or I could do something on our hands, or maybe a bouquet coming out, of flowers. There's lots of things to think about with something like that outfitting. The same goes for suits. Like this is an awesome picture of a nice clean suit, and then I could do something coming around her face here to enhance it, do flowers. Think about how much space you have around an object so for example, let's see if I can find, like this one, maybe. This one's a good one. She's got real big hair, which is great. But you can cover that up, or you can enhance it even more, because look at how much space is around here. That could be great. You could do something with her face that's really unique. Let's go to another idea, let's say gymnast. Here we have, excuse me, a bunch of old photographs. Nope, we're not going to do that one. Let's say swimmer. These are going to be vintage photographs of people who are swimming, and I think it's cool. You know what, let's actually go to diver, because then you have some more. Yeah, like stuff like this. This is like your perfect photograph to play with, when it comes to embroidery. It's not a perfect solution to being able to embroider on photographs, because ideally you're going to have the photographs in hand. But if you don't have options, this is a great option for you and I highly recommend looking at it. But again, what I'm looking for is, what can I incorporate here? What can I put on here that is going to really make it enhanced and stand out.? Can I do something in the background? Or, should I do something to the clothing? Or should I do something to the head? Or maybe to the feet? Or maybe just something she's holding? This building, do I want to add something in this empty space? Do I want to enhance and maybe trace the main lines and the vanishing point with thread, to make it kinda neon and light up if you will? Should I add foliage? What should I do here? This is one where I can use this shape here to my benefit, or I can put something in the foreground. I can make this a whole series of flowers, which would be really pretty, in this field coming through in the foreground. Here, I could color block, and I could do some cross stitching that matches or I color match the roof and I color match the tree, and I just do like blocks of color blocking with this. You can see it's really a stretch of your imagination, and if it comes down to just mark making with thread, then that's awesome too. Because there are so many ways to enhance that. Again, this is like something. Let's say none of this was here. Just doing threads that are around her and a back stitch, could be really, really fun. Use your imagination, think about it, see what resources you can get your hands on. One of the funnest parts of it is going through old photos of, whether it be your family members, or like in a thrift store, or something like that. Basically, any vintage photos you can find, because it's challenging you more so than using a resource on the web. That's totally fine too though, but the idea is to find it and really let your mind expand. Like how can I marry this either to my color palette that I love, or can I fill this empty space or should I enhance? You get it. That's time to really let your mind wander in creativity, because I know there's something in there that I didn't think of, and I want to challenge you to go after it. 6. Using Color as Guiding Inspiration: When the time comes to choose colors, this is probably my favorite part. I love experimenting with colors. If you've ever visited the color wheel than you're probably familiar with contrasting colors, complimentary colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Analogous colors which are right next to each other, which can create a really cool interest. Similar to like monochromatic but with a little variation. When it comes to picking colors, I really think about that. I noticed that when I limit my color palette, i'm a lot more pleased with the outcome, but that doesn't mean that you have to at all. You might be a really, really colorful person you can see by my wall right here that I clearly love color, but just something to think about as you're moving forward into this project. I'm going to show you some of my thoughts about some of the pieces and how I determined what those colors should be. Then I'm going to show you just as I'm choosing and show you kind of how I'm thinking about it. At first I started with this green and I thought I was going to leave that as is. I thought that I wasn't going to add anything but I felt like something was missing. So I decided I opted to add a rainbow. When I did this, I could have chosen the standard rainbow colors, but I actually thought it might be kind of fun to go a little more muted, a little more national, but still bring out a little bit of the vibrancy in the orange. I actually opted to grab some tans and some light yellow and some light orange to go with this bolder orange. That was my thought here and I actually really like the way that it turned out because I have it put the attention on the cactus and then these shrubs here. Whereas if I had done some really bright colors in my rainbow, it t would have detracted from that and then drawn the attention here. Whereas I wanted this to be just kind of an after thought in the background. That was how I decided to pair that. Know that if you choose multiple colors, then it will be one of those things where. How is this going to balance? While I choose two different greens here, which are monochromatic, but while I choose that, balancing that with something else, I have to think, what's going to be the most vibrant? I could've done equal vibrancy. I could have done more vibrancy here to draw attention here or I could have drawn more attention to this area. I feel like it's a pretty good balance. That was my thought process here. It was really one of those things where I started and didn't really know where it was going to end up until it ended up there. Which is going to be the case in a lot of these projects. Which is I think part of the fun. For this one, I thought this is my very first embroidery on a photo, and so I kind of got carried away with it, but I just wanted to play and that was kind of the idea. I chose to do some basic flowers that were kind of framing and being cut off by the little girl here. She's pretty faded into the background, so she doesn't really stand out as much. So in hindsight, I think that it would have been really fun to either choose some embroidery that enhanced her, perhaps put some flowers on her dress and so she would've stood out more. I wanted to show you this one so that you can see kind of like this was another way I could have taken this. Again, I chose to frame her and I don't hate it { LAUGHTER } but it's not my favorite. I wanted to show you, so I've got a lot of stitches going on here. I have a pretty soft, warm color palette going on. I've got some oranges, I've got my purple, I've got this copper color, which is more of a metallic and I'm just going to have a side note that the metallic, while they're really pretty, they're harder to work with. Just know that. That was kind of my thought here. I wanted to keep it pretty monochromatic analogous right there in the same color grouping, if you will. Then this one is a work in progress right now. I'm not finished with it, but I wanted to show you kind of my process here. I picked three colors and I have them right here in a jumbled mass because this is how I work. Grab this orange and then I will grab let's see, where's the other color? Same here. These three colors no, that's the same one. What's happening? I got a purple. Okay, let's pretend. No, I don't want to pretend. I want to actually show you. Okay, now we're going to pretend. I am just going to grab a random. This might be it. Yes, this is it. Okay, we're not pretending. Good job us. Alright, so these were the three colors that I picked out primarily. This is a big blank field. I'm going to make a flower field out of it. I chose these three colors. As I started putting these blocks in of these three colors, I noticed that they were looking a little too uniform. You can see here I haven't quite sprinkled in the other colors yet, so it's pretty like flat, flat, flat. I wanted to mix those in. So rather than grabbing additional colors, rather than completely blending them like I'm going to do here, I choose to just sprinkle in some additional colors that were along the same lines, so different shades of the same color. For example, this peach color came in and I'm like, okay, so what's going to be close to this orange, okay, this peach color, that's going to add a little bit of dimension if I just sprinkle that in a little bit, and then I want to do it with one other color so I chose to grab these two and I'm like what would complement these? I was just looking at the colors I had and opted for this pink color because I am a mess. This is like very normal to see in my workflow. This kind of thing. I felt like that would be good. If that was like a balance that would be pretty intense, pretty pink. I'm not a very pink person, but when it's sprinkled in, just here and there, it adds a lot of interest. Then I decided to bring it over on this side, which you can see. Then I'm bringing some in here. That is my palette that I'm currently working on with this project and I'm really happy with these colors. Again, I don't know where this is going to take me. I might be done with these flowers and have a totally new idea that pops up. You might be one of those people that likes to plan it completely out first and that's fine but I really like to just look at three or four colors and go with those and then let the project guide me from there. Let's look at some color choices without any sort of image. Just because I think that sometimes color can be the guiding force in what we decide to incorporate. I think that creates like creatively that's really important to do. I have these two set aside. These are two that I'm really, really excited to dive into. This one I keep thinking like, okay, we'll trees. That makes sense, or a cactus would be fine because it's kind of out of place but like obviously I have a place for it. I could play with the sky. I could do a lot with that. I could add some clouds or I could add a rainbow. Those are kind of like for me, obvious go twos. Let's say I wanted to kind of stretch it and let's say I wanted to do something that wasn't so obvious, like wasn't such an obvious choice. Maybe I wanted to do something geometric or maybe I wanted to do something. Just play with lines and overlap and see what happens there or maybe I wanted to enhance something here. There are so many options, but when I bring in color, and I think about color before I grab a photograph, then I can think, this would be really cool like if I did, for example, if I was thinking about a rainbow and I grabbed, all these colors and I wasn't thinking about the rainbow. Scratch that I wasn't thinking about [LAUGHTER] the rainbow. I grabbed these colors without this photograph and I thought what would be interesting in these colors? When I'm looking at just that color palette and thinking, I've got this kind of neutral orange vibe here, and I think of like a desert, tropical drink or like a desert, I don't know why it's bringing me. I just I visited Palm Springs recently, so I think of like desert scenes with pretty flowers and things like that. But, what if I were to do something weird with it? Then you can think about like, what would be unexpected in this color palette and rainbow, a rainbow wouldn't be in those colors. So that brings interests that you wouldn't have otherwise thought of. See where I'm going with that. I have these colors. These are the colors that I go to the most because I just really enjoy them. Here's my bundle. I hope that I'm not the only person that works like this, but I try to keep them together as much as possible. But I am so drawn to pops of color like this because I love color. But I've noticed that it can be really overbearing, and so I like to add pops of that similar to this rainbow that I just showed you. If I pick this palette and then I were to just throw this in there as a tiny strands like that would be really fun. I'm just going to show you kind of my go-to thought process here. I grab a color that I'm really drawn to, and then I think let's try using this as a accent color rather than the primary focus. That changes it up because it keeps your direct interests and then becomes the flare. You know what I mean? I found that pairing with neutrals with your vibrant go-to, I love this color, turns out that you might really, really add a lot of interest to your work that you wouldn't have otherwise thought of. To do that, these aren't neutrals, but they are much more subdued than the main color I picked. I could pair it with this kind of like a movie color and I get pair it with this wine color. When I look at these together, I see more of a balance. This isn't as subdued, so I might remove that, but I can put it off to the side thinking, okay. That's something I could think about and I have this tan color, so that could be really cool. If these are my balances and this is an accent, what can go? When you do this, I'm totally visual, so I might have them together like this, it looks like three equal parts. But if I have the bulk together and I have the accent kind of sticking in, then I can see it like this more. I think that makes sense, and then let's say like this kind of pinky peach color. So that looks really cool together. This is a really pretty combo and It's pretty light. There's not a whole lot of contrast there, but then I'm adding this super bright poppy red as an accent, and then suddenly I have this really cool palette. I'm limited to four. So it's a lot of added interest. I like where that's going to go. This is what I like to do with color palettes. I like to group them and then see where I want to go with it. I'm going to set this aside and then I'm going to do another grouping. I'm really drawn to this ugly green it's like dolish, dirty, yellowish-green. I'm really drawn to this as you can see, if this is my primary focus, it's pretty loud and It's not as loud is obviously the poppy red. But let's say I want to pair the system neutral. I'm going to look through what I have, and I've got this giant basket full of colors too. But I just find that its [inaudible] I can grab out of that if I want to. This is a good color to pair with that because it's this soft kind of toppy color and dark top, and then this one, it's kind of a warm rose gold, it's more beige, but it's just got those soft undertones, and then I can play and see like okay, that might be a fun combination. It has some contrast in it. These are my contrasting colors because red and green are opposite to each other on the color wheel because these are different hues of those like this has that reddish undertone. I don't love a peachy with green, It's just my personal preference. So I say no [LAUGHTER] and then I can keep going. Here it's not quite white, it's kind of like a grayish color. That could be really fun. If I were to pair that like this though, then I have a pretty neutral palette. This is pretty neutral with my pop of green, which could be really fun. I might not like it that neutral, so I could swap it out maybe, or something like this with this periwinkle color or I could maybe do something with the gray, get rid of the beige color so that cools it down quite a bit, and when it doesn't have that warmth to it. I'm going to say I like the warms. So this is another color palette that I could go with. I'll put that aside too, and it's ungrouping, and then let's do one more. I love this jewel tone, kinda teal, turquoise color. What can I do with this? I also love this deep, kind of purply blue. I think that looks cool together. This becomes more of a pairing of bright colors rather than something neutral to go with it. I could go with that and I could make the whole thing really vibrant, or I could pair it with neutrals. I'll show you that both of those look like. I have these and then I have to make a lot of sense. I like a lot of color that goes together. So I could pull this really cool red in and then brighten it up by adding one of these greens, and that's a very interesting combo, or I could get rid of that and go with some red, reddish undertone with this orange. I might decide to get rid of this blue and pull in some green for some more balance, and that is a really fun, vibrant color palette. I could go with that, or I could go back in and do something more neutral. Like I said I had these two colors together first, and then I could pull in maybe some of that. I have another like brownish color. It's not as toppy as the other one that I showed you just a bit ago but it will pair really well with these, and then I could pull in maybe some white. You see how that looks, and then it is really cool at that point, I personally like some more warmth to it, so I might throw, and actually, let's see, I like that better. Its a warmer brown than what I had, and then I look at creamish and I have some sitting here, but I'm trying [LAUGHTER] to pair these off so you can see them as a whole. Here's a creamish color. Yeah, I like that. Getting rid of that and then there's a palette and they don't have to balance in a particular way, but the could, because if I was to play around with what an accent color would look like, that would actually be really fun or I could pair it like this and see, this cools down the palette quite a bit and then adds a pop of warmer green tone. But I like this better because this is like not an expected color to go with that pellet. That being said, you can always pair your accent color, but with a neutral because that also adds different kind of interests. I'm just going to add a random kind of like a turquoise, I think that's really similar. This is what I chose for that really bright pallet, and then this is what I chose for more of that earthy kind of pallet. See, there we go. This is what I chose for the more cool palette, and this is the, the warmer pallet. This is kind of more interesting exploration for you to see, you don't even have to go with any of these but this will allow your mind to explore more and allow you to have a place to set things out and see exactly where you want to go with it. After you have this set out, you can choose, like my recommendation is, this is the first step to visually like visual thumbnail sketches of color, if you will. If you're not familiar with thumbnail sketches, it's essentially when you have like six squares on a piece of paper and you draw out the same object with different compositions in each one. Then you kind of open your mind to seeing how that's going to lay out and how that's going to look. This is kind of like doing that with color. This is like the first stage of that and then the second stage is where you can start using imagination with it. You can think about like, what is going to look really cool with these color groupings? What if I was to do a bunch of flowers with this earthy set, you know, flowers are usually seen in green or in this brown color, but that would look really cool. What if I was to do a collection of leaves in this red tone? Those are pretty straight forward to think about. Flowers are always an easy avenue to take when it comes to creating anything that is beautiful and always fun to do and always look beautiful as a finished product. So always [LAUGHTER] i like doing that, but otherwise, just use your imagination. Think what could I create in these color groupings that might be a little bit of a challenge or a stretch to your typical go-to in your imagination or in literal objects. If you want some inspiration, just simply look around, look outside, look at some nature photographs, look at the scenes in your actual photographs. I don't know where I just put mine. Look at your scene, like this as a watermelon track with some watermelons if without all this stuff, what can I do here? Well, there is an open space right here, I could draw a cactus. Yeah, I totally did it in green and I did it in green because I wanted at the time for it to just pop like this. But then I decided to add some interests. Give literal, get not literal and If you get literal, then you can still use this concept to pair colors together and make that really interesting. You can see what really works together and then go from there. Again, it doesn't have to be four colors. You could do this with five colors. You could do this with two colors. It doesn't matter. It's just a guide to give you to go off of because it can be so fun to play with colors, okay. So that's what I have for colors, and then we'll move into the next segment [MUSIC] 7. Embroidery Thread Known Secret: Okay, so I want to talk to you about the strands of the string itself. And this is going to look like when you cut it. You can see that it's got quite a few different strands on one strand. And you can totally use it just as is, but just know that it's going to be super,super thick. So I'm going to show you an example. This isn't going to be a photograph that I want to show you the difference of what this can do. So this is a embroidery piece that I was working on. And you can see, my prime example is this is the difference between four strands and two strands. So you can see that I've got this situation where it's really rapidly and it's a lot thicker, whereas this one is super smooth. Neither is right or wrong necessarily unless you're going for a particular look. But I'm all about breaking rules. So if you want it to look like this and that's cool. It looks thicker, it looks more textured. And then this is going to be a lot smoother. So that's the difference. When you're using a thinner, it's going to look more precise. Whereas this down here you can see that that is really thick, I'm pretty sure I used six strands. Now when I say six strands, this is where I want to break it down. Because, what I like to do is rather than thread my needle to about right here, and then drag it through and use like this would be six strands because there are six strands here. And I like to go the whole way and then tie it at the end. And then use the doubled up version to have as many strands as I want there to be. So, for example, if I want there to be two strands, then I will take this down and I will unravel it just once to one strand. And then I will take that strand and double it up like I was just showing you. And that is what will create something that is like this. You can imagine if I were to take this one strand and then after it's completely unraveled, I had it, my needle threaded about this much through and then I used it as a single strand. You can imagine it would be very thin. And that's cool if you want to do those really fine details and That'd be great. Here's another example. So this one here, I did that. I had one strand that was doubled up. Here. I had two strands that was doubled up and that was intentional. I wanted these to really stand out. And then I wanted this to be in the background is like that afterthought, something lighter and I had that. I chose that with the color and I chose that with the amount of threads that I used. Whereas this one, I didn't think about that at first. And so I used a ton. I think this was three strands doubled up into six strands, which really brings that texture out, which really shows a lot of dimension, three D dimension in the side. Whereas here I just used one strand and double that up. And it was more just that afterthought accent, which was really fun. So those are things to think about as you are creating. And this is something that you will just get more familiar with the more that you do it. But, just know that I think that a safe place to start would be to take two of these strands and use two of them and then see where you go from there. And the nice part about that too is that it's also going to give you three uses of the string, since it has six on there. To unravel it. This is so you don't want to go fast because it's just going to create this knot. And those are really frustrating to have to undo. What I do is, depending on how long it is, you can go really slow and watch it unravel, but then it might get to a point where you get stuck like this. And that's where you come in and just hold it separately and just twist and twist it down. And then maybe separate your fingers a little bit. So hold it more, twist it down. I messed it up in the beginning. It shouldn't be that bad, but as you're twisting, this part is going to get really twisted. So you want to also get that to straighten out a little bit before you continue. And you'll feel that in your hands, the way that it feels. And unraveling these strands is my least favorite part of this whole thing. And you're going to have to do it a lot because you'll be surprised how much string just as tiny portion will take. So if you can find shortcuts and things that work for you, great. Otherwise, you just have to accept it. So I'm almost through here with this unraveling. And then once it gets to the final part, I like to slowly hope that it works okay. And the other way to do this is if you don't have a super long string, I will take it in the center and separate it and then hope that this is going to work. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't, but I go really slow. And you can see that I don't have any points that are stuck yet. The problem is if one of the sides gets stuck, then you have to stop in the middle of having two ends that are like this and then do what I did with the other piece which can mess things up. But you can see that that worked perfectly because my string wasn't too long. So now I have three pieces of string that I can use along with all the dog hair. And then I have a really good starting point with these sizes. So, know that it's one of those things I didn't know at first. And when I first played with embroidery, I was just going for the whole thick strand and nothing was turning out the way that I wanted it to. So this is going to be really helpful. Make sure to do this part. 8. Tips for Threading Your Needle: All right, so now I'm just going to show you how I thread my needle. When I'm using regular needles, just for a side note, regular needles means nothing because I know there are so many different kinds. But I am not a fiber artists by any means, I'm just a hobbyist. If you want to learn more about needles, don't ask me. Just know that what I say regular needle, it's totally inaccurate, but I'm actually referring to in my mind is one that has a bigger eye. It's totally not called regular needle, but it just helps me threads. So it's clearly easier to thread something that has a bigger space in the middle here and then I can just push that through and pull. Okay, maybe not. Again, there we go and then pull it through. That's easy and I feel slack and why not? When I'm doing it on photos, they don't work the same way that fabric does. I use a teeny tiny needle that doesn't have much extra width right here, whereas this one protrudes even more and some needles get wider. and protrude or whatever. This one's super, super tiny. What that's going to do is, prevent huge hole from being created in the paper that I'm working with because paper is not nearly as forgiving and two holes right next to each other can tear pretty easily. That being said, this is really frustrating because I have to thread this into this tiny, tiny eye. Sometimes it's easier like I only have two pieces of thread right now. If I just go with my fingertips and just really push it down and flatten it, I can see right in there and I actually have more control because I can wiggle the needle over that. Okay, so see, that didn't work. I'm going to do that again and then wiggle the needle on that flat area, kind of get it going and then pull and there we go. You can always lick it and then press it flat. That would look like, if I were to lick it, okay, it's wet and then press it flat. I know that this is two different lengths and ideally it wouldn't be, but you can see, maybe see how flat that got? That is going to thread a lot easier, so two different ways. Then when I thread, so like I was telling you, you can totally use thread like this. Like this is what we know to use thread and then we just pull, knot at however we will knot, and then we just have these two strands. I like to double up so I choose two strands when I want to choose four strands. I'm going to take what I just created or take the separation, pull it all the way through, grab both the ends like this, and then just tie those together. I just loop around and then pull it through. There we are. I tried to get it close to the end as possible so I don't waste a bunch of thread and then I'm going to pull that tight so that this is the opposite end completely. You might need to do a little adjustment on your needle on where it's sitting. But then I have my piece of thread. It's threaded through. It's got it's knot. I can clip that with scissors and then I'm good to go. So that is creating four strands out of two. Yes. 9. 10 Basic Stitches: So, I'm going to show you the running stitch first and it looks just like this. It's probably your most basic stitch that you're ever going to learn. It's just going in and out of your piece. Now, i just want to show you this is just practice. I just have a piece of fabric in an embroidery hoop so that I can show you how this is done, and we're just going to go over this really quickly because the whole idea here, is that we're moving into a totally different kind of Canvas. So don't pay so much attention to what I'm doing and how I'm working the fabric. Because I'm going to show you that once we get into the paper. I just for the sake want to I show you the stitches. A lot of you might like to mark your stitches on where they come in and out. I don't do that because I have no patience. Essentially what I'm doing here is I'm just going in, and then I'm going back down. And some of you like to do things like this where you come in and then go through. We're not going to do that, get that out of your mind. And the reason why is because when we work with photographs, they are not forgiving. So we really need a treat each stitch like they are very special. So I go back through, and then I'm going to come in right here, pull and then come back down like this. I'm spacing it so that what's underneath is less of a space. Then thread is going to show and that's so that, I just didn't want it perfectly spaced and you can totally do that if you want to. But basically you're just going up through and then down through,up through, down back through. Another thing to know as we move into paper, you're not going to be able to poke holes like this so you are going to have to pay attention once we get to that point. But again, just showing you stitches. All right, so that's done and that's it. That is your running stitch. I'm going to show you the cross stitch. It looks like this. When it's done really small, it looks like this. So you can see I have this cross stitch done, but it looks a lot more dense and that can be a fun. Add on note, again, that working with paper is very different than working with fabric though. So you want to keep any spacing just enough to where it's not going to continue. Like if you were to do a hole here and a hole here that might rip the paper so you don't want to do that. I'm showing you the cross stitch and for those of you who are embroiders, I don't want to hear it about meticulous. I don't know if this is right, but I'm going to show you how to make this happen on the front side. You want to start off and again, if you like to dot your fabric or paper or whatever beforehand, then by all means, otherwise, I'm just going to free eyeball it. So you're going through and then you're going to go diagonal. Similar to this, but this time you're going diagonal. Then I'm coming back up, to directly across from what I just created. I'm just going to make that a little more, there we go, and then cross again. But I want to line them up as if that's a square. Again, I'm coming up and then I'm not going through. So I want these to connect but I'm not going through the same hole that I did. Because that will just pull the thread out. So I'm going to go to the other side. If I can find it there we go, pull that through, diagonal cross so I'm assuming that this is a square right here. So I'm going diagonal across, I'm making sure it's lining up with this area and I'm making sure that the line is about the same length and then I'm going to come up through the top and go back down. Notice that I'm also connecting these. By doing that, all I'm doing is going through the same hole that I already created before. Note; not the same hole I just went through, just the same hole I created at some point and that's going to make sure that I am keeping them connected. Except for this one which I just make sure it lines up here and lines up here. So I'm going through and then I'm going to a diagonal in these matches this corner here. I'm going back up through here, and crossing again down to the bottom right. Another thing to keep in mind is, I know a lot of you guys, if you embroider regularly than you're probably used to going in and backup like this? Nope, not going to do that, not with photographs. What you can do, however, is you can come up through and once the needle's all the way out, then go back in and pull through and do that double motion in one. But you definitely do not want to do any sort of dual motion, that includes the needle through twice in one movement. Because it will tear the paper and you don't want it to happen. So there's your cross stitch. The back stitch; this is where it's like the running stitch, but it's connected. So you're making a line, but it is consistently reinforced, because it's constantly being connected. To do this, you can totally again line it to where you have dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot to follow. Or you could eyeball it like me because you are also lazy and impatient. The back stitch looks like this. You're going to come in, from the back and then you're going to go back in, just like you started with the running stitch. Notice your spacing because your spacing should be consistent, throughout everything that we're doing this time. Instead of going back in right here where we spaced it, I'm actually going to go back in exactly the same, well eyeballing, as close to exactly as I can. I'm going to go back in right here, and then I'm going to come back, and go through the hole, that I created the first time when I went down through. I'm going do that exact same thing. I'm going to measure the spacing in my mind and then I'm going to go in, up and then I'm going to come back, and I'm going to go through that hole that I just created, when I went back in. So again, do that again, same exact spacing and then back in, same spacing and then come back in. Maybe same spacing, back in that hole and then the same spacing, and back through. And that is your back stitch. For the satin stitch, this is when we start to really get some coverage. And that's going to make a lot of density happen and it's really, simple. All that you're going to do, is; I'll show you separately here. I went through the back and then I'm going to go through back down. Then from here all I'm going to do is just go right back in, right next to it, and right back in right next to it, down. And see that's creating that density. Another way to do this though, is you can separate it. Separate your satin stitch. So what I mean by that is; let's say I had that starting point and then I skipped some space, and went back down. And let's say I skip some space some more, and then went back down. I like to work like this, for a couple of reasons. One, it makes sure that I am consistent with how many I put in between, and then it also helps make things equal on both sides, as I go down because sometimes, what I know is, especially like this one I just did in one quick swoop. But if you take that out, you can see I started wider and then it got thinner and thinner and thinner. So when I do it and separate it like this, then I fill in just the center of what's here. That helps me ensure that I am keeping things nice and even. Again, like you might be one of those people that likes to draw it out first, and that is just fine. I'm going to hop on over here. Fill this area in and just get real close to that. I know that I keep saying this, but if you are somebody who likes to work where you come in and then well, I guess he wouldn't do it right here. You would probably come in and then go right back up like this. No, doing that with this project. Because if you do that, then it will tear the paper. So we are really focused on moving the needle through once at a time, basically. So onetime through, pull through and then back down. You can come through and then go right in, like this but notice there's slack, the needle is not going through twice. It's just the thread and this motion that's going through twice. So when you do that too. I like to leave the slack in the front if I'm going to do that in one motion because otherwise, I don't know what's going on in the back. If I accidentally loop through the thread with my needle, then I'm going to cause a knot and we do not want that. Get it? We do not want that. Jokes. My dad's been sending me really bad dad jokes recently and I'm like, "You are the reason that term is there." Anyway, that's your satin stitch. The blanket stitch. This looks kind of wonky, but the whole point is just to show you what this is like. I'm going to show you. So how you're going to start this? You're going to come through the back, surprise. Alright, and then just like the cross stitch, we're going to go diagonal. So one stitch out, one stitch up. Okay, so that's about right here and then we're going to pull that through, but we're not going to pull all the way. I still have all this slack and making sure that's open like this because I'm going to come back through at the corner here and in between this thread, I'm going to pull it through. That is creating this L-shape around the thread I just pulled through. So I'm going to do that again. Just go to my diagonal. Don't pull it all the way through. Then go to this corner here, come up through the center of the thread, pull and it's going to create that L-shape. You'll notice that this is a lot thinner. I put more strands of thread on this one as I show you because it didn't quite look finished. That's what you'll notice too. If you find that an effect isn't going how you want it to, you can either remove or add thread. From this corner up, through, make sure this is nice and open and you're going to come through the center. It's not really the center. So let's say this is over here, that's fine. You want to make sure that you are at the corner. So one stitch down, one stitch over like this. You can always position that thread if it's not cooperating. There's two things to think about in that step. You're going to come through here, have this open, and then come through that corner and pull. You're not going to pull super tight, you're just going to pull it. I hate this word I don't know, I hate it, but you're going to pull it taut. That's going to keep it in place like so. Like this, don't pull all the way through yet, even though I kind of did. This thread is a little bit more active. It's got a lot of movement in it. Sometimes this isn't so difficult. So that is what that looks like for a blanket stitch. Now I'm excited because I'm going to show you my favorite knot or stitch. It's a knot but I'm going to show you my favorite stitch, which is called the French knot and it's my favorite. I have so much fun creating this and I don't know why. This piece right here is nothing but French knots. I don't know the texture, the creating it, it's so satisfying to me. Chances are you'll find a stitch like that yourself, but I'll show you how this one works. So you're going to come up through the back. Then what you're going to do, is you're going to take the thread and you're going to wrap it around the needle like this once and twice. Then you're going to hold that tightly-ish. You're not going to go super close because, you'll see. Anyway, about this far away and then you're going to hold this tight and go back through the same hole while you hold this down and then you're just going to pull that through like so. That's coming through and then I'm going to try to do this without setting it down. Hold this, come around twice, and then go back through that same hole. Hold this tight, not tight, tight but you know, and then you can let go as its the end and then that's going to create that knot. The cool thing about this stitch too, the French knot is two and then you can go three, four and I'll show you what happens when you loop it even more. It just gets bigger. So see? Again, the amount of thread that you have on your needle, like the strand size will also be impacted by that. Like if you were to only go around once. Okay. Set it down, one time. Through, hold that tight, see, it's going to make this really small knot and then if I were to go through, let's say, and do it a whole bunch, three, four, five, six. Then back through. It is going to create a large one like so. So again, French knot one, two, put it back through that same hole. Hold this tight and pull. That's it. This one got a little wonky, but you get the idea. Alright, so I'm going to show you the fly stitch now and that looks like this. There's a couple of different ways that you can accomplish this and I'm going to just show you the whole way through. So the stitch itself, what you want to do is come through the back, pull through and then you're going to one stitch apart, come back through but you're not going to want to pull all the way through. You're going to want to keep this loop. Then you're going to want to, in the middle of those two. So if you are right in the middle, like right here, you're going to come one stitch down and come through. Then it's actually going to be this loop right here and then you're going to pull through. Then you're going to want to anchor it by just going through that same hole underneath and go like this. There are a couple of different ways. So I can do it like this or I can come through the back, go across one stitch, and then keep that loop open and come You can see this, go in the middle. Where's the middle? Right here and one stitch down. Come through there, and make sure that loop is, the needles in between the loop pull through. Then rather than going through the same hole, I can even drop it. What that can do, is make it so that it looks like I have connections like this, or connections like this, based off of the length that I do. If I go through the same hole, I can create a lot more coverage, and have a lot more density. Or if I create this spacing here and then it can create more of some separation, depending on what you want to do. I will show you each of those if I was to repeat. I'm going to come just underneath that first stitch, go through just underneath the second one. Straight across, keep that loop there. Then I'm going to want to just right underneath that one, about right here. Careful if you're doing this on photos. I know I keep saying it, but you don't want it to be too close. But for the sake of showing you the stage, I'm going to come through, and then just go through the same hole to create that density. So that'll look like this. Whereas like this, you saw me do the base of that. Now everything that I do from here is going to want to be spaced out this much. Instead of coming and dropping the first stitch right underneath, I'm going to space it out the length of the middle steps, so about right here. I'm going to come through about right here. Then I'm going to go straight across from that, leave that loop. Then I'm going to want to go through the same hole on the bottom. That's going to create that connection. Then I'm going to do that same stitch length down, and through. Then I'm going to do the same thing. That same stitch length about right here. Go straight across, leave that loop. The bottom, same hole is that stitch. Make sure it's through that loop. Pull and done. I can keep that going. Then when I'm ready to stop, and I want this to be just solid, I'm going to go through the same loop to finish it. To the herringbone stitch is like the cross stitch in the crisscrossing, but it's actually going to overlap. It's pretty simple. I'll show you how to do this. What you're going to do is go through the back. Then if you were to have those four squares, actually you'd neglect them, but basically you're going to go diagonal, one stitch over one stitch so diagonal. Then you are going to come up. Let's say this invisible line is right here. You're going to come up to about right here. Just above that stitch that you just put in and then you're going to go quite a bit wider. You're not going to go straight across, from the bottom stitch, you're actually going to drop underneath it, but stay in the same plane here. Then you're going to come above that one and do the same thing where it reaches stretches that makes sure that it is lining up here. Then, come above, just above and quite the stretch. Make sure it's lining up right here. Just above, line up here. It creates a really cool effect. So you can make these, as long as you want. But if you were to make them more stacked, then it would create more density. But that is the herringbone stitch. The stem stitch, I'm doing it pretty fat just so you can see it better, but it's essentially the stem stitch but diagonal. I'll show you how that works. I'm going to come through the back, come diagonal pretty steep. Then I'm going to come back in but like in the middle of that stitch, and then come down a little steeper. So basically middle that stitch along the same plane. Then about half a stitch down. You're just going to keep that going. But try not to get too wide. I have a lot of thread on my needle too, to make this thicker as I'm showing you. You want to make sure to do that steep diagonal like I didn't do right there. Listen, I'm not a pro embroider. I'm just showing you the stitches. All right, so that is your stem stitch. Pretty simple. It's basically again, just like your stem stitch at a diagonal so that you can create that nice density. Lastly, I'm going to show you the split stitch, which is what I did for this rainbow. You can see if you look real closely, how it layers. Really simple stitch is similar to the backstage, but it's going to go through. What I mean by that is, you're going to come through the back, and then you're going to go one stitch over. Then what you're going do is go actually through the center of that stitch, bring that through and then go from here one stitch over, creating that second stitch. Then you're going to go through the center of that one. Then you're going go one stitch over and then go through the center of that one. Just keep that going. This one is pretty simple and it allows you to do a line that's a little thicker. It twisted the string on that one area, there we go. To add a little more coverage. You can of course, change that with how much thread you put on one knot. This one had a little less thread, this one has a little more threads. You can see how that will work. These are the threads that I would recommend doing for , excuse me these are the stitches that I would recommend doing for photo embroidery. There are so many stitches out there, but these are the basic ones that we're going to be working with. Those are your basic stitches. 10. Preparing Your Photograph: The first thing that I want to do, I've got my needle threaded with the first color. Ideally, I'm going to want a piece of dense foam and that is so that I can create punched holes into the photograph before I begin threading the embroidery thread itself. If you don't have dense foam, you could use a sponge, maybe the rough edge so that it's a little more dense. But these are pretty inexpensive. If you can't work along with me with it right now, if you find that this is something you love to do and you want to really get into it or even just do a project with more ease, then you grab one of these. Just look up dense foam for felting and you'll find it. What I want to do is just some running stitches. Like pretty basic running stitches. I know that they're going to be in line. Basically, you can totally sketch this out first if you want to, because these are just going to be straight lines. I don't think that that will be necessary for what I'm doing, but you can if you want to. I'm going to start in the middle because it's easiest for me to make things even that way. Just off of the main image, I'm just going to poke a hole right there. Then I'm going to make sure that it's nice because the embroidery thread glows. Make sure you have a straight line and it'll see exactly where it's going, which is nice but I'm going to go to the edge-ish about right here. That's going to be my straight line. My running stitch can be about, I can make that as long as I want to, but I want it to be like a burst coming off, so I'm going to make it a little longer than I normally would. But now I'm going to do that the whole way right here. I'm going to do another one here, another one here, and then maybe one final one right here. I'm going to do the same thing on the other side. So here, one, two, three here and then here. Now, so what this is going to look like, I already know because I plan out my head, but they're just basically going to be little sections coming off like this. I want to make them even-ish. So I'm going to have this one come to about right here, to about right here, here and just do that for the whole area. That's going to make it so that you can thread a lot easier. Then I'll go off of what I need to after that. But if you're a cemetery freak, you might want to do the other side before you start stitching because that way you're looking at holes instead of thread with trying to make holes. In the center is still here. Lets see. Did I do that right? one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. Okay, good. Two, three, four. One of the main reasons too that you want to do this ahead of time is you want all of your holes to be going in because they have these little notches that come up. You don't want that to be on the front side, especially if you are doing a stitch that's going to make the hole show up a little bit, so try to avoid that. But now I'm just going to start threading. I'm going to go into the back, make sure it's the hole that I want which is right here. Come in and drag that through and then I'm going to go back through. You can probably already see why I tell you guys that you're not going to be able to go in and then bend to go back through. You can come here and then go back through. But yeah, the needle can only go through once and then make sure that it's not going to knot up on you. So I'm going to go in. It's not going to be one of those things that you can feel around on the bottom to poke through, you going to have to figure out where that's at and then very intentionally place it. It might trip you out a little bit the first few times because it's like you think you know where it is and then you flip it over and everything looks a little different, you're like but wait. Sometimes what I do, especially when there's a lot going on is I know the hole I want it to go through, so I just do this and then I can see on the other side and that helps me with a guide. I'm just going to do that to the whole side. Another way that helps too is if I go through and then I see, so I just went through this one and this is the closest one to it, that will help. It especially helps if you're just doing French knots. Then you can see, how can I use this little thread as possible in these, move that all the way. See I'm not wasting thread until right now when I reach all the way over to here, which isn't necessary at all. You can cut your thread and then do this, but I figure once I cut my thread, I do my knot whatever, I do knots horribly. I know that there's a right way, but I just like, I don't even want to talk about [inaudible] but I mean, I'm going to waste threat anyway, so I'm just going to come over here and then the back of it, it's going to look really cool because it's going to have all this chaos going on and then the front is going to be super pretty. Just part of the art guys. I'm going to finish off doing these little bursts and then I'm going to have even more coming from there. That's why I chose to do one color for all of this, so that what's coming off of it will be in those other colors. Once that's done, I'm going to cut that, throw it off and then I'm going to add on even more. I'll go ahead and type [inaudible] cut that. You guys, you're going to see how I do knots and it's so embarrassing, but this is the easiest for me. I know there's a trick you can do with a needle, but I don't want to hear it. I know I could Google it and I'm not going to because I'm a child. You can do knots however you want to and this is my really neat away. Okay, leave me alone. 11. Mark Making with Thread: So it might be safe to say that I'm wildly out of control because I decided that I am going to use all six strands because I'm just going to do French knots and I want them to be really bold. I'm going to try to get this even. It's a really tiny needle. So it might hit me and this might be ugly, but this might turn out to be disastrous, but we're in it together. What I'm doing is trying to make it so that this part is even enough to where the end is in the center. Okay. Great. Now before I do my French knots, I want to make sure that I punch my holes first. So I'm going to do that about half of the stitch size that I initially did, or length. That's where my French knots are going to go. They're going to be pretty thick because of how much thread I have on here. Now this is my favorite. I don't know what it is about this one, but I just get such joy. See how it might get stuck. There we go out of doing French knots. So I'm just going to go around twice, just like it should be. Hold that tight, go back in, hold this tight right here, back in there, then hold it tight while I pull this through. This might be a little challenging. There we go. Hold that. We are almost there. Come on. There's my French knot. I'm going to do that again. Next one. Really thick thread. This wouldn't be in the ideal situation if this wasn't a postcard, but it is. Then I'm going to go through, hold this nice and tight with my thumb like this and bring that back down, French knot. Then right when it gets to about here is where I let go, because I feel like at that point it's already formed and it's not going to mess up. If I don't hold onto it, it doesn't keep that knot form all the time. So let me show you an example. It's going to be hard to see, I'll try to point this out. See this guy right here, and it's got this loose area, that can happen, especially down here. I did this on purpose because I wanted it to fill more space and be like a cluster and then it was going to be with other pieces. I wrapped it around a few times and just very loosely pulled it through, but it's going to lose that tight knot shape. So whether it'll be intentional or not, just know that will happen if you don't hold onto the bottom string here. The other part of the string as you pull it through the back. Then another thing too, when you're coming through the back again, maybe give it a little light tug and it just secures that previous stitch even more so it's not loose. See how that is just wonky. If I pull it tight, that forms that knot shape that it's going to create. Notice I'm not holding it super tight, but just tight enough to where it's going to maintain that shape. So there are my knots on one side. I'm probably going to run out of thread, but I will skip over to this side anyway and then I can just re-thread if I need to. You don't want to pull too tight because you don't want this to start bowing. So just make sure it's nice and flat still. I might make it with this thread, it's going to be close. It's probably going to be a difficult last knot, but I'm going to try for it. Maybe the perfect length. Okay. Yes, it is. It's a really hard to do this final twist when you run short, but I am all about conserving as much thread. Actually, the truth is I'm all about not having to thread in my needle again. So I'll make this part more challenging for myself rather than doing that. Get out of the way. Okay. Here we go. Look at that perfect length. It's satisfying when that happens, don't you think? I know you're watching my knot, but I don't want you to judge me. I know people who are used to doing like my mum used to and she had her special little knots and I'm like, "I don't want to hear it." I have my jankety way and it works for me. Finally from here, I want to add little bursts coming off of each of these. So similar to the running stitch here, but I'm going to do it. It's not even a running stitch. It's basically just a regular boring stitch. So I'm going to use two strands on this one. If I can grab two strands, which will turn into four strands when I double it up. Where are you? There. I am going to stitch it so that it just adds even more of that bursting off, if you will. I'm going to go ahead and untangle this and be right back. All right. I've got that. I'm going to tie a knot at the end of this. Time to party. Keep in mind you want to punch those holes first. So see how I did it on the outside here. I'm going to want to make it so that I have this curve. So I'm going to come down here, but instead of just finding a curve and going, I'm also wanting to make sure that this is lining up. I'm going to hit there. I mean it doesn't have to be exact. Then I'm going to go up to the top and then rather than coming through the bottom again, I'm actually just going to go into this second hole, and then have that meet the bottom like this. Then I'll go through that last hole and have it meet the bottom. So that is what that's going to look like. I might even add another tiny French knot right here. I'm not really sure, I'm going to see how this looks. There's going to be a gap right here. I don't love that, but thinking, maybe I'll just add an extra one right here and then hope that nobody notices. This is a story of my life you guys. That is that side. So see how that looks so fun. Now, I'm going to go to the other side and do the same thing and see how that color palette is just so fine with the neutral image. I love art. That is finishing that off and that is my mark making for this. Now I can see this as a whole and think like, I'm going to get rid of this so I can really see it. Do I like this as this or do I want to add anything to it? Knowing when to stop is one of the biggest challenges. So that's something that I have to think about and I'm not ready to stop as it turns out. I am going to continue. That's part of the beauty about doing this stuff, is like you see as you go how you want to expand this. So I decided that I am going to add tiny French knots to the bottom of each of these bursts, and then I'm also going to add a little bit of flair, what do you call this, where these meet right here? In each little divide. That's what I'm going to do. I think I'm going to bring my orange actually to do it in here. Again I'm not going to go through the back. I actually want to punch holes. I'm going to need to thread this again for more, but I want to punch holes in each one of those areas that I'm going to be threading through. So now I can just start doing that. I'm actually going to do tiny French knots right here. I'm not going to do the double loop. I'm actually just going to go around once because I want these to be really small and I hold it tight and pull that through. So see that's just like enhancing it just enough to where it's adding some more interest. Rather than framing it I'm actually integrating the color in to interact with the image. I'm just going to hold colors up here and see what I like, what looks good with it? I like this one. I'm going to choose this one. I'm not going to punch additional holes this time because I'm just going to actually go through the hole that already exists in each of these little bursts, if you will. I'm going to loop around twice and then go back through the same hole. Hold that tight. There we go. Yeah. So that's just adding a little pop of color and makes it look a little more finished. I'm tempted to put something in the center here, but I think that I like the way this is accented, so I'm just going to leave it as is, call it a day, and be done with this guy. So as you can see, just as little minimal add-ons can really add a lot of interests to a simple image. 12. Color Fill with Thread: I'm going to choose this image to play with because it has color. I'm going to play with color in it and I'm going to do so by mashing it, but it's enhancing it. This is a much brighter version of that red and I love this red as mentioned earlier. Then, I'm going to add some directional lines coming from the, I think they're water skis. Then I might do them the color of the sky because it's not like, "Hey, look at me," but it's enough to where you can really see what's going on. I might only choose two colors. That's what I'm going to start with and then we'll see if I want to add some more after I am done with that. When I know that I have a full space that I want to fill, I have to really think about being careful with how close I space this stuff out because if I space this out too or if I go too close, if I make little holes that are too close together, like right here, you can see that if I were to do one just right here, then that's going to end up going into that one. We don't want that. I'm going to really make sure to separate it enough. I can speak. Separate it enough to where that doesn't happen. I also wanted to point out that I remember how I showed you earlier how, if you use a lot of strands, then it doesn't really pull, the word I hate, taut as well. I am going to use two strands to do this fill, which turns into four strands but that's better than doing six strands into 12 because that's just crazy time. Although, I've been known to do that because it actually takes less time and less fill. The thing about it is, when you do it on photographs, it has to be thick enough to where it will actually fill, unless you don't care if it fills completely or not. I'm going to start here. You could satin stitch this directly like this or because it's got this nice shape, I could start here and just flow out like this. Something to note about that is that it will start to bunch around here, but since I don't have super thick thread on here, I might as well. I may want to cover that whole area, so I'm going to go all the way to here. That'll be my first go. Something you might notice too, as you go and you start to thread, you might end up needing less holes than you thought you did. Before you go and punch all of your holes, see how that starts to look. I'm just making sure it's taut and then calling it good. I'm going back through that center hole, which is going to probably end up giant. I'm going to have to come up to this one here. See that happened right here. It actually tore into that second hole a little bit. I'm going to go to the next one and I'm just going to be a little bit more careful. All that means is that I either pulled too fast or I put my holes way too close together, which is what you want to avoid. I can go back through that area though if it looks like it's a little bit spacey once I have the other ones placed because if I place it just right then it will fill that area. That's just a way to handle the oopsie. See that filled. Cool. Then, I will continue onward to the next hole. Just be careful about going through it. It's very close to the next one. Now I'm just going to follow that guide the whole way. What it's going to end up doing, is making it so that all of these end up like they're coming out of this area. In this last piece, you'll see that there are some gaps here. That's because I was having to do the satin stitch straight across rather than hitting one direct point. I'm going to need to go in and fix that but the problem is, if I do too many of these little holes right next to each other as you know, they can tear. I don't want to do that. What I'm going to do is do some overlapping. I'm going to go from this hole and see how it's going into right here. I'm actually going to bring it and have it go into the next one below it. To see where that is, I'm just going to use my needle. I see it's this one here. Then I'm going to bring that down just below it. See how that's filling that area. It's pretty discreet. There's not a hole, it's not super obvious. There's a little bit of room right here to put in some extra holes. It tore little bit so there wasn't. That's where you want to be careful. If you do a little bit of crisscrossing, your cross stitch, then you can try to avoid that a little more. I'm going to do it right here and then come down to right here. That should do the trick. That fill that area. That's what you want to do there. This fret's hiding a little bit, I'm still going to add a little bit just so that it has a little bit of a balance. All I'm going to do is just fill that in with a back stitch. There we go. Now it just has that balance on each side. That part is done. Now I'm going to add the water ski, whatever you want to call it, magic strides. Not at all. It's fine. With this one, I'm going to want to use a really thin strand. I'm going to pull only one of these away. This effect that I am going for is a really fun one too. If you have somebody that's looking upward or outward, or you have somebody whose hands are up doing this with a bright neon color or something like that will add a lot of interest. It's almost like there using like a laser eyes if you will, to do some sort of magic or something fun like that. It will just create an easy added finish to a photo without even doing very much to it. If I was to go straight down, he would end up basically right in the center here. I want these to go off the page because they're like insinuating that they're coming from elsewhere. What I can do is loop. I can start right here and then one right here, and then maybe one in the center. Do that on each one. I'm just going to create at the very, very bottom a center focus piece and hopefully that will not tear. I have a pretty thin string, so it shouldn't do that. I'm going to start here, pull through and go down and create that line. Do the same thing here. It's basically what we just did, just a longer stitch. You can do this with a back stitch or a running stitch or something too but I like this smoothness it's creating. It's going directly upward. This is what happens when I try to talk and think at the same time. When it's going, connecting to something, I just like that nice smoothness, so that's one of the reasons why I use a really thin string. That looks fine to me. That's all I'm going to do with this one. You can see that creates a lot of interest. It basically just makes it so that it's three-dimensional and doesn't take away from what's going on, but enhances it, which is fine. 13. Architectural Highlights: Now I want to use this photo to enhance it, and I just want to use the existing lines that are on this composition here. So we have some windows going down this way, we've got our main building focus, we've got these pipes, so I'm going to pick and choose what I want to do. You could do something that's more natural, you could do something that matches, so let's say this light grayish color or you could do something really bright. You could isolate colors in certain areas. I'm going to just choose one color across the board because I think it's going to look really interesting, and I've chosen to go with yellow. So once I have thread and my needle, I can get going. So I'm going to punch holes again and just make sure, I'm going to do a back-stitch. I'm going to make sure that these are about equal length here, and I'm just starting as you can see at this roof to give it a highlight. I'm starting in the back and pulling through and going into the next one, and then from there come and skip to this sky and then come back through the same hole here. And then after I pull through the back, I'm going to go to the next one where it skips and then it comes back into the hole right here. Then next I'm going go to this hole right here, and then meet that back with the sky. That is my backstage, and I'm going to do that the whole way. I got the roof done, and now I want to see where else I want to highlight. I'm going to do this whole building. Now I'm just going to create these equally spaced stitches all the way down. Then from there, I'm going to pick any sort of interior areas that I want to highlight. I'd like to start with the outline because then I can see like, okay, so there's a ledge right here. Do I want to leave that out or do I want to just do the windows or do I want that as well? I actually do want to put that in, but I find that, if I think about that after I do this initial part, then I am much happier with the result. Whereas if I were to plan and poke holes and do all that right away, then there might sometimes be like, oh gosh, I wish I would've left this part out or something like that. So that's why I like to work and make these decisions as I am seeing this come to fruition if you will. Now I'm going to go into these details and I'm going to line the windows, and then I'm also going to get these ones. Okay, now hold this through, and continue on, but just in these smaller sections. Then you can see that just by very simple addition of a highlighted line, you can create a lot of interest to a photograph. I really encourage you to play with shaping architecture because that can be a lot of fun. 14. And finally...: Can you believe that we've come to the end of the class. I'm really excited to see what you guys created. As I mentioned, please upload them so that we can all see them. Mostly so I can see them. I'm really selfish and I really want to see what you made because I'm obsessed with this style. Please, please, please share. When you have a chance, head over to my website, thepigeonletters.com and snag a bunch of freebies. I email them out to you every single Friday because I want you guys have all the resources in the world. I'm stoked. Thank you for taking this class and I hope it was just as fun for you as it has been for me in my soothing evenings and late afternoon on the porches. It's just one porch. Late afternoons on the porch. We can go with porches. It doesn't matter. I'm going to stop. Bye