3a. Cut your floss in lengths 12"– 15". Any longer
than that and your stitching arm will get tired from
all the pulling and reaching. You’ll also run into more
of the dreaded tangling factor with longer pieces
3b. Thread your needle. You may want to moisten
the end of the floss a bit with your mouth, to help
keep all the strands together. Pull about 3"– 4"
through the eye of the needle; this gives you something to grip onto, so your needle doesn’t come
unthreaded. Then knot the other end of the floss.
Some embroidery purists insist on not using any
knots when starting and stopping their stitches
— they think it can look sloppy and cause excess
bulkiness on the back of their work. I say knot away
in the beginning, and then if you want to go the purist
route later when you’re a pro stitcher, you can.
4.CL EAN UP
Once you’ve finished stitching your design, some of
your pen marks may still show. You can spray your
fabric lightly with water (while it’s still in the hoop)
and those water-soluble pen marks will disappear.
Let it dry in the hoop. Once dry, remove your work
from the hoop and press with an iron on a terry
cloth towel, with your design facedown on the towel.
You don’t want to flatten all your fancy stitching.
That’s it — so easy!
NOTE: The colors of the stitches on the finished
seahorse embroidery correspond with the tutorial
images, except for the split stitch.
1. Running stitch (medium coral)
One of the most basic stitches, it’s used a lot in
hand-sewing. Pull your needle over and under the
fabric at regular intervals.
3c. Go over your design with the stitches of your
choice (see the list of stitches, below), making sure
to cover as much of the traced lines as possible. If
you’re using a heat-transferred pattern, this is really
important, as the ink doesn’t always wash out.