Stitch of the Week: The BEST Fly Stitch Tutorials!

The fly stitch is a fun and easy stitch that can add personality and whimsy to your embroidered pieces. This is not a stitch I have used much in the past, but after some experimenting, it turns out…I LOVE IT!

The first tutorial I have for you is from Sew and So’s stich library. It is a one minute video …not one word is said, but I found it to be simple and clear. Even if you are sewing this stitch for the first time, this is the only tutorial you will need! (I must add, if you have a minute to check out their website, they have some great products on their site, like zendoodle embroidery kits! They look so fun to me! I can see myself working on those while the Olympics play round the clock, and I betcha I would use this stitch! Haha!)

Next, you have to check out Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials! She has a fantastic way of organizing all of her embroidery tutorials…in families!  There is a whole fly stitch family to check out, but for today, if you want to learn just the basics, she does a great job of showing you how to make the individual fly stitch, as well as in a line, horizontally and vertically. I often go to her website for clear instructions and great pictures! Be sure to check out her comment section too. Many people submit their work and you get to see some great ideas for using embroidery in more than just hoops!

Next you MUST MUST MUST check out The Floss Box Blog! This site is such a jewel! Emily believes in experimenting with a stitch to learn about it. So on her blog she has beautiful examples and a fly stitch tutorial, that is a little different from the previous tutorials I have shared. Why? Because, she includes several variations. I just love the idea of learning through experimenting in stitching. It is so liberating and inspiring for embroidery to not be serious or demand perfection. Might I add, she recently reposted a map of the USA that I just want to gobble up!

There is always more to learn and try with embroidery! Thanks to everyone who posts such great tutorials! Did I miss any? Where do you go to learn new stitches?

Stitch of the Week: Blanket Stitch-a Roundup of the Best Tutorials

There are so many helpful and awesome embroidery tutorials out there! SOOO many! I have debated whether or not to add my own, but I am not sure I need to. I thought maybe instead I would round up the most helpful tutorials that are already out there, by choosing a new one every other week and then I will provide a project where you can practice it later in the week. What do you think?

Well, I think I am going to jump in and try it, if you hate it let me know 🙂

This week I wanted to use the blanket stitch. I thought this was a really confusing stitch at first, because the first stitch is different than the rest. I always got stuck trying to remember it…but I have come to LOVE it. I love how it looks and I love its versatility. Here are the places to go to find the tutorial to help decomplicate it for you!

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I love the internet for all the things you can learn on it. Whether you are a true beginner or a perfectionist, you have to check out weefolkart.com. She has a FANTASTIC tutorial including how to get the spacing of a blanket stitch perfectly even every time. It is so great!

You have probably seen this tutorial from holiday-crafts-and-creations.com on Pinterest. It has A LOT of repins because it is REALLY helpful! It answers many frequently asked questions in a very clear and consise way. I love how she uses more than one color of embroidery floss to help show you what is going on.

Videos:

I know that sometimes I need to feel like I have a friend sitting next to me showing me what to do. That is what it feels like with Maggy’s tutorial from redtedart.com. I LOVE listening to her! Sidenote, check out her site if you have any kids in your life at all! I seriously want to be her kid! She has so many fun tutorials and ideas for kids crafts…

Needlepointers.com is pretty much a slice of craft heaven. They have everything from embroidery to woodworking. They also have a youtube channel with tutorials. She has a video specifically to help those that want to know how to end the blanket stitch. A lot of people leave that out in their tutorial. She makes it looks so easy! She also shows you the different ways to end the stitch for two pieces of fabric, one piece of fabric and when you are not going all the way around the fabric. All in less than 4 minutes! SUPER helpful!

Thanks to these amazing ladies for such great tutorials! Come back Friday and find a fun project tutorial using this stitch!

Basic Embroidery Materials and Tips You Want to Know

I don’t do a tutorial with each post because my process is usually the same. However, if there are some beginners out there wanting to learn how to embroider, or even some experienced embroiderers who want to know how other people do it, this is my process. This particular project is going to be a decorative pillow. Like with any project, I start by gathering my materials.

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Materials Needed:

-pattern (to print some from this site go here)

-fabric to embroider on, pre-washed and ironed (I chose muslin for this project, but for my quilt I picked some cotton fabric.) If you have any questions about which fabric to use…just let me know!

Warm & Natural Cotton Batting-Craft Size 34″X45″ (this I suppose is optional…but I use it ALL the time! I like that it adds a little depth to my stitches, I also LOVE that you cannot see the thread on the backside of the fabric when you use this. It is my little not-so-secret-secret for making hand embroidery fun…not frustrating.)

Fabric Scissors (this is my ALL time favorite pair of scissors EVER! I know they can be pricey, but I feel so happy every time I use them. Watch for deals or use a coupon and get you some of these!)

-Embroidery Thread in the colors you need (DMC is my favorite brand you can get them at JoAnn’s or Amazon)

Embroidery Scissors -optional but I love having a small set that fits in my purse

Embroidery Hoop (this is the one I got for my 12th birthday and I love it. I will be so sad if it ever breaks someday. I am not a fan of the plastic ones, they don’t hold the embroidery taut enough for me, but the wood ones work well

-something to transfer your pattern with (I do not recommend this wax paper transferring stuff I used. I am just using it because I bought it and I hate wasting money. I can do a post on transfer methods if anyone is interested, there are some other easier and better ways then buying a light box)

LET’S GET STARTED!

As I mentioned above, I pre-wash my fabric and iron it before using it for anything. Then I cut it to the size I need. I am not a perfectionist in this area. I just put my pattern on it to get a general idea of the size.

Tips:

  • When I am doing big projects like a quilt, I cut out all my fabric at the same time so I don’t have to do it each time. It makes the project more fun for me to get that out of the way.
  • Make sure to cut your fabric bigger than your pattern, enough so it can hold in your embroidery hoop without any difficulty
  • I cut my Warm and Natural to the same size and all ahead of time too. If you try to make it smaller it shows through your fabric and doesn’t look as nice

Next I transfer my fabric. When using this wax paper stuff, I put it in between and face down on my fabric with the pattern placed on top of it, then trace

Tips:

  • Do NOT trace with the warm and natural underneath. You won’t be able to press down hard enough to get the pattern on well
  • Make sure to do this on a hard surface.
  • You can use a stylus like in this picture but I am happier using a pen because I can see what I have done easier. A lot of times I pick a pink pen or something that is a different color than my pattern

Now the fun part! I pick my colors of thread and keep them in a separate pile and I start to embroider. The embroidery floss comes in six strands, but I RARELY use all six at once. Often I use three strands, but the smaller or more delicate the pattern is I am working on the less amount of threads I use.

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Then I go to town embroidering while I watch Star Trek or my kids run through the sprinklers.

Here is the finished product. I love my little geek family!

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I know there are lots of tutorials on the internet about this, but I am happy to do some as well if that is helpful to anyone. Just let me know. I LOVE THIS STUFF!