My Latest Obsession

by Nicole

Have you ever thought you couldn’t do something and later found yourself doing the very thing you thought you couldn’t do?

If you have ever conquered your doubts about something, you know how empowering it can be.

I’ve had a fascination with hand embroidery for as long as I can remember. Last year I started stockpiling embroidery patterns.

I bought a couple of books on embroidery, embroidery floss, a hoop, and needles. The only problem was I didn’t know how to embroider! I even took a class last year, but left feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing. So I packed away everything.

Fast forward to this year’s neighborhood 4th of July picnic. I was talking to one of my neighbors and discovered that she is an embroidery master. I told her about my frustrations with embroidery. She suggested that I try a stitch that I had never heard of before – the outline stitch. I’m sure you embroidery pros know all about it, but to me it was news!

I went home and gave it a try. And it looked pretty good! After that success, I picked up Jenny Hart’s Embroidered Effects.

I love the way she explains the stitches in plain language. I was feeling pretty bold after the outlining success so I tried other stitches in her book. Here’s a peek at some of my doodling.

Then I got even bolder and tried one of the patterns that I’ve been swooning over for the last year. It is Summer Flowers by Sarah Jane Studios.

It’s the same girl that I featured in my Children at Play quilts here and here.

I’m enjoying seeing her come together stitch by stitch. Right now, I’m working on her curls. Each curl is a French knot. Filling in her hair could take a while!

I have no idea what I will do with this little girl once she is all stitched up. Maybe she’ll be part of a pillow? Or should I get her a nice wooden hoop to hang out in? What do you think I should do with her?

Either way, I feel like my newfound skill has opened up a world of possibilities for me. Perhaps I’ll even become bold enough to try hand quilting one day!

Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday!

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Adrianne @ On the Windy Side July 17, 2014 - 3:34 am

Very cool Nicole! I definitely know that excitement from making progress at something I never thought I'd do (hello hand quilting!). The wee girl is lovely – I'm sure whatever you do will be great. Maybe she could sneak her way into one of your quilts?

Rachel July 17, 2014 - 4:20 am

Good for you!

Patchwork and Play July 17, 2014 - 5:56 am

She would look cute hanging on a wall! And if you can embroider, you can hand quilt! Hand quilting is just a running stitch, after all!

pandchintz July 17, 2014 - 9:37 am

Oh you'll love this new found skill! Such fun!! I think she'd look cute in a frame on the wall. Enjoy!

Lucy @ Charm About You July 17, 2014 - 10:21 am

Brilliant! I adore doing embroidery and you've inspired me to do more! Sublime Stitching make the best books and patterns – they also have lots of free tips on their blog 🙂

Seamingly Sarah July 17, 2014 - 11:16 am

I might have to check out that book! I love embroidery. I know some of the basic stitches, but can't seem to get the feather stitch yet. Your practice looks beautiful. Keep it up!

Jess Burns July 17, 2014 - 1:03 pm

Nice! I've been meaning to try and expand my embroidery skills (which are rather meager: I basically know back stitch and lazy daises and sometimes luck out on a successful french knot) and have gotten lots of books out of the library, but have only tried one motif out of one of them.

Debbie July 17, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Very sweet! Embroidery is the first stitching I ever did – my grandma taught me cross-stitch when I was a girl visiting her house in the summer. At one point I enjoyed playing with all the stitches too. Very nice you've been encouraged enough to give it a go!

Carla July 17, 2014 - 2:44 pm

Isn't she sweet! You are doing a beautiful job. I love doing French knots

LethargicLass July 17, 2014 - 3:00 pm

She is lovely… I would frame her 🙂 When you want to start hand quilting you have to go to Anna Maria Horner's video on it… that is how I learned and it is great!

Grace and Peace Quilting July 17, 2014 - 3:05 pm

Cute!!! How about a mini quilt?!

Pierro July 17, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Rosemary B here:
Well, you did it. You got bitten and now look at what you have done! haha
Okay, my mom has embroidered and other stitched sort of projects…
Now I will fast forward. She is 91, so is dad, my sister and I are slaving over here cleaning up their stuff. Mom's pillows are beat up badly, So, if you make a pillow, put it someplace no one will lean on it or have it next to them…. they won't last.
Mom's stitchery she has framed is in stellar condition, some of it 45 years old.
Same with table cloths, they don't last 🙁
This little girl is adorable. I love the hair, so cute absolutely cute. Frame her in a perky girly frame, and with glass, there is something you can put between the glass and the stitching so she does not get her stitches smished.
Also, sign it, with a year
Just advice. My mom made this effort and now that she had the stroke and her brain got jumbled, it is good for her to see all of the things she has done and with her signature and date, she knows she made it. There are things she made that are not dated, and she is not certain she made them.
God works in mysterious ways. Thank God for your new neighbor friend

Sarah July 17, 2014 - 4:23 pm

Super cute! I've been thinking about doing some embroidery myself.

Bobbi D. July 17, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Very cute. I love it. I love to embroider too, but I have neglected it lately. Boo on me, lol

Marcie's Quilting Therapy July 17, 2014 - 5:20 pm

The handwork bug will do you well Nicole! You'll love the peace of mind while stitching and the pride in the accomplishment! I think my love of embroidery is part of the reason I love binding a quilt! Hope you enjoy the journey!!

Katy Cameron July 17, 2014 - 8:10 pm

Glad you finally got over that initial stumbling block, your wee girl is going to look so cute!

Cherie July 17, 2014 - 8:52 pm

Soooo Cute!! I have my hoop hanging on my wall which I love seeing everyday. It's such a fun thing when you get into it. I'll be watching out for progress updates!

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge July 17, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Way to go for trying something that puts you outside your comfort zone. And extra congrats for giving it a second chance after some disappointment. I've just made my first foray into embroidery because of my Pile o Fabric Skill Builder BOM. Last month's block featured hand embroidery… I was more than a little nervous. But it was lots of fun. I can see myself trying some more… but I'll need to find just the right pattern first!

Donna July 18, 2014 - 1:53 am

You're a natural, Nicole! The little girl is adorable. Rather serendipitous about the neighbor being an embroidery expert. I love when that happens!

Lisa D. July 18, 2014 - 8:54 pm

You most definitely know what you're doing! Your little girl looks perfect so far!

Becky July 19, 2014 - 2:31 am

So cool!! I really am drawn to learn embroidery. I picked up some supplies last year and gave it a try. It didn't work out so well. I was trying the blanket stitch and it looked terrible. Then, I picked it all up again last month and did a bit better. I love what you are working on. I will have to give it another go. I've had the same trial and error with knitting. I've been trying it for a few years but still have not gotten the knack. One new thing I tried recently and love is foundation paper piecing. I really like it and have made several things over the last few weeks.

Denise Russell July 22, 2014 - 8:31 pm

Looking awesome! I am positive you will be hooked, like I am.

Roxanne August 28, 2014 - 11:05 am

Oooo, your embroidery looks so good! I haven't done any for several years but it is catching my eye everywhere lately. Especially love it as embellishment to applique. Applique is the thing that intimidates me; want to try it, took a class, bought some patterns, watched some online videos. Still intimidated but getting there little by little.

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