Resources & Supplies


Customize Your Embroidery


Lesson Info

Resources & Supplies

Hi and welcome to customizing your embroidery here. Creative live! I'm fine artist and jewelry designer lisa anderson schafer you might know me from my modern needlework jewelry designs for my brand selma rose or perhaps you've taken one of my needlework classes in san francisco bay area or on the west coast. I'm delighted you're joining us today for a customized course on learning embroidery. The embroidery is one of the wonderful needle works that you can add to your toolbox as a crafter if you're already skilled at it or if you're just learning it's also a wonderful hand me down that you can talk to about your family and make wonderful traditions as we have in mind. I first learned in burglary from my grandmother, rose marie, who taught me when I was probably around ten, and she would bang on the table with a knitting needle as I was stitching along and following her, which was a totally stressful way toe learn we're not going to be doing that today, a promise, but I was a fast lear...

ner and it's one of the reasons why I love teaching it today you will find tremendous value in this chorus long after you've watched it. Your first viewing as one of the best ways to master and embellish your burglary skills is to pause and rewind and follow along so you really get the scent, and a deep understanding of each stitch is we work along together after this core issue will have created a beautiful while hanging that you can display in your home and share with your family, so let's get started, okay, so we're going to be creating a beautiful project based on embroidery, though here is the project, this is I'm calling it a monogrammed while hanging. You can change it by just doing an initial or three letters will talk about that a little bit more, but I'm going to walk over here to show it to you a live and in person this's what we're going to be working on today, this is my sample. If you took the intro to embroidery class, you'll recognize the satin stitch and the french, not here. I'm going to be briefly talking about these stitches a little bit and suggesting some other stitches you can use that will work really well on home to core besides these two. So when talking about resource is, I want to start with some books were really lucky to have chronicle send over some beautiful books right here in san francisco, and when working on any type of more advanced project and embroidery or crossed it, you're going to want to think about a couple different things pattern is certainly one so any time I'm looking for a pattern inspiration I immediately grabbed two books I have both of these pretty patterns and print and pattern geometric and this's a great resource for both color inspiration and pattern inspiration you can see there's just beautiful combinations of both in here this one is a lot a little bit last year metric but also has some really beautiful patterns and different things if you're looking for ideas for your own work for inspiration for your own work and then these air to that will really come in handy in your library this is one thousand fonts we're gonna be talking about using font a little bit today hand written font hand lettered font font that is inspired by a particular alphabet things like that but if you are looking for inspiration for a font for initials or a monogram, chances are you're going to find something pretty great in here thes they're all beautiful so this is a book I have on my bookshelf that I referenced quite often and then this is a book about embroidery done in wool which is different than what we're doing. I primarily use cotton and we're going to be using khan today, but the thing I like about this book is that it really gives you a lot of different looks that you can incorporate into a project like what we're doing today here's and different projects in here but these might be a little bit different than some of the things that you have typically seen just is a great book I'm going to show you two more over here three more that are on my table but I like a lot this is a great resource for finding color palettes I love this little pantone but they make all sorts of great products but this is fantastic if you want to quickly look for a color palette things like that if you feel like oh, I know I want to use some purples, but I'm looking for some other colors to combine that would be interesting there's all these different cards in here where you can choose different color palettes if you feel like you're stuck or you're wanting to match something that's already in your home and then these air two books that I would pretty much carry with me everywhere if I could the merchant and mill selling book this is a great resource to have on your shelf a lot of times with embroidery specifically there's finishing work to be done we're not going to need to do too much finishing today, but if you need tips on finishing a ham or hand sewing, this is a really great resource book and it's really beautiful teo what's kind of walk you through the steps of different kinds of scenes and things like that could be really helpful and then this is known as the stitch encyclopedia of embroidery there's a whole series of stitch encyclopedia books in there, one meeting, one on crush a but this covers a lot of stitches, some cross stitch as well, but it gives you sort of an illustrated guide. It's I wouldn't recommend just learning from this book. This is a great guide to me if I feel like there's a stitch, I can't quite remember how to get so it's a really great reference and the resource section for this class, you'll have a pdf you can download that has direct links to the books and all of the other materials that I'll get into as we get started. Okay, so when we're talking about embroidery, first, we need needles. You're not going to get too far with embroidery if you're not using needles, so when it comes to supplies, most needles will come in a little card like this, it will say, in murdering needles, there will be different numbers based upon the length and size of the eye of the needle it's up to you. What you want to use it oftentimes depends on the type of fabric you're using, so if you're using something delicate like silk, you're gonna want to force yourself to use a needle with a smaller eye if you're using something like what we're going to be using, which is a cotton linen blend and I'll talk a little bit more about why later but you could use a needle with a larger I something like denim, which you I think would be very sturdy so you could do something with a larger I oftentimes if it's to study of a fabric, there will be a hole that will be left from a needle with a larger eye so you always want a sort of test, especially if you're doing something for a gift or something that you want to remain an heirloom in your family always just test a little section of the fabric with the needle that you're using beforehand no when it comes to thread, one of the best things about in verdery, I think is that you can easily change things up just by switching the fabric that you're using on the threat that you're using. So when it comes to the fabric, you can pretty much use anything which is exciting but can also be a little bit overwhelming. I really like to use a cotton linen blend that's what we used in the intro to in verdery course and we're also going to be using today linen is super super soft it's really beautiful but it's delicate in the sense that it will leave holes and often times it's not completely uniform and it's we've so I find that using a cotton linen blend, you can really get it tight across the hoop. You don't have to worry about it so much, it has a little bit more durability than just pure linen it comes in lots of different colors, too, so you can get it in a natural linen color like this or black, red, all different colors and there's a direct link in the resource is to where you can find fabric exactly like this. You can also use denim like I mentioned before silk for a project like this. Any time you're doing initials that you want to actually really look like letters or a monogram, you want to use a more sturdy fabric, especially since you might be at times following the weave, so we'll talk about that a little bit when we stretch it on the who but oftentimes to create a straight line, you'll be gently kind of following the weave of the fabric can be helpful, so the sturdy or the fabric the better when it comes to that thread besides fabric is another way you can change up your design. There are so many different, like fancy threads that you can use lots of different materials, this one is wool, this almost looks like a needle point thread it's worsted wool, and this will give a little bit different. Of a look on your fabric it will kind of look fuzzy and almost like a sweater if that's what you want you want to go for wool this's a thinner version of that really beautiful too this is a variegated cotton this is one hundred percent cotton but this is variegated is a great threat to use if you want to do something that's the same stitch over and over again but you wanted to have a different look variegated will have different colors coming through different places of the stitch. This is another variegated. This is hand dyed which is wonderful, really beautiful. All of these are great the variegated and and the hand dyed versions air great except you want to make sure if this is what you want to do, that you purchase enough of it to follow through with your product or your project. Because most of my work is product based and it's for jewelry for a custom fine art piece, I focus really hard on making sure that I either have enough of the dialogue if it's from a dialogue or I'm purchasing a thread that is consistently created in the same exact color so one of the ways you can make sure that you do that is by number and I'll talk about that when we get to the threat or using today but this is a silk blend and there's also soy and cotton blend this is a bamboo, bland, there's like silicon ray on and cotton and silk and all different kinds of blends it's up to you what you want to use, I recommend if you're super interested to try buying a couple different and make a sampler and see what effect you like for the project because they all look different. So those air of the fancy ones I like to use this is my big ball of thread, but what we're going to be using today, when and what I generally is for my projects and my product is dnc cotton embroidery, thread it's one hundred percent cotton. The reason why use it is because after doing this work for years and years, if I have a design that's in circulation for a couple of years and I want to keep repeating it, I need to make sure that the collar will be exactly the same. So if I get a very large order of it, it's the same off over a mass quantity, so one of the ways to do that is dmc puts both bar codes and numbers on their flaws, so all you have to do when you're starting a project I completely recommend this is cut a small piece of your thread. Tapit glue it two a little index card, right? The project that you're doing on it, right, the brand of the thread and then the number or the dialogue? If you're buying a hand, I'd thread, usually they'll be a card on it that says the dialogue or the number, but keep track of all that stuff because, like my studio has natural light, and if I bring a project in without the thread like let's say I brought a sampler with me to the store and didn't have the number the color might look different under different lining, and I can't match it as well with my eye under artificial light as I would outside. So instead of pretending that you're stealing a whole thing of thread from the store and going outside, I'm looking at it if you just have the number you'll know right away if it's an exact match and you can also call the store, see if they have it or order online, it makes it a lot easier going down the line, and when it comes to thread, one of the things you want to consider any time you're doing a project like we're doing today is the number of strands that you used. So for the sample, I used all six strands of threat that's what I'm going to recommend that all of us do today for both the letters and any of the decoration when you're working with home to core, I'll walk back over here to show you what I'm talking about any time you're doing something that's going to be hung in your home or in a friend's home there's a couple of different things you want to keep in mind size and scale are really, really important, so when I was creating this project, I was constantly stepping away to see when I came up with the alphabet of letters that is with the resource is and all the guides for this class that they were just the right size, so they were big enough to see from a certain distance, and they were going to fit well in an eight by eight inch area, so this finished pieces eight by eight inch. This is the piece from the customized cross stitch class that's about eight by ten give her less. But when I asked a group of my friends who worked for major home decor brands, they told me that the average size that people look for to purchase in their homes, to be combined in a gallery or to be displayed alone was eight by ten that seems to be just large enough, but not too big to overwhelm a space, so the sizes for these projects were specifically chosen with that in mind. Any time you're working on a piece from far away that's to be seen on a law you want to consider contrast so you can see with this example dark fabric like fred light fabric, dark food and that doesn't mean that you can't get involved in some detail. There is some lighter threat in there that will bring interest as you come closer, but you want to make sure anything like a pattern or letters or a name is enough of a contrast that you can see it from really far away. If you're doing a piece that specifically for a hallway where you don't have much distance than I figure, you could use a light fabric and a lighter threat, but those are the kinds of decisions you want to keep in mind and sometimes looking at books and resource is patterns and things like that can help you understand what color stands out against another one, but also testing it out is a great thing to do before you commit because you can be a lot of stitching going to be like all I just spent hours doing this, and now I can't really see it, so try not to do that and that's one of the reasons why we're going to go with six strands today, but if you're not familiar with how to separate the thread, if you did want to do a partial design with six straight with fewer than six strands, you can kind of see how the threat is made and we'll talk a little bit more about separating it when we get ready for the project. Then of course you want scissors hopefully that's self evident, but maybe not make sure you have a good pair of scissors with the sharp point that's always hopeful when you're doing embroidery, so those are the basic supplies and then I'm going to run you through some of the more specialized surprise supplies we're going to be using today and then we'll get started. So like I had mentioned, the fabric that we're using today is a cotton linen blend again there's a direct link to this exact fabric in your resource guide there's also a pdf and some downloads of some of the other things we're going to be using today. Now this is cut about ten and a half inches or eleven inches by eleven inches. This square is cut and it's to be wrapped over eight inch stretchers, which I'll talk about in a second. But whenever you're cutting a piece to go over canvas stretchers you want to give yourself about, you know, a couple couple inches leeway because you're going to be wrapping it around so the sizes that we're doing is eight by eight and this's cut about eleven by eleven so three inches two and a half is about the minimum you would want so that you can wrap it and stretch it. So this is the fabric, and then the next piece that's going to be coming into play is an embroidery who most of you are probably familiar with these, especially if you took the intro to embroidery class but an embroidery hoop is basically to pieces one solid hoop on the inside and then another hoop on the outside that has hardware in a screw on top for this class for using a six and shoop, they come in all different sizes. We for the intro class. We used a foreign, too. I like the foreign shoot for samplers. The six and shoop was used so that we make sure that our design we'll fit and will be able to center it within the eight inch by eight inch canvas that we're creating hoops come in. Like I said, all different sizes. What tends to happen is the larger the hoop. Once you get to about ten inches and larger, you can go up to like almost two feet. But once you get from ten inches and larger, they start to be called quilting hoops because people actually use them to hand stitched onto quilt so the what is going to be wider? It's a little bit more durable, and instead of having metal up here, they usually have two blocks of wood and then a much larger screw. So if you're looking for an embroidery hoop, but you want something that's like fourteen inches and you can't find it, start searching for quilting hoop, and you'll probably have some luck. The other supplies I want to introduce you to are those of you who are painters, you'll recognize these these are canvas stretchers, and I'll show you how they fit together later, but essentially there's ends like this. They slide in, you make four right angles and you've got this beautiful frame that you can stretch over these air eight inch you'll need four of these and again there's a direct link in the resource guide to where you can find those if they don't have them at your local art store, eight inches is about one of the smallest size is you confined that's readily available? Well, he wouldn't have to have custom made so your local art store may or may not have eight inch size. If not, they can probably ordered for you, or you can use the direct link in the resource guide. Then these air superfund theme staple gun this is mine I just have the typical stanley staple gun you can get the hardware store there's lots of different companies that make them there's some that air bigger and more heavy duty than this. I find that for my purposes, which is usually stretching fabric or canvas, this one works great and I like metal plastic ones or find too, but this is one of my favorites. This is something to you can borrow, you don't need to have your own if you know someone that has one or you have one that's in your wood shop or something like that if you have a witch up, I do, but you tell but you can always borrow one of these they're pretty they're pretty sturdy, so hopefully it's not something you borrow and then break if you do break medal, then you're talented in many other ways that we don't know about when of the supplies that I'm super excited to introduce you to is something called several paper lots of people have never heard of this it's, like the greatest, are cheap ever in the history of being a big cheater and an artist ever in the world this is the greatest stuff it comes in a bunch of different colors, it comes in a role sort of like aluminum foil or saran wrap and it can be a little bit expensive it can run anywhere from like nine dollars to twelve dollars a roll, depending upon where you find it, but you can reuse it, and a role is much more than this. This was cut specifically for the amount needed today, but a role is a lot more than this, and you can use it over and over again essentially what it is like carbon paper, multiple carbon paper. It comes in a bunch of colors. I chose gray for today, which is good on fab, but it also comes in colors like I think red, yellow, blue and different colors are our best for different materials. It'll it will say in the product description, but I think yellow or blue is best for metal. One is good for ceramics, things like that, and I don't know I'm old school art school, where I learned to write my own typography and do the ridiculous, like tracing on the window with the tracing paper and then turning around and rubbing it with, you know, the b pencil that's soft enough to get the thing, so I'm going to grow up doing that, so I was doing that forever and then um I had a grumpy old our teacher was like, you know about several paper no so basically what's the real paper enables you to do is instead of having to do that flip where you trace it and then flip it over put it down and just right and it comes out on the fabric so there's no flipping it for a mirror image and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about is I walk you through the project, but if this doesn't excite you, I don't know what to say so I would say like along with some of the books, this is such a cool thing to have in your studio where your craft room, your house, whatever because I'm using it for all different kinds of things it's one of those things to that if you do a lot of your work digitally and you're just looking for a quick way to test something out and you don't want to scan and run it through a program used this thrill paper and with serial paper, you're going to need a nice pencil number two pencil h b or b is good to use with several paper you'll see if it's too hard of a pencil like a two h orrin h it will tear the paper a little bit and you don't want that because it does cost a little bit of money so that covers is the basics of the supplies. I feel like we can get started.

Class Description

Branch out from the stale embroidery kits you find in the big box stores and learn how to make your very own designs in Customize Your Embroidery with Lisa Shaffer.

Lisa has been creating her own modern needlework for the past 15 years and in this class she’ll teach you how to create your own! You’ll learn how to:

  • Use embroidery apps to choose the right stitches
  • Transfer a font into embroidery
  • Create your own easy-to-follow embroidery patterns
Lisa will teach you everything you need to know to begin a custom embroidery project and you’ll get tips on adding customizations to all of your needlework.

Express your own unique style in your next needlework design – join Lisa Shaffer for Customize Your Embroidery