Resources & Supplies


Introduction to Embroidery


Lesson Info

Resources & Supplies

Hi. And welcome to introduction to embroidery here. Creative live. I'm fine artist and modern fiber. Whoa! Sorry. Um, yeah, I need to start over. Sorry I was already into, like, the next section in my brain. So sorry. Okay. Hi. And welcome to introduction to embroidery here. A creative life. I'm fine artist and jewelry designer, at least anderson schaefer. You might know me from my modern fiber work jewelry designs for my brand selma rose. Or maybe you've taken one of my needlework classes here in the bay area or on the west coast. I'm really excited. You're joining us today for this class about embroidery. Needlework is a wonderful craft to have in your crafters toolbox if you're just starting out or you're already skilled and it's also a time honored art form to start really beautiful traditions in your family. As it did in mind, I learned in burglary from my grandmother rose marie when I was about ten and I immediately fell in love with the slow nature and deliberate process that it...

takes to do embroidery. She had a very interesting way of teaching me which was to pound on the table with a knitting needle like a metre known as I followed her with the stitches. Which was pretty stressful. I'm not going to do that today, but it did make for a quick learner. You will have tremendous value from this class even after its first viewing as one of the best ways to learn embroidery and to really develop a deep mastery of the skill will be to pause and go back and review the stitches together as you begin to work on your own projects at home. By the end of this course, you will have learned seven different stitches to start on your own projects let's get started, so welcome to intro to embroidery. One of my favorite things about needlework in general and certainly about embroidery is the fact that you can change it up in so many different ways just by changing the color thread that you're working with, changing the type of threat that you're working with, or simply the type the fabric that you're working on. If you took the entered a cross stitch class, you'll recognize that we used a particular type of fabric for that class. We're going to be using a particular type of fabric for this class, but one of the differences about embroidery is that you can use any type of fabric you want so denham linen, cotton, silk, all different kinds of fabrics, the possibilities air pretty limitless. So to get started, I'm going to go through some materials with you that are definitely basics and also some of the things that I like to use when I'm doing my own embroidery, you will have a resource guide that you can download along with the different things that come with this class. There will be direct links in that guide to take you to all the supplies that I'm talking about today the book's needles thread all of that, we'll be places you can shop online and also should help you to find places nearby stores nearby that might be nearing that you can shop in person. So first I want to go over some basic resource is we were lucky enough that chronicle books gave us these really gorgeous, gorgeous books to share with you today. This is really the greatest book that I found about embroidery chronicle books has a collection of books called stitch encyclopedia tze there's one about knitting and crash a I think is, well, this book is a great resource toe have I still use it? If I'm working on a stitch and I'm wondering if there's another way, I can vary it or if I just need a quick re tall or reminder about a stitch, but you can see it has beautiful illustrations of each stitch, and it gives you just a little bit of text so as to not be super confusing about how the stitch might be done. I wouldn't suggest just learning this way. I think it's really best to watch someone in person or on film, but this would be a great reminder to you if you want something just to look at quickly it's also really thin, we can travel with it if you're traveling with the project. This is another book that I recommend you have in your library sometimes in burglary involves hand finishing. If you're working, if you're embroidering a shirt or a linen or you're adding to an heirloom that you might have in your family, you might want to do some hand finishing you might need to learn about borders or and selling, ahem, different things like that. This is a really great basic resource, almost like a reference section for you, for your selling, rumor, your craft room, just about different fastenings. If you're working on a garment that you might have to put a new fastening on something like that, this is a really great book, it also has some beautiful projects in the back like bags and things like that are really fun gifts to make, so definitely the's two books were winners, I love them so outside of books the first supply I want to talk about is of course needles you can so are doing verdery without a needle you could try but it's gonna be really hard uh you're gonna want embroidery needles they come in packets just like this there's different sizes you can choose whatever size you want usually the size has to do a little bit with the length or the size of the needle it's going to depend on the fabric you use how large you want the needle to be if you're using something like linen pure linen you're going to want to use a needle with a smaller whole even if it drives your eyes crazy because linen is a little bit more delicate this is pure linen this is an example of pure linen right here and you can see it's super soft and it has a more open weave here where the needle work is we're going to be using a linen cotton blend and I'll talk a little bit about that later is too exactly why but certainly if you're using pure lynn and you want to use a kneel with a smaller hole the more rugged your fabric you can use a little bit of a larger hole but then there's also a tipping point if you're using something like denim that really holds its shape if you use a needle with a very large hole you could end up with ah hole left in your denim so it's kind of a trial and error between what works for your eye in your hand and what's appropriate for the fabric if you have questions about a fabric and needle size it's always really good idea to ask where you're buying the fabric most fabric stores have someone there that can give you some good advice as to what an appropriate size needle would be for that if you have any questions then when it comes to thread there's about a million different options that's one of the things I love about embroidery you can really use any number of different kinds of threads I'm going to go through some of them are interesting kinds or artistic kinds and then I'll talk about what we're going to be using today and and why I make that choice in my own work but there's everything from wool to cotton to silk to sell cotton blends to silk wool blends all different kinds of threats to use this is uh well and this almost looks like needle point throughout if any of you are familiar with needle point this sort of feels like that needle point threat is a lot thicker but this has that will feel to it and this will also give you a little bit of a fuzzy look on your embroidery if that's something that you want a wolf thread will do that this is a blend and you can see that this has a little bit of that because to it this is a silk blend and it's super silky it has a little bit of a sheet, a sheen to it this is also was still blend these air I believe hand died it has a dialogue number on it, but one of the things I want o guess excite you about but also cautioned him about about anything hand died is that the dialogue it's our limited and if there is another die latter you're working on a project and some people will work on embroidery or needlework projects for years, so if you're working on something and you do choose a hand died thread, you want to make sure you buy a lot of it at the time kind of gauge exactly how much space you're going to be taking up with that thread by a good portion of it especially if it's really important to you that it be an exact match because there could be some variation between dialogues especially if it's han died. You can buy beautiful variegated thread like this, which gives a really interesting effect because it will show up different colors of different places so that's a great way to change up your embroidery if you're using the same stitch somewhere you can actually get a lot of variation by using a variegated thread threat also comes in part sawyer bamboo I believe this one is part bamboo this one is also part silk and then here's a hand I'd variegated cotton you can see there's lots of variations on this one so something like this is going to give you a very different look even in the same stitches you continue along so there's some of the more kind of creative things you can do with thread for our purposes today get my little pile over here we're going to be using dmc one hundred percent cotton thread this is the thread that I use for all of all of my product based work my jewelry anything that I might be doing custom work wise for someone that is home to core or anything like that a zodiac constellations something like that because I want to make sure I can go back and get the same exact color especially if I have a design that is relevant for about a year or two I want to make sure that I can keep revisiting the same color and dmc is really great about that every threat has a little code on it has a bar code but it also has a number and I have yet to find even after a couple of years have passed that there's variation in the color in terms of the number so one thing that I suggest doing as if you're working on a longer term project whatever thread you use, take a little snippet of it even if you just tape it to an index card or something with the project that you're working on have physical sample of the thread right down the company that makes the thread and the dialogue number you can see even on these more specialized threads, there is a color and a dialogue so that's important to see and no record that information record the information on the dmc thread just so that you have it. It's a good idea what I found is even if I have a physical sample of the thread because my studio has natural lighting and most stores have fluorescent lighting when I bring the physical sample in if it's something I'm working on, if I bring in like a hoop or something and I'm looking at it on the hoop and the thread, the color is going to look a little bit different under the lighting. So it's, always good to have the code so that you know exactly what you're looking for. That way, you can also order online or call in to a store to make sure they have it for you. So there's thread so anyone have any questions about thread? Okay, I'll talk a little bit more about specifically how will use the thread. When we get working on the project but one of the things about embroidery thread specifically the gmc thread is that it comes in a number of strands I'll show you here and there's six individual strands that make up a thread so you can kind of see how it separates here and it's going to depend on many things how many threads you use if you took the intro to cross fish course you'll know that we used three strands which I think is the appropriate number for cross stitch so the stitch doesn't get too congested we're going to be using a little bit of a different number today and I will be using the full six strand because with the instruction of the overhead camera it's a lot easier to see but we'll talk about that in a little bit in terms of fabric I touched on that briefly before but one of the great things about embroidery is you can use whatever fabric you want for our purposes I chose a cotton linen I don't really like to use pure lynne and I find that that's what this is and it looks really beautiful but it's super delicate and for my purposes when I'm creating hoops and that I'm traveling with them for classes or I am creating product I like to have a tighter weave of the fabric and that's essentially what a cotton linen blend does you can kind of see here on the hoop the difference it's just a more closed we've it's a little bit more durable and it has a little bit more stretched to it it bounces back a lot easier so for your own projects I would recommend a cotton linen blend again that's what we're using today there's a direct link in the resource is to be exact the exact fabric we're using here today on conlan and blends now come in a million of her fabrics they come in something that like this that's close to a natural end in color they come in all different colors black, red, blue, even sort of a sham berry looking fabric so you should be able to find a color you want in that outside of cotton linen fabric one of the other really fun things to embroider on his denham I love and bordering on denim depending upon the denim it can be a little bit more difficult and if you are doing hoop and burglary on denim or a project that you want to frame it you don't want a very you don't want like gene denim you don't want to see perfect on them and they can help you at a fabric store find a lighter weight dunham for your project but silk any silica as you know difficult to embroider on you have to be careful he's a very thin thread but you can really embroider on absolutely anything so then lastly, of course is the hoop this is kind of important if you're doing embroidery I know with cross stitch I've talked a little bit about you can use a hoop you cannot use a hoop depending upon the sides of the fabric with embroidery I think it's important to use a hoop, at least I like using who even if I'm working bit by bit on something that's, a border on a piece of clothing or a tablecloth or I'm working on something that's, an heirloom of mine fixing it or adding something to it. I like to use a group just because it really does keep the fabric nice and stiff and with embroidery there's such a free hand aspect to it that we'll all be doing the same stitch, but your feather stitch is going to look different from yours different here is different from mine just because we all have a different hand on dh size of hand and needles, so there is already very customized look to it and for that reason I think you really want to have a uniform strength to the fabric because if everything's too abstract and two customers got veer off in directions, that might be different from your intent so using hoop within border is a really good way to put a solid foundation under something that can have a lot of exciting abstract possibilities so I'd say always use a hoop groups come in about a million different sizes typically hoops for embroidery go up to about nine inches or so we're using foreign troops the foreign troops or what's linked to your supplies as well I love the size for samplers and for learning because you can get a bunch of different stitches on a hoop and travel with it keep it with your product projects different things like that so the's air great for your own personal samplers if you're going to do a sampler for someone else you might want to the larger size but I tend to like the foreign jj and then if you want to work larger than nine inches those air typically known as quilt hoops I use them for embroidery and cross stitch as well but for whatever reason that the wood has to be thicker and the clam pass to be bigger and people typically use the larger ones for quilting so if you get stuck and you feel like you're looking for one that's you know they come they come as biggest I think almost two feet so if you're looking for a really I I often use in that large if you're looking for one that's really big you can't find it under embroidery who try looking for quote who so hoops typically have two parts the finished interior which is one solid part on the exterior which has a screw and usually some sort of hardware. The larger ones you'll see usually have two wooden blocks here. Instead of the metal hardware they're pretty simple to put together. They're easy to travel with and they, you know, fit on top of each other like that. Does anyone have any questions about our hopes? Are are they different hoops for the needle work for the embroidery than there is for the cross stitch know and are there? Does that include, um little point? All the hoops are the same for any fabric? Yeah, hoops are generally the same for any fabric, the way they do very a little bit it's. Some hoops have rounded edges, which are easier for some people for using a thicker fabric. I'm not exactly sure how well a hoop would work with needle point fabric because it's so stiff and so thick, I think that's a lot of times why needle work is done on a, um bars usually there's bars that pullout or my grandmother is alma used to do needle point on a like a painter's easel with the bars on it, so everything was stretched on bars, I would imagine, because the needle point fabric is so thick and fibrous that you could actually, um, compromise the fabric itself if it's put in a hope because it is so stiff but hoops actually come in different shapes to you can get square hoops. They're a little more expensive, but they look pretty cool. I didn't know that. Yeah, they're hard to find, but they're out there. Yeah, and there you can get plastic oops there. In a lot of different materials. I just like the wood. I like the way it looks like the way it feels.

Class Description

Embroidery is a truly lovely way to customize a craft project and a super-rewarding skill to have. Get your start in this needlework tradition in Introduction to Embroidery with Lisa Shaffer.

Lisa teaches needlework to artists across the country and in this class, she’ll help you get your start in the classic art of embroidery. You’ll learn:

  • A brief the history of hand embroidery
  • How to choose your needles, thread, fabric, and hoops
  • The right way to start a hoop sampler
  • A variety of essential stitches
Lisa will help you master the basic straight and back stitches, satin stitch, French knot, lazy daisy, chain stitch, feather stitch, and blanket stitch.

Introduction to Embroidery with Lisa Shaffer will give you the skills you need to start creating your very own needlework designs.