Friday, October 24, 2008

How to Get Started on Stitching

When I showed you all my first stitchery on Wednesday, I had a couple of people ask questions (this is for you Donna and Beth and anyone else that has confidence in my instructions) about how to get the patterns on the material and where to get patterns, etc.. Well I'm very far from being any kind of expert, but I can tell you exactly what I did to get started (in very simple terms) lol!

First and foremost, for what I call my primitive stitchery information for dummies (which is what I needed), just click here. Scroll down just a bit and you'll see articles for every step of stitching. And very helpful is a link there that shows videos of how to do stitches. I didn't have the slightest idea before. The stitchery I did contained 3 stitches...the backstitch (very common), the french knot, and the satin stitch. It is very simply explained and if you're like me, you can just hit play as many times as it takes until you think you've got it!

So first of all, you need to get you a pattern. If you're comfortable just drawing something on muslin or tracing something from a coloring book, you can do that. I ordered mine from Primitive Stitches (which is the same site as the tips and techniques above). There is also a free one on the side bar to click on and receive when you make a purchase there. The following places were also suggested to me the other day as great places to find patterns: Chestnut Junction (suggested by Kimberly), Cedarberry Stitches (suggested by Julie) and then I also remember that Twigs and Sprigs offers patterns as well (free ones too, I believe).

Gather the supplies that you will need. You probably won't be able to purchase your floss/thread until your pattern is in hand because you won't know the colors unless you're making up your own pattern and picking your own colors. But in the meanwhile, you'll need muslin (I purchased a yard), warm and natural (also in the fabric department). My warm and natural was cut from off a bolt but I'm told you can also get it in a bag. This goes behind the muslin for a quilted type look. Get you an embroidery hoop, your needle, scissors, and either a pencil or a mark be gone pen (it has disappearing ink). I saw this at Walmart, but I just decided to use a pencil after talking with the clerk there and it worked fine. Choose your floss/thread colors when you have your pattern.

Next you'll need to get your pattern to your muslin. It tells you in the tips and tricks at Primitive Stitches (under click here above) different ways to do this. The best way is to have a light box (which I think can be purchased from places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels), or tape your pattern to a well lit sunny window and tape your muslin over the top and trace it. Now I didn't even do that, I had a very well lit room with a bright light overhead and just taped my pattern to the table and taped the muslin down directly over it and pressed with my hand and I could see the pattern just fine. I then traced it completely with a sharp pencil. My stitches completely covered the pencil marks, so no problem with that.

Next just make sure you're familiar with the stitches (watch the videos above that I mentioned) and your pattern will tell you what type of stitch to use on various parts and sometimes will tell you how many strands of floss to use. I used 3 strands for everything on mine. Then start stitching. Make sure your muslin is on top and your warm and natural is right behind it and you stitch through both of them, so you'll want to cut the pieces into manageable sizes but leave it big enough to fit into your hoop and to work with framing afterwards.

After my stitching was done, I tea stained it by soaking tea bags in cold water for awhile and then dabbed the teabags directly over the completed stitchery in places that I wanted until I got a look I liked. You can also use coffee or coffee with cinnamon and/or vanilla. That makes it smell really good. I've used that before on lampshades. The tips above will tell you how to stain your muslin before and you can do it that way too.

Then when you're all done you can just frame it directly to a frame size that fits or you can do like I'm doing mine and will show you tomorrow....I put homespun behind the stitching as a matted kind of look and I painted and distressed my frame. I'll show you a picture tomorrow as I'm waiting on my paint to dry on the frame. Some folks stitch their's onto a pillow (I don't have a sewing machine for the pillow), or you can stitch it onto a tea towel. Really there's so many things you can do with a stitchery!

So now if I can do it, come on and give it a try because I know you can too! Then you have to show it to me, okay? Good luck and have fun and let me know if I didn't make this clear as I'm typing this at almost 1:00 a.m. and scheduling it to post!

Happy Stitching!


Julie said...

One of my favorite things to do is to stitch. My soul is fed by my needle and thread!! Have a great day. julie

QuiltedSimple said...

Thanks so much for the instructions - I've thought it would be fun to try, but never knew how to get started. Guess I'll be going to JoAnn's today after all to get some stuff!

Sue said...

I can't believe this was your first stitchery! It looks so good...but so does EVERYTHING you do.

DiddleDaddleDesigns said...

I know how to stitch and I think you did a great job explaining. It was so nice that you took the time to do that.

carolyn at cranberry crossings: said...

I have done some stitching before, but have never tried to print on fabric, so all of your tips are just priceless. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the instructions, I am going shopping tomorrow for supplies. I can't wait to watch the video and re-read your instructions and see what I can stitch!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great instructions, I'm going to the craft store this weekend. Maybe I can have something done by Christmas

Gettysburg Homestead said...

Great tutorial. It is always hard to explain something in words on the computer. I am much better at it in person.

BTW I LOVE your bed. I have always wanted a pencil post bed.


basketsnprims said...

Tammy, thanks so much for the tutorial. I started stitching a couple of weeks ago & did by the seat of my pants, although years ago I was addicted to cross stitching. I also ran across quite a few helpful places on the internet, one of them being the same place that you referred to. I love her patterns & wish she did epatterns. Thanks again & have a joyful day. Pam

Melanie said...

Thank you so much for posting this really... I live in a really small town and there isn't much to do here so crafts at home is a big thing for me... I am crocheting right now and I know soon im going to want to start a new project... My kitchen and one bathroom is Americana so this will do great if I can find some... Again thanks and once I get to a Walmart with fabric then I will start on this and show you k.. Take care and God bless...

Rosemary said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to help us out!

Great job!

Michelle said...

I've been doing primitive stitchery for years, and I still do it very primitively...don't use a box, just trace at the table or window. I love it, and I'm glad you do too!! Very cute! I saw that pattern and thought about doing it too!

Trudy Honeycutt ~ Folk Artist said...

What a great tutorial, Tammy!! I love to stitch, and never make enough time to do enough of it!! Must go start a new project now!! :) Hugs, Trudy in Colorado

Anonymous said...

Thank-you Thank-you! Thank-you!
You are the best. This is on my list of things to do. I can't wait to give it a try. I'm off for a girls get away. My friend has a house on the river and we are all going to scrapbook for the weekend. I can't wait to come back and see the finished project. Thanks again.


Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

Great Tammy...BTW Jo Ann had DMC thread 4 for a 1.00 today!!!

the primitive country bug said...

This is a great tutorial, Tammy! I can't believe this is your first one. It was so thorough. I do love to make my own stitcheries too!
I'm playing catch up with my blogging friends as I've been in the hospital and busy getting ready for open house. Hugs~ Birgit

Colleen said...

I STILL love that snowman, Tammy! Thanks for all of the links and suggestions. Isn't stitching fun? And the possibilities are endless.

Have a great weekend, my friend!

Linda said...

I already knew how to stitch but you explained it better than I ever could have. Job well done!!

Cottage Rose said...

Stitching is one of mine favorite pass times. I love to sit in my wing back chair with fire blazing and just stitch. Your directions were very good. love your snowman tree. I can't wait to see how you are framing it.


country gal said...


I Have to do better on stiching then I do on making doll clothes! LOL! They always pop right off....pop, pop, pop! LOL! Love you!

Love, Joy =D

Karen said...

Tammy, excellent explination! I think anyone could understand what you were getting across.
You have done well.

Kath said...

Tammy-THANK YOU for all your help! and for this tutorial! You're the BEST!! :)

Have a great weekend!


Farmchick said...

Thanks for sharing that!! My Grandma taught me when I was younger but I have forgotten some things. I think I may try again when we are done harvesting here. Have a great weekend.


Tammy said...

Thank you for this tutoral, Tammy! I have never, ever cross stitched...but this is inspiring me! Especially since I really want to try to give a couple home made gifts this Christmas!

And thank you so much for the sweet comments on my last posts...

Yes, I really hope you can participate on the Home School Open House Tuesday, Tammy!! :)

And I was thinking the same thing- my girls would love to be able to have a play date with your daughter! If only we didn't live SO far away!
But if you ever make a trip to the NW, consider us a stopping place! :)

Julie said...

Well, Tammy, it really is beautiful! I just love primitive things.
And you are just so sweet to share all the links and instructions!

Trudy said...

Great tutorial, Thanks so much for posting it!

My daughter is going to start thanks to your blog!