Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Craft Your Calendar: Stitch January

Create your calendar this year by learning new crafting techniques every month and using my free printable templates.  For January, I decided to make a pretty wintery scene that captures the wonder of the frosty season.  In this tutorial, I wanted to showcase embroidering techniques for beginners in a simple, yet detailed way.  If you've never embroidered before, I encourage you to try it out—you may end up loving it!  However, if stitching isn't your thing, you can certainly do whatever kind of craft that suits your fancy!  You could color it in, decoupage it, paint it. . . the options are endless.  Once you're done, hang it on the wall for all to admire or put it in a binder as a reminder for school or work.

Step-by-step below, I'll demonstrate three basic embroidery stitches—the running stitch, the french knot, and the backstitch.  You can use these techniques however you want to on your template or use my examples as inspiration!

Materials:  Click and print the free January Template on thick paper, scissors, practice paper, needle, and embroidery floss in several complementary colors.
 
To prepare a needle and thread for embroidery stitches, cut a stretch of embroidery floss (no more than 18 inches so it doesn't tangle) and tie a knot close to one end.  Thread your needle onto the opposing side of the knot (use a wide-eyed needle to accommodate larger thread).

Note:  I recommend that before begin on your template, you practice and perfect these techniques on a recycled sheet of paper.

Here's how to do the running stitch. . .
This dashed stitch is a must-know because it is very common and easy to do.

1.  Poke your needle up through the paper and pull until you reach the knot.  Then, simulate an "under-over" pattern with the needle and thread, creating stitches about one centimeter long.  You'll notice that this stitch creates a line of dashes.

2.  On the backside of your paper, you should see your knot and the same dashed pattern.

In your template, you can apply the running stitch anywhere you want.  I used the same "under-over" concept of the running stitch to create a snowflake, instead of a line.

Here's how to do a french knot. . .
This embroidery technique is one of the prettiest stitches and is surprisingly easy to do.  Practice it a couple of times and you're sure to get it!  Note: this tutorial demonstrates the technique right-handed, but if you are left-handed, simply reverse the hand positions.

1.  Poke up through the spot you want to create a french knot.  In one hand, pull the thread coming though the paper taught and in the other hand, hold the needle.

2. Wrap the needle around the thread about two times.

3.  In a place close to where the thread came out, poke the needle back through the paper.

4.  Keep pulling the needle through until a little knot is created.

In all the places where there are dots on your template, you can apply the french knot.  If you don't want to do a french knot, another option would be to create little X's over the dots.

Here's how to do a backstitch . . .
The backstitch is a great technique to use if you want to create a solid line.

1.  Begin this stitch as you would for a running stitch: poke the needle up through the paper and go over, under, and come up again.  

2.  To fill in the gap created, go back to the last stitch made, and poke the needle through it about 1/4 way though.  Repeat this process by coming up to make a stitch again and then filling in the gap.

I used the backstitch for the solid lines in the template including the boots, tights, dress, and mittens of the girl.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and picked up a few embroidery techniques along the way.  I'm interested in knowing how you will decorate your template and how you're going to use it!  Remember to check back at the beginning of every month for a new template and craft that goes with it.  If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by,

Kelly

20 comments:

  1. Jenny's Craft Place (Google)January 3, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Congratulations, Kelly. What a lovely idea! I have to admit I feel reeeeeaaaallly old to see how someone so young has explained stitches in an easy to follow way :) I hope you don't mind if I mention you in one of my 'Jenny's Jaunts' to tell others about your blog? Best wishes, and happy crafting, Jenny

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    1. Thank you so much, Jenny—I'm glad you find my tutorial easy to understand! I would feel flattered if you mentioned this post on your blog too.

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  2. Hello Kelly,

    This is super adorable, thank you very much for sharing it! I will totally try this. :)

    Cheers,
    Dorothee

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    1. Thanks, Dorothee! I'm happy to hear that you will give this project a try.

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  3. I am honored to be the first to thank you so much with this tutorial, thank God sewing lovers never end! I am italian, 38 year old and I'd love my little girl would grow our same passion in sewing.

    please as soon as possible tell me if you're adding a follow my blog button via mail, I'll definitely will, I don't want to miss any next mmonth to come ^_^

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    1. I'm glad you appreciate my tutorial and thank you for the feedback about adding a "Follow by Email" button! I put one on the right sidebar, so now everyone can stay up-to-date on my blog.

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  4. Kelly, you're so clever! I quite like this - thank you for for the idea and the design.

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    1. Thank you, Kate—I'm thrilled that you like my idea for the calendar!

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  5. How wonderful! I can't wait to show this to my daughter. She's learning to stitch and this will be a great beginner projects. I was so excited about it that I just posted about it on my blog. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I'm so excited and grateful that you featured my tutorial on your blog! I appreciate all the kind words you had to say and for taking the time to write them. I hope your daughter will enjoy learning how to stitch too.

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  6. I love this... how creative! Thank you for sharing your talent!

    Monica Fullerton

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  7. Thank you Kelly !!! I love your models !!! Congratulations and happy new year !!!

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    1. Thank you and happy new year to you too!!

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  8. Wonderful!

    Thank you so much!

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  9. So cute...you are so talented. How old are you? I may do this or something like it.

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    1. Thank you—I'm 14 years old (going on 15 in a couple of months). I'm pleased that you're interested in this idea!

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  10. That's just a lovely idea! I guess, I'll use beads instead of the knots. So what about the other months?? Looking forward!

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    1. Thank you and I think that beads would work perfectly in replace of knots! They would give the calendar that extra wintery sparkle! I'm already planning to do something Valentines themed for my February month and I'm excited to get it out as soon as possible.

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