Sunday, June 26, 2011

Embroidery troubles and a patriotic shirt

I'm taking an online embroidery class right now through the blog Wild Olive. The teacher made it clear that it's not really a class for beginners, but I signed up anyway. I figured anything I had trouble with was only a Google away. But while it is true that Google can show me the way to do something or explain an unfamiliar word to me, it can't actually make me proficient at things. Bummer that, huh? And so I'm struggling a bit. There were five projects to work on this week. I've started two and finished neither. The main thing holding me back? French knots.

What the devil is up with the French knot? Sometimes I do it just fine. But a majority of the time, despite doing everything seemingly right, my thread just slips right through the fabric. Knot my ass.

I think one of the problems is that I cut out some felt stars to embroider and since they're small, I just hold them. No hoop. And so when it comes time to keep the tension on the thread, I am one hand short. It's impossible to hold the star, pull the needle and keep the tension by pulling the thread. Maybe not impossible, but damn hard!

Or maybe it's the way or direction I'm wrapping the thread? Or something else entirely?

And so I don't have a finished embroidery project to show you. Not one from my class anyway.

I did whip up this shirt for Luke for Fourth of July. I'm not the most patriotic person in the world, but I had a red shirt, and blogland is brimming with U-S-A fever right now, and so I guess it rubbed off on me!

I put the little face right near where we live. I wish I'd attached the map with a running stitch, but I ran it through my sewing machine. Not as cute!

Hopefully I'll finish my other embroidery projects today, because they keep on coming! A new project every day! It's intense. I know I don't have to keep up, but I am also going on vacation soon and don't want to fall way, way behind. So if you have a French knot trick, please, do share!

Linked up at...


  1. I used the tutorial for french knots at Sublime Stitching. I got it in the first try. I would practice with an embroidery hoop first. It makes it a bit easier. Good luck! Hope u get it!

  2. I LOVE that shirt ... I've been trying to figure out what to do for my kids for the 4th ... I think that's it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I just found your blog and am your newest follower. This project is fabulous! Thanks for leaving me totally inspired.

  4. I always have trouble with French knots. It always takes me a couple of tries to get them right. I found a video on YouTube once that was helpful, but I can't find it now :( I think the key for me is to keep the thread as close to the fabric as possible when winding it around the needle, right where the needle pokes through.

    Oh, and cute shirt :)