Getting Started with Embroidery- Stretching Fabric and Threading a Needle
I fell in love with embroidery as a little girl
My obsession with embroidery began in the early nineties. At that time, growing up in rural Minnesota my interests included American Girl Dolls, rollerblading, and 4H. While I was not interested in the more agricultural aspects of 4H (hello brown thumb!) I was immediately drawn to the needlecraft projects done in the group. As a 7 year old, I embroidered my first piece- a little cross stitch doll that I entered into our county fair. As fate would have it, I won a blue ribbon for my age group!
That positive reinforcement drove me forward. Throughout my life I've returned to embroidery as a favorite art form. I studied painting in college and often incorporated the craft into my projects. Over the last year, I've completed a stitch a day. The daily act of stitching has been a great comfort and joy. I have grown to truly love embroidery.
Embroidery is an easy craft to get into! All you need are a few inexpensive supplies and some foundational skills.
In this article we will go over:
- how to stretch fabric on a hoop
- how to split embroidery floss
- how to thread your needle
- how to knot your thread
Gather your materials!
- Embroidery hoop
- Embroidery floss
- Woven fabric (not stretchy!)
- Embroidery needles
- Water erasable marker
- Needle threader (optional)
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for clicking on our recommendations!
Shop Embroidery Supplies
Step 1: Stretch your fabric
Step 2: Split your thread
Embroidery floss is made of 6 strands of cotton fiber. You have the choice to use all 6 strands at once resulting in a very thick stitched line, or just one thread for a delicate look. For most stitches I use 3 strands of embroidery floss.
Step 3: Thread your needle
Threading a needle can be challenging! My technique is a little different than the way most people are taught to thread, but it is easy and effective!
Step 4: Tie a stop knot
Finally! An easy knot for hand sewing! This knot is big enough so it will not pull through the fabric while stitching.
Snip your tails!
Each time you tie a knot, it's good practice to snip your tails to about 1/2 inch. Having a short tail prevents tangles on the back of your work.
You're now ready to learn some stitches! I hope you enjoy embroidery as much as I do!
By Jennie Lennick
Designer, entrepreneur, and lover of crafts! Boss Lady at Jenny Lemons in San Francisco