Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tea Towel Embroidery

I'm almost done with another go around of a Tea Towel Tour swap on Craftster. This one is going really quickly thanks to a terrific, prompt group of swappers. We did this first for Sublime Stitching, but unfortunately the last stitcher in that swap went missing and we assume she kept the towel after 12 stitchers worked on it over several months.

Here are the things I've stitched so far. I have one more to go and then I'll get my own finished towel back.

So here's the happy baking chick I did for myself. It's from an Aunt Martha's transfer package. She's serving up a double chocolate cake with raspberries for my 40th birthday which is in a few weeks.
Chick with Cake

This one is for fennifer. She'd done a pretty border around her towel and it was such a sweet color, I chose these romantic flowers and butterfly:
Romantic Flowers Embroidery

I already shared this dancing saucepot, but here it is again:
Dancing Saucepot Embroidery

Our last round ended early and I never got to stitch for my last person. These birds are for chelleyf. I did them as patches on twill so she can use them however she likes. First an Aunt Martha's Hooty Owl with creepy eyes:
Owl Embroidery
Next a Sublime Stitching bird in autumn colors:
Bird Embroidery

This morning I finished up this Sublime Stitching waitress for BlueSparkie. She's serving up strawberry lemonade but has trouble walking in those impossible shoes:
Sublime Waitress

I'm in such a crafting rush right now, I didn't even press these things before photographing them. It bugs me that the real life white backgrounds never come out with my bad camera...

More terrific embroidery HERE in our swap gallery. Click on the tab that says "Show Images Only" to skip all our chit chat and encouragements.


Nora said...

Wow your group is talented!

Rebel said...

Very pretty. I really like the flowers, but that chicky is adorable!

Anonymous said...

I'm new to hand embroidery, only have done redwork but love the many colors you've used. I don't feel real comfortable picking colors out myself at this stage. Can you tell me if there is a book or kits that will help me get started on using various colors that include the dmc used for each pattern?

IamSusie said...

Patricia- I know how you feel. Picking colors on your own can be intimidating with the wide range of colors that are available. I do know that cross stitch kits usually come with recommended floss colors.

I suggest that you find a pattern that you like and google it for images. You can search at Flickr for excellent photographs of completed embroideries. Try to copy the color choices of the images you like, but don't make it too complicated. I usually choose all my floss colors before I start a project. I hold the potential skeins together in my hand. I like there to be enough contrast that the color changes will show, but not so much contrast that the piece will look wild and neon. I like to use dark grey instead of black, but that is my preference.

If you are doing flesh tones, I heard a great suggestion over at my favorite site, Craftster: choose a flesh tone that is a shade darker than what you think you want the flesh to be and it will show up better.

These may or may not be your style, but the Pretty Maids designs at this etsy shop have color suggestions, but not the actual DMC color numbers.

Don't let color choices get in the way of embroidering! Dive in and I bet you will find that your color sense is better than you think!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I will try this out today. Patricia

Anonymous said...

Your towels are absolutely adorable! I want to do this and picked up patterns today. I have a question though. When you stitched the duck, the little hash-mark feathers, and on the top of the cake, is it just one stitch that you knotted off or do you keep running the same thread? My mom taught me a little embroidery when I was very young, I still remember alot, but she's no longer with us for me to ask so if you could answer that for me, I'd greatly appreciate it!

IamSusie said...

Anon- You asked a very important question about the real mechanics of embroidery. To do those little marks, you will have to run the thread along the back from place to place. I try to only go a short distance, so there aren't long loose strands that can pull on the back I also weave the new threads along the back underneath stitches I have already made, especially if there is some distance between stitching areas. All of the red raspberry stitching is one length of thread.

Of course, when stitching with embroidery floss, only use about an 18 inch length or shorter at a time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the clear and wonderful advice! I can't wait to get started!! You're a true inspiration!