Learn the art of embroidery.

Fine ladies of the realm could often be found stitching away at an embroidery. As ladies were extremely limited in what society permitted them to do, embroidery was something that proved to be both a practical and a dainty way for them to spend their time.

Embroidery stitches can be used to embellish clothing, pillows, quilts and just about anything in the fiber arts. Mixed media artist even sew on cardstock. There are thousands of named stitches but for now, we’ll just explore some of the more commonly used ones. We’ll also be including some vintage embroidery and cross stitch patterns that you can use freely in your own projects.

Christmas Embroidery Alphabet Pattern

A wonderful vintage Christmas embroidery pattern - a full set of the alphabet (well, one with only two letters missing, anyway) that you could use for all sorts of Christmas items - embroidered towels, Christmas ornaments, greeting cards, the list is virtually endless.

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Vintage Grapes and Leaves Embroidery Design

Another great vintage embroidery pattern from the folks at Godey's Lady's Magazine. This time we have a section of grape vine with leaves and clusters of grapes. The image shown here is only a small section of the overall design.

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Long and Short Stitch Tutorial

Ever wonder how they embroidered that sweet little satin purse or Oriental-inspired blouse of yours? To the trained eye, it's obviously a form of satin stitch. But, how are the beautiful shadings of color, like the pansy to the left, actually laid down on fabric? Today, much of this type of work is now being done by machine in the form of machine embroidery. But, for those of us who still wish to embroider by hand, this embroidery tutorial should explain how such fine work is done. This tutorial comes from a vintage lady's magazine. Rather than rewrite the instructions, I've simply included the original words and the original diagrams. In some later posts, I'll include some patterns that utilize this technique that you can use to embroider like the professionals and create your own dazzling pieces. Long and Short Satin Stitches The first group of stitches includes the simple elements by means…

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Vintage Embroidery Designs

I stumbled across some great vintage embroidery designs in a vintage magazine that I thought might prove useful. These designs were added to trims and edgings on garments in 1860.

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French Knot Tutorial

French knots are perhaps one of the most critical stitches for an embroider to know. There are very few commercial embroidery kits that do not make use of this stitch to create eyes, flower parts or a multitude of other features.

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Bullion Knot Stitch Tutorial

Bullion knots are perhaps only second to French knots in their usefulness for embroiderers. They provide a spring-like texture that based on stitch length can be straight, curved or even used as a picot.

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