Sunday, July 15, 2012

I need your help! :-)

Polka & Bloom

As you may know, I'm working on a book - to be published some time next year - and for one section of it, I'd love your thoughts. What would you like to know about embroidery basics? Or maybe you wish someone had told you when you were new to embroidery..? It could be about pattern transfer, needles, fabric.. etc.

It's important to me that the book, apart from having nice patterns and projects of course(!), also be really useful. Especially if you're new to embroidery, but also that it has great tips for more experienced peeps.

I'm especially looking for your input on the content of the book, not the appearance, since I may not have *that* big a say regarding that.

Please leave your thoughts in a comment on this post - or email me if you prefer. :-)

And now for something completely different-

For a while I've been considering putting together some kits with pre-printed panels (so you don't have to fiddle with pattern transfer, yay!) and embroidery thread etc.

Before I go ahead with this, it'd be really helpful to know if there's an interest in this. So if you think this is something that you might perhaps maybe be interested, I'd be grateful if you'd take this quick survey. Thank you!

take embroidery kit survey


  1. I am excited about your project! What do I look for in a book........lots of how to pictures. I think most of us are visual learners and photos are the best, rather than line drawings. I also like to know the different options that are available in tools. But I love tips and tricks to make my finished product something to be proud of.

  2. Don't forget the left handers!

  3. Be sure that if you show how to make French Knots that you show a picture of someone using two hands - one to pull the thread taut as you are putting the needle back down to finish the stitch (I hope that makes sense... it's so hard to describe in words!). I judge every embroidery book by it's explanation of French Knots (though some good books still fail the test, such as Mary Thomas'). Too many people think they are impossible and get so frustrated (I did, too, until I figured out that you need to hold the thread). It is such a key stitch and people will be so grateful for a good explanation with a clear graphic!

    I haven't done much cross-stitching, but every time I start to do one I get stuck on how to make and finish a single Cross Stitch (not part of a line or connected to a line - I think I've heard it described as a "sprinkled" Cross Stitch) without having a line or lines of thread in the back that can be seen from the front on any fabric that isn't completely opaque (and what even weave linen is like that?!). A clear instruction and illustration of how to make a single Cross Stich and finish it off would be excellent! (I know Cross Stitching isn't really your style, but it is still a basic stitch and if you are going to at least cover a basic library of stitches - which is helpful in any embroidery book - that would be a good one!)

    Depending on how many pages you have to work with, I would like to see more than 7 basic stitches covered and *most importantly* a selection of stitch combinations and any complex or "original" (there is nothing new under the sun) stitches and/or stitch combinations the *you* like to use or have found useful for certain situations!

    If your publisher will print the book spiral-bound that is always a big attraction in a craft book!

    Of course I'd love to have patterns by you (and guests artists if you are including other artists in the book) with clear instructions! I can't read Japanese, but I love how most Japanese embroidery patterns come with diagrams that show which stitch was used in each spot. Instructions and tips on applique, coloring/tinting embroideries, and printing on fabric and embroidering over or around it would be very informative and interesting. Speaking of Japaneses embroidery patterns, I've noticed some designs that seem to use small cut-out thin felt that it used to fill in small areas has always intrigued me and confused me. If you know what I mean and could explain it, I'd love to know! A range of beginner to really advanced topics would be great! Creative mending/darning techniques for fixing things or upcycling would be excellent!

    Showing how to unravel 6 stranded thread and explaining and showing how different numbers of strands look would be good for a newbie. I wish I'd know how much better Split Stitch works with even numbers of strands! Explain how to stitch onto knits (t-shirts and onesies) and what kind of stabilizer you use.

    Tips for creating one's own patterns would be cool! I'd love to hear about your design process and a glimpse at your studio would be great to see!

    Tips on photographing your work would be good (tell people to use a hi-res camera and keep the large file before selling or giving away their work so that they can print it large for their portfolio!). Your blog is so great - it would be terrific to read tips on how to blog and otherwise share your work online!

    That's all I have at the moment. Lol! I'm sorry this is so long (it was much longer - I'm going to try to email the original to you)! You are really lucky to be writing a book - I would love to do that! Good luck with this project! I look forward to getting a copy when it comes out ! Best Wishes, -osofine-

  4. Good Morning - Congrats on the book progress. I started embroidering when I was around 5 yo so I made alot of mistakes that I think most young stitchers would - 2 instructions I could've benefited from would've been a proper way to seperate my floss strands and also to let the needle & thread dangle occassionally to eliminate the twisted floss becoming a huge knot! I know those sound basic but a newbie might not think about those simple helps.
    Smiles, DianeM

  5. Hi Carina
    Good luck with the progress on your book! Maybe some information on how to finish off the embroidery in a hoop, so it's all nice and neat at the back, for people that haven't done this before. And how to stop the fabric from puckering when you are putting lots of stitches in one area.
    Best wishes, wenda

  6. osofine already mentioned spiral bound - that's a biggie here for me. Also, maybe include pockets for the projects. I know that I am constantly putting the paper transfers somewhere and can't find them later. Having a pocket would be nice.

  7. I am very new to embroidery (just started this week!) and your website has already been a godsend because it's one of the few places I can find really pretty patterns- most of the patterns I find are not very modern or "hip". I would say that I would love to know about the differences between different kinds of floss, differences between different kinds of fabrics, ways to use embroidered images once I'm done with them (all i can think of is to frame them) and different options for tracing. Also, the various stitches can be confusing so that would be helpful. I'm excited for your book!! - Laura