How-To: Embroidering a Tiny Face

Sharing with you all a post by Jenny Hart.

Stitching up facial features, especially when they are small is intimidating at best.

Read more by clicking here Sublime stitching


Swedish Embroidery

swedis embroiderySwedish weaving — also called Huck darning and Huck embroidery — combines darning, embroidery and weaving to create decorative edges for pillows, towels, blankets, tablecloths, place mats, etc. The designs are usually geometric in nature, and worked primarily along the surface of the cloth rather than going up and down through the cloth. This embroidery is a free hand style of that utilises stem stitch, satin stitch, feather stitch and French knots to great effect.

swedish embroidery2

Read more about this embroidery on following websites:

CandleWicking Embroidery

The first master class by Mary Hickmott is going to be on candlewicking embroidery on 25th February 2014.

Candlewicking is a traditional form of embroidery based on the colonial knot. It is a type of whitework or white-on-white embroidery. Large knots are embroidered in heavy thread on heavier-weight cotton or linen embroidery fabric . It gets its name from the nature of the soft spun cotton thread, which was braided then used to form the wick for candles.

Originally, unwaxed candle wick thread was used as it was available easily and was inexpensive . Selecting embroidery threads for a candlewick project depends entirely on the finished size of the knot. Projects that are smaller in scale and worked with smaller knots can be stitched using #5 or #8 pearl cotton or regular embroidery floss, separating the six strands into the appropriate-sized groups. These threads are also available in multiple colors.

Candlewicking patterns are very simple having geometric shapes, small motifs and floral patterns. Patterns are marked on fabric  involving evenly-spaced dots and each dot on the pattern represents one colonial knot.

One can refer to the following website for step by step guidance

Summary of 2013 KEG Workshops from January 2013 to July 2013


January at KEG we had workshop on Catherine de Medici Embroidery. This is a counted thread technique and is usually worked on an Italian fabric known as Bratton which today is a 100% loosely woven evenweave linen about 6 threads per centimetre (15 threads per inch), either cream coloured or unbleached.  A thick cream-coloured or white twisted 100% cotton thread called “Cotone Povero” [poor cotton] is used for the stitching (done inDouble Running Stitch executed in a particular way), edging and tassels.

DSC00580  February , Workshop on Cross Stitch Biscornu .  A biscornu is an interesting little eight-sided pincushion and many stitcher’s use them as ornaments, door hangers, or other decorations. Biscornu is made from two embroidered squares sewn together on point; the corner of one square meets the middle of the other as the two pieces are whip-stitched together and stuffed, creating the a quirky, skewed pillow and are finished off with a button in the center of the design top and bottom.


March, workshop on Lamu Caps Embroidery. Donna Pido demonstrated the embroidery technique used to embroider Lamu caps (Lamu is the Kenya’s oldest living town). Donna’s tips were to use a bodkin (or porcupine quill) to make a hole, then do buttonhole stitch into the hole to make an eyelet.  Every eyelet should have at least 20 stitches, but we could aim for 24 by following a clock face and doing 2 stitches for every ‘hour’ to keep it even.


April, KEG along with KEG hosted an exhibition, “The Magical art of Stitches” which displayed the beautiful needlework by our members. During the exhibition workshops on quilting and embroidery techniques like Assisi card, plastic canvas fridge magnet notebook and pen holder and a Dorset feather stitch tissue packet cover were held. Read more on KEG exhibition….

jwellery roll1May, KEG had its AGM this month followed by a workshop Herringbone Stitch.  The variety of herringbone stitches are done on a Kikoy fabric that made a beautiful jewellery roll.

zalakdozi1c-june2013 zalakdozi1a-june2013 zalakdozi1b-june2013

June, workshop,on Zalakdoki  stitch technique. This is an embroidery from the Kashmir province.  This is basically a chain stitch and carries an international market.  At KEG we made some lovely yellow, blue, pink colored embroidered flowers on small bags to carry our kits.

dorset_feather_tissueholderJuly, KEG workshop on Dorset feather stitchery, the tissue packet holder we displayed at the exhibition.  This uses chain stitch, button hole stitch and fly stitch.

In coming months KEG is going to have lots more creative workshops where we will learn variety of stitches which will be made into lovely projects.


Stitch With Both Hands

Having both hands free to stitch and guide the needle can really speed things up when working on embroidery projects. It also boosts one up psychologically to see beautiful embroidery design taking its form. Here are some tips to work on embroidery with both hands:

1. Hands free sit on stands. This beautiful embroidery hoop has a stand that you sit on, leaving hands free to work on your embroidery. They are sometimes known as “fanny frames”. The hoop can be turned, or flipped up to access the back of the work, and the height can be adjusted.


2.Floor stands. The fabulous, unique Floor Stand allows you to simply rest your frame on the adjustable arms. It is beautifully balanced and will not tip over! The extended arms and narrow legs enable the work to be positioned very close to you in any sitting position, thus reliving the strain on your back, neck and shoulders.


3.Two hoop combo lap stand. These are extra hand because they are actually made from two hoops, often in different sizes (one larger than the other) held together with removable legs. The tool is held in the lap and is used in the same manner as a Lap Stand.

Click here to view the step by step guide for hands free stitching….


Colour schemes For Embroidery Projects

Judy Adams forwarded us this link to the Trish Burr’s lovely article on colour schemes suggestions for the embroidery projects. Trish Burr as we all know is the master embroiderer famous for her lovely, life-like botanicals and birds and the author of book named Colour Confidence in Embroidery.

In this article she is suggesting a colour scheme based on an inspiration from either a painting, photo, textile, artwork or similar and  will be given the colours with shades of each,  numbered using DMC stranded cotton.  She has decided on DMC cotton as this seems to be the most readily available but have given you a website where you can accurately substitute DMC with Anchor.

Click here to read more…Colour Schemes For Embroidery

Assisi embroidery


ASSIS embroidery is the perfect technique if you are looking for something a little bit different.

Assis work cardRecently at Kenya embroiderer’s guild we had a workshop on Assis embroidery. Assisi is a simple technique which can produce some stunning results.

Assisi embroidery is done by cross stitching the background and leaving the design empty, or voided (unstitched).  This craft was originated in the Italian town of Assisi in the 13th century. The colours of thread used were the traditional ones of red, blue, green or gold for the background, and black or brown for the outlines. Traditional motifs were largely heraldic, especially heraldic beasts, and typically featured symmetrically arranged pairs of animals and birds surrounded by ornate filigree borders.

There are plenty of opportunities for adding a personal touch too. Choosing a coloured fabric or your favourite thread shades can result in great combinations. Also a bit of sparkle with metallic thread can add a special touch.  A striped or checked background can also make the design stand out.



Browsing through the net came across this Assisi embroidery designs in which instead of surrounding an empty area with long armed cross stitch as in traditional assisi work, in this blackwork fill patterns are used.

So get creative and the choices are endless!

Tips for getting started

1. Assisi should be worked onto cross stitch fabrics such as aida and linen. For the best results opt for evenweave – the smooth, closely-woven material contrasts well with the heavily-stitched background. We’ve chosen a white 28 HPI evenweave here, but a linen fabric would create a desirable rustic finish look too.

2.Work the background in a solid color, using two strands of embroidery thread. Work in counted cross stitch, stitching from right to left with a half cross, and then from left to right to complete the crosses all going the same way. Once the background is completed, the Assisi embroidery or design will show.

3. Avoid trailing threads across the back of your stitching, especially in areas that are left unstitched. Start and finish your thread with a waste knot or work a couple of secure holding stitches in an area that will be hidden.

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