Hoop Dreams: Modern Hand Embroidery (Abrams, 2018) by Cristin Morgan brings the old-fashioned art of embroidery into a modern light, with fun and crafty uses for your embroidery skills. Morgan brings classic stitches to tote bags and makeup cases, along with dozens of other crafts. In this excerpt, she shows her technique for embroidery a welcoming “Hello” hoop.
One of my favorite things about embroidery is the texture the stitches create when they’re piled together on the fabric, filling a once empty space. Here, a vivid color pallet and highly textured fill stitch add visual interest to a simple handwritten message. Experiment with thread and fabric colors that appeal to you, or try using patterned fabric to add a fun, graphic element to your work.
Finished size diameter: 6 inches (15 centimeters)
• Transfer and marking tools
• 10-by-10 inch (25-by-25 centimeters) square of unbleached muslin
• 6 inch (15 centimeters) embroidery hoop
• Cotton embroidery floss
• Backing materials
Thread colors used
• Golden olive, 6 strands
• Plus, 6 strands
1. Transfer the “hello” motif onto a piece of linen or cotton fabric. Assemble the hoop, placing the piece of muslin (if using) underneath the min piece of fabric.
2. Fill the heavy strokes in each letter with a combination of long and short stitches.
3. Finish and connect each letter using backstitch. Adjust the stitch length as required, using shorter stitches around tight curves and longer stitches for straighter lines.
4. Finish the back of the hoop as desired.
TIP: I’ve used six strands, but you can decrease the number of strands if you wish. Fewer strands will result in a more seamless, less chunky look, which would work well if you’re using a patterned fabric.
Reprinted with permission from Hoop Dreams: Modern Hand Embroidery (2018), by Cristin Morgan and published by Abrams.