Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Stitchery Pattern!

I hope you enjoy this stitchery pattern. I've seen the quote before and it always makes me giggle. :) I was doodling one afternoon while my daughter was working on homework (don't under estimate the homework of a Pre-Kindergardener, btw) and remembered the sign and doodled this little pattern. To download the pattern, click here. (Laughing at my hand-drawn pattern, very high-tech!!) I've added a quick tutorial below if you've never done stitchery before, and if you haven't, you MUST!!! So fun!!

There are all kinds of options to display your stitchery project. You can make it a throw pillow, a door hanger, put it in a quilt. . . I decided to frame this one. Since this is such a simple pattern and I used simple colours, I wanted to punch some Halloween fun into it so I found and old frame and painted it purple. Actually, I didn't paint it, my daughter did. I am very rarely allowed to paint, its one of her favourite things in the "whole wide world" so generally if there is painting involved in a project, she's all over it.   Then I decoupaged a plain, boring mat with some swirly, orange scrapbook paper I found in the Halloween section of Michaels. I attached an orange grosgrain ribbon (which by chance matched the exact shade of the thread in the wording!!!) to the back of the frame for hanging and voila!

The How-To!

Here's a quick tutorial if you've never done stitchery before. :) I thought about typing up tutorials for each stitch, but there are so many fabulous tutorials already on the web. My personal favorite is Jenny's How To at Sumblime Stitching. Her embroidery work is amazing, you must check it out! I also recommend the book The Encyclopedia of Stitches, I've been practicing some Fancy-Nancy stitches I found in this book, and just about have seeding down, oh I have plans for that stitch!! For stitchery, you're pretty much going to use the back stitch, the straight stitch, maybe a stem stitch and a french knot here and there. Anyway!! On to the tutorial!

You will need a piece of fabric like muslin or a neutral cotton about 8x10" and a piece of quilt backing the same size,  an embroidery hoop, needle and embroidery thread. You can use any colours you want; I used DMC threads: #420-Hazelnut Brown, 838-Beige Brown Very Dark and 841-Beige Brown Light for the broom handles, 3821-Straw and 3853 Autumn Gold Dark on the brooms and 970-Pumpkin Light on the words. Side note: the DMC people need to get with the OPI people and take notes on naming colours. In addition, you'll also need some tape, pencil, crayons that match the colours of your thread and an iron.

If you have a lightbox, use it to trace the pattern onto the fabric with your pencil. If you don't (and I don't) tape the pattern to a sunny window and tape the fabric over the paper. Then with your pencil very lightly trace the pattern onto the fabric.

Get out your crayons and get ready to colour! Go over the pencil marks with the appropriate colour crayon, go ahead and press down to create a strong line. Then shade the inside of each picture with the same crayon. I like to make the edges darker than the centers and I use little circle motions, you really are shading more than outright colouring. This is part of the fun of stitching, it adds colour and fills in empty spaces without having to do the tedious satin stitches. Unless you want to do more, you'll just be stitching the outlines. I did attempt a raised satin stitch on the 6th broom, I was experimenting!!

Heat up that iron and grab a scrap piece of fabric that you don't care about. Lay the scrap fabric on your ironing board and then your coloured piece of muslin, face down, on the scrap fabric. Iron away. Flip it over and iron again. This "sets" the crayon to the fabric, but since crayon is wax, it will melt. Hence the scrap fabric to absorb the melted wax so it doesn't goober up your iron or the board. :)

Now place your muslin fabric over the quilt lining (right side up) and place it in your hoop. This adds a little bit of depth and also prevents the underside of your thread from showing through the light coloured fabric. :) Thread your needle and start stitching! I used a backstitch on the outlines. I did a stem stitch on the curvy part (it was supposed to be a twisty branch :) of the third and seventh broom handles. This was my first attempt at the stem stitch and I thought it was pretty cool once I got the hang of it. :) You can use a back stitch on the whole thing if you prefer. Its pretty darn casual, which I think makes it more fun. :)

Once you're done you can frame it, make it a throw pillow, a door hanger. . . finish it however you want for display and admire!! Have fun!!


  1. So cute!! I love the stitching- I have never used crayons to fill in my embroidery before- the effect is lovely, I will have to remember that!!

  2. This is darling! I've been doing a little embroidery lately after several years. It is so fun.

  3. This is the cutest thing I've seen yet for Halloween! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love your embroidered broomsticks, Amy! Your instructions are so detailed. It's been many years since I've done any embroidery. Funny that I should read this tonight, as I wrote a post earlier this evening (that's scheduled for tomorrow morning), about embroidery.