The talented Annie Morris has put together a fantastic set of top tips for embroidery fanatics out there! This list of tips is sure to inspire you to pick up your beloved embroidery kit, or maybe even try it for the first time!
About Annie Morris
Annie Morris are a family run business located close to the coast in Devon. The company was born out of a mutual love and passion for well designed and beautifully crafted products. Sumptuous cushions, lampshades and accessories are individually handcrafted in their studio from both new and reclaimed fabrics. These unique homewares can be found alongside an exquisite range of hand & machine embroidered artwork and handmade cards.
First of all, the most simple thing is to make sure that where you are sitting to work/stitch there is a really good light source. Either set yourself up comfortably near a window for good natural light, or you could install a daylight bulb into a lamp where you wish to sit. I like to work by natural light to really see the true tones and shades of my threads and paints. These can look quite different in electric light. There are also good craft lamps available; magnifying lamps, clip on lights and of course daylight bulbs to fit standard lamps.
A simply essential tip is to ensure that you have your glasses handy and perhaps even have a second pair to keep with your crafting equipment so that you’re not having to go and look around the house for a pair… I have several pairs dotted around the place! Please don’t strain your eyes when stitching. If you are struggling and your eyes feel tired, take a break! You could always use a magnifying lamp as mentioned before too!
Make sure that you have your fabric set up in the hoop properly. Your fabric should be taught in the hoop so that you can tap it like a tambourine! Also, have a look at the design. Is it square , or is it a little wobbly? You will need to make sure the weave is straight in the hoop. You can ease this once the hoop is tightened.You may want to wrap your inner hoop with fabric, but I honestly don’t worry about this unless I were to stitch a super fine silk or organza. The slubby linen provided in our kits don’t require this at all.
Never leave your fabric/stitch piece in the hoop for long periods of time when you are not working on them. Leaving pieces in the hoop for long periods can not only mark the stitches but the fabric can also become misshapen. If you have intentions of framing your piece in the hoop this may not always apply, depending upon how the work sits in the frame. However, I would suggest that you always pack your work away carefully when you have finished stitching until your next session! I have a little basket that I keep current projects in along with the threads and plenty of needles and scissors! You could also keep your stitching in a crafters pouch or even in the lovely kraft boxes we provide with our kits!
Make sure that you have the correct scissors to hand. I would suggest having a range of scissors such as paper scissors (clearly marked!), large fabric/dressmaking scissors and a pair of embroidery scissors or snips. Embroidery scissors have a finer blade for more accurate cutting. Embroidery scissors should also be kept sharp to cut your threads nicely for ease of threading the needle! Don’t let anyone in your house use your embroidery scissors for any other purpose!! I also have several pairs of embroidery scissors (as well as spectacles!) as I tend to dap them down or they can get lost under layers of projects! One way to counteract this issue I have found is to have a pair (my favourite pair) on a ribbon to wear like a very long necklace. Obviously be careful if you choose to do this too!