Tuesday, May 4, 2010

how to embroider words onto fabric

it is, really, a simple process to embroider text or words onto fabric. You could do this on anything from children's clothes, a tote bag, towels, bed linen, etc. Today, I have decided to embroider on a quilt I am making.

supplies needed:
- fabric
- embroidery hoop (wooden or nylon)
- ruler (optional)
- pencil (optional)
- embroidery floss
- sewing needle
- paper & printer
- tweezers (optional)

1. Find the spot on the fabric where you want your words to be & get your embroidery hoop ready. If your fabric does not already have lines on it, it may be helpful to lightly draw a line in pencil with a ruler.
2. add the embroidery loop,
3. loosen the clasp, slightly, and pull the fabric so that it's tight in the loop, re-tighten the clasp. The fabric should be almost "springy" when you tap on it.
4. be sure that the line(s) is as straight as possible
5. go onto a document program on your computer, such as Word, and find a font that you like & print out the word(s) you want to embroider. remember: the more fancy the font, the more you'll have to stitch. a thinner font is better than a wide, or bolded one. trim the paper, leaving a little room around the words.
6. using lots of straight pins, pin the paper onto the fabric, using your line as a guide
7. choose your embroidery floss in the color you want to use. if stitching on light fabric, use a darker color and vise verse. i chose a yummy grass green.
8. cut the floss to length (approx 15 inches), and split in half. you will be using 3 threads to embroider with. be careful to take your time so that the string does not end up in a knot
9. thread the needle and knot the end with 2 or 3 knots, cut the tail
10. start stitching using small stitches and working from one end of the letter to the other, then working your way back to where you started to complete the letter. while embroidering, you are perforating the paper to make things easier later on
11. when stitching on a light colored fabric and using darker floss, i like to tie off each letter, when finished, so that a "line" does not show through the front where you went to your next letter. you can skip this step, if you are using dark fabric and light thread
12. when you are finally finished all of your letters, remove the straight pins

13. very carefully, tear away the paper. be sure to get all the little pieces in between the letters. if you don't have small fingers, sometimes tweezers will also be helpful to get those little pieces out

14. remove the embroidery hoop and you are finished!


Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

Fantastic tutorial! I will now be brave enough to try this, you make it sound so easy.

Anonymous said...

Makes it look so easy. :) Thanks for sharing -- I think I will try this on one of my hats.

Casey said...

I am soooooo glad I found this. I too want to emboider a word on a quilt square.
It's a stamped emboidery project of long stemmed roses, but I'm thinking a little bit outside the box. The project suggests red for the flowers and of course green for the stems. Pretty boring. So, I'm doing the roses in different but realistic colors. I'm working on the center square now (a white and yellow bouquet) and wanted to stitch "harmony" on the top. I was unsure of how do do this, but with your tutorial I think I can.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, thanks Jenny. I didn't know you could do this: I thought if you used paper it would be too tough to remove it, so thanks for showing me otherwise! ~ Emily

elnorac said...

Thanks so much for the lovely tutorial! I've pinned it on Pinterest, as have several other people.

Anonymous said...

I am totally using this on one of my quilts...I have never embroidered before so we shall see how it turns out:/ Cross your fingers

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I have read several tutorials on how to backstitch, but this is the first one I understood!

Maggie said...

Thanks for this wonderful tutorial! I'm just attempting to embroider on my nautical patchwork quilt (please see my blog) using your method :) Maggie xx


Maggie said...

I realised I couldn't use this method as I had already quilted my quilt but I'm going to try and remember to embroider the next before I quilt!! Thanks for visiting and following my blog, Maggie xx

The Blue Jeans Girl said...

Thanks for the instructions, having never done this before I wanted to see how it was done by someone who knows rather than just fumble through, working it out as I go.


Embroidery Fabrics Online said...

Nice blog... thanks for sharing with us..

Anonymous said...

Excellent tutorial... clear step-by-step instructions. Thanks for sharing-- now a happy grandma making christmas gifts (2013)for her grandchildren teachers.

sammieseagull said...

Thank you this has encouraged me to try. xx

sansuey said...

Cute! You can also buy stabilizer that will dissolve in water..it costs more than paper but is easier than tearing paper away.

Unknown said...

Hi, I really like this tutorial. Can you try explain the second part of step no 10?

"then working your way back to where you started to complete the letter."

Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Embroidery of any kind has always been a daunting thought for me, especially lettering, but with this tutorial I am even brave enough to even try some japanese lettering for my latest project! Clear and simple instructions, an excellent explanation, thanks so so much! :) xx

Janelle @ Two Cups Of Happy said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I found you through Google & I am so grateful. I made a Christmas ornament for an international gift exchange. :)

Janet M said...

This is a brilliant idea, thanks so much. Just tried it and it worked for me :)