As part of our ongoing crafty competition to mark the release of Kirstie Allsopp’s new book, Craft, Kirstie has been kind enough to share with us her guide to making embroidered cards from scratch, as well as a short guest post.
“The secret’s out – I love embroidery, especially machine embroidery. When I first tried the technique, I thought it would be difficult and limited, but I was amazed at what can be achieved, even by a beginner like me. Claire Coles is a dab hand with a sewing machine and she took me through the steps for making the lovely embroidered card shown here. You start by cutting around shapes on patterned paper, card or fabric, but you can also draw some yourself and cut them out. You then place them on your card and machine-stitch them in place. Please try it – you’ll be glad you did.”
You will need
• Piece of A4 card, any colour
• Selection of paper, card and fabric in various weights and textures, plain and patterned
• Small, sharp scissors
• Glue stick
• Embroidery threads in various colours
• Sewing machine with embroidery foot
1. Fold the A4 card in half, then sketch out your design on the front of it. I drew flowers, leaves and a bird on mine.
2. Choose your papers or fabrics and cut out the shapes you want for your design. Put the cut-outs on a plate to make sure you don’t lose them among the piles of colourful stuff on the table.
3. Place the cut-outs on your card, building them up as a collage, and moving them around to find the best arrangement.
4. When you’re happy with the arrangement, dab the pieces with a glue stick and fix them in place; you don’t need much glue.
5. Now comes the exciting part – you’re going to machine-embroider over your design. Using suitable colour thread, or a contrasting colour for extra interest, put the front of your card under the embroidery foot, lower the feed dogs and use the needle like a pen to sketch a loose outline around the
cut-outs you have stuck down. Don’t go over the same area several times as the paper might tear.
6. The result is a beautiful handmade card that you’ll be proud to give to anyone.