Hand embroidery

Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

Hardly anybody does it anymore now that machine embroidery is so popular.

I prefer to do it by hand.

This is a Xmas dress I made for my granddaughter

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Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

Next step

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Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)


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Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

further along

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Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

getting closer

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Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

Almost finished

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Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

finished dress

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Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

I am starting a new project now, I am hand embroidering a queen sized duvet cover on dupioni silk, I am anxious to get started, I think it is going to be awesome.

Nashville, TN(Zone 6b)

Pretty little dress. Isn't it fun to be a grandmother?

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

That is absolutely gorgeous, MaryinLa!!! I love cross-stitching (although my eyes hate it :-( ), but I've never done any embroidery. I have a couple of pieces of fabric with embroidery patterns stamped on them that I suspect my mother-in-law was planning on turning into pillows. I would love to do them, but I'm afraid of messing them up. Do you use DMC floss to do embroidery, like cross-stitch, or do you use a different kind of thread? I have tons of floss... Any suggestions would be very welcome!!

Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

DMC is exactly what I use. And the number of strands depends upon the stitch you are using and how fine the detail is.
A general rule is 3 strands, but some smaller work requires only 2 or 1.

Gretna, LA(Zone 9a)

Your little dress and embroidery are lovely. I, too, love embroidery and do lots of it. I take classes from different teachers who teach for the Smocking Arts Guild of America..
I try to have an ongoing project. Right now I am working on a piece of linen that will be put on top of an sewing basket. Will try to post picture when finished.

Madison, WI

I just wanted to say what a superb job you did for your granddaughter.
One of a kind beautiful timeless heirloom quality dress!

My grandma used to do a lot and taught me different stitching techniques
when I was little. I used to play with her embroidery box as it was a magic
rainbow of color. Hand embroidery is so hard to come by now, and
I don't have time do it right now but maybe when my son is bigger and
I have more time. I do make little flowers on the lavender and calendular
herb sachetts by hand.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Nicely done!

an instant heirloom ;0)

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

I used to embridor. I also smocked some dresses when DD was little. To bad all this seems to be a dying art. I love the dress.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

That dress should go into your grand daughter's Hope chest. It is surely a keeper to hand down to the next little daughter or grand daughter. It is gorgeous. I love antique christening gowns and this one will someday be right up there. Gee, do girls still have hope chests?
Very nice work. Love it.

This message was edited Apr 8, 2009 11:12 AM

Rock Hill, SC(Zone 7b)

What a treasure. You do beautiful work. I don't do much hand embroidery since I got my embroidery machine but I remember the work that goes into it!

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

Very nice, Mary, I still hand embroider and so does my sister. We have fond memories of Mom doing the same and teaching us.

Youngstown, NY

Your dress is beautiful. Is it from Martha Pellon? I love her work but neve have done any.
I also love to do hand embroidery even though i have 2 embroidery machines. Like someone else said it is something my mom taught me years ago.
Your granddaughter will sure treasue this beautiful dress.

Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks everybody for your kind words, this dress was made three years ago. It was a Wendy Schoen pattern, if I remember correctly. I don't think the pattern was intended specifically for a christmas dress, but I loved the pattern itself,


I made it in handkerchief linen, it really did turn out nice.

Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

This is the christmas dress I made for her the next year, no embroidery, but made her a doll to match

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Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Oh my gosh, that is another beauty. It reminds me of the time my mother made red and white gingham checked dress and white pinifores for me and all my dolls. Then she made a red checked skirt for my dresser and curtains. I was sick with the measles and she did all this while I was sleeping. Not all the sewing but the decorating. She must have gotten a great deal on the red and white gingham checked fabric.
Your sewing is beautiful. You have a very lucky granddaughter.

Medford, NJ

Oh my goodness, how beautiful! Definitely a treasure that they will save forever! My grandmother did this, when I was little she would put a square of cloth into - what are they called? The round or oval things you stretch the fabric in so you can work on it - ?? and she would draw something on it with little x's for me to embroider. I also have a few pieces made by my greatgrandmother in the late 1800's, when very young girls where expected to embroider! My most treasured piece is a pillowcase with a 9 x 10" square of beautiful ivory embroider of flowers and flourishes, with her initials GM (Geslina Montenegro) in the middle. It isn't made up of x's, though, just dozens of different types of stitches. There is a small tear in it, but it can be fixed easily. One of these days I would like to get it cut away from the pillowcase and framed.

You are right, this is not done enough anymore! I hope you are teaching some of the younger ones in your family, maybe they will pick it up and pass it on.

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

You're thinking of embriodery hoops. I think I still have one or two. The dresses look great.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

The little x's are cross stitch that is done alot now. I do it almost everyday if I am not beading gourds or have nothing else that needs doing. It is my way of relaxing. Heheh


Hi - I do hand embroidery - don't like machine embroidery - it just doesn't have the same feel as that done by hand......

Is anyone still watching this thread?

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

Yup still have this thread watched. What's your favourite type of embroidery?


Last big piece I did was a peacock, for the center of a quilt a couple of years ago.
Since then, I embroidered on a cape I made for a friend.

btw - it may not look like an embroidered peacock - I used fabric paint in the center, so closer up you can see the embroidery which was done first, then the fabric painting.

This message was edited Jan 21, 2016 9:57 AM

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Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

That quilt is absolutely lovely! The colours are beautiful; just up my alley!

It's been a while since I've done any handwork; I must say I miss it. I need to dig in a couple of boxes and get out some unfinished projects. hmmm, yes, I do!


I used to have book called Big Book Of Embroidery, and in one of my moves, it disappeared. One of my lovely friends on here (Sileograma/Karen) found one, and send it to me!! Now I am happily embroidering again.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I enjoy embroidery as well. I have had years of formal training in silk and metals embroidery but also like cotton on cotton.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

The effects are created by both the stitching techniques and special twisting techniques of a specified number of silk strands. There are "recipies", so to speak, for each effect. This fan is an exercise in techniques.

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That is gorgeous, Laurel!! You're all inspiring me to get out my embroidery!
As a matter of fact, I'm making a lap quilt top (in the cutting out of pieces stage right now), and I believe I will do some embroidery on the "blanks". As the recipient and I are both Canadian, I'm making Maple Leaf blocks, but not all are going to be, so I was trying to think of what to put in the other pieces - Embroidery is a wonderful solution! I think I'll make a big center block with embroidery - now..... to figure out what I want there lol

This message was edited Jan 25, 2016 3:26 PM

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Simple chained outline embroidery of maple leaves would be an interesting contrast to the pieced blocks. And thanks for the compliment.


I found a great little piece to use!! Thanks for the suggestion Laurel!

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Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

You could add the provincial flower too. I love the trillium (ON), my home province.

Laurel - simply gorgeous work! I love the 'sampler'; brings back memories of our church girls club when we all made a sampler and each Wed. night we would do a row with a different stitch. That is the extent of my training. lol I have done a little with metal threads; it is challenging! Your pieces just blow me away with the expertise needed to do them. wow!!

If I could see them in person, I would be standing in front of them for a very long time, examining each stitch/colour/section, etc. Just wow!!!


I decided not to do another maple leaf.
She loves snowmen, so I looked one up online - redwork.
I just traced it with a disappearing ink pen.
I was going to use a tracing/transfer pencil but it just wouldn't work for some reason. My DH went out to get some tracing paper, but it wouldn't iron on?!?!?!

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

My goodness, the pieces are all just beautiful....everyone please continue to share.


I'm just heading out, with my sweetheart, to a Sweetheart Tea at a church - I'll post the snowman when I get back

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Tracing paper will not "iron on" and it usually does not wash out. Transfer pen or pencil you can draw on and then iron, but be mindful of the reverse image (ie, no words unless you remember to reverse the image.)
My sister finished embroidering a set of bullterfly blocks and I made it up into a crib quilt. http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Dempsey-Stamped-Butterflies-12-Pack/dp/B00K58QCMM/ref=sr_1_10?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1455474637&sr=1-10&keywords=stamped+quilt+blocks She ALMOST has a complete set done of " Transportation" http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Dempsey-Needle-Art-30079/dp/B004BP3RC8/ref=sr_1_10?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1455474722&sr=1-10&keywords=stamped+quilt+blocks+jack+dempsey all cross stitch. I think she is going to kill me over that one!

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