Introduction: Embroidered Owl and Flowers

About: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.
As I was growing up, my sisters and I were not allowed to sit in front of the TV without some handiwork in our hands.  It didn’t matter is it was embroidery, knitting crochet, etc. long as our hands were busy.  To this day, I have a really hard time just sitting and watching TV.  Of late I have been listening to audio books while I have been doing handiwork. Not too long ago, I was looking at Pintrest, when I found this free coloring page found here:
The first thing I thought was, “that would look great embroidered”.  So this is how I choose to embroider it.  By the by, it took 1 ½ audio books (over 12 hours) to get this completed, working every free moment until done.

Step 1:

15”x 15” square of unbleached muslin (preshrunk, $1.50 /yard)
15”x 15” square of Warm and Natural needled cotton batting
Copy of the coloring page, (enlarged to 150%)
Water erasable fabric marking pen ( look here to see what I mean)
Light tracer box (check out your local craft/needle art store or use a window)
Masking tape (not shown)
Embroidery needles
Small scissors
Embroidery hoop
DMC Embroidery floss (+/- 50¢ a skein)
DMC floss numbers:  801, 433, 780, 310, 970, 810, 3837, 550, 743, 988, 6228, 996, 995, 783, 498, 321, 100

Step 2:

Tape the picture you want to transfer to the light box using the masking tape. 

Step 3:

Tape the muslin fabric over the picture, centering it as best you can. Turn on the light box.  See how the picture shines through the fabric.

Step 4:

Get out the water erasable fabric marking pen and trace the parts of the picture you want to embroidery.  I wanted the owl, the tree and the flowers.  I left out the little circles with dots in the middle.

Step 5:

When you are done, turn off the light box and remove the fabric from the box. 

Step 6:

Next lay the fabric over the piece of Warm and Natural batting. 

Step 7:

Center them and put the bottom half of the embroidery hoop under the fabric and batting. 

Step 8:

Loosen the top loop and slide it over the fabric and tighten the top loop, pulling the fabric taunt as you go.

Step 9:

I have given you the numbers of most of the DMC floss, but I need to tell you that, “There are no embroidery police!”  Repeat, “There are no embroidery police!”   You do not have to use the same colors or stitches or anything that I used.  You will not be picked up by the embroidery police, if you don’t follow my pattern, so you do not need to do it the way I did it.  I chose colors that I liked, and that I had in my floss box.  A couple of them I don’t know what their color number is.  Sorry about that.

Step 10:

Now let's start with the stitches I used.  Back stitch:  Is done by the needle coming up at point 1, going down at point 2 and coming back up at point 3.  

Step 11:

Pull the tread taunt. 

Step 12:

Now the needle goes back down at point 2 and then back up at point 4.

Step 13:

Repeat until you have your outlined figure completed.   I used this stitch for the outline of the owl, and the tree.

Step 14:

Satin stitch:  is a stitch which is used to fill in a space.  The needle comes down at point 1, then up at point 2, it come back down right beside point 1 and goes back up right beside point two.  You keep doing this, following your pattern lines and filling in the empty space. 

Step 15:

I used this one for the beak and eyes on the owl and petals and center on various flowers.

Step 16:

Colonial knot:  I no longer use the French knot, once I learned how to make the colonial knot.  This knot is a candle wicking standard and I love it.  Come up through the center of the place where you need the knot to be. Have the thread form a backwards “C”, wrap the needle point up behind the thread,

Step 17:

and with you other hand wrap the thread around the end of the needle.  Before pulling tight, look to see if the thread forms a figure 8 lying on its side. 

Step 18:

Pull the thread taunt and poke the needle through the fabric beside where it came up. 

Step 19:

NICE!  I used this stitch around the outside of one flower and to fill the center of several others,

Step 20:

and for a speck of light in the owl’s eye.

Step 21:

Blanket stitch:  I used it to put some dimension without the time and effort to totally fill in the space with the satin stitch.  Bring the needle up from the bottom at point #1.  Push the needle down at point #2, and back up at point #3.  Make sure the thread is below the point of the needle. 

Step 22:

Pull tight and then repeat until the circumference of the circle has been filled.

Step 23:

Chain Stitch:  To start, the needle comes up at point 1, and then have goes back down next to the hole at point 1 and comes up at point 2.  Make sure that the thread is wrapped around the tip of the needle. 

Step 24:

Pull tight, repeat,

Step 25:

having the needle go back down at point 2 and come up at point 3, with the thread wrapped around the tip of the needle.  This leaves a trail of chains behind it. 

Step 26:

I used it in the golden flowers and to go around the edge of the whole of the picture.

Step 27:

Once I was done with all the embroidery,

Step 28:

I took my finished project over to the kitchen sink and ran a small stream of water over the project, using my thumb to add a little friction to remove the "water erasable marker" marks. 

Step 29:

Gone, wonderful! Now I can really see how great the project looks.  I layed it flat and let it dry.  I will eventually turn this into a pillow cover for a 14" x 14" pillow, and send it to a soldier in Afghanistan.  I hope she enjoys it.  I hope you do too.