Rainbow Forest Embroidery!

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I am back! I haven't DIYed in AGES! Mainly because Uni was taking every ounce of my mental and physical strength and plus student accommodation isn't exactly the best atmosphere to get you craft on. So here I am back home, doing what i love!

For this DIY i made a book cover which i embroidered using as many coloured threads i could lay my hands on. This is only an embroidery tutorial and i do not cover the stitching part in this because, firstly i am in no way an expert in embroidery. I would call myself a novice at best. And secondly, the day i sat to sew, my sewing machine threw a fit and did not want to cooperate. There were threads everywhere!

I had initially planned on making a set of two cushion covers filled with the embroidery, but very soon realised that for the limited time i had home, that would be quite an impossible task, Thus i opted to make this cute book cover.

So! Lets get started! :D

Step 1: You Will Need

For this project, you will need the following supplies:

  • Fabric: Opt for a fabric that has no stretch, stretchy fabric tends to warp. Also be mindful that all this embroidery will slightly contract the fabric, thus get a little more than what your project requires.
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery hoop: invest in a good quality hoop, trust me it will make your embroidery journey much smooth sailing.
  • Other basic sewing supplies: including scissors, needles, pencil to mars etc.

Step 2: The Flower

This flower is the most basic embroidery 'stitch' I used.

Trace out the approximate placement of where you would like the petals to be. Here, I make a 5 petaled flower.

Pierce your needle through the centre of the flower, and pull the thread out all the way through. Now pierce the needle very close to from where the floss exits the fabric, and without pulling any thread, pierce again where you would like the petal to end. Now make sure the floss rests below the needle (as shown in the photo) and pull the thread all the way through. Here, make sure to not tug on the thread too hard as this will warp the shape of the petal, and also make sure not to leave it too loose. There exists a sweet middle ground, which you will understand quite easily. If you are a beginner, i would advise you to practise each stitch on a scrap fabric.

Next, pierce the needle close to the petal on the other side of the thread so as to anchor the petal in place. Continue the same for all other petals. And viola, you will have yourself a flower!

I made 8, 6, 5 and 3 petal flowers in all different colours and sizes. If you have a big space, flowers are the best to cover them up with.

Step 3: Tiny Pine Trees

These adorable trees were the best if I had some leftover thread on my needle which was not sufficient to make a flower out of.

The stem requires you to follow a simple straight stitch, but the only difference is that instead of moving forward with each stitch, bring you needle back from where it went into the fabric. This will cover all the gaps you get. Once the stem is done, make small stitches on both side to act as branches.

This is a very simple stitch with a lovely end product.

Step 4: Foliage

To mimic foliage and some half flowers, I used the same method of creating petals as I did for making flowers. The only difference was the number of petals used and directions.

These are great for filling out large areas where you feel making another flower would just look repetitive.

Step 5: Rosey Rose!

I LOVE this method of making cute little button rose.

All you have to do is make a five petal flower using straight stitches. Then poke your needle out very close to the center and in between two 'petals'. Now moving clockwise (you can go wither direction, clockwise just makes more sense to me :P) weave your needle under every alternate 'petal'. This very similar to basket weaving.

Keep going until you reach the ends of the 'petals'. To close off poke your needle through very close to the edge of the rose and then tie it off at the bottom.

Step 6: A Leaf!

The leaf stitch is probable the most tricky one of the bunch.

Start out by tracing the general shape of your leaf. now make a straight stitch 1/4the the length of your leaf. Poke your needle through very close to one side of the straight stitch, now poke your needle through the other side of the stitch, and without pulling bring it to the top of the fabric from the end of the straight stitch. this will cause your thread to lie in a V like shape and the anchor the V in place. Continue until the entire leaf is covered.

This stitch may seem tricky to accomplish at first, but once you get it, It is not all that hard.

Step 7: Stem Stitch

The stem stitch is very versatile, You can make it to form vines of flowers or much a branch with leaves.

It is very similar to the back stitch (used in pine trees), the only difference is that when moving the thread in the backwards direction, poke the needle in the middle of the previous stitch instead of from where it ends. Although be careful to not poke through the thread itself.

Another thing to take care of is to keep the thread in one direction, this will cause the stitch to turn in one direction. I know it sounds complicated on paper, but you get a needle and thread in hand, it'll be a piece of cake.

Step 8: Cute Little Bush!

This bush uses the same back stitch as used in the pine trees, the only difference is the shape and the length of the stitches.

Step 9: Filler Stitches

Throughout this project you will find yourself with empty spaces that are too large to be ignored and too small to make detailed in. In such situations I either filled the space with a french knot or a small flower.

For the small flower, all you require to do is make small straight stitches, all originating from a common point (as made for the rose).

As for the french knot, poke your needle through the fabric and pull the thread out all the way though. The wrap the thread (that is emerging from the cloth) around your needle a few times (as a thumb rule I wrapped it around once for small details and twice for bigger spaces). Now poke your needle through the fabric close to from where it emerged. When pulling the thread through, make sure to hold onto the wrapped thread, to make sure it is wrapped around snugly but not too tightly.

Step 10: We Are Done!

Using the above mentioned stitches i covered the entire fabric. I also added some straight stitch to the top of the cover as in my opinion the cover needed some geometry.

I absolutely love how it turned out!

Please let me know in the comments what you think, and also if you have any tips on how i could make this better, I would love to know.

Happy DIYing!

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