Hello lovely ones, how are you? What a worrying and unprecedented time we are living through. The coronavirus is affecting us all in all sorts of ways. My family and I have been poorly with unconfirmed CV and boy are we glad and grateful to be coming out the other side. I am sending much love to you and your families. I hope and wish that you are staying well and finding moments of peace and joy.
I am here to spread a little love through creativity. I designed and started working on these stitched blooms before the schools shut here in England and before the nationwide lockdown began. I must say that I quickly fell out of love with this pattern when it became clear that Spring was not going to pan out how I had dreamed it. After some adjustment, I have accepted the circumstances we find ourselves in. I have persevered and completed my hoop and rather than offer it as a full pattern and tutorial for sale in my Etsy shop, I am offering it here on my blog as a free template, with basic instructions, tips and guidelines. For the stitches, I have provided useful links rather than explaining them or providing visual instructions here.
Instructions, Tips and Guidelines:
This template is suitable for beginners, but can be enjoyed by embroiderers of all levels.
The finished project is designed to fit into a 5”/12.5cm wooden embroidery hoop.
‘Spring Blooms’ template (see free download above).
1 x 5”/12.5cm wooden embroidery hoop.
Fabric (prewashed) – I have used a woven medium weight linen/cotton mix in a light beige natural colour. Natural woven fabrics are ideal.
Soft medium weight interfacing – optional. I love using interfacing to back my embroidery work as I like the feel of the thickness as I stitch and it gives stability to the finished piece. I use Vlieseline/Vilene M12.
Light box – optional. This is to transfer the design to the fabric. The light from a window will also work – for this you will need masking or washi tape. These methods will work if your fabric is light in colour. For dark coloured fabrics or for other methods of transfer, please see ‘tips’ below.
Water erasable fine tip fabric pen (I use a blue ink version).
Stranded cotton embroidery thread for the design and finishing the hoop. I use DMC 25, which is made up of 6 strands of thread: (apart from ‘ecru’ and ‘blanc’, these are my descriptions of the colours): 1 skein each of:
- Spring cloud white (‘blanc’)
- Dreamy cream (‘ecru)
- Custard yellow no. 745
- Egg yolk yellow no. 744
- Pastel rose no. 818
- Rhubarb pink no. 761
- Pale sky blue no. 3761
- Duck egg blue no. 3766
- Spring green no. 912
- Bright leafy green no. 911
- For finishing off the hoop
- a thread colour that matches the fabric. I used dreamy cream (‘ecru’).
Embroidery needle – I generally use a size 5 or 7.
Felt for backing the hoop if desired and matching thread.
Ribbon for hanging if desired.
Abbreviations used in this pattern:
RS – Right side/front of fabric
WS – Wrong side/back of fabric
Print out the ‘Spring Blooms’ template provided on the first page onto A4 paper and cut around the outer circle of the design.
Pin the template to the fabric and cut 1 circle of fabric OR mark around the template onto the fabric using an air erasable pen (a pencil will also do) and cut out. Set aside.
Optional: Cut out a circle of interfacing in the same way. Set aside.
If using a light box, place the template followed by the fabric on top of the light box and trace the design onto the fabric with the water erasable fabric pen, ensuring the fabric is positioned centrally and taking care to keep the fabric and template steady during transfer.
If using the light from a window, tape the template to the window using the washi or masking tape, followed by the fabric placed centrally over the template. Trace the design onto the fabric with the water erasable fabric pen.
Take a moment here to make sure all markings have been made clearly according to the pattern and touch up if necessary.
Once the design is transferred, place interfacing (if using) and then fabric on top of the inner hoop, placing the outer hoop on top. Make sure all elements of the design are within the hoop boundary so they can be stitched. Tighten the screw, pulling the fabric taut.
Use 3 strands of 6 stranded cotton embroidery floss throughout. Cut about an arm’s length of thread and split the 6 strands in half each time, so that the stitches are made using 3 strands of thread.
To begin and end a length of thread: Thread the needle without knotting the end and place the needle from the WS (see abbreviations above) to RS leaving a tail of about 6cm on WS, ensuring it is out of the way as you stitch so it doesn’t become tangled (I tuck the tails into the hoop at the back). We’ll tidy it away shortly. When coming to the end of a length of thread, make the last stitch pulling the thread through from RS to WS. Then weave the end through the stitches on WS so it is hidden, snipping off any remaining thread as close to the stitches as possible. Now thread the needle with the beginning tail of thread and weave it into the stitches on WS in the same way.
Start wherever you wish, moving from one element to the next based on proximity and colour of thread, using the pictures in this post for colour guidance and making the following stitches:
Flowers/Blooms: Woven Wheel Stitch (all colours apart from the greens) – the circular outline of each bloom in the pattern is for guidance. Simply stitch the 7 lines from the edge to middle of each circle and then place the needle through the fabric from WS to RS in the middle of the circle. Then weave the needle above and below these 7 stitches in a circular motion filling up each bloom. Please see this link for a visual representation of this stitch here and here.
Leaves: Fishbone Stitch (in spring green no. 912) – Fishbone stitches cross over each other along the centre of the leaf. Please see a how-to here.
Letters: Satin Stitch (in bright leafy green no. 911) – Fill each letter with these stitches which are made alongside each other. Please see this link for a visual representation of this stitch.
Once you have made all of your stitches, make sure all beginnings and ends of the threads are woven in. You may need to take the fabric out of the hoop to do this for the elements of the design very close to the hoop.
Many of the markings made by the water soluble fabric pen will now be covered by stitches. However, to remove those still exposed, use a cotton bud dipped in water and dab the markings until they disappear. Alternatively, run cold water over the whole project. Allow to dry.
To finish off the hoop, thread a needle with 3 strands of cotton (I used DMC 25 ‘Ecru’ to match my fabric). Do not knot the end. Place the needle from RS to WS of the fabric circle at any point, approximately 0.5cm from the edge, leaving a tail of 4-6 cm. Make a running stitch all the way round the edge, reaching the first stitch and finishing on the RS. Carefully pull the ends, gathering the fabric as you go. Once sufficiently gathered, knot the ends, pulling the threads taut. Sew in the ends and trim. Optional: Cut a circle of felt to cover the back of the hoop and using a matching thread, knot the end, then attach to the main fabric by making a running stitch all the way round. Knot, then hide the end and trim. Pin first if necessary.
Stay tidy: Keep an eye on the back of your work as you stitch. I have been caught out so many times and found a tangled mess either where loose threads not sewn in yet have been caught, or where a knot has formed in the thread I am working with. The sooner you notice the easier it is to rectify. Don’t panic and snip the threads straight away. Instead go gently and see if any tangles and knots can be removed first.
Transferring embroidery designs: As I have used a light coloured fabric, I have chosen to transfer the design using light (a light box or light from the window) which shines through the template and the fabric to enable me to draw directly onto the fabric using a water erasable pen. However, if you have chosen a dark fabric, you will need a different method. You can find plenty of guidelines and tutorials on the internet, including using a ‘water soluble stabiliser’, which can be printed onto and then stuck to the fabric, stitched over and then dissolved in water.
Avoid permanent creases in the fabric: If you are going to be taking the fabric out of the hoop after completion and displaying it in a different way; take the project out of the hoop after each stitching session to ensure that the fabric does not stretch out of shape permanently.
If you decide to stitch up your own ‘Spring blooms’, Happy stitching!
Lots of love, light and warmth from me to you lovelies. Stay safe and well,
PS – This pattern is for personal use only. Please credit me wherever possible and please do not copy or use for commercial purposes. Thank you!