Embroidery can be rewarding and provide years of enjoyment. As with any needlework, embroidery takes practice. With the right tools, materials and practice, you'll be embroidering beautifully.
Thread choice depends on the fabric you are embroidering and the look you want. Experiment with different threads on different fabrics to acquaint yourself with what types of threads work best for your project.
Using a hoop helps the embroiderer avoid pulling the stitches too tight, puckering the background fabric. Look for a hoop large enough for your fingers to reach the center, around 6"-7" in diameter. Hoops are available in metal, wood and plastic.
To use a hoop, first insert the area to be embroidered over the inner ring. Align fabric so the grain is straight and the surface is smooth. Place the top ring over the inner ring; adjust the tension screw if necessary. Remember to remove your work from the hoop after each embroidery session to avoid distorting or creasing the fabric.
Begin stitching by inserting the needle from the back of the fabric 2"-3" away from the starting point of the first stitch. Sew a few running stitches to secure the thread ends; these stitches can be covered as you complete the embroidery stitch, securing the ends. Or running stitches can be removed after the embroidery is complete. To do this, unsew the running stitches and rethread the needle. Bring the thread ends to the back and work them into the embroidery.
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