In the wintertime, I like to cuddle up with a basket of yarn and settle in for a Netflix marathon. The yarn isn’t just there as a cuddle buddy, though. No, no! The yarn gets put to work. Normally I like to crochet the yarn into a blanket or maybe a hat for a friend, but lately I’ve been all about the embroidery. I might not have the patience of a colonial woman when it comes to practicing my stitching with an embroidery hoop and fine linen, but the use of a handy dandy plastic canvas and yarn made this embroidery project pretty easy.
I love the warmth of the yarn as wall art combined with the fresh appeal of a modern design. You can create your own embroidery design or stick to basic geometrics when it comes to embroidering your own plastic canvas. Check out my tips before you get started on making your own!
-plastic canvas (aim for the smallest opening that will work for your embroidery needle and yarn— mine was labeled “10 mesh” and can be purchased in a pack here.)
-#18 embroidery needle
-yarn in various colors
-scissors (not shown)
Step One: Using yarn, block out a space of your canvas according to the opening of your frame. You want the space you’re working in to fill the frame perfectly without the frame covering up any embroidery, because in the end, you can’t trim away the embroidery if you’ve made the piece too big.
Step Two: Create the main design of your piece, tying off the ends of each color of yarn on the back of the canvas. After I created the design shown above, I filled in the areas with neutral yarn to create a background (as shown below).
Tip: Be careful not to string the yarn across too great of an area, or the design will become difficult to control. If you pull too tightly, it will bend the canvas, and even a small amount of bending will not be corrected by the stability of the frame when mounting the embroidery piece.
Problems to Avoid: I made two big mistakes when working on my embroidery. I began with a 7 count mesh and the holes were too big, making the plastic canvas visible behind my design. I had to rip it out and begin again with a finer 10 count mesh.
Also, I pulled too tightly when making my long strands of black diagonal lines because I wanted to make sure they stayed in place. I ended up having to rip them out at the end because the warped canvas wouldn’t straighten out inside the frame. I strung them again, and even though it seemed too loose at first, by the time I got the white diagonals in beside the black, and the whole thing was inside the frame, I could use my fingers to straighten out the lines and put them perfectly in place.
There you have it— Embroidery art made easy! Change up the style and you can add the perfect little touch of textile art to any wall in your home. –Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.