a fresh geometric embroidery tutorial

I did this project over a year ago for She Makes a Home, it was even featured on Apartment Therapy, but for some reason I never shared it here.  I still love the fresh colours and it was so simple to make.  A lovely project for an evening in front of the tellie.

The inspiration
I spotted a basic embroidery framed up in a children’s design store in Auckland. A simple design, fresh colour palette and blank white space lifted the piece from granny needlepoint to modern must have. But $300! My inner Martha was twitching to have a go.

The Materials
  • White embroidery mesh .
  • 8-10 embroidery wool colours
  • Embroidery needles
The stitching pattern
  • Repeated triangles form squares with two stitched quarters and two blank quarters.
  • To create the triangle shape the long side of each triangle must cover an even number of holes or rows in the mesh. I used 22 but suit your size to your design.
  • Keep the colour combinations consistent.
  • Use your eye to balance the colors, or copy the pattern below
If you are using an existing frame make sure that your completed piece will fit before you begin. Place the picture mat over the mesh. Allow for a small gap between the picture mat and the embroidery edge, and mark off the remaining space with sticky tape. Count the number of rows in the taped area and divide by the number of rows in your triangle to make sure the pattern will fit.
The Directions
Step 1: 
Cut mesh about 2cm larger than the final size you want to make.  
Step 2: Start embroidery about 2cm in from a corner of the mesh.  You can make your triangles any size you choose, for mine the long side covers 22 squares of the mesh (see yellow numbers on diagram below).   The long side must cover an even number of squares or the tip of the triangle will be blunt rather than pointed.
Step 3: Start with longest side first, and follow the stitching pattern on the diagram below (blue numbers) until triangle is complete. Step 4:  Choose colors randomly, but repeat color combinations to create a flow of color rather than a fruit salad.  Use your eye to balance colors across the piece.

Step 5:  Tie off loose threads as neatly as possible on the back of the work.

TOP TIP -  Do not cross threads across the white spaces between the stitched areas.  They will be visible when the work is framed on a white a backing. 
Step 6:  Once piece is complete iron flat between two pieces of fabric (clean tea towels work well). 

Step 7:  Stick mesh to back of picture mat with a wide tape.  Make sure that it is lying flat and fits with in the frame.Back with white paper or board to make the white space pop.

You can change it easily to suit any size or colour scheme.  I like the idea of a long narrow one for over a crib or bed head.  You could even use the pattern as a border and embroider a name in the middle.  Let me know if you give it a go.

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