Monday, March 21, 2016

diy geometric embroidery update

Embroidery made modern!  Make your own art with this simple diy, inspired by geometric designs and some pretty colour.

I actually created this embroidery several years ago, and it was featured on Apartment Therapy at the time.  When Miss J moved room recently I decided to mount it on a canvas to update the look for her little big girl room.  A good opportunity to share how to make this simple project with you again.

It is an achievable project for any level of sewing ability.  I completed mine while I was watching tv in the evenings and it only took me about a week to complete.


You will need:
  • tapestry canvas with a fairly large weave
  • tapestry wool in at least 10 colours (I used DCM wools)
  • yarn needle (with an eye big enough to thread your yarn through)

The design is very simple, all you need to create is a square shape from two triangles placed point to point, repeated to build up the pattern.  
This shape can be any size you choose, mine has a side about 3.5cm long.

Step 1 - Create a triangle to be repeated across the pattern.  
To ensure the point of the triangle is pointy you must ensure the long side covers an even number of holes in the canvas.  In stitches the thread comes up in hole no.1, and goes back under in hole no.22 (as in my project) or any other even number.
Alternatively, start with the point, thread up in hole no.1 and down in hole no.2, and expand each row by one step to create the triangle.
It is hard to explain but easy to do, once you have done one triangle repeating the pattern is easy.

Step 2 - place triangles end to end
Once the first triangle is complete, start the next one from the point of the completed triangle.

Step 3 - starting a new square
Each square is made up of 4 quarters, two embroidered and two left blank.
The quarters of each square are offset so that the embroidered section always backs onto a blank section.  Harder to explain that it is to do.  Just copy the pattern and you will be fine.

Step 4 - repeat in random colours until you have built up a pleasing design.

Stitching technique
To save wool only embroider the top of the canvas.  You can see below I have turned my needle diagonally so that the first stitch of the new row is one step shorter than the end of the last row.  Scroll down to see how the triangle builds up row by row.



Keep the back neat
Make sure your threads are neatly threaded through the edges of the finished shapes at the back.
Threads must not lie across the blank spaces or you will see them from the front.  I know from experience and doing a lot of unpicking!
The back of your canvas should look neat when you are done.

When you are finished cut down the canvas leaving a neat edge all around your work. (See above)  I originally had this work in a standard picture frame, but decided to mount it on an inexpensive canvas for an updated look.  To do this yourself simply tack the embroidery edge neatly along its edges to the canvas.

I still love this project.  The mix of colours is fresh and varied enough to match many decor and toy combinations.  One of my favourite diy's to date, and definitely the most pinned.

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