Guest post by Zoe of A Quick Study.
Before we get started, you’ll want to grab your free pattern for the monogram script alphabet that we’ll use for this tutorial. You can download it absolutely free right here. Once you’ve had a chance to gather your supplies and prepare your pattern, as described here, we are ready to start. So, let’s get stitching!
Caution: I highly recommend at least skimming the rest of the instructions before you start poking holes or sewing. Here are the step by step instructions…
1. Carefully place your cut out pattern over the paper you’ll be stitching. Use your sharp implement to carefully poke holes along the outline of the letter. Start on the opposite end of the letter from the heart – it’s just easier that way.
There are dots on the pattern to help guide your spacing, but (unlike my kits, that manually spaced dots) these dots are only approximate. You may need to adjust slightly so that you don’t have holes too close together (risking a rip in the paper), and so that you have holes where lines intersect and at the end of lines (see fig. 1 below). For the heart, you only need 3 holes – one at the point, and one at the tip of each “bulb.” You can use a hole more than once when you’re stitching!
2. Put your pattern aside but don’t throw it away – it can help you if you lose track of where you are while staring at a bunch of holes. Thread your needle with 2 strands of embroidery floss and double knot the other end.
3. We’ll be using the chain stitch in this tutorial. I’ve tried to provide clear instructions, but you can find more instructions (and other stitches) on this site. Starting away from the heart, bring the needle up through your first hole. NOTE: If you really want to stitch the same direction you would write, see the variation at the bottom of this post for details.
4. Push the needle back down through the same hole, keeping a loop of thread on top of your paper.
5. Bring the needle up the next hole in your letter, guiding it through the loop you left on top. Pull it tight (but not too tight) to secure the stitch.
6. Now, push the needle back through the stitch and the hole you just came up through. Be sure to keep everything inside your stitch! Again, leave a loop on top of your paper.
7. Repeat! Come up through the third hole, guiding your needle through your second loop and tighten the second stitch. Continue this way around your letter. You can keep the exact same technique around curves and even pointy corners.
8. When you reach the end stitch and have nowhere left to go forward, such as at the heart itself, you will tack each end stitch (two stitches for the heart).
9. (See fig. 3 for illustrations.) Make your first heart stitch loop just like you have before, and bring your needle up through one “bulb” of the heart and through your loop. This time instead of going back through your stitch, you will go through the tip hole again on the outside of your loop. Again, be careful not to pull too tight! Then go back to the “point” of the heart and start your stitch for the other “bulb.”
HINT: If you are working on a letter where lines go back over existing lines (such as the stem in “d”), you probably don’t want to stitch the line twice. Tack the top tip of the “d” stem as just described for the heart, then jump down to the place where the lines branch off again and start there.
VARIATION: Bothered by stitching the opposite direction through the letter from how you’d write? You can do it the other way. You just need to stitch the heart in the right direction, then start from the point of the heart. See the images below for details and a comparison of the resulting look:
Remember – if you want all this fun with embroidery floss provided and holes pre-poked, check out my kits available at my paper goods shop on etsy (more patterns coming soon)! Or, if you don’t want to DIY I sell finished embroidered paper goods as well!
About the author: Zoe is a wife, mother, home owner and renovator. She is also the owner of A Quick Study, a paper goods shop on Etsy. And according to her website, Zoe loves textures, bright colors, patterns and organized lines, and is often inspired by making what was once old new again.