I’m lazy. I hate doing things the hard way. I always have. If there’s an easier way to do something, sign me up! If you want to stitch a beautiful embroidery project with half the effort, this is the tutorial for you!
This beautiful design by Lolli and Grace is perfect for the beginner embroiderer. Not only will learn how to make several foundation stitches, but how to prepare to embroider as well. The Lazy Gal’s Guide to Beginner Embroidery will help you stitch a beautiful hoop without any fussy, unnecessary steps!
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Felt for backing
Step 1: Prepare Your Hoop
I have stitched embroidery hoops before and spent too much time trying to keep the fabric stretched taut inside the hoop. The lazy way is use hoop tape that secures your fabric so you don’t waste precious energy adjusting it every five minutes! Hoop tape has an adhesive side and a rubbery side. The adhesive side touches the hoop while the rubbery side touches the fabric. Carefully wrap the tape around the inner hoop. The package will have good instructions as well.
You may not think you need this hoop tape, but you do. Just buy it. It’s not expensive. But it will save you the time of having to constantly stretch you hoop and keep it taut during the stitching process. Make sure that as you apply the hoop tape you work hard to keep it neat.
Step 2: Prepare Your Floss
When you separate your floss and keep it well organized it makes for an easier time, but honestly its not necessary. Do it if you want, but skip this step if you are on the extreme end of the lazy spectrum.
Step 3: Transfer Your Pattern
Before you begin transferring your pattern make sure your fabric is unwrinkled. Mine needed a good hot ironing, but that’s because it is linen and had large lines from where it had been folded. Do this step as lazy as possible! You might even hang up your fabric in the bathroom when you take a hot steamy shower. But just make sure the wrinkles are out! Transferring the pattern is a necessary process and it’s kind of fun. I pin the paper pattern underneath my fabric so that it doesn’t move around while I am tracing.
You will also need a light source. I used my ipad opened up to notes, but you could use a light box or even tape it to a sunny window. It’s critical that you use a water soluble pen so that if/when you make a mistake you can take it out. It also makes finishing the pattern super easy.
Step 4: Cut Your Fabric
If you have a large piece of fabric you will need to cut it. I used a 12″ embroidery hoop to trace a circle to cut the extra fabric. You don’t need to purchase an additional hoop but this is the lazy way. Otherwise measure 1.5 – 2″ away from the outside of the finished hoop and draw a circle to cut the excess fabric. You will want to have your fabric in a circle shape to make finishing the hoop super simple. Since my linen fabric had the habit of fraying at the edges, I used a little bit of fabric glue on the edges to keep it from fraying. You could also use Fray Check or a similar product.
Step 5: Stitch Your Pattern
A majority of this pattern is backstitched and even when it’s not perfect it turns out really nice.
The next stitch you will do is the Lazy Daisy. This is another super easy one but once you see how it’s done you realize that the term “lazy” is the perfect adjective. You will also need to Split Stitch and Satin Stitch in this pattern. The Satin Stitch is the most difficult but with a little practice you will become more comfortable and proficient at it.
Step 6: Finish Your Hoop
To finish your hoop you will want to make a running stitch on the outside of the the excess fabric. It will gather all your fabric and create a neat little package to hide underneath your felt.
Step 7: Erase Your Blue Tracing Marks
This step truly is the most fun part! You’ve done the hard work and now you get to see the results! I used a wet paper towel and gently patted the fabric. Magically the marking disappears and leaves your gorgeous stitching! Voila!
Step 8: Prepare Your Backing
To make your embroidery hoop look neat and professional you will want to add a felt backing. Using your water soluble pen trace an outline of your embroidery hoop onto a piece of light colored felt.
Carefully cut just inside the line so that when you place it on the back of your hoop it doesn’t show from the front.
This is where this project really gets lazy. Using your fabric glue add a generous amount to the outside edge of your felt backing.
Press the felt backing to your hoop, making sure that the fabric touches the inside gathered, excess fabric. Finishing a hoop in this way hides all of the unsightly things on the back side of your project
Step 9: Impress Your Friends and Family
This is when you get to impress your family and friends! Only you and I will know that this wasn’t as hard as they all thought it was.
In all seriousness embroidery is such a fun hobby and with a few tips you can make a beautiful hoop without a ton of effort!