Friday, March 10, 2017

Modern Hand Embroidery - project share + review

After following @sarahkbenning on Instagram for a few months, I finally treated myself to her three month modern hand embroidery pattern subscription. Even though I'm not finished stitching Pretty Little Italy, a cross stitch project, yet, I decided I couldn't wait anymore to try this new hand embroidery project.

Just getting started

Arms of the plant + stripes

Adding in the cactus flowers + plant stand

Here's what I loved about it:
1. It stitched up very quickly. I finished the project in about 36 hours, and I only spent prob 4 hours of total stitching time. I loved the payoff of finishing in a short amount of time; that made me feel successful and motivated to make more.
2. The small size felt good to work with in my hands and made it easy to transport in my school bag.
3. The pattern and instructions guide were easy to follow and left lots of room for choice and creativity.
4. The project cost less than $20 to make. I spent about $12 on the pattern, $2 for the hoop, l than $1 for the fabric remnant, and about $3 for floss. I think that's reasonable for a finished project. I already had scissors, needles, a transfer pencil, and the ribbon scrap I used to hang it.
5. I like that I can use the same pattern with different kinds of fabric and floss and stitches to create very different looking projects. After the initial pattern investment, subsequent projects would be very inexpensive - less than $7 for each.

The back of my hoop isn't neat

It needed to be washed to remove marks

And then I had to iron it

What I didn't like so much:
1.  Tracing the design wasn't as easy as the instructions made it sound. Next time, I'll prob use temporary adhesive to make sure my fabric and pattern don't shift during this process. I might also break out y light box instead of using the window method.
2.  It used a lot of floss. This project used two skeins of the primary color, for example. A large project could be pricey in terms of floss.
3. The needles I had (size 24 tapestry needles) were difficult to thread using the 6-strand floss as instructed. It looks like I need to buy the needles recommended, a size 5 embroidery needle.
4. The fabric I chose, a lightweight 100% cotton, was a bit too thin. I think a duck cloth would be a better choice for next time.
5. My inexperience with the stitch types made me a little stressed during the project. I wasn't sure about my technique or skill level. A YouTube video with stitch demonstration to accompany each project would be a great addition to the program.

Final project back in the hoop + hung

As you can see, the problems I had were due to my own lack of experience and not the quality of the design or pattern I feel sure that I'll continue to feel more confident and improve my skill it's more reactive.


  1. Thank for sharing the progress photos, Tiffany! Your finished project is lovely, and reminds me of my beloved Christmas cactus that I've had for many, many years.
    Have you ever heard of Sulky Sticky Printable Fabri-Solvy? I am using it for a project of my own (I have to admit, it is taking me a shamefully long time to complete my first ornaments! ::blush::). It is almost a miracle product :) (YYou should also check out this post about it: I had this problem with my package of stabilizer, and the lady at Sulky was wonderful and replaced it with no trouble at all).
    ~Natalie (QSOgirl) from Vegetablog

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