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Fairytale Embroidery

This was my first big embroidery project. It’s from a few years ago, but I just realized I’d never shared it here.

Before this I embellished some pockets on a few pairs of jeans and I made a pouch for my brother that I embroidered last year, but this is the most elaborate project I’ve done.

Whenever I wanted to use something other than a straight stitch or satin stitch, I had to get out this 1970’s embroidery guide that was my mom’s and stare at the thing for 30 minutes before I figured out what the stupid drawings meant.

I intentionally didn’t keep track of my hours, because I didn’t want to know. But let’s just say I went through a whole season of Gilmore Girls DVDs (maybe a season and a half) while working on it, plus many, many hours on top of that. I started in November and finished in (eep!) July.

I probably started in September or October, intending it as a Xmas gift for my mom, but after 7 straight hours of embroidering on Xmas Eve, and many hours of work still needing to be done, I realized that wasn’t going to happen. There wasn’t much embroidery from January through the middle of July, but I busted my butt in the end because I wanted to finish it for my mom’s b-day, which is at the end of July.

This is what I used as my (quite literal) inspiration:

Seven Crow Princes

It’s from The Golden Book of Fairy Tales, a book my mom had when she was a kid and passed down to me.  She says she likes this particular illustration the most (though all of them in the book are really amazing.  I’d frame them all.) because the girl looks like me (it doesn’t).  For a while, she even had a crappy scanned and printed copy on the wall, which is what gave me the idea to do this in the first place.  The artist’s name is Adrienne Segur and the illustration goes with the store “The Seven Crow Princes”.

Before framing

 

Close up

 

Framed

I did it on muslin… if I did it over again, I’d use something sturdier like canvas. Muslin would have been okay if it wasn’t quite so heavily stitched.
It’s about 11″ X 17″, which is pretty close to the illustration in the book.
Once the embroidery was done, I used colored pencils to paint/color the blank spots that were too big to fill in with stitches.

Before coloring

I have a new embroidery project I want to start, so I’ll be making a more in depth tutorial for making your own embroidery patterns in the near future, but what I did for this one was this: I scanned the artwork from the book, changed it to black and white in Photoshop, and then messed around with the contrast and other settings until I got most of the main details in nice black lines. I printed that out and transferred it to my fabric with disappearing fabric pen.

I kept a full color version of the illustration on hand while I was shopping for embroidery floss and while embroidering.

Crows

 

Dwarf dude

7 thoughts on “Fairytale Embroidery

  1. This is mind-blowingly gorgeous, Lex! WOW! Seriously, I’m impressed. I can’t embroider to save my life and especially not anything this detailed.

    1. I think these were specifically called “watercolor pencils”, but they weren’t anything fancier than that! If you had a nice flat, hard surface, I think regular colored pencils would work just as well.

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