I thought I'd start today by talking about how I transfer embroidery designs onto cotton fabric. Please note there are different tools and techniques out there. I'm just sharing MY preferred method.
I stayed away from embroidery for many years (decades?) because I didn't like the printed or marked drawing to show underneath my stitches. It bugged me. (It's a thing.)
So I stuck with counted cross-stitch. I think you could wrap the earth a few times with the amount of embroidery floss I've cross-stitched! Seriously. I would cross-stitch on a bench in a shopping mall downtown during my lunch hours in my teens & 20s (& 30s). (Yes, I'm that nerdy!)
And now as a mom, I'm often spotted stitching while my girls are at their extra-curricular activites. (Although a friend informed me that toting my needlework around in a large wicker basket was going a little overboard ... just because I WATCHED "Little House on the Prairie" on tv as a kid doesn't mean I need to RE-ENACT it as an adult.)
But a few years ago I was introduced to these PERMANENT pens. Pigma Micron pens. They come in assorted colors and "fine-ness-es".
Yes I know, the word 'permanent' gives some of you a case of the vapors just thinking about it. It did me for years too. But then I did something else. I started tracing my designs using tiny dots instead of solid lines. Now I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for eyes that don't cooperate all the time (I can always tell if I need a new prescription for my eyeglasses when I embroider.) And it doesn't always work depending on the color/design of your fabric & threads, etc. But I usually stitch on white or light cotton and my markings are (almost) always totally invisible. I'll show you as I go along.
Now to Letter A.
Ok. You know that scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when they remove the ceiling tile from that tomb and Indiana Jones rolls onto his back and says "Snakes ... why'd it have to be snakes?"
Well, that's kinda how I feel about this letter. Only instead of snakes it's "Satin stitch ... why'd it have to be satin stitch?" I've never gotten along well with the satin stitch. I mean, it's gorgeous and all. But it takes me too much time to make it look really nice. Other stitches you can kinda fudge a bit and not be quite so exact and your work still looks good. But satin stitch? No can do.
I'm not in the mood right now to tackle it. So I'm just doing the chain stitch part of this letter and skipping the rest for now. I'll come back later ...
If you feel like joining the dark side, the pattern is available here.
And I got a few requests to share the floss colors I'm using so here they are (COSMO brand, available here):
103A, 104, 105, 2105, 2251, 252, 683, 684, 533, 534, 535, 142, 143, 144A, 368, 714
And my fabric is ... well, in the picture just up there. ;) It's a Moda 3 Sisters print from the "Simplicity" line. It's a few years old and probably difficult to find in stores (just sayin'). But any white, light cream or something light with a subtle print (like mine) will work with the floss colors I'm using.