Rule 1: Make sure that you have enough fabric and thread.
Isn’t it frustrating when you’re happily stitching then realized you’re out of yellow thread. You’ll have to get out to purchase more thread or wait for a few days if you shop online. And who knows, maybe you’ll lose your enthusiasm to finish what you’ve started because of a minor inconvenience?
That’s why it is important that you have enough thread and fabric before starting a project. Don’t spoil your work trying to save what’s left. Buy a little extra when purchasing for supplies. DIY kits usually have enough materials for a certain design. It also comes with directions that you can follow carefully so you prevent wasting materials on mistakes.
Rule 2: Do a test piece.
If you’re still exploring with different thread materials, fabrics, and stitch combinations, it is wise to do a test piece. This is vital if you are working on new materials or unfamiliar designs. Doing this allows you to estimate the amount of materials and supply you need while foreseeing the possible challenges you may encounter. This test piece can be kept as a reference. Plus, you get to see the progress and improvement of your needlework.
Rule 3: Do your best in thread work.
Create a habit in doing your best needlework on your projects no matter how time consuming it is initially. The more you practice your best work, the more automatic and natural it becomes. Learn techniques on how to twiddle little as you stitch and practice keeping the thread from twisting on itself.
Rule 4: Don’t get stuck on unfinished pieces.
You might get excited when trying out a new embroidery design and lose interest in the middle. You might encounter a difficulty or are just plainly distracted with other things. Don’t worry. It happens to everyone especially on a large project. Don’t get hung up on it. Instead work on smaller and easier ones in your free time and return to your unfinished piece when you’re bored.
If you’re not really interested in finishing it, it is best to keep your work neat and clean. Don’t leave needles on the fabric as it can rust and ruin the fabric. Store it properly. Someone might be interested to finish it for you.
Rule 5: Consider keeping notes and records.
Compile notes and records in one place. Though this is not necessary, it would be interesting to see all the projects and concepts you’ve had. You may take down notes on designs, colour numbers, techniques, reference photos, and even your supply inventory. You can use this whenever you’re looking for designs and also when you want to show it to other people.
Rule 6: Take good care of your tools.
Treat your tool like friends. The more you are comfortable with them, the better it is in the long run. Always check that your needles have the right sizes and aren’t bent or rusty. For scissors, choose a pair that cuts well. Your work area is equally important. Make sure that your seat is comfortable for long hours of embroidery work and there is adequate lighting. Pick a thimble that fits well on your middle finger that doesn’t have a protruding ridge on the opening end.
To create your best work, avoid poor-performing tools as it reflects on the quality of your project. Having good quality materials is indeed a game changer and makes your hobby more enjoyable to work with.
Rule 7: You can say NO to requests and commissions.
Embroidery is a work of art and people are drawn to it. It’s flattering when someone appreciates your work and you may find yourself in a position where a friend may ask you to make one for her. If you’re not really in the mood to create a specific request, learn to say “no”. Even if they offer to pay for the materials, it takes a lot of time, effort, and focus to finish a piece. You can also just offer a design you are familiar or enjoy creating.
If all else fails, you can offer to teach them and even give them their own DIY kit!
Rule 8: Don’t stop learning.
Get into the world of embroidery. It truly is a fascinating world with rich histories and different cultural influences. You might even incorporate and get inspired with new techniques from different experts. The possibilities are indeed endless as you can try out various concepts and colour schemes. Read books, explore museums, watch videos, and keep that passion burning.
But if you’re just someone who enjoys simple stitching, then it’s also a good thing. As long as you’re happy, you don’t need to impress anyone else.
Rule 9: Experiment and come up with your own techniques.
There are no golden rules to stitching. If you want to use red instead of brown, then go for it. You can also experiment with other stitches and see what works best to your taste. It is not forbidden to deviate from the norm but be prepared for criticisms from others.
However if you have an expectation for a particular design to come to life, it is best to read the instructions of the kit to the letter.
Rule 10: Be proud of your work.
Don’t rush to finish but finish proud. Don’t spoil your hard work and make it as neatly as you can. At the end of the day, celebrate your masterpiece. Sign it or frame it! Not everyone can embroider. Stop comparing your work with someone else’s. As the saying goes, “Don’t compare your Day 1 to someone’s Day 100.” You may have just started embroidering today, so whatever the outcome is, as long as you’ve finished it, it’s something you should be really proud of.