Embroidering on crochet is an easy way to make our creations special.
I am so happy we have made it to part four of our crochet painting series. Exploring the world of embroidery has been a big interest of mine. I feel like embroidery and crochet can be good friends. Below we will learn 5 embroidery stitches in a video tutorial. I will also share with you the tips and tricks I have learned while embroidering on crochet.
We will also talk about assembling our crochet paintings. Plus I will go over a little troubleshooting, in case you have a hard time getting your crochet painting in your frame.
How to Assemble your Crochet Painting
Assembling your crochet painting is quite easy. I find it easier to assemble your painting before you embroider. First, take all your crocheted pieces with the long tails you left to sew with and lay them on top of your background. Rearrange your pieces in several different ways to determine where you want them to go. Once you have the perfect placement, use the yarn tails to sew the pieces in place with a basic sewing stitch.
When placing your pieces, I want you to remember a few things. First, if you are framing the piece, make sure your appliques are at least 1/4 – 1/2 of an inch from the edge. This will keep your appliques from being under the frame. Second, if you made the sunflower painting, remember to leave room between your flowers so you can embroider the lazy daisies and lavender stems.
Time to Embroider
Tips and Tricks for Embroidering on Crochet
I have been embroidering on crochet for a while now and experimenting with its benefits and limitations. I used french knots for the buttons on the Amigurumi Snowman Couple and worked daisies around the bottom of the Heirloom Doll Dress. During that time I have learned a handful of tricks for embroidering on crochet. All the tricks are shown in the video tutorial as well.
Tip #1: Use an Embroidery needle.
I highly, highly recommend using an embroidery needle. Please be careful as embroidery needs are very sharp. It is because they are sharp that we want to use the embroidery needle to be able to work through the center of stitches.
Tip #2: How to Thread Your Needle
Yarn is much thicker than embroidery thread, so getting it through an embroidery needle can be tough. To thread your needle, take a small piece of paper, about a 1/2 inch square, and fold it in half. Make sure that you can thread this folded piece of paper through the needle. If you cannot, simply cut down the paper until it fits through the needle.
Once the paper fits through the eye of the needle, open up the paper and place your yarn end into the fold. Fold it in half and use the paper to thread the yarn through the eye of the needle. This is the easiest way I have found to thread yarn through a needle.
Tip #3: Weave in your Starting Tail
In embroidery, they like to avoid making knots on the backside of their work. You can do this by making several tiny stitches to hold your yarn in place. Since we are crocheters, it makes more sense for us to simply weave in our starting end and then begin embroidering.
Tip #4: Stitch through the Center of a Stitch
When crocheting and embroidering on crochet we tend to work our needle into the big holes left between the stitches. Instead, I find it better to work your stitches through the center of the crochet stitch. This holds your stitches in place and makes your stitches look fuller and clearer.
Embroidering on Crochet: Video Tutorial
In this video tutorial, I will show you the following 5 stitches. Below is a quick description of each stitch that is demonstrated in the video tutorial.
The best way to describe the backstitch is that it looks like the stitch a sewing machine makes. This stitch can be used for so many different types of projects. I used it for the daisy stems in the sunflower painting. It is a very basic clean looking stitch with no raised texture.
The Stem Stitch
They call it the stem stitch because it is often used for stems when embroidering flowers. The stem stitch is worked in a way that it looks like you have twisted two strands of yarn together and somehow secured them to the fabric. This look is created by cleverly making stitches behind other stitches without going through the other stitch. Check out the video tutorial to see how this is done. This stitch sits on top of the fabric and adds a nice raised effect. I used this stitch for the sunflower stems.
The Split Stitch
This stitch is just what it sounds like. You will make a stitch then make a second stitch that comes up in the center of the first stitch and through the stitch to split the yarn. This technique gives the yarn a slightly textured look without adding much height to the stitch. I used this stitch for the lavender stems.
The Lazy Daisy Stitch
This stitch takes a little getting used to, but it has to be one of my favorite stitches. The lazy daisy stitch can be used to make little flowers. I use them in the crochet paintings to make daisies, lavender buds, and the cactus flower. The idea is to make a loop and then use another small stitch to hold the loop in place so it looks like the outline of a flower petal.
The Embroidery French Knot
The French knot is a clever way to make a neat little knot with only one end of the yarn. You will end up wrapping your yarn around your needle and carefully pulling the yarn through the center to create a clean little knot. You can make this knot bigger by wrapping the yarn around the needle several more times.
I use the french knot at the center of the lazy daisies. It also makes great eyes and buttons on the Amigurumi Snowman Couple.
Embroidering on the Cacti Painting
There is very little embroidery on the crochet cactus painting. I made random small stitches on the barrel cactus to look like spines. On the tall cactus, there are some ‘V’ shaped stitches for a different type of spine look. I used embroidery floss for the stitches on the cactus.
Using pink yarn and the lazy daisy stitch, I made just a few loops to look like a flower bud that is slowly blooming on top of the barrel cactus.
You can also use any of the stitches above to create stripes and zig-zag patterns on your cactus plant pots.
Framing your Crochet Painting
In the crochet painting part 1, we talked about the importance of making your background fit your frame. But sometimes your piece still doesn’t fit quite right or maybe you changed your frames or decided to frame it after making the background. Don’t worry it happens to the best of us. In fact, my cactus painting was too small for the frame, while my sunflower painting was too large. Below I will show you how I ‘fixed’ this so it would fit into the frame nicely. Even if your piece fits perfect you may consider using these tips to help it lay better.
How to Fix a Too Small Background
So my cactus background was a bit too small. It happens to the best of us, but this is the better of the two situations to have. Why? Because crochet stretches. To make my painting fit perfectly into my frame, I took my glue gun and made small dabs of glue in each corner of the frame backing and attached the corners of my crochet painting.
Then working around the edges, I added more drops of glue, held the painting in place for a few seconds as the glue dried and then moved to the next spot. If you decide to reuse the frame at a later date you can easily remove the crochet painting with minimal damage.
How to a Too Large Background
So we made the background and it is just too large. It happens more often than you think. Even after carefully checking your gauge, your background is larger than the backing for your frame.
You can see from the photo below that even a 1/4 of an inch is going to give us issues when we place it in our picture frame. Now we have two options, do not frame it, or permanently frame it. I am being honest, there is no going back if we ‘fix’ this problem.
So here is what we are going to do. Grab your handy glue gun and line up one corner of your crocheted background, using the glue gun tack along the two edges that line up perfectly.
Now lift the two edges that do not line up, and using a long line of glue, firmly attach the other two sides at the point that the background meets the frame backing. Once everything is nice and dry, take some sharp scissors and trim the excess background away.
Yes, this is not the ideal solution, and it means you will not be able to reuse the frame without destroying your crochet painting. But if you love your painting, then you won’t have to worry about that.
So there you have it, after four weeks we have learned everything we need to know to be able to create a basic crochet painting. You can definitely mix and match these techniques and add more techniques you know to make your crochet painting truly something special.
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