• Marie Fourie

EMBROIDERY - WE MADE THIS JUST FOR YOU!

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

Well, none of us could have predicted just a few months ago that we would still be in the grips of a global health crisis, one quite unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes. We are immensely grateful to report that while I pen this blog, my grandbabies and family are all healthy and we have managed, thus far, to escape the clutches of this indiscriminate disease.


We are deeply aware that many of you and your loved ones have experienced first hand the devastating effects this pandemic has had on so many lives.


We, as a family, send out our thoughts and best wishes to you all! x

Before I share this months #mooimaakmetmarie craft with you I wondered if you would indulge me in a very proud ouma moment as I share some incredibly exciting news with you. My daughter Alecia gave birth to a precious little girl! I'd like to introduce you to my 4th granddaughter, little Maeve Alice. She has Ouma's whole heart already!



We had planned to travel to London to be with Alecia & Maeve over their first few weeks but, with world travel on hold we have sadly packed our passports away - for now. Instead, I have been working hard to embrace the life of a tech savvy Ouma with daily WhatsApp and video calls with all my girls. Both Alecia and little Maeve are doing brilliantly and Isla is thrilled to step into her role as big sister!

And - onto a very special crafting project that we hope you will love as much as we did putting it together for you. These last few months have left us all feeling a little displaced and uncertain so we wanted to help keep your hands and minds busy with a project that you could do just for yourself or prepare as a gift for someone you love. With Christmas around the corner, it would make a perfect gift to pop in a stocking or under the tree this year.


We have included a free template that you can trace onto your fabric that I have designed myself. The colours we have used here are just a guide, please feel free to play with the colour thread you choose to suit a room or the personal style! Here she is - the 'My Cherié, Cherry Blossom Tree'.


Ok, lets dive in - now remember you don't have to be a dab hand

with an embroidery needle to try this, I have chosen simple stitches

to suit all experience levels!


After following these steps you'll be able to embroider your cherry blossom tree and create your own unique version of an original Country Tree design.


STEP ONE: PREPARE YOUR FABRIC

There are so many beautiful items and keepsakes that you could add this design to - from napkins to pillow covers, table runners or even keep in the hoop as a frame to brighten any wall in your home.


Once you have selected your fabric we recommended that you wash and iron it before starting. It is also good to run a seam along all edges to avoid fraying.


STEP TWO: TRANSFER THE DESIGN TO YOUR FABRIC

The Cherry Blossom Tree design is yours with our compliments - click here to download


Scale the image to your preferred size then print in black ink (to help with visibility when tracing). Using a sheet of tracing paper, trace the outline of the design.


Lay your ironed fabric onto a clean and dry surface, layer with a sheet of carbon paper on top of the fabric, and top with the traced outline on your tracing paper. Using a pen or pencil to apply a little pressure to ensure a clear transfer and trace around the image. You should now have a clear outline ready to start!



STEP THREE: SECURE YOUR HOOP

A fabric hoop will be a great aid to help keep the fabric taught and the tension consistent while you embroider your design.


Make sure that the inner hoop isn't protruding and sits flush against the outer hoop. The fabric will need to be evenly taught within to avoid pulling in one direction keeping design in the centre.


STEP FOUR: STARTING WITH YOUR TREE TRUNK

Let's start by using a simple stitch called a long and short stitch which, if you are familiar with embroidery, is similar to a satin stitch. This stitch will help us to fill in a large area in the design, like our tree trunk and also help to add depth and texture. You can play with lighter shades of brown for the tree trunk to give it a shaded or graduated effect.


There are lots of really helpful video tutorials to demonstrate this technique really well so I will link to one here for you; long & short stitch - how to video.


Here are a few additional tips to help you along the way:

  • Using one continuous thread will help to give you a nice and neat finish.

  • Allow the needle to pierce the previous row to give you a firm overlap stitch.

  • You can add a little more texture by varying the length of the stitch.



STEP FOUR: ADDING YOUR COLOURFUL BLOSSOMS

This is one of the prettiest little stitches and, once you've got the hang of it, you can really get creative playing with different shades of thread for your cherry blossoms using the french knot stitch.


Here's a link to a great video to help you get the hang of this stitch french knot - how-to video.


We've included a few extra tips to help you achieve your tré chic french knots:

  • There is a lot of conflicting suggestions on the perfect amount of times to wrap your thread around the needle for your french knot. You'll get a feel for what works best for you over time. My preference is two wraps as I prefer a consistently shaped, neat look for my french knots but if a looser knot is what you are looking for then three wraps upwards will help you achieve this.

  • Slow and steady does it - make sure that you take your time while pulling the thread through especially after you’ve let go of the working thread. A quick pull right at the end can result odd-shaped or slipped knots.

As always, we would love to see what you do with your #mooimaakmetmarie crafts so please do share your pics on social and don't forget to tag us @countrytree.sa and we may even feature your handiwork on our page!


I look forward to seeing you next month when things will be getting decidedly festive and Christmassy here in the studio!


Marie x


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