Color Book Tutorial/Sew-Along, Part 6: Embroidering the Author and Title Pieces

This is Part Six of my Color Book Tutorial/Sew-Along.  For an introduction to this tutorial plus the finished book and links to all the other parts of this tutorial, see this post.

Put away your sewing machine and get out your hand sewing supplies!  You’ll need the scraps of muslin that you saved from your pages, your embroidery floss, a hand-sewing needle, a wet-erase fabric pen, and an embroidery hoop.  This is doable without a hoop but much easier with one.

1.  Decide if you want to use a template for your words or if you want to do the embroidery free-hand.  If you choose the free-hand method, you are braver than me.  If you choose to use a template, here’s what to do.

Print out your words for the front and back covers.  I use the font Century Gothic because it’s easy to embroider.  For the front cover, I used font size 28 and for the back “author” page, I used font size 20, both in “bold” to make the words easier to see through the fabric.

I chose to embroider, “__[name of recipient]___’s Color Book” for the front and “Love, _________” for the back.  It’s obviously up to you what you want to write.  For the front, the embroidery should be in a single line and no wider than four inches at the widest.  On the back, two lines are fine and the width doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s not wider than the book (less than 7 inches to be safe).  (See this post for examples of the front and back pages.)  An alternate phrasing for the front could be, “_________’s Book of Colors”.

2.  Place your template behind the muslin and trace the letters.  Precision is not ultra-important.  I think part of the charm of hand embroidery is its slight imperfection.018 (640x427)

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3. Using a back stitch, embroider each letter.  I chose to embroider my letters in the same order that my cover is sewn in.  So my order was red, purple, green, pink, blue, orange. With six colors, you sew one letter, count over six, and sew the next.  This means you only have to get out each color one time.  Tie off each letter as you sew it, rather than jumping from letter to letter.  The thread will show through the fabric so you shouldn’t cross between letters.  (Note that contrary to the example linked to above, I decided not to use yellow when embroidering this time around.  The yellow is hard to see and makes it look like letters are missing.  So use yellow at your own risk! :))

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You’ll find that it’s easier to make the curves of the letters if you use more shorter stitches rather than fewer longer stitches.  

4.  Once you have finished embroidering your words, your front and back should look quite similar (thanks to using a back stitch).

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001 (640x427)(Yes, I am purposely keeping the recipient of this one secret!)

5. After you are done sewing, wet your stitches to erase your fabric marker.  If you keep the fabric in the hoop until it dries, it will dry perfectly and make your ironing job easier in the next step.

6.  Repeat for your “Author” page for the back.

Next week, we’ll be finishing the covers!

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Bonus Advice:

The easiest way to start a new piece of thread when hand sewing is by using a knot-less start.  Here’s how:

1. Cut a piece of thread that is twice as long as you think you’re going to need.  Fold it in half so that you have a loop at one end and the two cut ends at the other.  Thread the two cut ends through the eye of the needle.

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2. Starting from the back of your embroidery, pull your needle up and then sew your first stitch.  Feed your needle through the loop on the back of your embroidery and pull it tight. Ta da!  The thread is secured quickly and easily!

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This method of starting stitches is particularly useful when you have to start over many times, as you do when embroidering all these letters.

You’ll never start hand-sewing with a knot again! 🙂

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4 Responses to Color Book Tutorial/Sew-Along, Part 6: Embroidering the Author and Title Pieces

  1. Pingback: Color Book Sew-Along/Tutorial | Salmon and Souvlaki

  2. Pingback: Color Book Tutorial/Sew-Along, Part 9: Binding the Book | Salmon and Souvlaki

  3. Pingback: Tutorial: A Flock Of Sheep (for your Christmas tree) | Salmon and Souvlaki

  4. Pingback: Tutorial: Baby Jesus in the Manger (a felt ornament for your Christmas tree) | Salmon and Souvlaki

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