Here's a soothing weekend-length embroidery project that packs a lot of punch and only uses very simple embroidery techniques. Working with such a big hoop can be a new challenge, but the final piece stands very proudly on a wall!
You will need
- 18" Embroidery Hoop
- 2-4 skeins of black embroidery floss
- Embroidery needles
- X-Acto knife
- At least 24"x24" of Cotton canvas
- Fabric marking chalk
- Mechanical pencil
- Colored pencil
- Large sheet of paper (18"x24" or bigger)
Step 1: Draft the Mountains
First, trace a circle along the interior of the hoop on a big piece of paper.
Draw out your mountains. It might be helpful to make a thumbnail drawing at a smaller size to get the shapes you want. I first drew out the general shapes, then used a ruler to precisely lay out each row. You can use a right angle or t-square to make the lines perfectly parallel or eyeball it.
Step 2: Mark the Cutlines
In a different colored pencil, trace out the areas you will cut your stencil with. I create tabs and keys so that I can line it up when the pieces are separated.
Step 3: Cut Out the Stencil
Lay your paper on a surface that's safe for cutting.
Carefully cut out the pieces of the stencil.
Step 4: Cut the Canvas to Size
Mark out a 24"x24" square using fabric marking chalk or pencil.
Cut it out.
Step 5: Iron & Prep
Iron the canvas nice and smooth. If the piece is only ending up on a wall, washing the fabric is unnecessary.
Trace the edge of the hoop so you know where to place your design. Aim for an equal amount of excess on each side.
Step 6: Transfer the Design
Trace around your stencils one piece at a time.
Use a regular mechanical pencil if you're very precise. The stitching will cover the lines, but the graphite does not come out of the fabric cleanly.
Place small dots at the interior line end points.
Continue with the rest of the pieces, using the tabs to line up each piece.
Step 7: Connect the Dots
Connect the end points and carefully draw the interior lines in each section.
Step 8: Stitch Away
Separate your 6-strand embroidery floss in half (I like using 3 strands).
Backstitch (how-to) the entire piece.
Tie off knots on the back and start with new floss every time you run out.
Put on a good movie, catch up on your favorite podcasts, or binge out on conspiracy theory videos on youtube. This amount of stitching takes me 6-10 hours, but it's very meditative and easy to zone out into. Enjoy yourself :)
Step 9: All Done!
You're all done!
Now you can trim it and hang it up as it is, maybe add a border and sew it to a pillow, or attach it to your jacket. For embroidery, it will read pretty well from afar. Have fun experimenting with colors and changing up the design.