Basic Embroidery with Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer Campbell swears embroidery is easy.

Given: she's creative, she's taken a class, she's worked with local embroidery guru Angela Ellsworth, and she's compiled a few how tos for a guide to contemporary art in Phoenix she's hoping to release in February or March.

The basics, Campbell says are in a few stitches -- otherwise you just need a few supplies and an idea.

- an embroidery hoop
- embroidery floss
- small scissors
- an embroidery needle
- something to stitch on (the looser the weave, the easier it is to embroider).

To start: Old school embroiderers will discourage against knotting the thread, and will suggest you back stitch (more on that below) a few times, instead. Campbell says it's OK to cheat a little. A knot will secure your thread and prepare you for the next stitch -- choose one below.

1. Satin Stitch

Best for covering large areas with a single color. You can outline your area with a pencil or a fabric marker that'll wash out.
To Stich: Bring needle up anywhere on the outline of the shape and reinsert the needle on the other end up the shape. The larger the stitches, the easier, and the closer you can re-insert the needle to the previous stitch, the cleaner the area will look.

2. Split Stitch

One of the most common embroidery stitches, used for ling lines, letters and chains. Make a small stitch and bring your needle back up through the center of the previous stitch as you make your next one.

3. Running Stitch

Used for anything. Seriously, this one is pie. pull the needle up from the bottom and make short or long, even or uneven stitches in any direction. If you'd like to make more than one stitch at a time, you can weave your needle through the fabric and pull the thread through.


End: Once you've threaded your last stitch and your needle is through the back of the hoop, knot your thread with the last stitch and secure.

See? Easy.

Now check out what Campbell does in her spare time, which is not so easy.