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Items Needed:

Embroidery Needles

Embroidery Floss in your favorite color

Four Sack

Pencil or Fade Away marking pen

Embroidery pattern (pick a simple design)

Embroidery Hoop

Small scissors

Spray starch

Patterns can be found for free at:

And many more sites, just type in free hand embroidery designs or patterns


For this class, you will be learning a basic embroidery stitch.  There are many stitches to choose from and as your expertise grows, you can add more stitches to your repertoire.   Embroidery is useful in decorating your home and making gifts.  You can embellish everyday clothing or get as detailed has hand embroidery on wedding gowns.  But, it all begins with a simple stitch.

Since Christmas is upon us, we chose a simple tree design.  It looks complicated, but it’s really not.  But, it’s also an interesting pattern with enough challenge not to bore a teenager, but yet simple enough to keep away frustration.

First we took the flour sack and cut them in half since they were so large.  We folded over the raw edge, ironed it at 1/4” and folded again and ironed it again.  Then did a straight stitch.  This gave me two out of one and they wound up being kitchen hand towel size.  This is where ours is going, but you can choose to leave yours large if you like.  You will also need to iron it with some spray starch.  See how wrinkly it is?


Next you will need to find your design.  Check the internet for a design that you like.  When you find it, print it out to your desired size.  You may need to size it up or down to fit your fabric and your idea.  I scaled mine up just a little bit to fit just across the bottom of the sack.

Next, you will need to trace your design onto the sack.  We happen to have a projector, so we laid the printout on the project with the fabric on top and traced.  But, if you don’t have a projector, just find a well lit room and trace!  You may want to clip or tape your fabric to your printout so it doesn’t slip around on you.002

We just traced it in pencil so the design would stay for a long time.  The fade away pens usually only last about 24 hours, so make sure you use the one that will work best for your project.

This particular designs repeats across the bottom of the sack.  But you can choose to do only one design if you need to.

Next you will need to decide on the color/s you’d like to use.  Think about who will use it, where is it going, will it match their décor, is it seasonal, etc.  You can go monochromatic, meaning using a color that is similar to your fabric, do a contrast, use a variety of colors or even get the floss that blends from color to color.  It’s up to you the designer!  I do recommend not using metallic floss yet.  Wait till you have experince.  It’s beautiful, but very hard to work with.  Trust me, I’m doing a project with it right now!

Select a needle and a hoop that fits the project.  Meaning the hoop should either be large enough to enclose the project or small enough to move around, but not tiny.  Next, it’s time to stitch!


Emily is doing 3 trees in green, the middle tree half green and half red, and the remaining three in red.  We are doing a simple chain stitch.   You can look up how to do it on the internet.  This is just a good basic stitch to start with.  I knot the thread in the back so the student doesn’t have to worry about pulling the thread all the way through the fabric and getting frustrated with trying to learn how to bury the thread yet.  004

This is just another picture of how she laid out her design.  You can do the design in the corner, across the bottom or even in the center.  Just think about how it will be displayed and used.

This picture shows a close up of one of the finished trees.  When you have finished your project, you will probably need to iron it again.   007Make sure the back of the design is kept as neat as possible when stitching and trim threads, but not your knots!  Then display or give to someone as a gift.