Hooked on Needles

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hand Embroidered Paper Bookmark

A few months ago I traveled half way across the country to celebrate my Auntie's 90th birthday. It was a wonderful long weekend and a great opportunity to renew friendships with relatives I hadn't seen in over 20 years. My fun and funny cousin Arlene not only put me up for the long weekend, but she also put up with me! What a kind and generous soul she is. So to thank her for her hospitality, I made use of a new kind of needlework I had just recently discovered, and I stitched her this bookmark.

It is stitched using regular DMC stranded embroidery floss on a piece of card stock that is sort of a mottled green. After the stitching was complete, I adhered the green card stock to a piece of yellow card stock so that the back of the stitching would be covered and the whole thing would be stiff. This made a perfect little bookmark and a nice little thank-you gift.

I found the pattern and the instructions for the paper embroidery at Stitching Cards which is a beautiful and inspiring website from England. They have lots of free patterns and step-by-step instructions so you can try out the technique before spending a dime. The design I used is the one called Flowering Vine Pattern.

The technique is called prick and stitch and is really quite fun. First you choose your design and print out the PDF file. Then you lay the pricking pattern onto the card stock onto which your stitching will go and you prick little holes through the pattern and the card stock using a needle or straight pin. Having a few sheets of fun foam under the card stock while you do the pricking helps to protect your work surface and allows the pin to penetrate the paper to make consistent sized holes. Then following the stitching instructions, you embroider the design onto the card stock. You can add fancy writing or other embellishments to dress up your design too.

You can see an example of a beautiful card embroidered using another design from Stitching Cards at Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread website. Her card was a little fancier than my bookmark, but as it turns out, it was made for the same occasion...her Auntie's 90th birthday!

I also made a set of embroidered note cards for the local high school PTO raffle which I will show you soon.

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