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What do you need?
There are a lot of different techniques and know-how with embroidery, so we have kept it fairly simple to help you start to embellish at will..  so you will need:
1 A Pattern
2 Transfer Paper
3 Sharp Embroidery Needle
4 Cotton Embroidery Thread
5 Scissors
6 Hoop (4inch for starters)
7 Fabric (crisp cotton to start)

So where do you start?
First, choose your base.. and it can be anything at all, but we suggest to begin with you use a crisp cotton to practise - like an old piece of sheet or shirting will do!
Next you decide on your pattern.  

How do you use your transfer paper?
Place the fabric on a firm surface (the transfer paper will only show on lighter coloured fabrics). Then lay the transfer paper on top with the dark side against the fabric. Put the pattern you require on top of this. Then using a knitting needle/pen lid or something firm but blunt, simply trace round the outline of the pattern.   When you lift it up - you have an outline to embroider.
 
Starting to stitch
Thread your needle with some embroidery thread - there are lots on the market but the most common is stranded cotton (also used for cross stitching).  There are 6 strands per thread and you can use 2 to 6 depending on how thick you want the finish to be.
Use a hoop on your fabric to keep the fabric taut and workable and then you can loosely knot the end of the fabric leaving enough thread to work it back into the reverse of the embroidery stitches you are about to make (removing the knot before rethreading this end).  Now you are ready to embroider - following the line you just created.

Back Stitch - the simple one
We think this is the simplest and the easiest to get embroidering!  It is easy peasy to work.
Make a single, straight stitch (1-2). Continue along your pattern line, but come up a space ahead (3) and bring your needle back down into the same hole at the end of the last stitch you made. See... simple! This is perfect for neat outlines and sharp turns.

backstitch.jpg

Stem Stitch - the handy one
Work this almost like back stitch, except instead of coming up at the end of the stitch come up beside it. Repeat with your following stitches, working at a slight diagonal across your line, and keeping to the same side of your stitches This stitch is perfect for curvy lines like floral stems.

stemstitch.jpg

Chain Stitch - the flash one
Come up at (1) and reinsert the tip of your needle just next to it (2).  As you pull the thread back through keep a loop of yarn on the top side.  As you bring your needle back up (3), pass the tip of the needle inside the loop of yarn you just made. Continue and repeat, always ensuring you tighten the previous loop.

chainstitch.jpg

Other Stuff
There are lots and lots of different stitches and techniques - we have just given you a taster of some of the stitches to start you off.  There are lots of  books with literally hundreds of stitches.. why not see our BLOG for the latest

**Words, pictures and illustrations strictly copyrighted, J Pearce - not for printing, copying or distribution.