Learn to Embroider!

Contemporary Hand Embroidery for Beginners

Inspired by the embroidery work in Bonnie Peterson’s exhibition, FAM Registrar Esther Patch created an introductory video on a few basic hand embroidery stitches for anyone who would wish to learn this ancient art form. As part of her Master’s program in Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, she had the opportunity to work with the Wemyss School of Needlework. It was at this historic establishment she first learned the joys of hand embroidery. Since then, it has become her favorite way to spend time, relax, and get creative. 

Based on archaeological finds, the art of embroidery is said to date back to Cro-Magnon days. It is believed to have originated in China and the Middle East when people repaired torn or ripped clothing and discovered they could turn their repair into an embellishment for the clothing. Embroidery gained great popularity in the western world during Medieval times in Europe, and its appearance in clothing was often a sign of wealth. It has continued to evolve as an art form, appearing in both clothing and stand-alone artwork, into our current times.

We hope you enjoy watching our video and creating your own work of art!

What you will need:

  • 8" embroidery hoop (can be a different size depending upon how large you print the pattern)
  • Embroidery needle, size 8 or 9
  • Embroidery floss of desired colors*
  • Floss bobbins (optional)
  • Pencil or transfer pen (water-soluble ink)
  • Scissors (small, sharp, pointed scissors best, but not required)
  • 12" x 12" white or off-white cotton cloth recommended although you can choose a different color (size can vary depending upon the size of hoop/pattern) (unbleached muslin works well)

Click the link above to watch the video.

Click here for the transfer pattern and written instructions.

* Suggested colors can be purchased at this link: countryside-pattern-9007581.html or you can choose your own that are similar to those in the pattern information.

You may also purchase embroidery supplies on-line or locally at Michael's or Joanne's stores.

Your finished work should look similar to this sample: