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Get into ‘cottagecore’ with hoop-framed faux embroidery decor

by Shaelagh Kirkey

Hello and welcome back! Hope you caught my last post, where I embroidered a lemony-fresh decorative tea towel. Yep, decorative. It’s been decided that it falls into the category of ‘too pretty to use’. Today’s project is another decor piece, but this time it’s something meant to just hang on your wall!

Using a traditional hand-embroidery hoop as an art frame seems to be increasingly popular lately, especially among the cottagecore communities. While I like hand-embroidering, it’s another one of those slow hobbies that I personally can’t seem to find the time for anymore. But! We can fake the look of it just fine with an embroidery machine! Enter the Brother Luminaire XP!

Brother Luminaire XP

The Brother Luminaire XP

For this piece, I found a lilac sprig design that caught my eye, again, on another old Brother embroidery card. Lilacs hold a special place in my heart, as they were a constant in my grandparent’s garden. I spent many summers smelling the blossoms and enjoying their pretty purple color.

This design is a very simple one. Here is a close-up of it on screen in the preview mode I mentioned yesterday.

 A lilac embroidery design magnified in preview mode on the Brother Luminaire XP

Don’t you just love lilacs?

I made sure to alter the colors a little when I picked my threads so I’d have a lighter purple. I set the machine to embroidering and sat down at my computer to begin sharing this project with you. When I looked back at it, I realized that I had left black thread in the bobbin case, and, while it wasn’t coming up to the top, I could see it as dark specks at the needle holes! My bad, but ugh… and SO not the look I wanted…

Fabric in the embroidery hoop showing dark bobbin thread in the lilac design; Brother Luminaire XP

Oops! Black bobbin thread on light fabric isn’t a good idea!

But it wasn’t tragic. While I had to re-embroider it, instead of starting over completely on a new piece of fabric, I just switched my bobbin thread to white and started re-embroidering from the beginning, right over my previous stitches. It was even prettier then, actually, because the extra stitching raised the detail and gave it some more texture. I could see stitching lettering twice, too, for the same reason, especially on thick, fluffy towels!

From there I stitched the rest of the flowers, and then had a stroke of genius—I decided to replace the embroidered ribbon with a real one! But how? Well, I stitched the stems, and they left a gap where the ribbon was supposed to stitch. I taped a ribbon in place, and then I backed up to the editing screen and added in some tiny letters (lower case ‘L’, ‘cause they just stitch a little satin stitch line) and rotated and dragged them on screen to where the bow covered the stem. (I know, I know, I’m cheating again! But in the very best way!) Then I went back into the Embroidery screen, forwarded past all the colors I had already stitched, skipped the bow, and then stitched those little letters over my ribbon to secure it in place. You can see the letters in the picture, holding that ribbon fast.

A green ribbon added to the lilac embroidery design; Brother Luminaire XP

Small letters make great little securing stitches for ribbon!

The technique of adding ribbon to embroidery projects isn’t a new one, but can be applied multiple ways, and my design just happened to have the perfect accommodation for it. If you wanted to, you could add the ribbon to the neck of an animal embroidery design, or use yarn loops for horse or lion manes. Once you have the technique down, there are so many ways you can play with it! Let your imagination lead you!

After taking it out of the hoop and trimming away the excess stabilizer, it was time to tie a bow in that ribbon. I felt like I was five again—I had to Google it, ‘cause it was nothing like tying my shoes! But look – here it is all done and clamped into its ‘frame’. What do you think?

A cluster of lilacs embroidered on white fabric and tied with a green ribbon clamped in a hand-embroidery hoop; Brother Luminaire XP

A quick and easy frame-up for your favorite designs!

My lilac art turned out amazingly well—I’m so pleased with it! I love how cheery and inviting it looks hanging on a wall. Afterwards I was thinking how perfect it would be to embroider several pieces with common culinary herbs in them to cozy up a kitchen space.

I love having all of the toys and gadgets on the Luminaire to play with! I’ve made great headway with my Pinterest project wish list, and I have one more for you tomorrow. So, be sure to meet me here – same time, same place, for my last cottagecore project on the Brother Luminaire XP. I’ll be making the coziest thing ever! And lucky for me, the Luminaire has the coolest feature that I’ll be playing with, too. Until then, TTFN and happy embroidering!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Customizing a cottagecore tea towel with decorative embroidery

Go to part 5: Making an in-the-hoop cottagecore heating pad on the Brother Luminaire XP


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