My search for a relaxing and satisfying hobby.

Years of loving arts and crafts and anything do-it-yourself has resulted in my current hobby and business, embroidery. I've enjoyed scrapbooking, stamping, photography, cross-stitch and even refinishing furniture. But embroidery has become my favorite for relaxing and creating my own original works of art.

If you can write and if you can thread a needle, you can do it too.
(Really!)
Here's how to create your own handwritten embroidered designs.

Embroidery hoops as home decor

Why this hobby will beautify your home!

embroidery hoop collection Embroidery hoops are really fun to collect and display all together- I love to arrange them in groups with vintage fabrics and sweet sayings framed within.
They lend a retro flair to any room and can become a great conversation piece. They are inexpensive as well, making it easy to collect a bunch. If you create your own special pieces, you’ll have treasures to pass down for generations.

Embroidery supplies

Only a few items you'll need:

sewing essentials Embroidery is a relatively inexpensive hobby, since all you really need is fabric, an embroidery hoop, and a needle and thread. But it is time consuming!

For my handwritten designs, I like to use white cotton fabric, a wooden hoop and DMC embroidery floss. I prefer a small needle, and use a needle threader to make it easy to get that thread through the eye.

As with everything, you can get really involved with supplies. You can find an abundance of patterns that call for specific colors and weights of fabric with certain thread counts. For our purpose here though, I’m using a good quality, plain white cotton fabric. And you can pick whatever color you want for stitching your design because it is totally your design.

How to embroider your own handwriting

Here's the fun part

embroidery detail So the first thing to do is frame the fabric within the wooden hoop. Simply lay the fabric on top of the inner hoop and layer the outer hoop on top. Pull the fabric nice and taught so it doesn’t buckle or move around and tighten the screw on the hoop to secure it.

Now for your design.
Let’s use the quote, “You make me happy when skies are gray.”
Practice writing out your words and play around with word placement. Don’t worry about perfection, your handwriting has a lot of character and should be embraced.
Yes, it should.
There are a lot of ways to get your design onto the fabric so you can stitch it, but my favorite way is simply to leap in and use a pen and write directly on the fabric. Once I’ve practiced how I want it to look, I can write with a ball point pen quite smoothly on cotton and it makes for a unique, one of a kind work of art. If that is too frightening, you can also purchase transfer paper, so you can trace your design onto the fabric, or you can even use your computer printer to print on fabric. But I highly recommend the more daring approach. You’ll need to practice with a few pens to find one that works well, but any high quality ball point pen will work perfectly.
The following video is quite helpful if you go the transfer paper route.

Three ways to transfer embroidery patterns

This is a very helpful video with an adorable soundtrack.

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Keep it simple.

Detailed embroidery is very beautiful, but don't discount basic stitches.
A simple design with a straight stitch can be wonderful!

Common embroidery stitches

Achieve beautiful results with the basics.

you make me happy when skies are gray I mostly use the stem stitch to embroider my handwriting.
(Check out the video below to see how its done.)
But there are moments when I sort of improvise, sewing with a straight stitch or a combination of stitches, to get the look I want.

As long as you follow your writing, you’ll be delighted with the look of sewing over your handwriting.

How to sew a stem stitch

Perfect for outlining:

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Completed "You make me happy when skies are gray" embroidery hoop

Completed "You make me happy when skies are gray" embroidery hoop

Completed "You make me happy when skies are gray" embroidery hoop

How to finish the hoop

To frame, or not to frame?

you are my favorite If you prefer, you can remove your work from the embroidery hoop and mount the fabric in a frame. I love how this looks! It is great for a more formal room, set among family photos or other collectibles. Its also a great gift.

Leaving your work in the hoop is very charming and goes very well in a casual, retro setting. A collection of embroidery hoops all grouped together looks sweet!

All you have to do in order to finish the hoop is trim the excess fabric and tack it down to the underside of the inner hoop with an archival quality fabric glue.

After all the time you take to embroider a design like this, you definitely want to enjoy seeing it displayed. That is the last step for this hobby- enjoy your creation!

How the back of your finished hoop will look:

How the back of your finished hoop will look:

How the back of your finished hoop will look:

When a hobby becomes a business....

its a good thing!

I love sewing and creating my own original designs, and I'm so glad to have a small business doing what I enjoy. I hope you'll try embroidering your writing as well!
The hoop I've shared with you today is also one that I sell in my shop, Makenzi and Madilyn Sew. I make all the hoops in my store myself and each one is truly one of a kind.

Silver embroidery decor / Simple design / Gray hoop art / Ciao bella Italian decor / 5 inch size / metallic fresh handwriting | Price: $32

Silver embroidery decor / Simple design / Gray hoop art / Ciao bella Italian decor / 5 inch size / metallic fresh handwriting

Ready to ship.

This... (full description)

Golden embroidery hoop wall art / Read / brown Library decor / Cursive writing / 8 inch size | Price: $25

Golden embroidery hoop wall art / Read / brown Library decor / Cursive writing / 8 inch size

Ready to ship.

A simple 8 inch wooden hoop holds shimmery... (full description)

Green hoop art quote / not all who wander are lost / rustic home decor / fresh spring art / oval embroidery hoop | Price: $35

Green hoop art quote / not all who wander are lost / rustic home decor / fresh spring art / oval embroidery hoop

Ready to ship.

Hand sewn onto soft,... (full description)

Monogram embroidery hoop / customized initial / cursive writing home decor / 3 inch size / blue embroidered gift tag | Price: $15

Monogram embroidery hoop / customized initial / cursive writing home decor / 3 inch size / blue embroidered gift tag

3 inch wooden embroidery hoop,... (full description)

More ideas:

You are my sunshine

I love you

Oh happy day!

Go out there and be remarkable

Earth laughs in flowers

Not all who wander are lost - oval hoop with green wool felt.

chase your wildest dreams.

Here's what else I'm working on...

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Come see what is currently in my Etsy store here:

Makenzi and Madilyn Sew
My shop where I list current items for sale, and accept custom order requests.

Find a quote that suits you

decide to be happy “I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health.” Whatever speaks to you will be perfect for your hand embroidered work of art!

Get inspired and find new quotes to sew

Quote Garden
A directory of quotes by subject. You will most certainly find the quote you are looking for!

Hello there and thank you for stopping here!

Feel free to leave a few words...

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  • LMWhip May 04, 2014 @ 6:53 am
    Oh no. Another craft idea that I love and can imagine looking so lovely in my house that I'll probably not get around to. Sigh. At least I can dream.
  • im2keys May 04, 2014 @ 8:21 am
    Thanks for the comment, I am the same way with all the projects I want to do- not enough time! :o)
  • 2envelopparadox Apr 17, 2014 @ 11:54 am
    nice lens
  • emmajo Apr 11, 2014 @ 11:25 am
    being a textile artist myself - I thought this was ingenious! great article!
  • debop Apr 09, 2014 @ 5:49 pm
    Good tip! Very clear and simple.
  • yogameditation33 Apr 09, 2014 @ 8:19 am
    NICE LENS!
  • Alschaner Apr 07, 2014 @ 4:04 pm
    This is so cool! I am (sadly) not very crafty, but i would like to try this.
  • Butterfly9 Apr 07, 2014 @ 2:28 pm
    This is beautiful, I would love to learn embroidery. Keep up your skills.
  • OrganicGiftsByDiana Apr 07, 2014 @ 12:03 pm
    I have sewn and embroidered by hand since I was very young. Two of my favorite things !
    I use my first name as my brand/logo and hand embroider it after I write it on many of my hand-sewn one-of-a-kind items that I sell in my gift shop and in my online stores. I have even made pretty hand towels... and hand embroidered my gift shop theme and name/address on them as a way of advertizing and trying to get my shop noticed in my hometown.
  • homebuddy Apr 07, 2014 @ 5:38 am
    I've always loved the art of embroidery! I constantly gravitate towards embroidered shirts and the like. These embroidered quotes look really good!
  • thegembank Apr 07, 2014 @ 4:00 am
    this looks fun indeed
  • sumrfox Apr 06, 2014 @ 11:01 pm
    Amazing idea!! I grew up learning to embroidery pillow cases. glad to see the art is still alive. Can't wait to try this! I'm already imagining creating an heirloom to pass down to my grandchildren crafted in ,my own handwriting~
  • nobleknits Apr 06, 2014 @ 10:52 pm
    Such a great idea - I'm going to make some of these embroidered with my writing.
  • NuttSoRuff Apr 06, 2014 @ 9:01 pm
    What a great (and cute) idea!
  • JoanneReid Apr 06, 2014 @ 8:28 pm
    What a wonderful lens!!!! Thank you for this information. I am going to give it a try.
  • thatgrrl Apr 06, 2014 @ 7:27 pm
    I've embroidered notes for people before. Sometimes on some clothing I mended, hemmed or put buttons back on again. I like to sew Seasons Greetings and the date on the back of Xmas ornaments I make too. I always use my own handwriting.
  • nicenet Apr 06, 2014 @ 5:56 pm
    I love it. You're a genius, I'll start tomorrow to make one for myself then I'll teach my students.
    Thanks for sharing.
  • im2keys Apr 07, 2014 @ 10:28 am
    Thanks so much! I'd love to see your creations, and I'm sure your students will enjoy it :o)
  • Mia-Mia Apr 06, 2014 @ 4:25 pm
    Love, love, love this idea, and this lens. Congrats on LOTD.
  • ChocolateLily Apr 06, 2014 @ 3:44 pm
    I love this idea! It seems like a great way to get into embroidery.
  • nightcats Apr 06, 2014 @ 3:25 pm
    I know how to embroider. My mom taught me as a kid. I have never thought of doing my own handwriting, though. I probably wouldn't, because I don't like my handwriting. I have seen samples of other people's writing that would be perfect, though.
  • rauspitz Apr 06, 2014 @ 2:46 pm
    Very creative, well executed. Congratulations on getting LotD!
  • inkedwriter Apr 06, 2014 @ 2:05 pm
    Great info, and a very cool idea.
  • Mellithorpe Apr 06, 2014 @ 1:09 pm
    Great lens. I love dong this kind of work, although it's been a while.
  • Merrci Apr 06, 2014 @ 12:53 pm
    Congratulation on Lens of the Day! And what a sweet subject. That looks like so much fun, and not so hard to do (with practice. I'm sure it's not that easy). To pick whatever saying you want would make it so special.
  • bloomingrose Apr 06, 2014 @ 12:29 pm
    This would be a relaxing and beautiful hobby. I love to analyze handwriting, and it definitely would be nice to have a project like this from each of my children.
  • Ruthi Apr 06, 2014 @ 12:26 pm
    It has been years since I've been inspired to take on an embroidery project but your idea of embroidering my own handwriting is splendid and I just may have to embroider a few of my own poems for myself and for gifts. Thanks for the inspiration!
  • d-artist Apr 06, 2014 @ 11:44 am
    Congratulations on LOTD! As a child in Germany 'back in the day' we learned embroidery in 1st grade ...it was a sewing needle holder, I still have it and it still amazes me a child did it...
  • DeniseMcGill Apr 06, 2014 @ 11:15 am
    Congrats on LOTD. This is awesome. I love embroidery. Very unique and simple gift ideas. Thanks.
  • RenaissanceWoman2010 Apr 06, 2014 @ 10:14 am
    I love personalized gifts and this would be awesome. Just wish my handwriting looked that good. Thanks for the lovely ideas and congrats on Lens of the Day!
  • Susan52 Apr 06, 2014 @ 9:51 am
    Love this craft! I used to do embroidery years ago and loved the finished look. A quote like this would be a wonderful Mother's Day gift. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your well-deserved Lens of the Day!
  • partybuzz Apr 06, 2014 @ 8:50 am
    What a beautiful idea for a keepsake gift. Thanks for the tips. Congratulations on LotD!
  • grammieo Apr 06, 2014 @ 8:46 am
    What a lovely idea! I really like this and I bet I could do something like this too! Thanks for the ideas!
  • kschimmel Apr 06, 2014 @ 8:13 am
    If only my handwriting were pretty enough to preserve in thread!
  • im2keys Apr 06, 2014 @ 10:27 am
    You must embrace your handwriting, no matter how you think it looks- you may be surprised at how wonderful it looks to others! :o)
  • FreshStart7 Mar 14, 2014 @ 3:08 am
    Your own handwriting gives it a nice personal touch!
  • kiwinana71 Mar 14, 2014 @ 2:12 am
    Very nice article. I used to do a lot of this back in the early 1950's before they brought the the tape and writing your name on your clothes. I alway embroidered my name on my clothes and even hankies in those days, thanks for the nice memories.
  • Brite-Ideas Mar 14, 2014 @ 12:41 am
    this is a great idea - great way to feature art work, or even sign it
  • Wednesday_Elf Mar 13, 2014 @ 11:57 am
    I used to do quite a lot of embroidery, but now pretty much concentrate on crochet and needlework on plastic canvas. But several years ago, the last thing I remember embroidering, I collected the hand prints of all the grandchildren in the family and embroidered them with each child's name underneath onto a pillow case for a gift for my mother (the grandmother). She was absolutely delighted with it.
  • CherylFay Mar 13, 2014 @ 11:53 am
    Oh I love this idea. Will have to try that out! Nice lens!
  • tonyleather Feb 20, 2014 @ 7:44 am
    I have to say that I think this is a wonderful idea, and can easily imagine what a treasured gift it would make for a loved one. Nice Lens!
  • favored1 Jan 29, 2014 @ 7:14 pm
    What a nice gift this would make of someone's special sayings or even their writing. Booking this for sure. I have to try it. Thanks for the videos as well.
  • kinworm Jan 28, 2014 @ 5:50 am
    I like this idea. I do like embroidery though I've never tried embroidering quotes - these would make cute gifts.
  • Charito1962 Jan 25, 2014 @ 6:53 am
    How interesting! Let me try to embroider my handwriting.
  • takkhis Jan 13, 2014 @ 12:09 pm
    My mother loves doing this :)
  • melissamio Oct 15, 2013 @ 12:41 pm
    This is a cute idea. It would be a nice way to memorialize it for your children.
  • Stephanie36 Oct 15, 2013 @ 12:04 pm
    This is a really cool idea :)
  • ErinMellor May 04, 2013 @ 11:19 am
    What a lovely idea for a keepsake
  • skiesgreen Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:44 pm
    Beautiful lens and well constructed information.
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