Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hand Stitching on Scrapbook Pages

I promised on the forum that I'd post a tutorial on how to hand stitch, and so here I go... ^_^

Start by piercing your desired stitches. You can mark this first or do it free hand like I'm doing in the photo below. If I'm doing decorative stuff, I usually mark it first. But here I'm using my stitching to hold down this piece of vellum on my LO (layout), and the entire LO is somewhat haphazard and a bit random, so I'm doing my stitching the same way.

To pierce, lay your scrapbook page on some kind of spongey thing (I'm using my sanding block.). Poke holes where desired. Continue moving the page around until all your holes are pierced.

Here is the PIP (page in progress) with all of the holes pierced:

Thread your tapestry needle with two strands of embroidery floss (I use DMC size 22 tapestry needles and, just in case you didn't know, embroidery floss has six strands in it which you separate into three two ply strands, thereby tripling the life of your embroidery floss.). To help with separating the strands, keep in mind that you shouldn't allow the end of your floss to get too twisted as you separate the strands. I hold the strand so that the bottom of it is hanging free the entire time I'm separating. I pull two strands away for a bit, then transfer these two strands to between my lips. Clamping these two strands in my lips, I pull gently on the four (or two, if this is your second go 'round) remaining strands and untwist the freely hanging tail with my other hand at the same time. It's a bit of a process, but you eventually figure out the trick to it.

Go back through your paper in your next desired stitch.

Come back up at your next desired point. (I always, always look at the back of the paper before pushing my needle through. It's just way faster and easier to see the hole you need to poke the needle through from the direction that you're poking it, if that makes sense.)

Hopefully with the beginning of the second stitch, you can catch the tail of your floss on the back of your page and not have to worry about holding the tail anymore.

At the end of your stitching line, pull the floss back through your stitches. If you're doing straight stitching, just weave back and forth between the stitches for a bit. Cut the floss, leaving a short tail.

For added security, I like to cut a piece of scratch cardstock or paper to glue onto the back of my stitches. Make sure it's acid free if this is for a scrapbook!

If you'll be using your stitching at all, like I did, to hold another piece of paper down, make sure you're coming up through the back just to the side of the paper you're stitching down. It just makes it so much easier, since your needle will have the tendency to go under the edge of the paper on top. Stitching down through this edge is the faster way to do it.

Here's the finished page with all the stitching and a whole bunch of new crap put in place.

Quick note on the vellum: I was inspired by a LO I saw in Elizabeth Kartchner's new book, "52 More Scrapbook Challenges". The beautiful LO on page 41 by Keisha Campbell had a few vellum covered photos in it. I had just printed this 5x7 of my son eating the snowcone, only to see that it was ridiculously pixelated because it was from an old photo (2005) back when I didn't know about setting my camera resolution high to get better photos. I printed a 6x4 of the same photo to replace it, but felt guilty about wasting the 5x7. I was wondering how I was going to use the photo without the square-ness of the pixels ruining the whole LO. I found my answer about 2 minutes later while flipping through the book (waiting for the printed pictures to dry the recommended 15 minutes before handling) and thought I'd try covering it in vellum. It worked great!!!! I love the background quality the photo has now in the LO.

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