Craft Ideas for Adults | 28 April 2016Embroider your own Bookend Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Modern embroidery has burst out of its sampler frames and can now be found in the unique, eye-catching details of our homes. Caroline Zoob shows us how to put true artistry and originality into our fibre craft – using texture to bring her works to life in The Hand-Stitched Home. photography by Caroline Arber Sheep and tree bookends Materials: A wooden block – this one was oak and was a 15cm cube sawn in half diagonally. Oak is nice and heavy. You could have two cubes of wood if you prefer, and adapt the picture accordingly by putting the tree in the centre. Fabric to cover the bookends – for this project I used antique French ticking in neutral colours as a contrast to the front panel. Very light wadding A staple gun Threads Template Stitches used: Stem stitch Split stitch Straight stitch Rollover stitch Satin stitch Knot stitch Loopy stitch Slip stitch photography by Caroline Arber Method 1 First prepare the block by stapling the wadding to the block as neatly as possible. 2 Cut pieces of fabric for the face you plan to embroider and its opposite face, allowing 1cm extra all round. Staple the plain piece to the block though the wadding on the overlapping fabric, not too close to the edge. 3 Fold the panel you are going to embroider over the block so you can mark the area of the embroidery. Do not embroider within 5mm of this fold to allow yourself a bit of leeway when fixing the panel to the block. Using the template, lightly trace the fence onto the panel and stitch, followed by the tree. The fence is worked in single thread and you can use either stem, split or straight stitches. Use a different brown for the fence from the tree. 4 Now work the tree. I always start with the trunk, working it in single-thread long and short stitches to give the effect of the bark. Flare the trunk out at the bottom, imagining as you do so the way that tree roots spread out and make the ground beneath them quite bumpy. Build the tree trunk and branches up with satin stitch and knot stitch using single thread, and then use rollover stitch to create a few ridges in the bark. Add the leaves using stem stitch. 5 For the sheep I use 4 strands and make tiny stitches next to each other, but do not pull the thread right through the fabric. You could use knot stitch, but I like using these loopy stitches as they feel a bit woollier. When you are happy with the body of the sheep, add their black faces, ears, feet and tails. 6 Add the grass around the fence posts and around the feet of the sheep. Have some blades going across the legs of the sheep and the fence posts and some behind. Lastly, if you choose, add the little bird on the fence post. 7 Iron your embroidery. Staple it to the padded block. Cut a piece of fabric that will stretch right around the long diagonal side and bottom of the block, allowing enough for a 1cm turn under on all edges. Slip stitch the fabric to the block, starting with the embroidered panel diagonal edge and continuing around, joining the two ends underneath the block as in the picture left. Alternatively, take the block, fabric and embroidery to an upholsterer and ask him or her to do it for you! illustration by Kate Simunek Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: The Hand-Stitched Home: Projects and Inspiration for Creating Embroidered Textiles for the Home is an inspirational book by the embroiderer and textile designer Caroline Zoob. Full of beautifully photographed projects and ideas, from a simple flower on the edge of a chair cover to more intricate window treatments, this book will prove invaluable for anyone wanting to add elegant embroidered touches to modern, airy decorating schemes. In the introduction to The Hand-Stitched Home, Caroline considers crucial points essential for successful hand-stitching such as the choice and use of colour and fabric. She looks at sources of inspiration and explains the importance of spotting things that lend themselves to be captured in stitches such as the dots on the petals of a hellebore, the bare branches of trees or rolled bales of hay in a field. She advises how to seek inspiration from threads, buttons, picture frames, scraps of lace or old greetings cards. The book is then divided into five main chapters that include a wide variety of projects, such as making pictures and window dressing. The book concludes with a practical section that covers stitches and techniques, templates and suppliers. Whether you are an experienced sewer or taking up your needle for the first time, The Hand-Stitched Home will inspire you to create beautifully decorative pieces for your home. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.