I have always loved to make things whether it be sewing, crocheting, drawing, painting or in any other way. I love trying new things, learning new ways to make things. There is something so satisfying about taking a pile of scraps and, with a little bit of cutting and sewing, turning them into a beautiful and functional quilt. Or taking some fabric yardage and turning it into a pretty little dress, or a ball of yarn and making it into a hat or scarf that can now keep someone warm. Something about turning something that by itself may seem rather useless (not that I think fabric or yarn is useless, to me it is full of possibilities, but without doing something to it it is simply a piece of fabric or a ball of yarn) and turning it into something that can be used, something that can be worn or played with, keep someone warm or just look pretty really makes me happy.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a home where I always saw my mom making things. She was the one who first taught me to sew and crochet along with other types of crafts. As a result creating things has always been a part of my life, for as long as I can remember. I don't think I realized until more recently what an important part of my life it is. After I had a few kids I got busy and it was harder to find time to make things without a specific reason. I still sewed but not as much as I would have liked because it was hard to make the time for it. It was around that time that I started doing a lot more crocheting. I really loved it because it was easy to take around the house with me or work on while I watched a tv show with my husband. Finding a creative outlet that worked for that time in my life was so important for me. I realized that it was almost therapeutic for me. It was my little bit of me time, to develop my own talents and do something that I enjoyed. I love being a mom but sometimes the messes, the never-ending laundry and dishes and poopy diapers, someone always needing you to be doing something for them, and everything else that goes along with having young kids can be overwhelming. Finding a way to continue to be creative and do something that I enjoyed has helped me get through the really overwhelming times. It really made me realize what an important part of my life that is.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and twice a year our church holds a conference where leaders of the church speak to us. There are multiple sessions held during each conference but one is specifically for the women of the church. A few years ago, around the same time I was talking about before I attended one of these conferences where one of the talks really hit me and has been one of my favorites ever since. You can read the talk here, or watch this video based on that talk.
It talks about the desire we all have to create and how it relates to happiness. Each of us has different talents and create in different ways, for me one of the ways that I like to create is through crafts. In the talk he says "Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty." That is the way that I feel when I make something, when I am able to make an idea in my head into a reality and then see someone use and enjoy that thing that I made.
That is what the word Create brings to my mind now. It reminds me that the desire to create is an important part of who I am, that it is important that I develop my talents and use them to bless the lives of others. It reminds me of the joy it brings to me to see my kids enjoying something that I made for them and the fact that they now think that they can ask me to make anything and trust that I will be able to make it no matter how hard it is. It inspires me to want to create something. That is why, when I was trying to think of some ideas for things to hang on the wall around my sewing area I knew that I wanted something with the word Create on it. I came up with this little embroidery and wanted to share it in case anyone else is looking for something to decorate their creative space. If you don't want to use the word create you could always use the flower wreath but replace the word with one that has more meaning for you.
To make the Create Embroidery you will need:
- white fabric (I would start with something about 11-12 inches square, you can trim it down later)
- interfacing (or you can use another layer of fabric or thin cotton batting, just something to help the fabric be less see through)
- embroidery floss in desired colors (I used 11 colors: 3 shades of blue, 2 shades of green, 2 shades of purple, red, pink, yellow, gray)
- an 8 inch embroidery hoop
- pattern (click link above)
- pencil or removable pen for tracing
- felt for backing (optional)
Trace the pattern onto the center of your white fabric. I usually just trace lightly with a pencil but if you are worried about it being visible after you are finished you can use a pen made for tracing on fabric. There are some that wash out with water, others come out with heat and some just fade over time. Once you have finished tracing the pattern put your fabric on top of your interfacing (or batting or second piece of fabric, I used a scrap of interfacing because that is what I had on hand) and put them both in the embroidery hoop. Now you are ready to start stitching. I am not going to give super detailed instructions for this part because you can really do it however you want. I mainly used a combination of backstitch, lazy daisy stitch and french knots. If I were to do it over again I would have used the stem stitch for the word to help it stand out more. If you need help with these stitches take a look at this Craftsy article. You may also notice that there are a few small differences between the pattern and my embroidery. When I traced my pattern I did not trace every detail. I really only traced the word, the stems and bigger leaves and the flowers. I did not trace the little dots or the smaller leaves or all of the details on the flowers. I looked at the pattern for a guide but sometimes changed things up a little. For example, the little purple flowers by the C I made star-shaped with pointy petals instead of round the way they were on the pattern and on the purple flowers by the e I omitted the little lines I had drawn on the flowers.
I chose to use a dark blue for the lettering, two shades each of blue, red/pink, and purple for the flowers. I used a golden-yellow for the flower centers, two shades of green for the stems and leaves and a silvery-gray for the little dots around the flowers. You can use any colors that you choose or follow the pictures to see where exactly I chose to use each color.
Once you are done with the stitching there are several ways that you could finish it. You could sew it into something like a pillow or a quilt block. You could make a little mini-quilt wall hanging, frame it, or you could do what I chose to do and simply leave it in the hoop. The way that I finished mine was I first made sure that the embroidery was tight and centered in the hoop. Then I trimmed the interfacing right along the of the hoop. To get the fabric to lay flat on the back I trimmed it so I had about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of fabric all the way around and did running stitch around the outside edge of the circle. Then I cinched it up to bring everything to the center and after I made sure everything was laying nice I made a couple little stitches to knot it off. I then cut a circle of felt the size of the back and hot glued it to the back of the hoop. I am sure there are a lot of other ways to finish it but this is the way that I came up with and it worked for me.
Now all that is left is to find a place to hang your embroidery. I hung mine above my sewing table to help inspire me to remember to take time to be creative. I want to decorate my sewing area and this is the first thing that I made for that purpose. There will be more to come soon.