365 Days of Stitches: Tips & Tricks

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So you’re embarking on a 365 Days of Stitches project? Get ready for lots of fun.

First things first: Thank you! Thank you for purchasing a kit or digital download from me. I love creating products and finished pieces that bring joy and I hope this brings you lots during the year.

BUY NOW: 365 Days of Stitches Kit or Download

Now, for the tips and tricks you were promised!

Choose your hoop and fabric color (digital download) 

The pattern is scaled for a 9” or 10” hoop.

I suggest white fabric because it’s really not going to be seen once you’re done. If you choose white fabric, you will want to cut two 13-14” circles. Doubling the fabric will make it more stable for stitching AND you won’t be able to see the stitches along the back of the piece. 

Iron the fabric. I use a little starch to get a nice, crisp finish on the fabric. Make sure you iron both pieces for the smoothest look.

Transferring the pattern

KIT: This pattern has been hand-transferred to the fabric using a Frixion pen. The Frixion pen is heat-dissolvable, meaning you can just grab your iron or hairdryer and give it a little heat and *poof* the lines are gone, just like magic!

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD: Once you download the pattern, you will want to print it. It’s scaled for a 9″ or 10″ hoop. You will see that there are two versions – one with an outer circle and one without. If you use a 10″ hoop, you’ll want to disregard the outer hoop and extend the lines farther so they reach the edge of the hoop.  

There are two ways of transferring your pattern that I recommend, but for this, the FriXion Pen is going to be your best friend. With white fabric, you may be able to see well enough to lay the paper down on a table and trace the lines using a water soluble pen or FriXion pen. If you have a light box, you can use that, otherwise you’ll want to tape the paper to a window, tape the fabric to the window and trace the pattern. I use a ruler to get the lines straight, plus it makes it easier to extend them for a little bigger hoop size.

The other option is to use Sulky Printable/Dissolvable Stabilizer. You can resize your piece to whatever hoop size you are using (it’s set for a 9″ or 10” hoop) and then print directly on this stick-on stabilizer. Apply the design to your fabric, stitch, and then dissolve the stabilizer off in hot water. You will have to iron your piece after it’s dried, though. That’s the one downside, but this is so easy to use.

Getting started

Once the pattern is transferred, you can stitch the lines and lettering.

I recommend stitching with 2 or 3 strands of floss. All DMC floss comes with 6 strands, and you can gently separate them by pulling one strand very slowly at a time.

Most people doing this project like to stitch all the lines and months up front, allowing them to use their iron or hair dryer to erase the lines from the FriXion Pen. Then you’ve got a nice, fresh canvas to work from.

What do I stitch? And every day?

The beauty of this type of project is that you can stitch whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. If you look on Instagram for any 365 day project – painting, stitching, running, whatever – you’ll see that the options are endless.

You can choose to remember each day with something special (good or bad) that happened, or a phrase that jumped out. You can choose to do one type of stitch in a different color each day, and fill the area. Can’t think of anything? Practice new-to-you stitches.

There is no right or wrong way to take this on. Some people choose to stitch weekly, or even monthly, keeping up with what they’re going to stitch by making notes or drawing it out with their FriXion pen and then coming back to stitch.

How do I stitch, though?

Well, the good news is, the internet is slap FULL of tutorials on how to embroider. I even have a few on Instagram. From basic stitches to more advanced stitches, there’s no shortage of things to learn. To get started, these are the stitches I would focus on:

Examples of works in progress

My friend Amy chose to do a theme each month and I love how it’s turned out.
My first three months of 2020 were done as a theme and then once Covid hit, I changed to documenting each day in a different way.

My Favorite Things

To find some of my favorite things, you can go to my post about tools and inspiration for stitching.

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