Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Reader’s Embroidery: Free-Style Hearts


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Here’s a nice selection of free-style embroidery stitches, worked in individual heart motifs. Jeannine was practicing different stitches, so she decided to work some redwork hearts for a quilt, using a variety of stitches to try them out. Good idea – and the results are really nice!

If you’ve been hand embroidering for a long time, or even if you’re just now getting into needlework as a “newbie,” you’ve probably already discovered there are hundreds of embroidery stitches! In fact, this is one of the great things about surface embroidery – you can really work with a variety of stitches, and create a whole, almost limitless range of looks, just by altering your stitch choice. With all the stitches out there to try, I swear, embroidery is just one of those hobbies you could never get bored with!

Jeannine is relatively knew to embroidery – but I think she does a terrific job on her work, and I love the idea of these “sampler” hearts that employ a whole bunch of different stitches. It’s a great idea to try out stitches, and using the squares for a quilt is a great way to make use of the sampler, without just stashing it away.

So, here they are – a whole series of sampler hearts:

Reader's Embroidery: Jeannine's sampler hearts

Reader's Embroidery: Jeannine's sampler hearts

Reader's Embroidery: Jeannine's sampler hearts

Reader's Embroidery: Jeannine's sampler hearts

Reader's Embroidery: Jeannine's sampler hearts

Reader's Embroidery: Jeannine's sampler hearts

Nice, aren’t they?? I’m quite taken with that bunny in the last one! He’s hilarious! I like the “primitive” look to the blocks. But most of all, I like the variety in the stitches!

Great job, Jeannine! It looks like you’re having a BLAST with your needle ‘n thread!


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(10) Comments

  1. Jeannine, these are lovely! I like the bunny best, too. How many hearts are you going to make in total? I hope you’ll share a photo of the quilt when you finish it.

  2. Thanks, Margaret! 🙂 Hmm…I don’t know how many I’ll make. I put them away and started playing with something else, with just barely having enough hearts finished to create a lap quilt. I will go back and make more though.

    Then I guess I’ll have to learn how to put a quilt together! LOL! I’ve never made one in my life. But I’m all set to learn…I met this lovely lady who lives pretty close by, she makes beautiful quilts and she said she’d be happy to give me some pointers. I think it sounds like a great winter project. I promise I’ll take a pic of the results. – Jeannine

  3. Thank you Mary, for this idea. If I work one block like this or similar, I could have a quilt top for a present in no time.

  4. I love these sampler hearts!

    I’d like to try some of these stitches – I’m a beginner.

    To start, I’m trying to figure what stitches were used to outline the hearts.

    The first one is certainly buttonhole.
    The second one (with the little bird) I can’t identify.
    The third one I don’t recognize either – looks like some kind of loopy buttonhole.
    The fourth one (moons and hearts) is chain stitch.
    The fifth one either backstitch or outline or stem stitch.
    The last one (bunny) I don’t recognize either.

    Can anyone help me out?

    1. I think the bunny and bird are the same stitch, only in the bunny heart, the stitch is worked closer together – I think it’s coral stitch. It’s also the same stitch used to outline the bunny, if I’m not mistaken. It’s hard to tell, because I can’t enlarge the photos without losing resolution. The loopy buttonhole up there looks like basque stitch… Hope that helps!

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