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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Hand Embroidery on Gingham – Christmas Trees!


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Laurie Latour of Future Christian Homemakers is quite an enthusiast when it comes to hand embroidery on gingham. If you have not seen her Gingham Museum on her website, it is worth taking a look at, especially if you are interested in elaborate “chicken scratch” embroidery that is unique and really beautiful. She has quite a collection of embroidered aprons, and they’re all detailed with close-up photos and commentary.

Laurie’s been experimenting with gingham lately, coming up with several Christmas designs that are really attractive. I especially like this series of Christmas trees she’s been working on, so I was very happy when she said I could share them with you.

Traditionally, embroidery on gingham is worked in white or in the color of the darkest square on the fabric. Laurie played a little with this, but found that contrasting colors worked best on this series of trees.

The trees are embroidered on 1/8″ homespun fabric (available online through Jubilee Fabric), and their finished size is approximately 3.25″ tall by 2.75″ wide – the perfect size for an ornament or a Christmas card.

Hand Embroidery on Gingham - Christmas Trees

This first tree is worked with a combination of dark green and sparkly white thread – although I like it, I have to admit I like the trees worked in colors that contrast with the fabric better. Laurie used two strands of DMC 890 (green) for the tree, and two strands of Treasure Braid Petit High Gloss (P410) for the circles and x’s.

Hand Embroidery on Gingham - Christmas Trees

I like this tree a better, with the green stitched on the red homespun. She used the same color green as on the tree above, but instead of the white braid, she used Treasure Braid Petite (PB68), a multi-colored sparkly thread. It’s hard to capture the sparkle in the picture, but you can imagine how nice it looks if you’re familiar at all with Rainbow Gallery’s Treasure Braids (pictured down below).

Hand Embroidery on Gingham - Christmas Trees

This tree, I really like. I like the kelly green floss on the red, with the gold braid! It’s very pretty, and oh-so-Christmassy.

Hand Embroidery on Gingham - Christmas Trees

This tree, however, is my absolute fave. I love the contrast of the bold red stitches, and I like the dark geen with the gold braid.

Which is your favorite, of the four trees above?

Hand Embroidery on Gingham - Christmas Trees

Although this isn’t a full tutorial, if you are interested in working up some similar trees, in the photo above, you can see the “skeleton” pattern for the design. For further directions on gingham embroidery, you can check out some tips for embroidering on gingham at the Future Christian Homemakers website.

Treausre Braids by Rainbox Gallery

This, by the way, is Treasure Braid. You can find it at most local needlework shops that carry cross stitch or needlepointing supplies.

Classic Prayers for Children

While wandering through Laurie’s website, I came across this little book that Laurie publishes, Classic Prayers for Children. It is a sweet book of prayers and poems for children, beautifully illustrated. It struck me as a perfect stocking stuffer or First Communion treasure for little kids.

I love the work of preservation that Laurie is doing with gingham embroidery. She is building quite a collection of vintage gingham embroidery and documenting them so that we can see the unique designs and stitch combinations used in the technique. If yuou get a chance, make sure you check out her website!

Have a terrific weekend!


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(11) Comments

  1. These are a great idea. They would be really cute outlining a table runner for a country Christmas table. Thanks for the idea, Laurie and Mary!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I actually made a dish towel for my mom for Christmas based on the skeleton tree and I think she’ll really like it. I was trying to recreate the final, high-contrast tree, but thanks to a miscount of squares I discovered too late that threw off the colors/squares, I had to wing it. 🙂
    Thanks so much for all the awesome info you post–I love your site and it’s been so helpful as I’ve been learning to embroider.
    Here’s the link to what I made: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=393687.0

  3. Just found you not too long ago. I was so happy to find all this info. I was thinking about doing the watermelon for my sister but DMC does not post it. Is there another way to get it? Thank you for all your wisdom and generosity.

    1. Hi, Rhonda – thanks for your note! I’m going to republish the pattern here on Needle ‘n Thread in the very near future. Thanks a bunch!

  4. Can you tell me what embroidery stitches were used? In isolation, have gingham and threads, cant go tothe shops for anything * else

    1. You can use any type of embroidery thread that “fits” the size of your gingham. For these projects, I think she used perle cotton of some size – probably 5 or 8.

  5. Are these done on mini buffalo it says homespun but when I go to your link for Jubilee Fabric it looks like what they have pictured for Buffalo?

    1. Hi, Lynn – this gingham Christmas tree project was from a stitcher in Florida who put a lot of research into Chicken Scratch embroidery. You don’t necessarily need a pattern. If you look at the trees, and you have an idea of the stitches used for gingham embroidery, you can “build” your own Christmas tree using the basic stitches. You can read more about gingham embroidery and see the basic stitches used here:

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