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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Red Checks and Embroidered Stars – Summer Picnic Embellishments


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It’s summer in the US, and this time of year, picnics, outdoor parties and cookouts are all on the menu.

If you’re the keen outdoor picnicky type, and you love the idea of embellished picnic tablecloths, there are a few tutorials here on Needle ‘n Thread that might strike your fancy!

Star Stitch

First, there’s this tutorial for embroidering easy, perfect stars. You can find further variations on embroidered stars in this tutorial.

Star Stitch

Both star tutorials were originally concocted for Christmas stitching, but they’ll serve equally as well for creating your summer Fourth of July picnic linens. Embroider them on cloth napkins, tablecloth corners and the like to add a special touch to your summer celebrations!

Drawn Thread on Gingham

If stars aren’t your thing, try touching up your classic red-checked, picnic-table gingham using this tutorial on drawn thread borders on gingham towels. You can apply the same concept to your cotton table cloths or cloth napkins.

After working the drawn thread edge, you might want to add some festive chicken scratch embroidery, too. Chicken scratch is embroidery on gingham that works up quickly. It looks great on red and white gingham, and can take your picnic place settings to a whole new level!

Since it’s been a little while since both of those tutorials were posted, I figured I’d let newcomers know they’re available. Hope they come in handy!


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(4) Comments

  1. Thanks, Mary! I discovered these tutorials on your site earlier this summer and have been exploring chicken scratch. I love it because it’s pretty and not complicated for a stitcher with some experience. I like “folksy” needlework styles.

    My 7-year-old daughter and I have been working on the Pink Peppermints cottage project – it’s a great beginner piece for a child.

    I really appreciate your posting these on your site, because I haven’t been able to find much published on chicken scratch, especially not in English (though I do have a book on “broderie suisse” on the way from France.)

  2. Dear Mary

    Ah it’s that time of year again celebrations picnics and all good fun. I love the embellishments tablecloth/napkin ideas, thanks for reminding us of these tutorials I expect you are all gearing up for the fourth of July celebrations I hope the preparations for the parties go well.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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