No, the title is not a new mix of Doberman Pinscher/Poodle/Labrador (Poopinschoodle?)  I am brainstorming some 1-hour textile projects for adults, and had this idea today while doodling in between uninspired ideas. Doodles! Embroidery can be an entry-level craft after learning a simple straight and satin stitch, and no pattern is needed.


Freehand squiggles

I like the surprises that come from letting your mind wander through a pencil on a notepad.  It seems like it’s been too long since I’ve been bored– having a smartphone is a crutch in some ways.  There’s always something I can think to do, so I have to force myself to daydream*.  Even when I’m on the phone with my parents, I’m probably stitching something or preparing food.  Busy hands!

For this project, just doodle. Take some paper (not too big) and a black marker and doodle. Make it as simple or as complicated as you want.  Do you still have the scrap of paper with your girlfriend’s phone number on it, from the first time you asked her for it? Maybe a to-do list that got done on a day you thought nothing would go right?  Just jot something down real fast!

Materials needed:

  • muslin or other lightweight fabric
  • paper
  • black market
  • embroidery hoop
  • embroidery floss or sewing thread
  • needle
  • fabric marker
  • scissors

Make a doodle.  Keep it simple.

Trace the design with the fabric marker. Did you know you can buy invisible ink fabric markers? Science!

If you’ve never used an embroidery hoop before, this is simple. Sandwich the fabric between the larger and small hoop and tighten the screw.  You want to get the fabric very taut, like a drum head.  Depending on how large your design is, you will have to readjust the fabric within the circle.

Start from the backside of the fabric to hide your knot, and follow the line with a running stitch, backstitch, or satin stitch.  Those are the basics.  Think of embroidery as drawing with thread– as long as you’re leaving a mark, you’re doing it right.

To finish, pass your needle through a stitch on the backside of the fabric, and again through the resulting loop to make a knot. Do it twice more in the same spot and you’re done. Clip the thread.

*I am a terrible procrastinator, which is different from indolence.


One Comment on “Embroiderdoodles”

  1. Donna says:

    Very cute idea. I would have never thought to create my own design on embroidery. I’m going to have to try this sometime.

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