Painting Embroidery the Easy Way!

Like to paint but not an artist? This technique is almost as much fun!

If you appreciate the creative process, this shortcut to painting machine embroidery offers an artistic outlet without having to be Michelangelo.

You will probably have all of the supplies needed already: Fine point permanent markers, rubbing alcohol, and cotton swabs.

The process works best with sturdy fabrics like duck or heavy muslin. Choose a Redwork or outline design. The simpler and more open, the better. Thread colors can be the same or varied. This is a bean stitch design I have had for a very long time, stitched on a heavy muslin.

Once the design is stitched, remove excess stabilizer. Take a permanent marker and add a swath of color with plenty of space around it. For the sunflower petals, I just added an arch above detail stitching for each petal.

Make sure to protect the surface upon which you are working. Pour a bit of rubbing alcohol into a bowl, dip a cotton swab into the alcohol, and use the swab to draw along the lines made by the permanent marker.

The swab should be wet, but not dripping. As you draw along the permanent marker with the alcohol swab, the marker color spreads like watercolor. If it is too defined or too bright, add more alcohol. Too light? Add more marker.

When satisfied, let it dry and press with a hot iron. It is great fun with plenty of creative opportunity!