sewing Becky  

Stitch a quick gift for a tea-loving friend

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Hi, it’s me, Wendy from Sugarlane Designs, back again with another cute stitching tutorial for you.

I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible habit of leaving things to the last minute.  This is especially frustrating when a close friend or family member’s birthday pops up when I”m not prepared for it!  I just know I want to make something personalised and sweet; something I know they’ll love and treasure, but the time frame I left myself is, needless to say, a very short one.

Well, I’ve  designed a quick framed stitchery that is just perfect for your tea-loving friends that you can stitch up in an evening or two.

It’s a cute little stitchery, measuring just 2 1/2 inches x 2 1/2 inches square, but it will certainly hold it’s place in someone’s tea-loving heart!

Let’s begin… will need:

  • 2 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in (6cm x 6cm) square frame
  • 5 inch (12cm) square of beige check quilters fabric
  • 4 1/2 in (11cm) square of light fusible interfacing, such as Whisperweft/Weaveline
  • 1 skein each of 6-stranded embroidery cottons as follows:  variegated red, olive green, golden brown
  • no 9 crewel or embroidery needle
  • 0.1 brown/sepia pigma pen
  • embroidery hoop – 4 inch (optional)
  • light box (optional)
  • design 
  • embroidery scissors
  • iron, ironing pad/board
  • medium weight cardboard

Firstly, you will need to tape your design pattern onto your lightbox, or alternatively tape it to another light source, such as a bright window.  Position your  beige check square of fabric over the design so that it is centred, and tape it down.  Using your pigma pen, carefully trace the design onto your fabric.  Once you have completely traced the design, remove your  fabric and using an iron, fuse the interfacing to the reverse side of the fabric, ensuring it is centred behind the design.  This will stabilize your stitchery as well as hiding the thread as you ‘travel’ on the back side of the design.

(Travelling means when you have finished stitching one section but need to ‘travel’ or move to another section using the same colour thread.  If the distance is not too great, you can ‘travel’ to the next section, ensuring you don’t pull your thread too tightly.  NOTE:  do not ‘travel’ if the distance is more than approx 1 in.  If it is, you need to tie off and start again).

Now you are ready to stitch.   With a design so small, it is difficult to find a suitable hoop, however if you feel more comfortable using a hoop,  use a 4 inch size.  If you can’t get one, you can use a larger sized hoop, but to do this, you will need to baste 2 inch scrap fabric strips to each side of the stitchery so it can be held firmly in the hoop.  Once you have finished your stitchery, you can unpick and remove the excess fabric.

As this stitchery is so small, it is necessary to stitch using only one strand of thread.  Because you are using one strand only, your stitches will be also need to be quite small so that the curves are smooth and not angular.    As a guide, your stitches should be no larger than 6 or 8 to the inch.  Using the lessons I’ve taught you before about backstitch,  thread your needle with one strand of variegated red thread and backstitch around the teacup and saucer.  Using the same variegated red thread, satin stitch the spots on the cup and saucer (*HINT: I’ll detail how to do this in my tips on Thursday!)


Backstitch the wording “Tea, with me?” in one strand of olive green thread.  The comma is created with a French knot, followed by one small backstitch.  You can create the question mark using backstitch with a French knot at the end of the curl and another for the period.


The steam is stitched in one strand of golden brown thread, also using a backstitch.

Once you have finished, press your stitchery by placing face down on a soft towel and pressing using the cotton setting on your iron.  Depending on the fusible interfacing you have used, it may help to place a pressing cloth or piece of light cotton between the iron and your stitchery so that the backing isn’t distorted with the heat.  This may happen if you use a synthetic interfacing, which is another reason why I prefer a cotton one, such as WhisperWeft or Weaveline.

Create a cardboard ‘template’ of the glass in your frame.  Centre your stitchery over it and wrap the excess fabric to the back, stitching top and bottom edges together using a ladder stitch to tension the stitchery around the template.  Check to make sure the stitchery is straight as you go.  Stitch left and right sides  together the same way. (As you won’t see this stitching, you can use any leftover thread you have.) Once you are happy with your stitchery, you can place it in the frame and admire your work!

Not bad for an evening or two’s work, huh?  I hope you enjoyed this post and if you create your own ‘Tea with me?’ stitchery, I’d love to see it.  I will be back later this week with tips on how to perfect your satin stitch. In the meantime,  find out more about me at my intro post.  Then, why not come and visit me at my blog ‘Sugarlane Designs’ where you can check out more of my work and see what else is happening in my crazy world!

You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook,  Pinterest and Twitter.

xox Sugary hugs :o)

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