Embroidered Emperors

Woah I did a mega hoop art! I am very happy with myself that I finished this and reasonably pleased with all of it to boot.

Customised Emperor Penguin Embroidered Hoop Art

Last Autumn one of my besties announced she was having her second child so I set about devising a crafty plan. I worked out that I wanted a family of animals with the children’s names. After that it just evolved. I thought to begin with of doing parrots but I just couldn’t work out how that would fit as a family. Plus have you ever seen a baby parrot?! I am not sure a bald little bird with goggly eyes would be that becoming in satin stitch. I’m afraid that looks won over personality and the penguin family made the final cut.

I settled on a 12 inch hoop as wanted it to be quite large. I used a poly-cotton fabric in dark French blue and drew the design free hand using only googled penguins for inspiration!

Once the design was in place I used a smaller 8 inch hoop for sewing as I couldn’t get the tension on the 12 inch hoop to keep the work flat. Maybe that was the particular hoop I got from eBay, it didn’t have a groove in the screw to use a screwdriver so I had to rely on twiglet fingers to tighten it and it just wasn’t doing it. On the up-side the 8 inch hoop fit far easier in my work bag. Which was handy as these polar guys travelled all over with me getting stitched up.

I did the daddy penguin first, then the rest of the family. All in 2 strand satin stitch with DMC threads. The whole hoop art took two black and two white threads plus a bit of grey, orange and yellow. The stars include a silver sequin in the centre as I wanted something to catch the light in the nursery setting.

I used chain stitch to make the name Jasper and then left room to include the baby’s name. Thank goodness she didn’t pick a double-barrelled Percival-Humphry or space would have been tight! Fortunately she picked a fab name, ‘Sunny’, which as well as being a super cute baby name also fit in pretty jolly well with the hoop art and the yellow thread.

I backed it using my usual method of drawing long 6 strand threads across at opposite points to draw the tension in and added a circle of burgundy felt to the back with a running stitch going over into the poly-cotton.

I wanted something to give it an extra flourish and settled on a row of pom-poms, I tried a few different colours against it but finally settled on the dark blue as think it worked best. Sticking them on to the hoop took a bit of time as the glues weren’t cutting the mustard. After several stick disasters and droopy pom-poms the local hardware store sorted me out with a tube of Copydex. The fishy smelling rubbery stuff stuck the pom-pom edging a treat!

I added some gold picture wire for hanging, wrapped it up and took it off to my friend this weekend.

Welcome to the world baby Sunny Ray, hope you and your big brother Jasper enjoy looking at the penguins for many years.

(Oh and I got a cuddle with the baby, he is the cutest little gnome ever).

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