Monday, 8 April 2013

Embroidered letters take 2…


I’ve been trying out something exciting for my current project! You remember these little porcelain pots I mentioned in this post?


Well, those little recesses in the top are going to house fabric embroidered with lines from love letters from the war.

I scanned the letters into photoshop and cut and paste the bits I wanted onto an A4 sheet. I bought some water soluble paper from Barnyarns which is perfect because I could print the letters straight onto it. I then stuck the paper onto some old linen with spraymount and proceeded to (slowly) trace the letters using my super duper embroidery foot.


What do you think? When I say slow, I mean slow – these two sheets took five hours over two days to sew. I’ve just started two more and the first one only took just over an hour so I must be getting quicker with confidence.

When I’d finished, I almost preferred the back!


The paper just washes off in warm water, although it took a bit of coaxing out from under the stitches with a nailbrush!


And the finished pieces…


Not perfect, but I prefer it to the way a proper embroidery machine would have done it.


I love the reference to going to the cinema to see ‘Major Barbara’ and having to walk home during the black-out!

It was really important to me that I not only used the content of the letters but also the actual handwriting too. It makes it more real, and although it was a lot of work I think it was worth it.

Shame I’m going to cut them up really!



  1. It looks great. I love old letters, we have a large plastic bin of them written to DH'smother mostly during the war. Every winter we think we will get time to sit and read through them but there is always something more pressing.

    1. You're very lucky! I wish I had family letters from the war. These are from ebay and they are great, so much to read and they are so interesting. Maybe it's a good thing they aren't from my family - it would be hard to cut them up, even if they are only sewn versions!

  2. What a lovely idea. Did you just cut the treads between each letter? What will stop them from unravelling?

    1. Hi! Yes, I cut the treads to make it legible. Because these were going to be set into the tops of little pots they won't unravel. You can't tell from the front, but there is a LOT of thread on the back!

      If they were for something else, like clothing or something that is going to be washed I doubt they would survive very long. They might though if it was a small amount of sewing that could be reinforced on the back with bondaweb, fabric glue or maybe layers of fabric overlaid at the back?