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Using embroidery samplers to add beauty and colour to chairs.

If you speak to any craft lover you will soon learn that they are all addicts, myself included. Yes they will have their favourite crafts but they also have their eyes peeled for the next high. Hand embroidery is one of my first loves. I love buying embroidery floss. I love playing with how I can alter stitches. I love that it is something that I can transport anywhere with me with ease.

modern hand embroidery samplers craft diy upcycle

Like a true craft junkie I became enthralled by new highs, I bought wire, I started to crochet, I made clothes so I wanted a project that would allow me to explore ALL of the stitches I loved and play with colour and allow me to ease back into hand embroidery again.

modern hand embroidery samplers craft diy upcycle

You may remember that I painted my mismatched chairs with one of my favourite paints for furniture, Sarah Jayne Chalk Paints. The chairs were so pretty in their green coats but the seat covers were a different matter. I had some raw silk in my stash and so much embroidery floss, so I could set to work.

modern hand embroidery samplers craft diy upcycle

I decided to make samplers using ALL of the stitches and ALL of the colours. Be fearless in your decor and your crafting I say, no one ever gets an award for dipping their toe in the water.

Responding to colour and form is my favourite way to create.

There is no right or wrong way to make an embroidery sampler you just have to work intuitively and react to to what is there. The hardest thing is committing to the first stitch and the first colour. After that you have something to respond to.

modern hand embroidery samplers craft diy upcycle

If you feel like exploring hand embroidery further and eating some of my legendary cake I will be teaching a course in Heptonstall at the lovely Whitehall Studio.

modern hand embroidery samplers craft diy upcycle


February 16, 2019

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11 Comments

  1. Reply

    Stacey Sheppard

    February 10, 2019

    These look amazing. When I see what people are able to create with their crafts it really makes me wish I was more crafty myself. I’m sure I could be pretty good at it if I really applied myself and I bet it’s really therapeutic. Your chairs look absolutely beautiful and so original. What a great project.

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 15, 2019

      so therapeutic and tactile it sparks joy when I run my hands over them

  2. Reply

    Hollie Brooks | Audenza

    February 11, 2019

    Gosh, these are stunning! I’m not particularly crafty sadly, both my mum and sister love sewing, but that gene obviously skipped me! Your hand stitching is utterly beautiful.

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 15, 2019

      Thank you out of all my art/craft bits I think this is my first and true love

  3. Reply

    Fiona

    February 14, 2019

    These are so lovely and beautifully crafted. Heirloom pieces with a real story behind them that will be treasured for years to come.

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 15, 2019

      Thank you I hope they will be passed on. I collect vintage needlework it is nice to think that someday someone might collect mine.

  4. Reply

    Nicola Capper

    February 16, 2019

    What a beautiful way to personalise pieces of furniture that will mean so much forever. I’ve seen lots of embroidery popping up recently not just in interiors but fashion too, I may need to get my needles out!

  5. Reply

    Mary Middleton | Hello Peagreen

    February 16, 2019

    I absolutely love this so much. I haven’t the skill or patience for this but it looks so so rewarding. I love the green paint too that’s right up my street. x

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 16, 2019

      The paint is lovely I am not a lover of shabby chic but this chalk paint goes on really flat and you can seal it without having to wax it. Perfect for me as I am lazy on the finish and hate sanding!

  6. Reply

    Lin Warwick

    February 24, 2019

    What a great idea Nicolette – it makes them so unique and personal. Makes me feel very inspired to have a go at embroidery .

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 25, 2019

      you should it is very therapeutic

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