Thursday, March 17, 2016

Chunky Woven Wheel Stitch Tutorial

I've been spending time lately looking around on Instagram, seeing what people are doing with their embroidery and fiber arts. One thing I'm seeing all over are the woven wheels - chunky style. They look too fun not to try, so I thought I would make a short tutorial about them while I was at it. They are easy and effective.

It's not necessary, but I like to draw a circle with a stencil and mark the middle point, then mark points around the circle for 5 spokes.  If you draw a circle, draw it smaller than you want it to be, and make your spokes extend out beyond the circle, so the circle line is hidden. For a chunky wheel, use all 6 strands of floss on the needle.

Then make 5 straight stitches for the spoke.  Bring up the needle near the center and start weaving around, over and under the spokes. Keep on stitching to fill the spokes.  Don't pull too tightly on the thread as you work.  The layers of floss will slowly build up. 

I've done quite a few rounds, so it builds up the form, makes a nice raised stitch. You can work with long lengths of thread for this, and if your thread runs out, bring it down under the woven wheel, and start a new one.  When you're satisfied, fluff the threads a little.

I've added a few fronds and leaves free-form to make a nice finish. I've used fly stitch, detached chain, french knots, and straight stitches.

A few ideas for variations: Add some french knots or beads to the centers of your wheels, use 2 or three colors when weaving, experiment with the number of times you wind the thread around the wheel to make flatter or chunkier stitches.

Good luck and have fun with these!

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