Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer by Sulky is a water-soluble fabric stabiliser with a self-adhesive backing. You can print or draw onto it, then stick it to your fabric and stitch through it. It’s perfect for detailed patterns and also for transferring designs onto dark- coloured fabrics. It washes away completely when you’ve finished. Available from many haberdashery shops or online.
You Will Need
- Basic sewing kit
- Fabric (Cotton fabric: 30x30cm (12x12in) white and 18x18cm (7x7in) yellow)
- Embroidery hoop (18cm (7in) diameter)
- Thread (DMC Stranded cotton - 310, blanc, 703, 947, 3805, 604)
- Bondaweb (15x15cm (6x6in))
- Fabric stabilizer (Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer), See notes above for where to buy
- Needle (Crewel embroidery needle: size 7)
Place the Bondaweb paper-side up on top of the hexagon template and draw around it seven times.
Place the traced Bondaweb, paper- side up, onto the centre of the wrong side (WS) of the yellow fabric and press into place.
Cut out all of the hexagons carefully.
Peel off the paper backing then position the hexagons, right sides (RS) up centrally on the white fabric, leaving a small space in between each one. Start at the centre and work outwards, referring to the photograph for placement.
Press them carefully into place and mount the fabric into the embroidery hoop.
Using two strands of white stranded cotton, work a running stitch around each hexagon, just inside the edges.
Transferring the design
We have used Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy Stabiliser to transfer our design. If you prefer, you can trace the design in pencil or erasable pen directly on top of the hexagons.
Place the appliquéd fabric in the hoop, making sure it’s horizontally centred on the left and right sides but slightly above the centre vertically by about 1.5cm (5/8in).
If you’re using the printable fabric stabiliser then peel the paper backing off and stick it smoothly onto the fabric, lining the outer cut circle with the edge of your hoop.
Working the embroidery
You can now embroider the design. The stitching diagram tells you which colour to use where and how many strands. You can also refer to the photograph for guidance.
Cut a length of thread then separate the strands and recombine the number you need in your needle for stitching with.
Pre-threading your needles with different colours of stranded cotton makes it easy to change colours as you work the design.
Follow the stitch guides if there are any you are unsure of.
Once the stitching is complete, take the fabric out of the hoop and soak it in water for about 30 minutes to dissolve the stabiliser.
Gently rinse with cool water to remove any remaining bits of stabiliser.
Lay the fabric face down on a fluffy towel and gently press with another towel to remove excess water. Lay flat to dry.
Once dry, press and then mount the bee embroidery in the embroidery hoop to frame it. Take a look at out our How to mount stitching a hoop for more details on this.
How to stitch a bumble bee embroidery pattern
Indulge in some crafty you-time with this stunning bumble bee embroidery design from Georgie K Emery, originally published in Love Embroidery issue 1
To stitch the bumble bee embroidery, you will need
- Fabric: 35x35cm
- DMC stranded cotton, 1 skein of each: 19 (dark yellow), 151 (light pink), 310 (black), 452 (taupe), 728 (gold), 894 (dark pink), 991 (dark green), 3078 (light yellow), 3341 (orange), 3812 (medium green), 3815 (sage green), 3823 (cream), 3851 (light green).
- Water-erasable marker pen
- Embroidery hoop: 18cm diameter
- Basic embroidery kit
- Stitches:Backstitch, Chain Stitch, Fishbone Stitch, French Knot, Long and Short Stitch, Satin Stitch, Stem Stitch, Straight Stitch, Whipped Backstitch
- Bumble bee embroidery template click to find the bumble bee embroidery template
How to stitch the bumble bee embroidery
Before you begin, make sure your fabric is stretched tightly in the hoop. It should be like the surface of a drum. Keeping it tight will not only ensure your design transfers correctly and without distortion, but it will also help you keep your stitches neat and prevent any warping of the fabric. Transfer the design from the bumble bee embroidery template using your preferred method.
Work the petals in Satin Stitch using three strands of light yellow. Start in the centre and stitch outwards, filling the petal with neat stitches worked close together. Once the petals have been filled, work Straight Stitches on top using two strands of dark yellow. Start your stitching at the bottom of each petal and stitch towards the middle, blending in to the stitches beneath.
Work the stem in Backstitch using two strands of sage green. Work the leaves in Straight Stitch using two strands of sage green. Start each leaf with a Straight Stitch in the centre of the shape and stitch outwards filling in the shape. Stitch the sprig of leaves in the top left of the design in the same way using Straight Stitch.
Work the petals in Straight Stitch using three strands of orange. Begin your stitches in the centre of the shape and work outwards with stitches close together to fill the circle.
Stitch the stem first in Whipped Backstitch using two strands of light green. Stitch the leaves in Fishbone Stitch using three strands of light green.
Fill in the centre of each flower with small Straight Stitches using two strands of gold. Fill in the petal shapes with Straight Stitch using three strands of dark pink.
Fill in the flower buds with Straight Stitches using three strands of cream. Work the stem in Stem Stitch using two strands of light green.
Fill in the petal shapes with Satin Stitch using three strands of cream. Curve the direction of your stitches around, following the shape of the petal.
Fill in the centre of the daisy with French Knots using three strands of gold.
Use two strands of dark green for all the leaves and stem. Work the stem in Stem Stitch. Work the top part of the stem and the base of the flower using Straight Stitch. Stitch the leaves in Satin Stitch, placing your stitches diagonally and stitching up one side of the leaf first, then the other.
These delicate little flowers and stems are worked in three parts. Start by filling in the petals with Satin Stitch using three strands of gold. Then, stitch the stem in Chain Stitch using two strands of taupe. Finally, add four to five Straight Stitches to the bottom sections of the circle-shaped petals using two strands of cream.
Stitch the stems first in Whipped Backstitch using two strands of medium green. Fill the leaves with Satin Stitch using three strands of medium green. Stitch one side of the leaf first with diagonal stitches and then use the same process to work down the other side of the leaf.
Work the stem in Whipped Backstitch using two strands of medium green. Fill the leaves with Satin Stitch using three strands of medium green, following the same instructions as for the leaves in Step 12. Stitch the pink flowers in Straight Stitch using three strands of light pink.
Stitch the antennae and legs in small Backstitches using two strands of black. Fill in the face and two segments of the body in Long and Short Stitch, again using two strands of black.
Fill in the head and middle section of the body using two strands of gold in Long and Short Stitch, curving them around and down towards the bottom of the body.
Fill in the final segment of the bumblebee in Long and Short Stitch using two strands of cream. Work a row of Long and Short Stitch where the black stitches meet the cream stitches using two strands of gold.
On the head and middle body section, work rows of Long and Short Stitch where the black stitches meet the gold stitches using two strands of cream.
Work the wings in Backstitch using two strands of taupe.
Once all the stitching is complete, gently wash away the soluble pen marks under water.
When the fabric is dry, mount your stitching in a hoop, making sure your stitched design is positioned correctly, and that the fabric is tight. Trim away the excess fabric, leaving a couple of centimetres all the way round.
Use liquid glue or a glue gun on the top edge of the inside hoop, pegging the fabric down as you go. Once the glue is dry, you can remove the pegs
Now that you’ve finished your lovely bee embroidery patterns, why not take a look at our other free embroidery patterns. We have lovely peach free machine embroidery patterns for you to try, too, or if you want to try hand embroidery on clothes, check out our cat embroidery to add cats to your pockets or How to make embroidered socks.