Emerald & Fig Designs
On a whim a few years ago, Emmie McMackin purchased an embroidery wall hanging kit at a big box retailer. Quickly hooked, she started making hand embroidery hoop art as gifts. When custom hoop requests began Emmie decided it was time to open an Etsy shop. Launched in May 2017, Emerald & Fig Designs offers a variety of ready-to-ship embroidery pieces, as well as DIY kits and downloadable patterns. Emmie mixes pop culture elements and feminism with traditional motifs for a modern take on embroidery art. With over 32.2K followers on Instagram, Emerald & Fig is a passionate side gig while Emmie works full-time for a strategic communications firm in Richmond.
Six-inch embroidery hoop
Fabric (Kona cotton is my favorite)
DMC embroidery floss in the following colors: 310 Black, 352 Pale Coral, 470 Light Avocado Green, 818 Baby Pink, 840 Medium Beige Brown, 931 Medium Antique Blue, 3819 Light Moss Green, and Ecru.
Size 5 embroidery needle
Water-soluble transfer pen
Optional items: Needle threader, glue for finishing your hoop
You can also visit emeraldandfig.etsy.com to purchase a complete kit for this design that includes pre-printed fabric, floss, needle, and hoop.
Place the fabric: Trim your fabric so that it will fit nicely in the hoop with a few inches to spare all the way around. (This excess will be used when you finish the back of the hoop.) Loosen the screw at the top of the embroidery hoop and separate the outer hoop from the inner hoop. Lay the inner hoop on a flat surface, center your fabric on top of it, then place the outer hoop on top so that the fabric is in between the inner and outer hoops. Tighten the screw and pull the fabric taut.
Transfer the pattern: Download a copy of the pattern. Print the pattern, cut it out so that it fits inside the hoop, and then tape it to the backside of the fabric. Next, trace the pattern onto the fabric using your transfer pen.
Thread the needle: Choose the floss that you want to start with and cut off a piece about 12 to 18 inches long. You want the floss to be long enough to work with, but if it’s too long, it can end up in knots. You can use a needle-threader to thread the needle, but it’s not necessary. Make sure you have a few inches hanging through the eye of the needle so that the floss doesn’t slip out as you’re stitching. A standard thread of embroidery floss has six individual strands. Some of the stitches in this design use all six strands, but some require you to split the strands for a finer looking stitch.
Stitch: This design uses backstitch, whipped backstitch, satin stitch, long and short stitch, and French knots. If you’re not familiar with these stitches, I recommend searching YouTube for the name of the stitch. There are many wonderful tutorials available online.
“Greetings from” – backstitch with three strands of DMC 931
Hand outline – backstitch with one strand of DMC 310
Branch – backstitch with six strands of DMC 840
Flower petals – Long and short stitches with three strands each of DMC 352, 818, and Ecru. For a simpler alternative, you could use satin stitch in a single color for the petals.
Flower centers – French knots using six strands of DMC 3819
Leaves – Satin stitch using six strands of DMC 470
“Richmond” – Whipped backstitch in DMC 931, using six strands for the backstitch and three strands for the whipping. You could also forgo the whipping and just use backstitch.
Rinse: This step is only necessary if you used a water-soluble pen to transfer the pattern. Remove the fabric from the hoop and run it under warm water until your pen marks disappear. Gently squeeze out the excess water and hang to dry.
Finish your hoop: First, make sure that your design is centered in the hoop and that the fabric is nice and tight. Next, trim away any excess fabric, leaving about half an inch of fabric outside the hoop. Sparingly apply glue all the way around the edge of the extra fabric, making sure that you’re keeping the glue close to the hoop. Press the fabric onto the inner edge of the hoop, making sure that it’s tight as you go all the way around the hoop.
I hope you enjoyed this pattern. You can tag your photos on Instagram with @emeraldandfigdesigns. She would love to see your work!