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Creating the crescent moon flowers sample hoop for the November 2022 Hopebroidery Box

Each month, I send subscribers to the Hopebroidery Box a pattern and full-length, step-by-step video tutorial for that month's project. Subscribers to the physical box also receive all the supplies you'll need for your project, including full skeins of Sublime Stitching embroidery floss, a large cut of that month's fabric, embroidery scissors from Kelmscott Designs curated specifically for that month's project, and more. You can take a look at past boxes by visiting the kits and digital patterns sections of my shop (I keep the sold out physical kits viewable in the shop just in case you want to see what sorts of supplies and designs have come in past boxes, even if they're no longer available).

For the past year or so, I've been writing about how I design each month's project in hopes that it might be helpful to see the different ways I go about designing these sample hoops. Specifically, I hope it's helpful to you (if you're a newer designer looking for examples of how this process might work), and also find that it's been helpful to me (taking the time to process how each project comes to life is informative to my future work!).

Embroidery hoop with a crescent moon stitched onto dark blue fabric and surrounded by colorful flowers in pinks, greens, yellows, and blues.
The final sample for the November 2022 box!

In this post, I share the process of creating the crescent moon flowers sample hoop for the November 2022 box, a project featuring a crescent moon stitched onto a dark blue cotton fabric, surrounded by florals and leaves in greens, blues, pinks, and yellows. If you know you're interested in stitching this project with me in November, feel free to skip to the end of this post where you'll find information on when and how to get this box at the subscriber rate!

Sketching, choosing colors for, and transferring the crescent moon flowers project

I typically release a space- or celestial-themed box project each November, including last year's space embroidery project (and you'll find I did a pretty good job of keeping that one in stock - as of today's writing, this fun and beginner-friendly project is still available to purchase!). I’m not sure how I got into this routine, but at this point I think I’m totally fine with keeping that tradition going!

I’ve also got a super fun, texture-heavy space project in my book, which comes out in just a few short months! You can read all about my book elsewhere on my site (and if you’re here in time - please consider preordering, as preorders are incredibly important to first time authors like me!).

Embroidery hoop featuring a blue ringed planet, a gently shaded blue, green, and white earth-like planet, and sun-like star stitched onto a bright green fabric and surrounded by colorful stars.
This is the space-themed project from my book!

To design this month’s project, I started by flipping through a book of quick sketches and choosing a page of celestial-themed sketches. During these quick sketch sessions, I give myself just fifteen minutes to sketch out fifteen potential projects around a given theme, and ten minutes to sketch out a more detailed idea based on my favorite ideas from that initial session.

Opened up binder revealing a page of 15 small, quickly-sketched celestial-type designs in circles; underneath is a larger circle with a rough sketch that resembles the final project.
I think these sketches are from at least a year ago - wow!

Next, I imported my favorite composition - in this case, the larger drawing I had spent more time on at the bottom of the page in the photo above - into the Procreate app for the iPad, which allows me to create a cleaner, easier-to-transfer design.

(If you’d like to see a more detailed tutorial for how I turn final projects into easy-to-transfer hand embroidery patterns, make sure to check out my YouTube tutorial, originally published in 2020! Even if you’re using a more updated version of the software or hardware, I think you’ll find it translates well all these years later - and it’s much easier to do than you might think!)

Next, I chose a fabric to work with and a handful of colors from Sublime Stitching embroidery, whose floss I’ve used in all my past box projects. I went with a deep blue cotton fabric and spring-inspired colors – after speaking with my friend and fellow stitcher Leslie Barber about our similar struggles in the colder months, I thought it might be good for my brain to use a palette representative of seasons that bring me more happiness than, say, fall and winter.

Black and white drawing of a crescent moon and flowers design on a white piece of paper, next to a small cut of dark blue fabric and embroidery floss in greens, blue, light gray, white, pink, and yellow.
Who says November projects can't be bright and colorful?

I try not to use the same transfer tool from one month to the next - loads of people subscribe for about three months before moving onto their own projects, and I want to be sure those sorts of customers are getting a good range in terms of their introduction to different tools. However, this month, I had to make an exception - these white water-erasable pens, which we also used last month, were the best fit for this particular fabric and design. Pencil marks wouldn’t show clearly enough on this fabric; the ink from blue water-erasable pens was too close in color to the fabric itself; and with all the filling we’ll be using for the project, washable transfer paper just wasn’t a great choice, either. It is what it is!