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Creating the floral sampler hoop for the February 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 big box also get all the supplies you'll need for your project, including full skeins of embroidery floss, fabric, embroidery scissors I curate specifically for that project, and more. You can take a look at past boxes that have been sent out by visiting the "kits" section of my shop (I keep up the sold out kits so that you can see what sorts of supplies and designs have come in past boxes, even if they're no longer available).


I've been writing about how I design each month's project because I think it might be interesting (even if you're not interested in a kit!), and also because I think it's helpful to see the different ways I go about designing the sample hoops themselves.


In this post, I share the process of creating the floral sampler project for the February 2022 box, which features florals in yellow, blue, white, and rust brown, variegated butterflies, and French knot embellishments, all stitched onto a deep blue linen fabric.


Photo of an embroidery hoop with blue, white, yellow, and brown florals, surrounded by French knots and butterflies, all stitched onto a dark blue fabric.
The final sample for the February 2022 box!

Floral samplers are among my favorite box projects to design, stitch, and teach. When learning how to stitch from a floral sampler like this, you get to learn all sorts of ways to stitch flowers and embellishments; what's more, the nature of the project's subject makes it a bit easier to internalize that it's okay if your work isn't perfect - because it isn't supposed to be!


I do a floral sampler project for the box every few months, and they're definitely among the most popular projects! The last floral sampler project for the box was released in September 2021 (you can read about that project in a previous post, and purchase any remaining kits in the shop); that project featured florals at the center of the design, with other foliage and small animals radiating out from the center. For this new project, I wanted to create a sampler more similar to designs like the one I released for the March 2019 box, featuring a variety of stemmed flowers using several different techniques.


A few of the floral samplers I've stitched in the past!

Before stitching a sample for the box, I always give myself time to sketch out a few potential ideas; lately, I've been using a more standardized practice for this process (which I mentioned in last month's design blog, and hope to write about in more detail in the future!).


In the photo below, you can see I've printed fifteen small circles, which I used to very quickly sketch out several different potential ideas for floral samplers. The larger circle at the bottom is where I give myself a few extra minutes to sketch out a fuller design idea, based on those quick sketches.


A page from my "standardized" sketch book.

Next, I imported a sketch from this page into the Procreate app for the iPad, where I worked to create a cleaner, more workable design from which to stitch.



I chose a deep blue linen fabric for February's project, and wanted to use a white water-erasable pens for the transferring process. I've learned it's super important to test out your transfer method to be sure it's visible and erasable, which you can see me doing in the photos below.


Testing a transfer method on my fabric - will it be visible?
Testing a transfer method on my fabric - will it wash out?

Next, I grabbed a handful of Sublime Stitching embroidery floss I thought I might use for the project. Unlike patterns for more personal projects, I have to be sure to choose enough colors of floss so that subscribers are getting their money's worth, and careful to choose colors that are in stock and available for me to purchase in bulk. It's a fun puzzle!


In the photo below, you can see a few colors I thought I might use, my pattern transferred onto my hoop, and the pattern book I use to take meticulous notes as I stitch. Those notes will help me later on, when I'm writing the pattern itself.


With my pattern book, colors, and transferred design, I'm ready to start!

I enjoyed stitching this project, and took a lot of photos as I made my way through the different portions of the design. In the photo below, you can see I'm nearly halfway finished!