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 they'll need for their 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 started to write 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.
Today, I'll share the process of creating the sample hoop for the November 2021 box, featuring a mauve two-ringed planet on a deep purple fabric, surrounded by space ships, stars, and galaxies.
I've designed a few space-themed hoops over the years, including one that turned into what might be my most often-purchased pattern, and another that turned into last November's box project. For this new project, however, I wanted to bring one celestial element into focus by placing it in the middle of the hoop itself, and see if I could substitute my usual florals for smaller space-themed embellishments.
Although I'm happy with this final sample, the road to get here was a bit bumpy. Designing this project reminded me of designing the elephant ears project for August 2021 box, in that it took me several attempts to get it just right.
I ended my first attempt, pictured below, once I realized both the proportions and colors were not going to work for me. This is always a frustrating portion of the process; but it's important to remind ourselves that making something not-so-great is a step toward making something better! We learn through "failed" attempts in any art form, including embroidery.
In this next photo, you can see the back of my second attempt, pictured next to the notebook I use to keep meticulous pattern notes as I stitch.
And here is the front of that finished hoop, which I thought might be my final sample. I convinced myself these colors worked just fine, but under real-life-lighting it was hard to differentiate the circular part of the planet from the fabric itself - lucky for me, that color of floss wasn't in stock, anyway!
The good news was that I liked the pattern itself. The not-so-good news was that I needed to change nearly all of the color choices I had made.
As I considered what to do next, I ordered these purple flower embroidery scissors, which I thought would work beautifully alongside this project. Once they arrived, I literally brought them with me to shop for a new shade of fabric.
Once that new fabric was chosen, I thought it might be a good idea to create a quick sampler using floss colors I was hoping to use - before jumping into the project itself. The sampler allowed me to play around with a few of the color combinations without having to commit to re-stitching the project entirely (as simple as the pattern looks, it can be a bit time consuming to stitch!).
Once I was happy with this group of colors, I began stitching what actually would, finally, turn into the final sample hoop for this project! Pictured below is a photo of the back of my sample hoop, when I was nearly finished stitching the planet itself.
Once I finished the planet, the rest of the process was pretty simple!
Hours of designing, stitching "failed" samples, and re-designing later, I had my final sample hoop!
I'm so happy with how this final sample turned out, and I can't wait to start putting together your boxes!
The process for putting together your box projects each month involves so many steps beyond the design-process itself, but the best part is creating something that you will want to recreate with me! I can't wait to see what you make with this kit!
Subscriptions for the November 2021 Hopebroidery Box are open through the end of October 2021, and boxes will be in the mail the first week of November! If you're here late, you can always check to see if I have extra boxes available in the "kits" section of my shop! Happy stitching!