Winter Village Embroidery

By  April Moffatt 

size: 8" diameter


  • National Nonwovens WoolFelt, 9”x12” sheet each: Smokey Marble, Fresh Linen, Tropical Wave, Alluring Aqua
  • Polyform White Premo! Sculpey Oven-Bake Clay
  • DecoArt Crystal Glamour Dust Glitter
  • Kreinik Threads: Silk Mori Embroidery in Light Teal (4043), Medium Dark Ash Gray (8055); Pearl 032 Metallics Ribbon, 1/16"
  • White embroidery floss


  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery hoop, 8"

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, ruler, clay-dedicated baking sheet, clay-dedicated knife, oven, sewing needle or pin

Pattern - Winter Village Embroidery

  • 1. Condition 1" ball of clay in hands until soft and pliable. Roll ball into small amount of glitter. Massage clay and continue rolling into glitter until very sparkly. Roll clay into 1/8" thick log. Cut twenty-eight 1/8" pieces from log; roll each into small ball. Poke hole through center of each ball using needle or pin. Bake according to manufacturer's instructions. Set aside to cool completely.
  • 2. Print out pattern. Cut shapes from felt: rolling hills from white, house roofs from light blue, and houses from medium blue.
  • 3. Place gray felt in embroidery hoop. Layer rolling hills onto background, beginning with Hill 1, then Hill 2, and Hill 3. Embroider running stitch at edges of hills using blue thread.
  • 4. Arrange houses on background. Embroider backstitch along edges of houses and roofs using blue thread. Backstitch chimney outlines directly onto design using gray thread.
  • 5. Create ribbon "smoke" trailing from chimneys by starting needle on backside and pulling ribbon up through felt. Push needle back down through front side leaving 1/4" of ribbon loose. Repeat until desired effect is achieved. Tie thread off on backside.
  • 6. Attach clay beads in sky using white floss; tie off thread on backside.
  • Embroidery Basics
  • 1. Whenever I mention hand embroidery, people usually conjure images of ladies in castles bent over delicate and detailed embroidery, painstakingly and with laborious detail, embroidering a castle wall mural. They huff it off as something they love the look of but could never do themselves. In truth, hand embroidery can be as simple or as complicated as your skill level and your time allows. I usually don't stray very far from the basic stitches, and I love the detail that hand embroidery can bring to any project.
  • 2. The real secret, however, lies in the surprisingly relaxing and calming effect hand embroidery has on my whole person. I love curling up in front of a movie with a project to keep my hands busy. The rhythm of the needle and the slow and beautiful result brings a satisfaction that always surprises me. It truly is simpler than one might think, and you can embroider just about anything - jeans, tennis shoes, tote bags, and t-shirts just to name a few.
  • Getting Started
  • 1. It doesn't take too many supplies to get started in hand embroidering. Sharp scissors, an embroidery needle, thimble, embroidery hoop, fabric, and embroidery floss are all you need. A disappearing fabric pen can come in handy but isn't necessary.

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  • 2. Six-stranded cotton embroidery floss needs to be separated before use. It is rare to use all six strands together in the needle at once. I usually use three strands at once.
  • 3. In order to choose the right size embroidery needle, pick the finest needle that will accommodate the thread and fabric that you wish to use. One that is too large will create holes in the fabric that the thread does not fill in; one that is too fine will mean that the thread gets rubbed unnecessarily every time the needle goes through the fabric, making it fray quickly. Needles have number sizes, with larger numbers being reserved for thinner needles, which can be a bit confusing. I usually use crewel or embroidery needle in a size 6. It's important to use a very sharp pair of scissors to cut the floss end before threading the needle. I like to cut it at a slight angle to help it slide easily through the eye.
  • 4. Leave at least a 4" tail on one end so the thread won't slip through. Tie a knot on the other end.
  • 5. Slide the desired fabric between the two embroidery hoop circles and pull taut. Secure the fabric by twisting the screw at the top of the hoop. Put your thimble on and you are ready to begin!
  • Running Stitch
  • 1. The running stitch is one of the simplest, which makes it a good stitch to start with. Begin on the back side of the embroidery hoop. Pull the needle up with the thread taut. Push the needle back down about 1/16" away from where the thread came up and pull slowly to the back. Repeat this process along the line you wish your stitch to follow. When you are finished with your design, pull the needle to the backside of the embroidery hoop. Tie off thread by sliding the needle under a stitch and tying knot.

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  • Backstitch
  • 1. Make a single, straight stitch about 1/4" long. Continue along the pattern line, coming up 1/4" ahead of where your last stitch was. Return the needle to the backside through the same hole made by the previous return stitch. Backstitching creates a lovely smooth, unbroken line. This is one of my favorite stitches.

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  • 2. Hand embroidery is deceptively easy, completely relaxing, and makes life more beautiful. Happy stitching!
  • Tip
  • 1. This embroidered piece looks adorable displayed in its embroidery hoop. Simply tape loose fabric edges behind the underside of hoop.