Here is the tutorial and pattern for my fairy-bread-inspired Easter bunny from my previous post, made entirely from French knots.
You will need:
- The pattern (download it as a PDF and print it to A4)
- 15cm embroidery hoop
- 20cm square of fabric of your choice (I used linen)
- Pilot Frixion or other fabric tracing pen
- Embroidery thread in various colours (or you can use your scrappy thread ball like I did)
- Embroidery needle
- Ribbon to decorate the top of the hoop
1. Trace the pattern onto the fabric. You can refer to my tutorial 'Tracing an embroidery pattern' for this.
2. Stretch the fabric onto the hoop, making sure the tightening knob is directly above the bunny.
3. Pick two strands of one colour of thread, and get knotting! Now if like me you find French knots a little tricky at first, I strongly recommend you to watch this video tutorial. I used to really struggle with French knots until I watched this (and I had watched many many video tutorials on it). I just couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. The trick is to stab the needle back into the fabric just to the right of the original hole while pulling the thread towards the left. I was stabbing the needle in the wrong place! If you are still finding French knots difficult, you can try colonial knots instead, a lot of stitchers find it easier than the French knot, and it would work just as well. Here is a great video tutorial on the colonial knot on Mary Corbet's Needle'n Thread - my embroidery bible (I have links to some of her other video tutorials in the next few steps).
4. Make sure you get a good even coverage across the whole bunny with each colour, as you want a nice uniform mix of colours in the end. I used bold primary colours, not too many pastels or browns, and lots of white in between to make the colours 'pop'. Here is where my bunny was after the first night of knotting, and then after the second night. I filled all the remaining gaps on the third day.
5. Once your knotting is finished, run a grey back-stitch all around the boundary of the bunny just to give it a little extra definition. This is hardly visible when you view the bunny from the front, but it tidies up the knots right on the edge.
6. Now to embroider the other details (all with two strands of thread). I embroidered the butterfly and the bee with a satin stitch, their flight paths with a running stitch, the butterfly's antenna with back-stitch and French knots, and the bee's wings with back-stitch. The grass was just simple random stitches all the way across the hoop.
7. Once your embroidery is finished you need to tuck the edges of the fabric behind the hoop so they don't show. I took a shortcut here, and just tucked the fabric behind the hoop and secured it in place with a few stitches (it doesn't look pretty, so I dare not post a photo here!). There is a way to do this 'properly' so the back of the hoop looks all nice and neat like the picture below, and here is a link to a great tutorial on Carina's Craftblog explaining how this was done. But if you are going to do it this way then make sure your fabric is a lot bigger (at least 30cm square) to begin with.
8. Tie a ribbon around the tightening knob at the top, and you are finished!