The Tree kit is our best selling holiday kit with a record number of sales. The ease of the stitches combined with the incredible pattern design makes this one of my personal favorites. Here I will show you step-by-step photo instructions for completing the Tree kit and will also show you any tips and tricks I think you might find helpful along the way. Let’s get stitching!
When you first get your kit and remove your supplies from the package you will find:
- Clear carrying case
- 6″ Wooden Embroidery Hoop
- Size 8 embroidery needle
- 10″ x 9″ piece of cotton broadcloth with patter pre-printed on it
- 6 strand DMC Embroidery floss in these colors
- Emerald Green Dark (910)
- Royal Blue Very Dark (820)
- Coffee Brown Very Dark (801)
- Topaz (725)
- Coral Red Very Dark (817)
- Stitch Guide
- Stitching Instructions
To get started you will unfold the fabric and center the pattern in the hoop. Loosen the screw on the hoop, without fully removing the screw. Then separate the inner and outer hoops. Lay your fabric over the inner, smaller hoop (the circle outline on the pattern will help you get it centered as much as possible). Lay the outer hoop over the top and sandwich the fabric between the two wooden frame pieces. Re-tighten the screw and pull the fabric in every which direction until it is taught.
Next you will unwind one length of the green floss which has been pre cut for you into an 18” piece. Embroidery traditionally uses only 3 threads of the 6 included in each length of floss so separate the strand into two, each section containing 3 strands each. Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end.
*Click on any of the photo’s in this post to make them larger and see more detail*
You will now back stitch around curls that make up the bulk of the tree pattern. Back stitching creates a solid line and is also great for text and/or outlining a design. Start by pulling the needle and floss up through from the back of the fabric and do one stitch forward. Your needle and floss will now be at the back of your design. From underneath, move forward on your pattern to the length of your desired stitch, pull up through the fabric at that point, and bring the needle and floss back to where your previous stitch ended pushing down through the fabric.
Continue working in back stitch around the curves of the tree. As you get to the tighter curves you will maneuver around them in whatever way you find most convenient. Here are some examples of how I choose to go about it:
When you near the end of your thread you will have to end it and start a new one. To end a thread, turn your design over and run your needle and remaining thread under a few stitches on the back. At this point you can tie a knot around some of the existing threads if you are concerned it is not being held tight enough but this is not necessary. Clip off any excess thread.
When you finish the curls of the tree you will continuing with the pattern using the brown thread to complete the tree trunk in a split stitch. First, create one straight stitch by pulling your needle from the back of your design to the front, and back down again. Your needle and floss should now be on the backside of your design. Now, bring the needle up through the center of the stitch you just created, essentially splitting the floss in two sides. Stitch forward again trying to keep your stitch length consistent. Repeat bringing the needle up through the center of the previous stitch each time.
Next we will change thread colors to the blue thread. Again, divide the thread into two sections (with 3 strands each) and prepare your thread. The blue thread will be used on the eight pointed star. You will simply bring your needle at one of the points and down at the point directly across from where you came up. As you do this four times you will complete the star. Repeat on each star around the tree.
Next we will change thread to the red thread. Again, divide the thread into two sections (with 3 strands each) and prepare your thread. With the red thread you will add french knots around the tree to look like lights. You will need both hands to create the French knot. Start by bringing the threaded needle up from the back of the fabric right where you want the knot to be. Now that your thread is at the front of your design, hold the thread with your left hand just a few inches from the top of the fabric, hold the needle in your right hand. Hold your hands so your thumbs are about 1” apart from each other. With your left hand wrap the thread around the needle twice (while holding the needle still). Hold the end of the thread taut and push the wrapped needle down just next to the space where it came up through the fabric. As you continue to holding the floss taut with your left hand (but not too tight or you won’t be able to pull your needle) you will move your right hand under the fabric to pull the needle through the fabric slowly. Don’t let go of the floss in your left hand until you absolutely have to.
Once you complete the red french knots around the tree you will add in yellow french knots to bring some variety to the look of the lights. I started with the yellow knots at the bottom of the tree and worked my way up towards the star on the top so I wouldn’t have to cross my yellow string too far along the back of the fabric.
To complete the outline of the star at the top of the tree simply back stitch around the pattern. One stitch for each side of the star.
Congratulations on finishing your tree kit! You will likely have a little bit of the blue pattern showing here and there around your stitching.
To get rid of the water soluble pattern design you will remove the fabric from the hoop and submerge it in, or run under cold water while gently wiping any of the blue pattern you can see with a white cloth or your fingers. Lay flat to dry (preferable on a dry white towel). If after drying fully there is any blue still showing simply repeat wetting it until the blue has completely disappeared. After all the pattern (and any bleeding of the pattern that occurred during the first wash) are removed and the design is dry; iron the reverse side of your finished project with a warm iron. If you haven’t yet decided how you would like to display your finished project you can check out this post about ways to display your finished design to get your creative juices flowing.
PS: I like to show people how much thread should be left over after you have completed your kit, so here is the left over floss I had when all the stitching was done: