130 ways to stitch away your lunch hour: see our embroidery! (+ giveaway)

Martingale staffers and friends have been stitch, stitch, stitching their way toward the release of the new book Lunch-Hour Embroidery—and we are SO excited to show off our embroidery to you today!

Lunch-Hour Embroidery

Lunch-Hour Embroidery is packed with fun embroidery motifs—from apples, anchors, and alligators to zebras, zippers, and zinnias, you’ll love creating your own embroidery art from A to Z.

From Lunch-Hour Embroidery
In this debut book from Martingale’s “Lunch-Hour” series, you’ll learn 10 basic embroidery stitches in minutes. Then you’ll choose from more than 75 cute motifs to embroider, plus the entire alphabet in both capital and lowercase letters. The illustrations are easy to trace and sew and enlarge or reduce, and you can transfer them to clothing, linens, bags, and more. Mix and match motifs and letters to create one-of-a-kind embroidery projects!

What we love most about the book is that it comes from one of our very own staffers, Martingale design manager Adrienne Smitke, who illustrated all the motifs in the book. Adrienne is here as a guest writer today to tell us more about the creation of Lunch-Hour Embroidery—and to share our embroidery projects with you!

Adrienne SmitkeWhen Martingale asked me to kick off their “Lunch-Hour” series by illustrating an alphabet book of embroidery patterns, I was excited. “No problem!” I thought. But they also wanted a full alphabet of capital and lowercase letters, and not just one, but THREE designs for each letter!

Cut to me making lists of animals, and foods, and nouns of every variety on my phone, and on spare scraps of paper, and asking everyone I knew if they had ideas for things that started with the letter “V” or “Q.” But in the end, it was worth all those brainstorm sessions because this book is JAM-PACKED FULL of fun motifs for you to stitch!

I love embroidery because you can fit in a little stitching any time you’ve got a few free minutes. There’s no need for expensive materials, and it’s perfect for on-the-go projects. Even if you’ve never embroidered before, you only need about $10 to $15 of basic supplies to get started, and once you get the hang of a few basic stitches, the possibilities are endless.

Basic embroidery supplies
Basic embroidery supplies

In Lunch-Hour Embroidery, we break down the 10 basic stitches I used in my designs. Take a few minutes to practice stitching each one, and figure out if you like stitching with a hoop or without (I prefer to use a hoop, but either way is fine).

Mountain embroideryThen it’s time for the greatest challenge of all—deciding which design to make first! If you’re looking for a quick project, these sweet-and-simple designs can easily stand on their own. Once you’re done stitching, try framing a completed design inside an embroidery hoop to hang on your wall—instant art! Looking for a last-minute gift idea? You can finish any of the motifs in a weekend. Check out these little llamas I made as a gift to hang in my mom’s fiber-filled craft room.

Llama embroidery motif
Llama motif

But that’s just the beginning. Basically anything you can get a needle and floss through can be brightened up with a little stitching. The book includes a few ideas for things you can make with purchased materials (no sewing required!) to get you started.

From Lunch-Hour Embroidery
Buy a fabric item, add a little
Lunch-Hour Embroidery, and voilà!

But why stop there? Check out what Martingale employees have been stitching up from the book:

Lunch-Hour Embroidery motifs
You can even combine multiple motifs to make a larger project, such as this Happy Camper pillow. I made this using a purchased linen pillow cover.

I hope this gets you excited to start stitching, whether on your lunch break or at any time of day! Share your projects with us online—use the hashtags #lunchhourembroidery and #madewithmartingale so we can find them!

Lunch-Hour EmbroideryThanks for telling us more about Lunch-Hour Embroidery, Adrienne!

We’re giving away an eBook copy of Lunch-Hour Embroidery to one lucky winner today! To enter to win, tell us in the comments:

What’s your level of embroidery expertise?

  • I’m an expert.
  • I’m learning!
  • Never tried it, but I want to learn how now!

Good luck! And if you’re ready to start stitching during your next lunch hour, you can order Lunch-Hour Embroidery at our website and instantly download the eBook for free.


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