So to start off with you will need an embroidery hoop, I've used a seven inch one here, some light colored fabric and an embroidery marker. These dissolve with water so the lines are easily removed after you have finished working on your piece.
I'm going to paint my fabric before I embroider onto it and I've been using a lot of watercolor and inks on my fabrics before embroidering on top of them. Using a water based paint or watering down some acrylics like I've done here won't stiffen the fabric too much. It can be very hard to get the needle through the thicker acrylic paint.
I've lightly drawn around the inside of the hoop so I've got a guide to paint onto. I want my color to stay on the outer edge of the hoop and fade into the middle.
I've wet the edge of the hoop line with a paint brush first and let the ink bleed into it. You need to just relax about this part. The color will go where it wants and it can be a little tricky to control. I did water down my ink when I painted it on. You wouldn't think it from looking at the photo here but just look below once it had dried.
Yes, it dried a LOT lighter so I went over it a few more times to build up the color until I was happy with it.
Here is the color all dried after a few extra layers of ink and acrylic. I love the way it's blended into the middle. Keep going with the layers letting them dry in between so you can build it up gradually.
I've drawn around the outside of the stencil with my water marker so I have an outline to embroider around. I've just used a simple back stitch to outline the heart.
To stick with the black and red color scheme I've used the same colors in my embroidery floss. I've stitched different areas in the two colors and blended one skein of the black and red together to give a two toned effect on some sections.
I love the way the color has bled into my stitched section as well.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and that you'll give some stitching a try too with some of your stencils. Back stitch is a really simple stitch to master and you can do so much with it once you get going. I love finding new ways to use my stencils outside of the norm and I hope you'll be inspired to try something new too.