Doodle Stitch Wall Hanging

Doodle Stitch Wall Hanging

Embroidery designs are usually a totally self-contained piece, meaning they don’t require much extra to make them awesome. However, sometimes there are designs, such as from the Charmed Tee tutorial, that reach their max capacity for awesomeness with a little bit of extra input from the stitcher. This little kitty is such a design. He’s super cute doodling away on his own, but what else has he doodled? The open-ended nature of this design leaves a lot of room for some experimentation with freestyle machine stitching! We can continue this little kitty's doodle across, tee, totes, and even, like shown, as a super cute custom wall hanging.

So, to make this cute and customizable little wall hanging, you’ll need:

  • Creative Cat embroidery design
  • Wood frames or blank canvases, larger than your design
  • Fabric
  • Medium weight cutaway stabilizer
  • Pencil or invisible fabric pen
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun

I’m using canvases because they were on sale, but if you find blank wooden frames (the kind for stretching canvas on) those would work just as well.

Though it’s not necessary, I like starting with a printed template to make sure my kitty will fit as intended on the canvas area. Here's how you can print/create placement templates.

Lay your kitty out on your canvas and make sure he’s got a little bit of room to spare.

Next, cut a piece of fabric that’s both large enough to hoop and larger than your canvas by a few inches in either direction. This will make stretching it later much easier.

Mark out where you want your kitty to go, and hoop up your fabric with some medium weight cutaway stabilizer.

Once your kitty is stitched, un-hoop him but don’t yet trim away your excess stabilizer.

First, place him on top of the frame and move him around until you like his placement in the canvas.

Carefully holding the kitty in place with the canvas, flip the whole thing over, and mark where the canvas edges are with a pencil on your stabilizer.

Once the edges are marked, cut away the excess stabilizer outside of this square. This will help with two things.

One, it will help remind you of where your kitty should be placed on the canvas, and two, it will align your stabilizer with the edge of your canvas and keep the edges invisible under the fabric.

Once your stabilizer is trimmed (like the inset) flip everything over and use your newly cut stabilizer to center your kitty on your square again.

Now, very lightly mark where the edge of the frame is on the right side.

Once you have this marked, doodle a line that continues the little kitty's marking and goes well outside the edge of your frame. You’ll want to do this in light pencil or an invisible fabric pen.

Now we’re getting into the fun part... adding doodles to your kitty's creation! To do this we’re going to freestyle machine stitch the rest of his drawn line.

Freestyle machine stitching is fun an easy, but it’s always good to practice. First, I found it much easier to keep the embroidery foot on the machine while doing this. It gave me a much clearer area of where I was stitching. Grab a scrap of your fabric (with stabilizer on the back) and test out making some doodle stitches. You’ll need to go over your line a couple of times to make it dark enough.

Once you feel confident with your little practice scrap, start your machine at the beginning of your kitty’s doodle and follow along with it, then continue stitching where you drew your new line.

Don’t worry about the line being perfect. One, I’m pretty sure kitties are not known for their stellar penmanship, and two, it’s a doodle. It’s supposed to be a little fun and messy.

Doodle all the way off where your canvas will end, going over your line enough times so that it looks similar to the doodle line your machine stitched for the kitty.

The doodling has begun! Now we can create the rest of the drawn masterpiece your kitty happens to be making by freestyle stitching on other canvases.

First, prep your fabric the same way you did your first, but without the embroidery. Give your fabric a backing of cutaway stabilizer (this will help lighter fabrics from puckering) and trim the stabilizer to the size of your canvas, like before.

If you’re doodling across multiple canvases, like I am, prep your other canvas too.

Once your blank fabric is ready with its trimmed stabilizer, lightly mark the areas where your canvas will end. These are the boundaries you want to doodle in.

In order to continue the kitties masterpiece into a complete triptych, you want to start your next doodle line where the last one left off. Fold your kitty fabric over to the edge where the canvas ends, and line it up with the edge of your new fabric.

This is where you should start your next doodle line.

Though you could just go crazy on your machine, I felt it more prudent to lightly sketch out my ideas on the fabric first.

I’m making this little triptych for one of our artists who has a new babe in the house named Olive. I thought it would look cute in a kid’s room.

With my sketches in place, I started doodling with my machine. Remember to keep a firm grip on your fabric, and move it about freely but gently. Large jerks or too-fast movements might make your stitches jump around too much.

Go over your lines enough times until they’re dark. Keep it lose and carefree! This is the fun part.

I continued on with my last doodle. Take care that this doodle starts where the last one left off, just like we did before.

Now your canvases are ready! Your little kitty has magically doodled any custom design you can imagine. It can be hearts and symbols, letters or names, anything you like! This technique also works on clothes and other items. Your kitty can literally doodle a masterpiece on anything you can freestyle stitch on!

Now it’s time to stretch your stitches onto the frames! If you’ve never done this before, this tutorial covers it in absolute detail. I’ll still cover what you need to know here, but that link might help if you find yourself a bit lost.

Start by centering your kitty design on your frame, and wrapping the right and left sides under the frame. Carefully flip your fabric and frame over without disturbing it, and add a staple to the right and left sides, pulling the fabric taut.

Before you go any farther, flip your fabric over and check your placement. You can see here that I’ve just stapled the sides. This will let you see if you’ve got your “doodle” in the right place. If it looks a little off, it’s a heck of a lot easier to take out two staples than a whole bunch to reposition it.

If kitty is looking good, you can flip him back over and start stapling the other sides. Add your staples one at a time, always crossing to the opposite side each time, as demonstrated in this tutorial.

Once you have everything stapled in place on the back, use your scissors to trim away the excess fabric.

One down! Now we just need to repeat this process on the rest.

The alignment of each of these becomes more important as you add more. Take extra care when you wrap the next piece of embroidery around the frame that the start of your new doodle matches up with the edge of your last one, like shown.

As before, once you think you have it in place, add one staples on the right and left sides and then check it before you move forward with the rest.

After repeating the process with the last of your canvases, you’re done!

Your little kitty has doodled a custom design just for your occasion, whether it be for a little one’s room or a custom tee for yourself.

With a little bit of freestyle machine embroidery, you can customize this design like no other. It’s a fun way to really bring your own artistic stitched styling into the work. Think the machine does it all for you? Not with this design. Your creativity brings it to life!

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Suggested designs for this tutorial: 
Creative Cat_image
Creative Cat $3.99 - $4.99
2 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 4.84"w x 5.08"h | 3.66"w x 3.86"h | Hand Embroidery