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If you think hoops are for basketball and floss is for teeth, it’s time you discovered the joy of embroidery. You can be a needlepoint novice and still create stunning samplers. All you need to get started are a few basic stitches. This centuries-old handicraft can be applied to just about any fabric item, from tea towels to t-shirts. We have plenty of patterns and books with beautiful embroidery projects. Our Every Day Dish Towels (IJ846) pattern evokes the quintessential embroidery designs of the late 1920s through the 1940s. Dressed up with darling details, these towels depict daily domestic events, like laundry, ironing, shopping and sewing. Other patterns, including Cook’s Cover-Up (IJ733) and Permission Purse (IJ910), display sublime stitchery done by hand or machine. Books like Storybook Stitches series and A Stitch in Time with Mother Goose include dozens of designs you can replicate on original or readymade pieces. Vintage Notions features enduring embroidery projects, along with diagrams of various stitches. Here are some to get you started. You’ll be a chain-stitcher before you know it.