A few months ago, a pin started circulating on Pinterest with a picture of a hand embroidered USA map. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it! Unfortunately, the pin did not link back to anything other than an image, but I assure you, it is an incredibly easy (and inexpensive!) craft project.
Right now, my husband and I are on our second cross country road trip (both times due to his job in the Air Force), and this time, I packed along this little craft to help whittle away the 10,000 miles we’d be traveling. I decided that mine would be an ongoing project – instead of filling in all of the states, I would only fill in states that we’ve visited together, as a way to see how far along we are in our quest to visit all 50 states. I also decided that I’d use it as a way to commemorate all the different places we’ve lived due to the Air Force moving us every 3 years.
All you’ll need to make your own embroidered USA map is the following;
– A wooden embroidery hoop of the size of your choice (mine is 10″)
– A piece of heavy Kona cotton (the size of the fabric will depend on the size of the hoop)
– Embroidery floss, I chose about 6 different colors, but this is up to you!
– Embroidery needle
– Scissors, a pen, and access to a computer/printer
To get started, decide how large you would like your map to be. Find an image online of the outline of the country/states, and print it to size. Using your pen and either a lightbox or window, trace the states onto the white fabric.
Then, double up your fabric (fold it in half so it is two layers thick), and place it in the embroidery hoop. Pull the fabric as taut as you can, and tighten the screw using a screwdriver so it is as tight as it can go.
And then, sit back and begin embroidering each state.
I used the satin stitch (explained here on Sublime stitching), and I alternated whether the stitches were horizontal and vertical.
Here it is currently – I have about 3 more states to fill in as we drive home this week, and I also took some pink floss and marked off Spokane, WA (where we currently live) and Wichita Falls, TX (where we’re about to move this summer!). This aspect makes it perfect for military families as a way to mark off where you’ve lived. It would also be cute for those in a long distance relationship – you could mark off where each member of the couple lives. The possibilities are endless!