I love finding crafty inspiration and then just going for it. I saw this super fun NYC subway map embroidery project posted by Make Something on Instagram and I loved the idea. Boston’s subway is a lot less complicated so I knew I could whip up one of my own.
For this project all I needed was:
- Sized/scaled MBTA map printout
- Small embroidery hoop
- Plain muslin fabric
- Embroidery scissors
- Embroidery transfer pen
- Multicolor thread
To start, I transferred the design of the MBTA map on to my fabric. No fancy lightboxes or transfer paper needed here, I just taped the map and the fabric to our porch door on a sunny day and was able to see the lines perfectly. The awesome thing about the embroidery transfer pen is that it’s really bright so you can totally see your pattern but it washes right off with water.
Once I had the pattern on my fabric I hooped it up nice and tight.
I then just used a simple running stitch to embroider the colored subway lines.
I alternated thread color for the different subway lines we have here in Boston: Red, Orange, Green, Blue, and Silver.
Once the stitching was done I rinsed the fabric under cool water to remove the transfer pen marks. I laid the fabric out flat on a few paper towels overnight to dry completely.
The next day I put the dry fabric back in the hoop making sure it was centered and tight. I then trimmed off the excess fabric, leaving about 1/4 inch remaining around the edge in the back.
I used my hot glue gun to secure the excess fabric down to the interior embroidery hoop, working in small sections to avoid any mistakes (or burns!).
The good thing about using hot glue on the interior hoop to hold the fabric down is that it stays nice and tight so you won’t ever have to readjust the fabric in the hoop. Bonus built in frame!
All done! This project took a total of probably 2 hours (not including the fabric drying time). Fast and fun! Plus John totally loved it so he took it to work to hang in his office.