Embroidery Journaling: Spacing out Your Icons

Have you ever looked at my embroidery journal and been confused by how how at the end of the month I can perfectly squeeze in an icon for every day? Well, with this post I’ll be showing you how I accomplish this and how you can do the same. I get it, you’re worried that you might make them all too large and run out of space. It can be overwhelming to start with, but over time you’ll improve your skills on balancing out the sizes of your icons. You’ll realize that it’s okay to have some larger icons alongside some tiny ones.

You can see that I like to have quite a variety of sizes when it comes to my icons. In September you can see a large couch, laptop, vacuum, and a book. All of these take up quite a lot of space. Although, you can also see some smaller icons that squeeze into gaps: the pig snout, the not allowed sign, and the question mark. So let’s dig into the method behind the madness.

So what is an embroidery journal? Essentially, every day of the year you stitch an icon on your journal. This can cover what you did that day, something you ate, how you felt, or even something you watched on TV! Throughout the year, you’ll watch as all of your hard work pays off and your hoop begins to fill.

As mentioned previously, this post will be doing a dive into the topic of how to space out your journal. If you’re interested in learning more about how to create your own journal, I’ve written a few other posts on the subject. Now available on Etsy is an in-depth embroidery journal guide.

First things first: stitch the name of the month

This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but I’ve absolutely had months where I forgot to do this and I was left fitting my month where I had leftover space! So I definitely recommend doing this when you are doing your first update of the month.

Start out the month with some larger than average icons

This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but I sometimes like to start out the month by making my icons a bit bigger than average. I enjoy having a variety of sizes when it comes to my stitches for each month, and this provides an easy way to manage this.

Notice that I have made the first six icons of September a bit larger than the average sized icon

Batch out your updates

You may be tempted to do an update a day, if you can keep up with that, then that’s wonderful! Personally, I could never manage to do that. So I update in batches of around 3 to 5 days at a time. It’s just a bit easier for me to keep up with my journal without overwhelming myself.

Looking at this photo, you can see how I go about updating my journal in batches

Taking inventory of remaining space towards the end of the month.

When I started my 2020 journal, I kept finding that at the end of the month it was a struggle to fit in those last 2-3 icons. After a few months of this, I started thinking ahead and was able to bypass this entirely. Usually when I have about 5-7 days worth of days left to stitch, I’ll take inventory of how much space I have left and think about how I can fit in my last few icons of the month.

Don’t overthink it

This definitely will not be what you want to hear, but try not to overthink it. If you worry too much about how big or how small to make your icons, it’s probably going to put you off of updating your journal at all. At the end of the day, just have fun with your craft.

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

2 thoughts on “Embroidery Journaling: Spacing out Your Icons

  1. Love journals! I journal about gardening and sewing/quilting. I never thought about embroidery journaling, but will start one in 2022. Thank you for sharing an inspiring way to journal!
    What size do you suggest for this?

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