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. There are a variety of posts and there are also more are on the way.
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.
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.
The good thing that comes with doing batch updates is that you can really play around with icon sizes and placement. I use my water soluble marker and draw out all of my icons before I stitch. I’ll even draw out an icon a few times until I’m happy with how it is sitting amongst my other icons. By using a water soluble marker, it makes this process super easy to do. If you mess up, you can rinse your journal, blow dry it, then start again.
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.
Looking above, I’ve circled the gaps that I have left on my journal to fill. I tried to divide them up so that I have 7 spots left to fill in. That way as I move on throughout the rest of my month I can keep in mind how big I can realistically make my icons to fit. It’s a bit of a balancing act, but it will become more and more natural as you the months pass.
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.
Again, figuring out how to balance the sizes of your icons throughout the month can be tough at the start of the year. However, after an adjustment period, it will start to get easier and become more like second nature to you.
Did you find this post interesting? Then don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and TikTok! Those are the places where you’ll find my most up to date embroidery journal updates. I’m always happy to answer any questions that you may have on the topic, you can find me on any of my socials or via email.