Ferris Wheel Part I.


Hello! In this tutorial I'm gonna show you just how I make my ferris wheel embroideries. While each one may look slightly different, the underlying structure is still the same.

First off, I want to note that I made the decision to split this tutorial into two parts because it was just so completely filled with information and I thought it would be a less confusing tutorial experience.

This first part will be the making of the main ferris wheel shape, and when you finish, you can go on to part 2. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!


Materials Needed:

  • 100% Cotton, Unbleached Utility Fabric (Any sturdy cotton fabric that's thick enough to hold paint and thin enough to comfortably sew through)
  • Embroidery Hoop (4" & 3" shown)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Bright paint brush ("Bright"= flat edge)
  • "Pthalo blue" and "Titanium White" acrylic paint
  • Paint palette
  • Drop cloth for paint mess and some water for mixing
  • Various embroidery thread colors

Start setting up the embroidery hoop by cutting out the size of fabric you need -- use the hoop for a guided size estimate. Be sure to leave extra fabric on the edges for better gripping and keep fabric taut. Once hoop is set up, place the second smaller hoop. (In this case, the 3" hoop on top of the 4" hoop.) The smaller hoop will help to make our boundary line for the painting portion.


After tracing out the circle form for the boundary of the painting, use the same circle form to outline a ferris wheel section. If you're unsure where to put the center of the ferris wheel, visualize where the center of the circle is and place a dot there. Begin to mark out the lines of each triangle section, being sure to stay within the boundary of the first circle drawn.


Mix your sky blue color by using mostly white paint, a dot of water, and a smidgen of pthalo blue paint. Use your bright paint brush (flat edge paint brush) to start painting inside the entire circle. It's easiest to start at the edges and work your way into the middle. Your pencil marks should be dark enough that they will still show through the thin layer of paint.


Allow the paint to dry, drying time varies depending on the wetness of the paint, so I would wait at least an hour before stitching. You can use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process.

While the paint is drying I find it helpful to search through my colors and find the ones I will use. I find a color for the main section of the ferris wheel -- white or light gray. For each ferris wheel seat, I find a light valued color and a dark valued version of that color. See below.


Start by threading the needle and knotting the ends a couple times. Then insert the needle through the back of the hoop -- this leaves the knot at the back of the fabric.

You should see the pencil lines very slightly through the paint, and if you get lost, use the circle form to help guide your eyes to the edges of the first circle we had drawn. We will follow the edges to make "triangles." See below.


Continue making the "triangles" all the way around until you've finished the main ferris wheel shape. Once you've finished you can begin to go all the way around once more about half an inch inside the circle. See Below.


Words and photos by Jordan Harmon

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April 2018