Below is the Work in Progess pictures of Jimmy the Hamster worked in the method of Needle painting.

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Jimmy Photo

Jimmy Embroidery

Top of the Head

Side of the Head

Click on images for enlargements


Jimmy the hamster is worked in the method of needle painting which is the blending of straight long and short stitches using different shades of DMC floss.

The embroidery is worked on fine silk dupioni fabric, with a muslin backing fabric in a 9 inch by 9 inch stretcher bar frame. The fabric is pinned onto the stretcher bar frame so that it is drum tight.


The embroidery is worked from the background to the foreground so that a dimensional picture is created. I use one strand of DMC cotton in the needle at the time. The hamster is worked from the bottom of the body to the head, finishing with the nose which is the most forward part of the hamster. In this way you can layer the stitches so it looks like layers of fur on the hamster.

I took about 150 photos of the stages of the embroidery, I am compiling these photos into PDF files which will be available for purchase in September 2013. These photos will show exactly how I embroidered the hamster to create the realistic embroidery which will be a great insight into how a professionally stitched needle painting embroidery is worked.


The Feet and Bottom of the Body

Side of the Body

Top of the Body


Height: 2 1/2 inches (5 cm)     Width: 2 1/2 inches (5 cm)


Tracing the design, prick and pounce method of transfer, drawing on the design and placing the fabric into the stretcher bar frame: 2 hours


30 hours


Fine Silk Dupioni with Southern Belle Muslin Fabric underneath


15 shades of DMC embroidery cotton, using one strand in the needle at one time. White Gutterman's fine cotton machine embroidery thread for the whiskers.

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Tanja Berlin © Berlin Embroidery Designs  

Address: 1481 Hunterbrook Road NW, Calgary, Alberta T2K 4V4, Canada Telephone: (403) 274 6293  Email: