Below is the Work in Progess pictures of a Sea Otter.

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1: Design Painted onto the Fabric and the Water

2: Silver Japan Outlines

3: Left Paw

6: Filling in the Head

7: Right Paw

10: Eyes and Nose

11: Finishing Touches

Click on Images for Enlargements



The sea otter was embroidered for my sister and brother in law's Christmas present.

The sea otter 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 a blue satin fabric in a 12 inch by 12 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.

  1. First I paint the outline of the sea otter onto the fabric and then I painted the water using 3 shades of blue acrylic paint.

  2. Next I couch down either a single strand of silver No. 7 Japan thread or a single strand of Silver No. 5 Japan thread along the edges of the.

  3. I then work the left paw as it comes behind all other areas of the body in long and short stitch.

  4. Next I work the right shoulder, neck and behind the ears in long and short stitch.

  5. I work a split stitch around the head to raise it above the neck and the back ground fabric, then work around the edge of the head in long and short stitch.

4: Right Shoulder and Neck

5: Edge of the Head

  1. I continue working rows of long and short stitch around the head finishing at the center leaving spaces for the eyes and nose.

  2. Next I work the right paw beginning at the end of the paw and working towards the right shoulder.

  3. I finish the right paw taking care to blend the last few stitches into the shoulder of the sea otter

  4. I work the nostrils and the first layer of satin stitch for the eye of the otter.

8: Right Paw

9: Nostrils and Eyes

  1. I add a second layer of satin stitch to the eyes and finish of the nose in long and short stitch.

  2. For the finishing touches I add a glint in the eye with a couple of satin stitches, I also add defining stitches in the face above the eyes to give the otter more expression. In the water I added French knots to the waves in two different shades of blue to give the water depth.


Height: 7 1/2 inches (18 3/4 cm)     Width: 3 3/4 inches (9 1/4 cm)


Tracing the design, prick and pounce method of transfer, painting on the design and placing the fabric into the stretcher bar frame: 3 hours


60 hours


Blue satin, smooth with no slubs, easy to paint.


8 shades of DMC embroidery floss, using one strand in the needle at one time.

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