Some months ago while in Toronto, I came across a book called Sublime Stitching. It had patterns to follow for easy and hip embroidery onto any piece of fabric.
After some research, I found the website of SS's founder, Jenny Hart. While looking through her online gallery, I came across an embroidered portrait of Dolly and freaked the eff out!
Because really...who doesn't love Dolly? Anyway, I was inspired enough by this to pick up an embroidery needle, some thread, a $2 shirt at Old Navy, and an embroidery hoop and get started on my first project: a Christmas gift for my sisty. I decided that I was gonna free-hand that shit - because I'm a badass. (Or it MAY have been because I was too lazy to get up and find a pencil to sketch a patten with).
I used a stitching technique found on the SS website called "split stitch," which was easy and fun. I ended up with some kind of leaf/fruit patern.
I've gotten better since, though I haven't had much time to invest in more embroidery projects. Someday I'm going to make a Hanson quilt for my friend Betsy though.