For my first project of the year, the Yoga/Pilates Mat Shoulder Strap, the first thing I wanted to do was try some embroidery work. As a kid I learned some cross-stitching with my Grandma, and I remember thinking how wonderful it was that I could "draw" with yarn! For this project, I chose to embroider the word "breathe" because, being a longstanding Yoga and Pilates enthusiast, I know what difference this little reminder makes in our everyday life as well as while crafting! Breathe... and every challenge will be easier. Truly though, I also chose this word because it carried enough meaning by itself, making my embroidery work short! ; ) If you go to one of those studios that allows you to store your mat, it might be nice to embroider your own name or initials.
I was very lucky to find amazing resources at Mary Corbet's Needle 'N Thread, where she has video tutorials for all kinds of stitches and other embroidery techniques. After perusing a bit, I focused on the Stem Stitch tutorial, which seemed appropriate for letters. I found it to be a very charming and easy stitch, but more importantly, it was very forgiving. It's a great stitch for doing curves, which I guess is why it's recommended for letters. I am generally a good hand-writer, so I went freestyle on this, but you may prefer to draw the letters using pencil first. Also, it's worth noting that I didn't pay much attention to the appearance of the embroidery's wrong side because it would get sewed onto another fabric later.
For this project, I used 2 threads of green embroidery floss. I found it a little hard to embroider the webbing, being a thick material, though I have to admit that I was using just a regular sewing needle. An embroidery needle would punch bigger holes and the thread would pass through more easily. But hey, at least now you know that it can be done with a regular needle if need be - it will just take more patience and finger strength.