I have never hand embroidered before, but I love the personalization it gives a project. Your design options are endless! I found a gorgeous design on Etsy that I plan to make into a doll quilt as part of my daughters christmas gift. (She is getting her first REAL doll, with all the accessories; cradle, bedding, quilt, clothes, etc.) Before I jumped into this very detailed pattern, I figured I should do some trial runs with easier patterns. Basically, I just drew out a few simple things on the fabric and gave it a go.
I really like the way it turned out. Very simple back stitches, yet so cut. I was planning to fill the heart, but after stitching the second row, I really liked the look as is. I plan to practice more, and hopefully start my new pattern this weekend. I will definitely show progress shots as I go along.