Floral Embroidered Pillow

Designer: Katherine Shaughnessey

With its spindly form and distinctive blooms, the sarsaparilla plant comes to life in textural crewel stitches.


  • Natural linen (plain weave or twill): one 24″ square (pillow front) and two 16×20″ rectangles (pillow back)
  • 8″ embroidery hoop
  • Crewel wool thread: 1 skein each of Appleton #441, #442, #443, #445, #481, #992
  • Chenille needle: size 24, or comparable crewel needle of your choice
  • White cotton fabric for lining: one 20″ square and two 16×20″ rectangles
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Sewing thread
  • 18″ square pillow form
  • Tracing paper
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Ruler
  • Embroidery pattern (get it here)

1. Trace the embroidery pattern onto the center of the linen square. Hoop the pillow front.

2. Stitch the stem and branches using chain stitch and #445. Split- stitch the leaves, alternating the uses of #441, #442, and #443. Stitch each blossom using circular couching stitch and #992 (see diagrams, below) and double-wrapped French knots on the ends. Use quadruple-wrapped French knots and #481 for the flower centers. (See how to embroider these stitches here.)

3. Block your finished crewelwork.

4. Trim 2″ from each side of the pillow front, leaving a 1″ border on all sides. The linen fabric with finished crewelwork should now measure 20″ square.

5. Lay your crewelwork facedown on a flat surface. Lay the 20″ square lining piece on top of your crewelwork. Pin the two pieces of fabric together and baste with sewing thread and hand-sewing needle, using a series of 1- to 2″-long straight stitches in diagonal rows spaced about 3″ apart. Stitch loosely, so stitches will be easy to remove later; set aside.

6. Lay one 16×20″ linen rectangle on a flat surface. Place one of the 16×20″ lining pieces on top of the linen rectangle. Pin together and baste as described above. Repeat for the second piece of pillow back and lining fabric.

7. For each pillow back piece, fold one long edge 112” in toward the lining. Press with a hot iron or finger-press. Fold in again another 112“, press, and pin along the folded edge.

8. Using sewing thread, blanket- stitch along the inside folded edge on each of the back pieces. Remove the pins. You should now have two 13×20″ pieces of basted, lined, and hemmed fabric that will be used to make the backing for your pillow.

9. Lay your basted and lined crewelwork faceup on a flat surface. Lay one of the small pieces facedown on top of the crewelwork with the fold in the middle and the left edges lining up. Pin the left edges together. Lay the other small piece in the same manner, matching the right side edges of the crewelwork; pin edges together. The two folded and hemmed edges now overlap in the center.

10. Pin the top and bottom edges, and place a few pins through the center where the two smaller pieces overlap. Flip your work so the lining side of the crewelwork is facing up.

11. Machine-sew the three pieces together, leaving a 1″ hem on all sides; remove pins.

12. Trim the seam allowance to 12“. Snip corners, being careful not to cut too close to the seam; remove the basting stitches. Turn the pillow right side out.

13. Using the end of a blunt scissors, a knitting needle, or chopsticks, gently push out corners from inside the pillow. Slip the pillow insert into the opening in the back of the pillow cover and adjust as necessary.


Felt Feather Pillow

Designer: Patty Sloniger

Spread your decorating wings with a pillow embellished with appliqué and embroidered wool and felt feather motifs across the front.


  • 114 yards of white fabric
  • 14 yard of tan fabric
  • Felt, felted wool, or wool:light aqua, green, gold, gray, dark green, rust, dark teal, cream
  • Embroidery floss: dark gray, cream, light gray
  • Sewing thread
  • 18″-square pillow insert
  • Feathers Pattern



Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42″ of usable fabric width. Measurements include  12” seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut the following pieces:


From white fabric, cut:

  • 1—17″ square (pillow front)
  • 2—13×19″ rectangles (back)

From tan fabric, cut:

  • 2—2×17″ border strips
  • 2—2×19″ border strips

From light aqua felt, felted wool, or wool, cut:

  • 1 of pattern A

From green felt, felted wool, or wool, cut:

  • 1 of pattern A

From gold felt, felted wool, or wool, cut:

  • 1 of pattern A
  • 1 of pattern C

From gray felt, felted wool, or wool, cut:

  • 3 of pattern B
  • 3 of pattern D
  • 3 of pattern F

From dark green felt, felted wool, or wool, cut:

  • 1 of pattern C

From rust felt, felted wool, or wool, cut: 

  • 1 of pattern C
  • 1 of pattern E

From dark teal felt, felted wool, or wool, cut:

  • 1 of pattern E

From cream felt, felted wool, or wool, cut:

  • 1 of pattern E

1. Referring to the Appliqué Placement Diagram, arrange the A–F shapes on the right side of the pillow front, spacing the shapes 38” from the edges. For the C-D feather in the top right, trim the C shape parallel to the top edge of the pillow front. For the E-F feather on the bottom left, trim the F shape parallel to the bottom edge of the pillow front. When satisfied with the arrangement, pin the shapes to the pillow front.

2. With the pieces pinned in place, cut random notches in the edges of each A and B shape to resemble feather edges.

3. Use three strands of embroidery floss for all stitching. Using dark gray embroidery floss, stitch a line of short running stitches along the inside edge of each A and B shape (Embroidery Diagram). Using cream embroidery floss, backstitch striping details as desired on the gray B shapes. Using light gray embroidery floss, backstitch a 214” quill for each feather. Feathers that extend along the left-hand edge and the bottom of the pillow front do not have quills. The feather at the lower right corner of the pillow front has a short quill that extends into the seam allowance.


4. Referring to Pillow Front Assembly Diagram, sew a tan 2×17″ border strip to the top and bottom edges of the pillow front. Add a tan 2×19″ border strip to each side edge of the pillow front. Press all seams toward borders.

5. Turn under one long edge of each white 13×19″ rectangle 14“; press. Turn under same long edges 14” again and stitch in place to hem pillow back pieces.


6. Referring to Pillow Back Assembly Diagram, overlap hemmed edges of pillow back pieces by about 6″ to make a 19″ square. Edgestitch across overlaps to make pillow back.

7. Layer pillow top and back with right sides together. Stitch around all edges to make pillow cover. Turn to right side; press. Insert pillow form through opening in pillow back.

Kitchen-Inspired Embroidered Linens

Designer: Särah Goldschadt

Made by: Jann Williams

Whether your are a well-versed foodie or culinarily challenged, these embroidered linens and framed artwork are inspiring ingredients for a fun kitchen.


  • Two linen hand towels
  • Rickrack: 1″-wide orange, 14“-wide orange, 12“-wide teal
  • 34“-wide twill tape: teal
  • Sewing thread: teal and orange
  • Sewing needle
  • 18″ square of teal wool
  • Transfer paper
  • Stylus or dried-up ballpoint pen
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Perle cotton: Valdani size 12 #0/244 (variegated orange), Valdani size 12 #0/550 (variegated teal), and DMC size 5 Ecru
  • Embroidery needle
  • Square frame with 112“-square opening
  • Whisk Pattern
  • Silverware Pattern
  • Mixer Pattern

1. Measure width of towel and cut rickrack and twill tape 12” longer than measurement. Referring to the photo, above, for placement, hand-sew rickrack and twill tape to the hemmed edge of the towel using matching sewing thread and tiny tack stitches. Tuck under the rickrack raw ends and stitch in place.


2. Use a light box or sunny window to trace whisk and cutlery patterns onto hand towels using a sharp pencil. Position the whisk approximately 12” above the rickrack and the cutlery 112” above the rickrack. Lay a piece of transfer paper onto teal wool. Lay mixing bowl and mixer pattern on top of transfer paper in desired location. Using a stylus or dried-up ballpoint pen, carefully and firmly trace over design lines to transfer design onto wool.


3. Place towel or wool in embroidery hoop. Referring to color key on patterns for thread colors and stitches, embroider the designs.


4. Remove embroidery from hoop. Using a warm iron, press finished embroidery.


5. For the framed piece, hand-stitch 14“-wide orange rickrack to the mixer as shown in the photo, above, using matching sewing thread and tiny tack stitches. Tuck under the raw ends before securing. Insert embroidery into frame.

Spring Scarf

Designer: Jennifer Keltner

Scarves have graduated from wintertime accessories to anytime must-haves.


  • 1 yard red stripe fabric*
  • 34 yard woven cotton linen
  • Size 5 embroidery needle
  • Valdani perle cotton: size 8 (M43–variegated multicolor reds)

*Note: Because the stripe on our fabric ran parallel to the selvage, extra yardage was required to allow for only one seam. If not using a directional or stripe fabric, you could buy only 34 yard.


Measurements include 14” seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

From each fabric, cut:

  • 2—13×32″ rectangles, noting direction of stripes (along 32″ length)


1. With right sides together, sew 14” seam along one short end of red stripe rectangle to make one long strip that is 13×6312” Press seams open.

2. Repeat Step 1 for woven cotton linen rectangles.

3. Layer red stripe strip and woven cotton linen strip with right sides together. Sew 14” seam on each long edge. Leave short ends unstitched. Turn right side out and press. If you like, place pins along some of the red stripes to keep layers together while hand sewing.

4. Using a size 5 embroidery needle, thread approximately 18″ of perle cotton and tie a knot. Starting on the red stripe fabric side of scarf, about 12” from end, stitch with a long running stitch along a stripe. When you run out of thread, finish with a knot on the red strip side and begin again with another length of perle cotton.

5, Repeat Step 1 to sew along as many stripes as you want.

6. Pull out a few threads on each unfinished edge to create a frayed finish.

Cross-Stitch Coffee Table Tray

102368808Designer: Jaydee Decker

A metal perforated baking tray from a kitchen-supply store serves up a trendy cross-stitch plus sign and makes a handy place to corral odds and ends.


  • 13×18″ perforated metal tray
  • Painters tape
  • Spray paint: yellow and peach
  • Yarn needle
  • Yarn: magenta

1. Tape off one-third of tray from top to bottom and through one vertical row of holes. In a well-ventilated area, spray-paint one side of tray yellow; let dry. Peel off painters tape and apply a new line of tape aligned with the spray-painted line. Spray remaining side of tray peach; let dry. Remove tape.

2. Find the center of tray. Following the chart, below, cross-stitch the design using yarn needle and magenta yarn. Leave a long tail on back of tray for first and last stitches, weave tails under previous stitches; trim ends.