Floral Embroidered Pillow

Designer: Katherine Shaughnessey

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


Materials:

  • 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.

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Lace Wall Art

Designer: Sara Perez

Need an easy decorating idea? Buy yardages of various laces and then layer the pieces on top of floral fabrics placed inside wooden embroidery hoops.


Materials:

  • Yardages of various lace
  • Floral fabrics
  • Wooden embroidery hoops
  • Scissors
  • Glue

1. Layer the pieces of lace on top of floral fabrics placed inside wooden embroidery hoops. By inserting multiple layers, you allow different textures to become visible through the more open areas on the top layer.

2. Once you’re happy with the look, trim the laces and glue the edges to the backs of the hoops.

T-Shirt Friendship Bracelets

Designer: Alison Gamm

Rather than sharing your latest selfie, give one of these bracelets to a friend.


Materials:

  • Old T-shirt (multiple-strand and braided bracelets)
  • Jewelry pliers
  • 12“-wide clamp ribbon end jewelry clasps with jump ring ends: silver (one pair per bracelet)
  • Lobster clasps (one per bracelet)
  • Old shirt or scarf (knotted bracelet)
  • About ten 12“-diameter glass marbles (knotted bracelet)

Make the Multiple-Strand Bracelet

1. Note: If making multiples, make a ball of T-shirt yarn following the instructions below. Cut three 12×6″ strips from T-shirt; pull the ends to curl the long edges to make T-shirt yarn.

2. Lay the T-shirt yarn side-by-side on work surface. Use jewelry pliers to pinch a clamp ribbon end over each end of the grouping. Add a lobster clasp to one of the rings attached to a clamp end.


Make the Braided Bracelet

1. Note: If making multiples, make a ball of T-shirt yarn following the instructions below. Cut three 12×9″ strips from a T-shirt; pull the ends to curl the long edges (see Photo 4 below).

2. Lay the T-shirt yarn side-by-side on work surface. Use jewelry pliers to pinch a clamp ribbon end over one end of the grouping. Braid the strings. Pinch a clamp ribbon end over the braided end. Add a lobster clasp to one of the rings attached to a clamp end.


Make the Knotted Bracelet

1. Cut a 3×25″ strip from an old shirt or scarf. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with right sides together.

2. Using a 14” seam allowance, sew the strip together along the long edges. Turn the strip right side out.

3. Tie a knot 1″ from one end of the strip. Insert a marble through the opening on opposite end and push it down to the knot. Twist and pinch the strip around the marble, then tie a knot to hold the marble in place.

4. Continue adding knots and marbles and tie a final knot to the strip end. Trim the strip end as needed, but leave at least 1″ of fabric at end.

5. Use jewelry pliers to pinch a clamp ribbon end to each strip end. Add a lobster clasp to one of the rings attached to a clamp end.


How to Make T-Shirt Yarn
1. Cut across front of T-shirt just below armpits. Cut off bottom hemmed edge; discard strip.
2. Cut 12” wide strips beginning at one side seam and ending approximately 1″ before opposite side seam.
3. Open uncut side seam; finger-press. Cut diagonally across seam (from strip one on right to strip two on left) to connect every other strip and make one long continuous strip.
4. Stretch strip to curl side edges. Roll into ball.

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.


Materials:

  • 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

 

FINISHED PILLOW: 18″ square

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.


Materials:

  • 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.