Embroidered pillows!

Hooray! Yippee! Woooeeee! I got out the sewing machine and made two embroidered pieces into SOMETHING!

If you’re like me, the joy of embroidering is the stitching. Laying out the design and transferring it to the fabric might not be interesting but both are necessary so we don’t mind doing them so much. Stretching in on to a frame could even be fun (I know I’m looking forward to getting my Evertite frames so I can do this!) but once I’m done stitching,  the embroidery goes in to a really lovely portfolio full of other finished pieces, just laying there, waiting to be turned into SOMETHING. And waiting. And still waiting.

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Flowers for Elizabeth Pillow Completed

I thought those of you who have been following my progress on the Flowers for Elizabeth project might want to know which Renaissance Dyeing thread colors I used. Below you can download a pdf chart of the Paternayan thread colors Susan O’Connor calls for in her book and the Renaissance Dyeing thread colors I’ve used. The colors are not always a perfect match because Renaissance has a limited (but very beautiful) range of colors while Paternayan has hundreds of colors. If any of you decide to work up some of the designs from the book with Renaissance threads, I’d love to hear about it!

I used less than one skein of each color. It was close on the black thread though! I had only three strands left when I was finished. I was careful – frugal even – so you’ll need to consider your own thread usage when ordering the black thread.

All the flower patterns may be found in Susan O’Connor’s wonderful book Flowers for Elizabeth.

Click on the links below to download the Thread chart and the pattern for the pillow.

Flowers Eliz. Pillow Thread Chart

Pillow. dimensions

I admit that the this is my favorite motif. Probably because I love the color combination of the blue and red.

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Measure twice, stitch once

The gold border is done and the piece is finished. But it was not a fast finish. The details are often what make or break any project. My grandfather and my father and my brothers all do wood working – beautiful wood working – as a hobby. Taking care, measuring and going slowly were lessons I learned as a child. It’s hard for me to always remember them since being patient is not my normal mode of operation. (Except with children – with them I can be patient forever – that’s why I’m a teacher!)

Susan O’Connor, in her book Flowers for Elizabeth, suggests using a combination of fly stitch/detached chain stitch for the outside border. She combines it with a zig-zag chain stitch, which I tried but found too heavy for the piece.

When doing anything that is geometric and symmetrical, I usually don’t trust my eye 100%. I measure.

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