A Little Lavender Gift

My friend is having a birthday and I decided that I would make a gift rather than go out and buy one. I set aside Saturday to do the whole thing, start to finish. It didn’t take the whole day…it only took as long as one, old episode of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple! It made for a delightful, cozy afternoon of relaxed stitching.


I used some of the linen I purchase at Broderie Bayeux this summer when we were in France. The linen is a lovely, creamy color and very tightly woven so none of the bits of lavender would leak throughout the fabric. The threads are from Thread Gatherer. I used “Silk ‘n Colors and 4mm Silken Ribbon in the color Lavender honey.


These threads are hand dyed and of the highest quality. The threads are variegated and shift colors gently and beautifully. This particular color is one of my favorites.


The stitches are as simple as could be; stem stitch for the stems of the lavender, french knots for the flowers and straight stitch for the leaves. I used both the silk thread and the silk ribbon for the flowers so the size of the lavender buds would be different. The smaller knots are at the top of the stems stitched with the silks thread and the larger French knots at the bottom of the stems stitched with silk ribbon.


The leaves are done with a straight stitch and the gently pulling in of the ribbon at the top and bottom of the stitch gives the leaves an interesting shape that I wouldn’t get if I’d use thread.


For the design, I simply drew the curved lines of the stems onto the fabric, leaving enough room for the leaves between each stem and varying the height of the stems for interest.



To finish the lavender sachet, I machine sewed the embroidered front and plain back together on 3 sides, filled it with lavender and hand stitched the open sides together.


Then I attached a pretty piece of ribbon to the top corners, so that the sachet can be hung from a hanger, on a door knob or placed in a drawer.

DSCF3674As you know, I haven’t done much ribbon embroidery but I do like how it looks when it’s finished. I find that I love it in small amounts and that it’s perfect for little gifts just like this.

I have two books I used to help me with the different stitches: The Handbook of Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Jane Cox and The Embroiderer’s Handbook by Margie Bauer.

Do you do ribbon embroidery? Do you love it? How do you use it?


Lavender Sachets 2 & 3

Driving across the USA is a great time to embroider! We traveled from Minnesota to Michigan and I got both of the other two sachets covers done. The only problem with embroidering on the road is the roads can be bumpy! The good thing is that the time passes quickly.

As I was stitching these I used some stitches that I haven’t used often. For the yellow fruit on this sachet front I used whipped button hole stitch. I really like the raised line it made on the edge of the fruit. The rest of the stitches on the first sachet are stem stitch, satin stitch and a few french knots. I didn’t use any complicated stitches so it worked up quickly and it looks simple and sweet, just like the design.

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Lavender Sachets 1

Lavender sachets are so nice to give as gifts. They’re quick to stitch, easy to finish into something (minimal sewing!) and small enough to send in the post. When I get around to teaching a class in embroidery, a sachet will be one of the first projects we do.

Here’s the front of the first of the three lavender sachets I’m stitching while I’m on vacation. I just love the bright, summery colors and this sweet, old fashioned design.

The thread is Auriful Vivace Coton a broder. It’s the first time I’ve used it  and I really like it! It’s 100% mercerized cotton and has a high sheen to it. My daughter asked me if it was silk!

I found the pattern on flickr.com in a gallery from Q is for Quilter. There are loads of great vintage embroidery patterns in her galleries and all of them can be downloaded.*

There are a number of other patterns using the same colors and in the same style. I can imagine a lot of wonderful projects using them!

One stitched, two to go, and then I have to sew them up and fill them when I get home! Vacations are such a good time to stitch!

*Flickr.com is a great place to find vintage embroidery patterns as well as a good source for inspiration. Please remember that images found on Flickr are for personal use only and pages on other web sites that display content hosted on flickr.com must provide a link from each photo or video back to its page on Flickr. This means I can use this image myself but I can’t pass it off as mine nor may I post it without referencing where it came from. I’ll be writing more about how to do effective internet searches for patterns and inspiration in the future.