Category Archives: Projects – Embroidery

Itty Bitty Pincushions

I would really like the title of this post to be some sort of euphemism, but it isn’t.

2012-12-23 20.45.53I made tiny pincushions for some people for Christmas, following these instructions. The method is pretty basic, but the variations are infinite. They can be very simple,  or elaborate.

All the cloth is felt, they are stuffed with 100% wool roving (antibacterial, people tell me) and all the non-embroidery sewing is blanket stitch. They are built around re-purposed plastic bottle caps (like plastic soda bottle size — but I bet it would work with any smallish plastic bottle cap).

The pincushions are: A hawk in flight on a blue background. I basically made the bottle cap covering out of blue felt and appliqued a hawk in flight silhouette on with darker thread. I put a little embroidery at the shoulders and wingtips to give the illusions of feathers.

The two with embroidered diamond are inspired by temari.

The pincushion in the middle is brown bottle cap covering with ‘cushion’ part made from white. I appliqued the dripping icing as strip on the side. The strawberry was a miniature of this tutorial, though I appliqued the green leaves, and it was too small to stuff or add seeds.

The orange is a persimmon — orange felt with appliqued/ sculpted leaves.

The last is the night sky is blue ‘cushion’ with a black cap covering and stars embroidered in french knots and single stitches. The tree silhouettes are cut as part of the side strip.

Most of these I gave away as presents at Christmas, or I would take and post a better picture.


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Chicory and Hardanger

For Christmas, I decided to make my mom a linen centerpiece with cross-stitch. Due to my crazy (let me embolden that: crazy) schedule, I didn’t finish it for Christmas. I told her that I wouldn’t, and she accepted the promise of a finished centerpiece in the future.

This is what I’m putting on the long sides:

Chicory flower with unfinished Hardanger

Chicory flower with unfinished Hardanger

The pink thread marks the center line of the long side. You can see the circle left by the embroidery hoop. Since I’m using 28 ct. linen (DMC), the stitches are tiny. It gets rather tedious, but I’ve decided I’m not starting anything else until I finish this.

Double chicory flower and unfinished hardanger on corner

Double chicory flower and unfinished hardanger on corner

This is the design going on the corners. It’s the same colors as the better picture above. This picture is blurry as I had to do some work on it in Photoshop, but it gives the idea.

The geometric designs below the cross-stitch flowers are the unfinished Hardanger embroidery. While it’s very simple, it’s also nerve-wracking. if the wrong thread is cut, or the kloster blocks (the term for the embroidery seen above) are not done properly you have to start over. I can’t decide whether I should do the cuts as i finish them or not… probably while I go so I don’t have to start over completely if I do something wrong. I do know that I need to take out some of the kloster blocks from the long side as they are done wrong.

Once I make the cuts, I’ll weave/gather/bind the remaining threads into a secure design.

I’ll keep you posted!

Wikipedia’s explanation of Hardanger.

Check this page from for information about Hardanger and how to do it.

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