When it comes to sewing flowers, there are some fundamental stitches that crop up time and time again – two of our favourites being stem stitch and French knots. Stem stitch, as the name suggests, is perfect for embroidering stems, while French knots suit tiny buds or centres for smaller blooms. Here, Susie Johns has created a pair of heart-shaped lavender sachets and an appliqué embellishment on a patchwork cushion. Get raiding your scrap bag to create your very own!
- Fabric scraps
- Six-stranded embroidery thread, assorted colours
- Erasable pen
- Fusible interfacing Dried lavender
- Cushion pad, 30cm square
- Embroidery hoop, 15cm diameter
- Embroidery needle
- Sachet: 14cm x 15cm
- Cushion cover: 30cm
Embroider the design
1 Download and print the floral heart design at sewmag.co.uk, then transfer it to the centre of a piece of fabric, using an erasable marker. Draw the heart outline using a permanent marker. The outer will be the cutting line for the sachet, and the inner will be the seamline for the sachet or the cutting line for the appliqué.
2 Stretch the fabric into a 15cm embroidery hoop, place the design in the centre and start stitching the wording. Thread the needle with two strands of thread in your chosen colour and, following the drawn lines, embroider the lettering in stem stitch.
3 For the floral design, embroider the flower stems in stem stitch, then the leaves and petals in satin stitch. Embroider a French knot at each flower centre and on each dot. When you have finished, remove the fabric from the hoop and wash out any erasable lines. Leave to dry, then press lightly on the reverse, taking care not to squash the embroidery.
Stitch the lavender sachet
1 Cut out the heart shape and trim another from backing fabric. Place the two, right sides together, then pin, tack and stitch together, leaving a 5cm gap on one straight edge for turning. Snip the curves, turn right side out and fill with lavender.
2 Turn under the raw edges and slip-stitch together to close the gap.
Make the cushion
1 Tace the inner heart outline onto the paper backing of fusible interfacing. Place the interfacing on the wrong side of the embroidered fabric, making sure that the design is centred within the heart shape. Fuse in place with a hot iron.
2 Cut out the heart shape, following the lines you have drawn. Make the patchwork by joining 18 squares in six rows of three squares, with a 1cm seam allowance. Peel off the backing paper from the embroidered heart and place on the patchwork. Fuse in place with a hot iron, then stitch all round, using a machine or blanket stitch.
3 Join the two short edges of the patchwork to make a tube, then flatten it, making sure the heart is centred on one half. Stitch the side seams, leaving a gap in one of the sides for turning. Clip the corners and turn right sides out. Insert the cushion pad and close the gap by slip-stitching the two folded edges together.