When it comes to interior décor, everybody has different tastes and preferences. So, we've interpreted a pretty motif in different techniques, from the simplest embroidery to reverse appliqué, to produce five very different finishes to reach out to a range of tastes.
- Fabric: patterned, 25cm square;plain, 10cm x 25cm; backing: 25cm x 33cm, plus 2cm x 12cm
- Embroidery thread
- Fusible webbing
- 22.5cm x 31cm
Make a placemat
Decorate a 10cm x 25cmstrip of plain fabric following the instructions for your chosen technique. Set aside. Cut a 25cm x 33cm rectangle of backing fabric and cut a central 8cm slit into it, 5cm up and parallel to the bottom edge. Cut a 25cm square from printed cotton and, with right sides facing, pin the left edge of the decorated strip to the right edge of the square. Sew together, leaving a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam open.
Pin the completed front strip to the backing, with right sides together. Machine sew around the edges, 1cm from the edge, and trim a small triangle from each corner. Carefully turn the mat right sides out through the slit. Gently push out the corners with a pencil and roll the edges between your fingers and thumbs to ease out the seam line.
Place a clean folded tea-towel on an ironing board and place the work on top, wrong sides facing upwards. Press lightly. Iron a 2cm x 12cm strip of fabric to fusible webbing, on the wrong side of the work. Peel off the backing paper and place the fabric over the slit in the backing. Press into place to conceal the gap.
Cut an 8cm x 12cm rectangle of soluble canvas and tack it centrally to the bottom of a narrow strip, 3cm from the bottom edge. Mark the centre top edge of the canvas with a pin.
Using three strands of embroidery thread and following the chart, embroider the motif in cross stitch, starting 1cm down with the centre top leaf. Wash the canvas to dissolve, following the manufacturer’s instructions and press lightly from the wrong side.
Transfer the motif to the narrow strip, omitting the flower petals. Cut out the centre of each leaf, leaving a 3mm margin within the outline. Make a series of small snips into this margin, 1mm from the outline. Turn a strip of scrap fabric to the back and tack down.
Tack the contrasting scrap to the wrong side of the strip and slip stitch down the folded edge inside each leaf. Cut two small circles from the scraps of main placemat fabric, 15mm and 3mm in diameter.
Work a line of small running hand stitches around the edge of each one and draw up.Stitch these to the upper circle and flower centre. Sew seed beads into position around the leaves and large circle.
Photocopy or trace the motif. Cut out, leaving a 1cm margin on all sides and transfer to the fabric, placing it centrally to the bottom of the fabric strip, 4cm up from the edge.
Using three strands of embroidery thread throughout, stitch over the leaves and central stalk outlines in stem stitch. Work a line of fly stitch along the medium and large leaves to represent the veins.
Fill in the top circle of the design with pink French knots and the flower centre with yellow knots. Sew a small straight stitch along the centre of every petal, in pink thread, then work a lazy daisy stitch over each straight one.
Outline the petals withdark pink thread: bring the needle up at the top of the lazy daisy stitch, take it under the stitch that anchors the loop and back down at the top. Work a halo of pale blue French knots around the top circle and the flower. Japanese style
Transfer the motif to the fabric strip. Use three strands of embroidery thread to sew along all of the transferred lines, excluding the upper circle, with short running stitches.
Sew a small 8mm butt onto the upper circle space and a 10mm one to the centre of the flower.
Transfer the motif on to the narrow fabric strip, omitting the flower petals. Trace the seven leaves onto the paper side of a length of fusible webbing, leaving space between them. Cut and iron onto the reverse of the strip. Cut around the template, peel off the backing paper and press each leaf into its space on the outline.
Secure one 8mm and one 12mm sequin into position with French knots worked in three strands of dark pink thread. Secure them with shisha mirror stitch, see diagrams. With three strands of green thread, work over the lower part of the stalk in chain stitch.
Outline the stalk andeach leaf with chain stitch in blue thread, along with a long, thin lazy daisy stitch at the base of each leaf. To finish, work a halo of French knots around each shisha circle in green thread.