We've used a leaf spray as a repeat, both as an all-over design and a corner flourish, to make a pair of cushions with a subtle sense of style. This simple motif is very versatile and looks great in padded satin stitch in thread that is slightly darker than the fabric colour.
- Fabric, striped, 50cm: pale blue; pale pink
- Thread, embroidery, six-stranded: blue; pink
- Cushion pad: 38cm square; 28cm x 38cm
- Pom pom trim, cream, 2.5m Pen, transfer
- Needle, crewel
- Paper, layout
- Embroidery hoop
- Pink: 38cm square
- Blue: 28cm x 38cm
Make embroidered cushions
Mark out two 28cm x 38cm rectangles on blue striped fabric and two 38cm squares on pink striped fabric. Trace the leaf motif below onto thin layout paper. Turn the paper over and go over the design with a transfer pen. The motif is now ready to transfer to the fabric. Remember that the transfer should be a mirror image of the finished design as it will be reversed when you place the paper upside down on the fabric.
Decide on the positions of the six motifs on one of the blue squares, this will be the front of the cushion. Place the motif on the fabric in the first of these positions and press with a hot dry iron until the design has been transferred. Move the paper to the position of the second leaf and press again. Depending on the transfer pen, you will be able to transfer several versions of the design. Once the impression becomes too faint, go over the lines on the paper again. On the pink cushion cover, transfer three leaf motifs, arranging them in one corner.
Place the blue fabric in an embroidery hoop. Thread a crewel needle with three strands of embroidery thread and, beginning on any part of the design, fill in the shapes of the leaves with small, neat running stitches, keeping inside the drawn lines. These small stitches form the padding for the padded satin stitch.
Once all the shapes are filled with running stitches, go over each one in satin stitch, taking the stitches just outside the lines to cover all the running stitches. Finally, embroider the stems in stem stitch. Remove the material from the hoop and place face down on top of a folded towel on an ironing board. Press carefully on the wrong side.
Cut out the front and back of the blue cushion, place right sides together and stitch all round with a 1cm seam, leaving an opening in one side for turning. Clip the corners, turn right sides out, and insert a 28cm x 38cm cushion pad, then fold in the raw edges and slipstitch the opening closed. Pin pom pom braid all round the edge of the cushion and slip stitch to the seam. Do the same for the pink cushion, but insert a 38cm square cushion pad.