February is National Grapefruit Month as well as National Wild Bird Feeding Month. Both worthy celebrations, but we’re most interested in it also being National Embroidery Month! To celebrate we have a set of five free machine embroidery designs from Sew4Home sewist team member (and digitizing designer extraordinaire), Michele Mishler. In the midst of winter rain, snow, and ice, these lovely custom tulip designs will bring the freshness of spring to your next machine embroidery project. We also show you the steps for creating the Michele’s Tulip Garden Pillow shown above.
Embroidery is the art of using needlework to embellish fabric to make it more colorful or decorative. It’s been with us for centuries as a hand craft. Today, although hand embroidery is seeing a resurgence, machine embroidery is at the forefront of the art form thanks to its speed, precision, design variety, and pure beauty.
Click HERE to download the Tulip Garden Embroidery Collection available in SIX major embroidery formats. Also included on the download page are: a folder containing a .jpg image of each of the designs in color (each image represents a 6½” square and all the images are to scale with one another), a complete Color Chart for the five designs, and a template for the Tulip Garden Pillow design arrangement.
Our thanks to Michele for creating this quality design collection especially for Sew4Home. Please note that the collection is copyright protected and distributed through Sew4Home.com for our visitors with her permission. These designs are for personal use and gifts only.
Tulip Garden Pillow
The pillow shown is designed for a 16″ x 16″ pillow insert. We recommend a medium to heavy weight, 100% linen fabric for results similar to ours. We used ½ yard of linen for our sample.
In addition to the fabric, pillow form and your standard project tools, you will need the following items:
- 40wt rayon embroidery thread in the following colors:
Three shades of green; Dark Green, Leaf Green and Light Green
Medium Pink and Bright Pink
Pale Yellow and Bright Yellow
- Bobbin thread
- Tear away stabilizer
- Three ¾” buttons
- Marking pen
- As listed above, click HERE to download the Tulip Garden Embroidery Collection in the format for your machine embroidery model. You should also download the Color Chart and the template for the tulip arrangement. Both of these are .pdf files.
- From the linen fabric, cut one 18″ x 18″ square for the pillow front, and two 11″ x 17″ rectangles for the pillow back.
NOTE: The pillow front square is cut slightly oversize. It will be trimmed after the embroidery is complete.
- Place the pillow front square right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Using a fabric pen or pencil, measure and mark a horizontal line 5½” up from the lower raw edge of the fabric square. Measure and mark a second, vertical line 5½” in from the left raw edge of the fabric square.
NOTE: You are working on the right side of your fabric so be sure your fabric pen or pencil will easily wipe or wash away or will vanish with exposure to the air.
- Cut a piece of stabilizer 18” long, then cut the stabilizer in half lengthwise. Place the stabilizer behind each marked line and pin in place.
- Thread your sewing/embroidery machine with 40wt decorative thread in Light Green and bobbin thread in the bobbin.
- From your machine’s selection of decorative stitches, select a pattern with a mesh or honeycomb design. Stitch along the horizontal line at the lower edge of the fabric square.
- Using the presser foot as your guide, sew a second line of decorative stitches ¼” parallel to and below the first line.
- Finally, stitch a third line of decorative stitches ¼” parallel to and below the second line.
- Make a set of matching decorative stitches along the vertical line on the left side of the pillow front, working from right to left with your stitching lines.
- Change the upper thread to Leaf Green, and select a stretch stitch or small zig zag. Add two lines of stitching between the rows of honeycomb stitching within both the horizontal and vertical sets.
- Remove the excess stabilizer. Place the pillow front on a flat work area. Position the template over the decorative stitches so the lower edge of the row of tulips is centered on the band of decorative stitches. Mark the placement crosshairs for each design. Notice that the crosshairs are all perpendicular to the decorative stitches, except for one tulip design.
- Set up your machine for embroidery. Cut two layers of stabilizer to fit your hoop. Hoop the fabric and stabilizer so the first placement crosshair is centered in the hoop. Embroider the first design. Color combinations are suggested by the colors on the printed template, but feel free to adjust the colors to match your favorite palette.
- When the first embroidery is complete, remove the fabric from the hoop and remove the excess stabilizer. Hoop stabilizer and fabric for each placement crosshair, and embroider each design until the embroidered arrangement is complete.
- Press the completed embroidery from the wrong side of the embroidery.
- Flip the pillow front to the right side and place it on your cutting board. Trim to a 17″ x 17″ square.
- To finish the pillow, you’ll need to construct a standard envelope back with a button closure, using the remaining 11″ x 17″ fabric rectangles.
- A couple existing S4H tutorials that detail these finishing steps are:
Woven Border Print Pillow with Poms
Xtra EZ Nine-Patch Pillow