Embellish a pair of pillows with basic hand-embroidery stitches.

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Designer: Wendy Sheppard

Materials

For Yellow Pillow

• 7⁄8 yard solid yellow (embroidery foundation, pillow back)

• 14×18" batting

• Embroidery floss: gray

• 12×16" pillow form

• Water-soluble marking pen

Finished pillow: 12×16"

For Gray Pillow

• 1-1⁄8 yards solid gray (embroidery foundation, pillow back)

• 18" square batting

• Embroidery floss: yellow

• 16"-square pillow form

• Water-soluble marking pen

Finished pillow: 16" square

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄2" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut Fabric for Yellow Pillow

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for embroidery pattern.

From solid yellow, cut:

• 2-13×21" rectangles

• 2­-14×18" rectangles

Mark Yellow Embroidery Foundation

1. Tape Dandelion Embroidery Pattern to a light box or sunny window.

2. Referring to photo for placement, place a solid yellow 14×18" rectangle atop dandelion pattern; tape in place. Using water-soluble marking pen, trace dandelion pattern onto rectangle.

3. Repositioning same solid yellow rectangle, repeat Step 2 to trace a second dandelion pattern.

4. Referring to photo for placement and using a ruler, continue marking dandelion stem lines to within 1⁄2" of rectangle edges to prepare yellow embroidery foundation.

Embroider Yellow Pillow Top

1. Layer marked yellow embroidery foundation right side up atop 14×18" batting rectangle and remaining solid yellow 14×18" rectangle; baste.

2. Using two strands of gray floss, backstitch along stem and bract lines. To backstitch, pull your needle up at A (Backstitch Diagram). Push it back down at B, and bring it up at C. Continue in same manner.

3. Referring to photo and using two strands of gray floss, make lazy daisy stitches for seed heads at ends of a few bract lines. To make a lazy daisy stitch, pull needle up at A and form a loop of thread on fabric surface (Lazy Daisy Stitch Diagram). Holding loop in place, insert needle back into fabric at B, 1⁄16" away from A. Bring needle tip out at C and cross it over trailing thread, keeping thread as flat as possible. Gently pull needle and trailing thread until loop lies flat against fabric. Push needle through to back at D to secure loop.

4. Referring to photo, page 1, and using two strands of gray floss, make clusters of straight stitches for seed heads at ends of bract lines to make yellow pillow top. To make straight stitches, pull needle up at A (Straight Stitch Diagram). Push it back down at B, and bring it up at C. Push it down at D and continue in same manner.

5. Centering embroidery, trim yellow pillow top to 13×17" including seam allowances.

Finish Yellow Pillow

1. With wrong side inside, fold each solid yellow 13×21" rectangle in half to form two double-thick 10-1⁄2 ×13" rectangles. (The double thickness makes the pillow back more stable.) Overlap folded edges about 4" to make a 13×17" rectangle (Yellow Pillow Back Assembly Diagram). Baste across top and bottom of overlapped layers to make pillow back.

2. Layer yellow pillow top and pillow back with right sides together; pin. Using 1⁄2" seam, sew together around outer edges to make pillow cover. Turn right side out; press. Insert 12×16" pillow form through opening to complete yellow pillow.

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Cut Fabric For Gray Pillow

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for embroidery pattern.

From solid gray, cut:

• 2­-17×21" rectangles

• 2-18" squares

Mark Gray Embroidery Foundation

Repeat Mark Yellow Embroidery Foundation, steps 1–4, using a solid gray 18" square to prepare gray embroidery foundation.

Embroider Gray Pillow Top

Using marked gray embroidery foundation, 18" batting square, remaining solid gray 18" square, and yellow embroidery floss, repeat Embroider Yellow Pillow Top, steps 1–4, to embroider gray pillow top. Centering embroidery, trim gray pillow top to 17" square including seam allowances.

Finish Gray Pillow

1. With wrong side inside, fold each solid gray 17×21" rectangle in half to form two double-thick 10-1⁄2 ×17" rectangles. (The double thickness makes the pillow back more stable.) Overlap folded edges about 4" to make a 17" square (Gray Pillow Back Assembly Diagram). Baste across top and bottom of overlapped layers to make pillow back.

2. Layer gray pillow top and pillow back with right sides together; pin. Using 1⁄2" seam, sew together around outer edges to make pillow cover. Turn right side out; press. Insert 16"-square pillow form through opening to complete gray pillow.

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