I think I’ve shared that one of my favorite places to shop is the Austin Creative Reuse Store. I know there are stores like it in other cities. Think going through everyone’s stash and getting to pick the things you want and take them home! Prices are awesome, and you’ll never know what you’ll find! Here is my story about a new-to-me crewel embroidery pillow!
I found this UFO (UnFinished Object) and loved where it was headed, and bought it. I think I spent $.50 on it? So much love and time had already been put into the crewel embroidery on the linen, I wanted to bring it home.
You can see how little was left to do on this crewel piece. I don’t do a lot of crewel work, so my sister gave me some bits of yarn that went with the colors in this piece. I threaded my needle and went at it!
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Crewel uses many of the same stitches that are used in thread embroidery, it’s just done with yarns. I did quite a bit of satin stitch to complete the flowers. added French knots to the centers of some of the flowers, and the stem stitch to complete the stems.
I decided on a lovely green that I had in my stash, that I’d bought to make a stool cover with an unfinished needlepoint piece I’d picked up at an estate sale. Beautiful pieces of handwork just call to me! I love old UFOs!
Once I decided on the fabric, I needed to figure out how to make this crewel embroidery watering pot with flowers into a pillow. I had a 20″ pillow form that I probably bought for a different project, but it was available! I measured the crewel stitching and height is about 9-1/2″ and width is about 8″. I trimmed the piece to about 12″ square so that there was a linen border around the crewel embroidery.
I cut 5″ strips of the fabric to border the crewel embroidery, and have enough for seam allowances. I started by sewing the fabric to the sides.
Isn’t this the perfect fabric? I can’t believe I had it in my stash!
After sewing the two sides, press the seams towards the upholstery fabric.
Then sew the 5″ strip of upholstery fabric to the top and bottom of the crewel embroidery.
The pillow top is done!
Next, cut the pillow back from the same (or different fabric, if you’d like!).
Sew three of the sides together. I like to use a 3/4″ seam allowance, so there is plenty of room for stress on the seams. I left the bottom open to put the pillow form in. I did sew about 2″ in on each of the sides of the bottom seam, just so the corners would look the same and be sturdy from the machine sewing.
You’ll see that I sewed each side all of the way to the edge, then started at the edge to sew the next side. This helps make a nice square corner, and gives more stability to the corner.
Then, clip the corner diagonally about 2-3 stitches from the 90 degree sewing lines that form a corner.
Turn your pillow case inside out. Gorgeous! Press the side seams.
You can see with the image above how I just sewed about 2″ on each side of the bottom to make sure the corners were good. I’ll hand sew the rest of the opening, after inserting the pillow form. Here is the pillow with the pillow form.
And, the finished crewel embroidery pillow in its new place — a quiet corner in the guest room. This is how I look down the hall and enjoy it. Makes me happy to think about the love and time that someone spent on almost finishing this crewel embroidery piece, and that I was able to finish it and make it into a pillow that I’ll enjoy!
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