Monday, January 28, 2013

V and Co: how to: french knot heart pin cushion

pincushions can be a little bit like an extension of you and what your style that gets to hang out with you while you sew at home and travels with you when you sew at someone else's house or at a quilt group. 
so why not make it adorable right?
some of you don't know this but before i used to make quilt and bag patterns i used to make embroidery patterns.
that was my first love...and i feel like i've neglected it for quite some time. so the other day i decided to get out some lovely embroidery floss:
 from sublime stitching  and i wanted to make something that made me happy that i could carry with me while i do what i love. so a pincushion it would be. ...but what to make?
i though a big V would be cute. and then i thought a heart. and with my favorite stitch the french knot.
i love how the french knots give you texture, and i love how when you put a lot of them together it looks fluffy. so i started to make my pin cushion.
here are the steps to make the same little pincushion if you so incline, and here are the steps to learn to make a french knot. maybe we'll make something else with this little knot later on, but for now lets make a whole mess of them okay? okay!!!

what you'll need:
 -embroidery floss: i chose from the flower box collection # 804
-1 square cut to 4" x 4" of linen, muslin, or any cotton fabric. mine was linen.
-1 square of fabric for your back cut to same size.
-1 square of batting placed behind your linen (same size as linen and back)
- pincushion filler (crushed walnut shells, sawdust, crushed clamshells...and so forth) i used walnut shells.
-1 small square of paper folded in half with half a heart drawn on it. (just like you did in elementary school!!)
-washable pen to mark your heart.
-needle large enough to let your thread (2 floss threads of the 6) fit through the head.
 -first cut out your heart and then use it as a template to draw your perfect little heart. (hint: if you fold in half your linen and press with your fingers to make a crease you can see where the middle of your square is and where you will need to place your heart.
 -next i took a close up picture of the embroidery thread with two of the 6 threads pulled from the bunch. i normally use two threads when embroidering but i do use one at time as well.
for this project we are using 2 threads.
normally you would use a hoop when you do embroidery but for this little project i didn't feel the need to use a hoop.
-thread your needle and make a knot at one end.
-come up through the batting and linen so that your needle comes up right at the point of the bottom of the heart.
-pull the thread all the way through till it catches on the knot you put at the end of the thread.
-next we are going to do three loops around the tip of your needle like the picture above. 
 -carefully place the needle tip right next (almost on top of) where you came up through the fabric.
-with your left thumb (if you are right handed.) secure the extra thread so the loops do not unravel as you push the tip of the needle through the fabric.
 -as you gently pull the needle through and have all the thread follow through the center of your loops a knot will appear.
-you just made your first french knot.
now we're gonna make a whole slew of many you'll become an expert on french knots after this little project!
 -next you are going to come up next to your first knot you made. and you are going to repeat the steps you just did to make the first knot.
 -if you end up with a few gaps here and there don't worry you can alway go back and fill it in with another knot. i like to do the really close so that i don't have to go back and fill them in. :) but remember i have a lot of practice in the french knot department!
 -continue to make knots around your drawn heart outline.
 -here's your out if you want. see you've already made such a cute little heart in french knots that if you are already tired of making them you can at least say it looks like a heart. that's why i alway outline first. well that and it makes it easier to stay inside when you fill it in with more knots.

-okay if you have not had enough and think you wanna keep making the knots so you can have an equally as awesome little heart like mine...

continue to make knots till you wanna swear like a drunken sailor that you never want to make any more knots again.

 no really, i like making these, so i don't curse while i make them, i find it therapeutic to make it while watching tv. also it gives me something to do while i suffer through the TV shows my husband likes and i don't.
 okay now lets make this little guy into a pincushion shall we?
-with right sides together place your back fabric (featured here is simply style, my new line to hit stores in july 2013) and your linen with the heart making sure that all four sides are nicely placed on top of each other.
 -take it to your sewing machine and with your 1/4" foot (in BERNINAworld it's the #37 foot) sew all three sides down.
-on the fourth side leave an opening around 2 1/2" wide (backstitched at each side of the opening) so you can easily turn it inside out and fill with your pincushion filling.
-turn inside out, putt out the corners with a pin and stuff with your filler as much as you can
-pinch closed and then hand sew your opening shut. 
 and now you have an adorable little hand embroidered little pincushion that you will love to stare at even if you were swearing at how many little french knots it took to make it. :)

now go make one for yourself :) i'm going to make a couple more i think. they are just too cute and they would make great sewing friend gifts.

i'm also making some other fun stuff here at home so i'll show it soon. :)
we'll talk soon!


Books_Bound said...

Oh my. I do love this--I love making French knots, so I think I'll have to make one of these! We'll see if I still love French knots after that. :)

Staci said...

Super cute! I adore french knots!
Santa brought me a 1/2 yard bundle of your fabric! I am so excited about it, and eager to play with it.
Your Simply Style is going to be wonderful. Eagerly anticipating it!

Michelle Hughes said...

I love embroidery! I recently started making some patterns myself! AND I am working on your Abby bag right now :) I am out of interfacing so I had to stop :(

Mary said...

I have been trying to learn the french knot & the books I have do not make it easy to understand even when they are showing you how! This is the easiest & best instructions!!!!

~ Mary ~

V and Co. said...

Yay! That makes me super happy!

trish said...

I totally remember your embroidery pattern!! :0) I have it. :0)
Your little pincushion is super cute! You make perfect french knots!

Amy DeCesare said...

Such a lovely project, and the photos make me drool! Have to ask...where'd ya get those pretty pins?

Bonnie said...

So cute! Now here's a project I can start and finish in a night and I just know I'm going to love the end result. I'll definitely have to make at least two. One to keep for myself and one to give away. But I have a feeling I won't be able to stop there. Thanks!

Annalia said...

So very cute! ...but that's a lot of knots to whoever gets it would have to be a super-special valentine.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the cute idea. I'm in need of something more productive than instagram while sitting through gymnastic lessons.

LeAnn said...

So cute! Years ago, I made a pillow for my MIL and put little French knot hearts all around the border. I also did it while occasionally watching old reruns of Suddenly Susan. Anytime I picked it up to continue working on the hearts, scenes from the show would pop into my head. ha ha I wonder if 10+ years later that would still happen?

Laurence W said...

It's lovely !

Savanah said...

This is so cute! I love this time of year because of all the adorable heart projects :)

Elsa said...

So so sweet ~ love it and have to make it too!

Penelope Q said...

Thanks for posting such good directions and for the adorable heart pin cushion!

Rebecca Grace said...

How cute is that?! I had no idea you did hand embroidery. And can I ask what that "made in Italy" thread on the gray spools is? It looks so lustrous and pretty. Is it a silk thread, and did you use it in this project or is it just part of your photo styling? Oh, and one more question. Since you mentioned that you normally use a hoop for hand embroidery, I was just wondering whether you'd ever done needle turn applique, and if so, do you need a hoop for that as well? I always wondered how anyone could sew little flowers and things neatly while holding a soft, limp piece of fabric in their hands. Duh... hoop! :-)

Miwako said...

Cute! I am not quite sure if I have enough patience to cover whole heart with French knots. Maybe outline is the best I can...

V and Co. said...

rebecca the thread is through aurifil thread. they are from italy, and the color collection is mine! it's called simply color by V and Co. :)

V and Co. said...

oh and to answer the turn appliqué yeah i use a hoop. i love to appliqué as well!!!

Kirsty said...

That is so cute!! All those french knots are great!

bdaiss said...

You go girl. I love the texture of that little darling, but I have always hated french knots (I always cursed them as NOTS!)so I'll leave the knotting up to you. : )

lori said...


Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...

Super cute!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, still mad at myself the whole time, but thanks for easy instructions.

Unknown said...

I think I may make this into a pillow :)

lori said...

Kinda wanna cry...I started mine and am about half way done and it's been really hard, all those teeny knots ~whine~and I just looked over your tutorial and I forgot the batting behind the heart...would this have made it easier? My linen is a looser weave...~sigh~. And your instructions were so clear and easy ~sigh&whine~. But, I'll finish it and maybe start another one!

V and Co. said...

oh LORI!!!! well just finish it. and add the batting when you sew your little pin cushion if your linen is looser weave that should be fine. and next time add the batting. i find it easier to manage

lori said...

Thank you! It will still be cute and the second one should be much easier with the batting behind as a stabilizer. Love your creativity, very inspiring (even for those who forget the directions!)

Unknown said...

Oh, I love this! French knots will always make me think of my late grandmother, who used them in every embroidery project I think she ever did.

I loved it so much that I included this project in my weekly link round-up!

Claire said...

I'm not sure I have the patience for French knots, but this absolutely makes me want to stop being so impatient so I can make this sweet project. Love it!

Kendra said...

Is there a special kind of fill to buy? If so, what's it called? Thanks! (PS I love this so so much, and I've always thought my french knots were ugly...and now I know why! I've been doing them wrong all these years!)

Mixed Kreations said...

Love the little pin cushion pillow. Very pretty! I have never done any French knots before, and I don't know whether I would have the patience to fill in the whole heart. But it is very cute and I do need a pincushion. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial.

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

You can also fill it with a combination of batting and bird gravel. It give the cushion a nice heft to it and the bird gravel sharpens the pins. You can find the gravel in any grocery store that stocks pet items. A box cost about $5 CDN and will last a long time.

Sylvia Salas - Dare to DIY said...

OMG!! You're an artist with and endless patience. I'm sure it took a huge amount of hours. Great job!

kate said...

Mine ALWAYS come unraveled - end up as loose, somewhat squiggly threads.

julia in paris!! said...

You could make an ombre heart... I'm sure it would take a lot longer but it would be so cute!

Unknown said...

Wowwwwwww superb I will have to make

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