Embroidered pillow for my grandmother

My grandmother just turned 84!  We celebrated her birthday at Easter and I decided to make her a pillow out of the following piece:

In February my quilt guild had their “members teaching members” meeting – they have it every year, but last year it was snowed out.  This year I signed up for a class making roses out of silk ribbons.  The lady teaching it does embellished quilts (and I learned that super embellished quilts are called “encrusted”) and she had designed a little sampler for everyone with flowers and a bumble bee.

I didn’t finish the sampler at the guild meeting; I completed it later.  (I don’t have in-progress pictures from the meeting; I only took pictures when I was at home, so I can’t show you the beginning stages.)  The lady who taught it provided all of the fabrics and ribbons we needed and even the needles and the green embroidery thread – how amazing is that?  I really enjoyed the session.  I was apprehensive at first because I don’t really do embroidery and I was worried, but I was able to handle everything she taught us.  We each drew the line to be the stems of the flowers and embroidered it in green embroidery floss.  She gave us a heavier thread to make a kind of five point star, which served as the basis as each rose.  The silk ribbon gets wound under and over each point, around and around, until it makes a full rose.  I learned that it’s hard to thread the needle with the silk ribbon and how to knot it, but I’m not sure I could repeat it for you here.  I think I could do it again…

The other kind of flower she taught us to do is this blue one.  It’s made with fake silk fabric.  We cut the fabric into six little circles and then folded them into quarters.  Then we took thread and sewed along the open edges of each little piece so they were all sewed in a row.  We pulled it tight to make the circle with petals.  When I got home I sewed a piece of yellow fabric into the center to cover the rough edges and be the center of the flower.  I then sewed the flower down to the sampler.

The last piece was the bumble bee.  It’s made with silk ribbon again.  The lady also included these little pieces of gauzy kind of ribbon for the wings.  She had very specific ideas about how they should be sewn like this – I would have made more wing-looking things, but this is cute too.

Note that in the above picture you can see the five-point star that will form the base of the yellow rose.

I decided to finish the pillow using pieces from the Chinese fabrics that my friend N gave me.  I used the pajama pants for the back.  I had trouble with the envelope closure and I had to rip it out, re-pin, and re-sew it at least twice.

My grandmother really liked the pillow and she told me that everyone who sees the pillow compliments it.



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