Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Patriotic Embroidery

I know this is kind of late-but I thought I'd post this anyway. I thought I'd share with you how I turn an image into a pattern. I didn;t have a Patriotic pillow, so I looked through my stash and found this vintage magazine.Very old and faded. I will only use the main part of the image.
I put it through the printer and make a color copy. This is where you can make it the size you want it to be.I trace the out line of all the stuff I want in my finished embroidery with a thin sharpie to make the lines stand out.
I trace it onto my fabric with a light box and disappearing ink fabric marker.You can put it up to a sunny window, if you don't have a light box.
You could start embroidering it right now, or you can add color. I chose to color in with Prang crayons. You can use any kind of crayon, but the Prang are a little softer. You don't have to do the same colors as the image, you can get creative here.

Don't worry about being too neat. Just have fun. Then iron the color in with a paper towel over it, so it doesn't melt onto your iron.
Start embroidering-no rules here. I did the entire thing with a straight stitch, except for the stars on the flag. I used french knots. You could get creative again, by adding beads, small buttons, different stitches, colors etc. I did mine very simply.
When I stitch, Max sits on my lap. It's a tight fit!
After embroidering, rinse it under water if you used a water dissolving pen. It looks a little weird, until you rinse away the blue ink pen.
Let it dry and press it flat. I added strips of fabric that I had to make a pillow cover, but you could do anything you want with this.
Here's the image I traced off for you to use. You could do it all one color-like redwork, or go crazy with coloring.It's really fun to use some of those vintage images in new ways.
Here's one I did for Valentines day-same steps. You can use vintage cards, magazine ads,old book pictures. Have fun and let me know if you decide to try this.Joining It all started with paint Pillowpalloza for a fun pillow party.


  1. This is darling. I always wondered how they added the color and now I can color and stitch...thank you so much Leslie. This is one I will be doing...smiles...Renee

  2. This is so adorable! Those boys are too sweet! Thanks for sharing how you did it! Love it! I will have to give this a try! xo Heather

  3. WOW! You should get a prize for this one! It's so unique and special...I'm totally doing it! I'm impressed!
    Thank you :)

  4. You are so productive! I'm just a lazy bones over here - well have tackled some boxes today, so draining.

    Your pillow is so darling Leslie! I've always wondered how people had colored the background, thanks so much for sharing that with us.

  5. Absolutely wonderful, my patriotic friend! thank you for sharing your fun tutorial! I have picked up my embroidery lately and you have given me newfound inspiration!
    Carolynn ;)

  6. So adorable and patriotic! Just in time ...

    Thanks so much for linking up to Pillowpalooza!



  7. Leslie,
    Oh my goodness, I LOVE the pillow. I really enjoy doing hand embroidery, just like that. I don't do fancy stitches, just straight stitch or stem stitch, and I love coloring in the images like you did. Makes me want to quit what I am doing and go pick up another embroidery project, but I must be disciplined or I'll never finish anything. I have one started for county fair and I'm not sure if I'll finish it in time or not. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving the very nice comment. Having others be excited and happy for me makes it all so much nicer!

  8. Just wanted to stop by and say hello. I may not comment on each post, but I do read them all. Stay cool!

  9. Such a cute pillow Leslie, and your process opens up a whole world of possibilities! I should try this right now, because it's too hot to go outside and play in the dirt!
    Happy 4th!

  10. Beautiful! You are so clever & creative!I may try it , I would like to.Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial!

  11. Max is so cute cuddled up to you!

    Wishing you a very happy 4th!

  12. Oh wow -- I'm bookmarking this tutorial!! That's great about using the color pencils, I would never have thought of that!!
    Your pillow turned out so cute!

  13. That is so cute and charming! Thanks for showing us how you did it. I love the way you've colored it. I keep saying it, but I really need to start embroidering again.