Happy Valentine’s Day, dear friend! I hope today finds you in a happy mood and that that it’ll bring you a little something sweet and loving. I’ll be honest, I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t hold any special significance for me, and I eat enough chocolate throughout the year as it is. 😉 Nevertheless, this February I’ve felt particularly drawn to the Valentine’s aesthetic in my needlework. Soft pink and red threads, appliquéd hearts, delicate little stitches, and pretty fabric scraps have been my biggest source of inspiration these last few weeks. While preparing the EPP tutorial post I shared last week, I brought my box of fabric scraps out to play, and had fun just experimenting and trying new techniques.
I spend a lot of time working on large and time-consuming needlework projects that require a lot of planning and concentration, so it was really lovely to slow down a little and work on simpler, softer projects. I just let my inspiration flow and my needle and thread carry me. Shall we have a look at some of my recent makes?
I confess, a lot of my inspiration comes from Instagram, where it seems all the stitchers are also gracing this month with their prettiest fabric scrap projects. I’ve been seeing so many beautifully embroidered fabric hearts, appliquéd journal pages, and just general heart-and-pastels loveliness, that I had to try a little something of my own. After coming across a fantastic video tutorial by Sarah Edgar of Pretty Fabrics & Trims on needle-turn appliqué, I simply *had* to set everything aside and try it immediately. I’ve dabbled in appliqué before and really enjoy it, but I had never tried this method before. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and fun it was! So here are some little scrappy hearts, made with love and new-found appreciation for the technique.
I really should try more spur-of-the-moment experiments like this! Not only was it fun to just play around with fabric scraps, but it was also very relaxing. I will definitely be trying needle-turn appliqué again and can’t wait to incorporate it in a future project. I strongly recommend having a look at Pretty Fabrics & Trims, too!
The Cutest Clothespin Bag
Who says laundry has to be all drab and dull?! Not with this darling accessory!
I’m actually really proud of this project. I put my dusty drafting skills to use to make a pattern, and rummaged through my fabric stash and notions to find a satisfactory combination. This is a birthday gift for my dear mother, you see. Her clothespins currently reside in an old plastic bread bag, which deeply offends my sense of the picturesque. I must rescue them (the bag is about to pop, after all), and thus the idea for this project was born. It turns out that Pinterest is full of these charming creations, and the possibilities are nearly endless.
I spent more time deciding how to embellish the bag than drafting and sewing combined. I was tempted to embroider all over it, and to bedeck it with lace and ribbons but had to restrain myself to one ribbon bow and two buttons. My eternally practical mother wouldn’t use it if I made it “too pretty”. She has a good point of course, this is for the laundry room after all, not the next issue of Victoria magazine! And in this case, less really is more, it’s just the right balance between pretty and practical as it is, I think.
In any case, this is a wonderful project to add a touch of vintage to your home and use up some of those fabric scraps! Very simple to put together, even to draft, and so easy to personalize. With a bag as cute as this one, you might even find yourself looking forward to doing the laundry. 😉 And the clothespins will be very pleased of their new home, I’m sure.
Embroidered Fabric Heart
The last project I want to share with you is this stuffed fabric heart made with the softest antique linen, and featuring a most gorgeous embroidery pattern by Nicki Franklin of The Stitchery. I’ve been admiring and sighing over Nicki’s work for a while now, but hadn’t actually used any of her patterns until now! Since I spend more and more time only embroidering from my own designs, it’s now rare that I use someone else’s. But how can one resist Nicki’s incredibly beautiful work? (Here’s a link to the specific pattern I used: February Heart.)
Embroidering this heart was some of the most relaxing and soothing stitching I’ve done in a while! Everything about it is so soft and sweet, it uses only basic stitches, and it comes together fairly quickly. I didn’t have all the recommended colours so I changed up the palette a little, but that was part of the delights of making this! I’ve been hooked on Agatha Christie’s Poirot series since the fall, but only started watching the TV show recently. It was perfect to put in the background while working on this!
I’d been wanting a new scented sachet for the closet, so I decided to turn the embroidery into a stuffed hanging heart. I used a mix of polyester fiberfill and scrap bits of thread and fabric for stuffing. Since I didn’t have any lavender buds but still wanted the heart to smell nice, I used a drop or two of pure lavender essential oil directly on the stuffing and it works so wonderfully! A really handy tip I got from Helen of Whitewood and Linen. 🙂
The Joys of Antique Linen
The antique linen I used for the hanging heart is easily the best fabric I’ve ever embroidered on. So incredibly soft and beautiful, it’s simply dreamy. Many lovely creators I follow on Instagram always use the most gorgeous antique linens for their projects, and now that I’ve had a go at it, I can definitely understand why! I do not wish to go back to anything else, but alas, I have only a small amount. If anyone is interested, I got it as part of a bundle from this Etsy shop. Highly recommended!
That’s all from me for now dear friend, thank you for spending some time on my blog today, and happy Valentine’s Day! I’d love to know what you’ve been creating lately, and what has been inspiring you. Does anyone else not particularly care about the holiday, but likes the aesthetic? Who else loves antique linen?
So beautiful Anne-with an E!
Thank you 😉
Kathryn J says
That’s an adorable little peg bag Anne, I think you hit the right balance between pretty and practical. And I giggled over your feelings for the shoddy plastic bag … I would be exactly the same! 🙂 I’m sure your Mum will enjoy using it and it will make her smile. Thank you for sharing the link to the vintage linen shop, what a delightful array of fabric listings! I haven’t tried stitching on vintage linen but you have put it on my Wishlist now. 🙂
Thank you so much Kathryn, I’m so glad you like the peg bag and agree that an old plastic bag doesn’t do at all!! 😉 Mom absolutely loved the gift and found the perfect place for it in the laundry room. Antique linen is honestly such a game changer! It’s a little hard to come by here, so I was very thankful to discover that Etsy shop! 🙂 I hope you get to try it, you’ll love it!