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Falling in Love with Embroidery for the Home

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, September 28, 2017
Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017

Falling in Love with Embroidery for the Home

 By Angela Davis

There is just something about that first nip of autumn in the air that causes the desire to nest and craft! Maybe it is in our DNA. Plus, there are feasts and holidays to prepare for! How nice would it be to have a chest filled with hand-embroidered pillows (both throw pillows and pillowcases), padded hangers, napkins, tablecloths and aprons, just ready to be brought out and enjoyed?

Whether you are shop owner, a teacher, a designer, or a wholesaler, fall is the perfect time to encourage your customers, students, buyers and vendors to pick up a hoop and embroider something lovely for fall. Below are some links to inspire you, and at the bottom is a class idea to help bring forth beautiful, textured fall heirlooms! Best of all, these links cover embroidery by hand and machine, using threads, flosses, yarn of many weights, as well as any number of other supplies and materials that you may already have around.

First, have you seen the cover of the September-October 2017 Piecework Magazine? It features a project that embodies everything to inspire a perfect fall day at home ─ felted slippers in a perfect fall color embellished with embroidered peacock feathers! 

Are you a machine embroiderer? These sources have most every design you will need for decorating table runners, placemats, napkins, aprons and the works! 

Designs by JuJu

Embroidery Designs

In addition, here is a project for hand-embroiderers of almost any skill level! 

Do you want to embroider on a knitted or crocheted piece, even a weaving? The ever-popular Dottie Angel, Tif Fussel, does what she calls Woolly Tattoos, and they are always peachy! Just pop over to the Woolly Tattoo Pinterest page for some incredible inspiration!

And we promised a class idea too. Perhaps my own first memory of embroidery was a fall project in elementary school. It involved a piece of burlap and a needle threaded with orange, olive, gold, scarlet, or beet colored yarn. Our teacher showed us how to knot the thread and pull the threaded needle through the burlap from the back at the bottom of a simple design that she had drawn on the burlap with a marker. From there we were off! I remember the room being very quiet as we were all very absorbed in watching the magic of the outline of a leaf as it appeared on our work. Yes, there were tangles and tails that were too short and needles that were too aggressively pulled and freed of their yarn, but overall it was a success. Our teacher collected our pieces and strung them all up on a long piece of kitchen twine while we were at lunch. We came back inside to see a very rustic bunting hanging across the reading area, which, to a child in Tucson, Arizona, was the closest thing to fall leaves that I might ever see. This has inspired the idea for a class. Well, this experience, coupled with an episode of The Loop and Bar podcast and the lovely Kate. 

Kate makes adorable Tea Time buntings with each of the blocks having an appliqued letter to spell out Tea Time on the front, and a pocket in the back for a packet of tea. Perhaps our rustic, embroidered fall version can hold individual packets of cider mix, hot chocolate, or another instant soup or beverage that one associates with fall.

Class: To Embroider - A Fall Café Bunting
Skill Level: All


5” x 7” rectangles of burlap
5” x 4” rectangle of burlap (for pocket backs)
Embroidery needles
Scraps of wool yarn in fall colors (mixed weights are fine)
A marker
Small scissors
Some embellishments like buttons, shells, feathers, beads, or sequins if you’d like
A piece of kitchen twine or (a long strip of torn cotton fabric) 


Draw or trace a fall shape onto a 5” x 7” piece of burlap, with the piece oriented so that the 5” ends are at the top and bottom.

Ideas for shapes include leaf, feather, harvest moon, squirrel, chrysanthemums, aster, acorn, raven, pumpkin, stag, fox, etc. (There are MANY free stencils for these shapes available online).

Embroider the design according to skill level. This is an excellent opportunity to learn new stitches! Embellish with buttons as desired too!

Place a 5” x 4” piece behind the embroidered piece and either whipstitch, blanket stitch, or sew with a running stitch along bottom and sides, creating a pocket on back.

When multiple pieces have been finished, string them together bunting style across the tops. Place packets of your favorite fall drinks in the pockets, hang, and enjoy!

Click here to see Kate’s adorable Tea Time Bunting.

About Angela Davis 

Angela Davis, B.S.B.M., is a fiber artist, Craft Yarn Council of America certified-hand knitting instructor, author, artist and designer. She is passionate about supporting the needlearts, handcrafting, slow-fashion, visible mending, supporting small-batch producers of ethically and ecologically sound fibers, and reducing textile waste. Angela has taught knitting on European and Japanese tour buses, started a knitting-for-charity club at an inner-city high school in Los Angeles, has knitted props for the television show Mad Men, and is a contributing author and designer for publications including Piecework, STUDIOS, Knitting Traditions, and Sockupied magazines.

By day, Angela is director of product development and artist relations for internationally renowned punk, garage, rock and metalcore bands. She lives in Long Beach, California with her three sons. Angela’s Ravelry ID is alittlebird, and you can find her on Instagram as @angelaxdavis and on Twitter as @angelaxxdavis.

Tags:  embroidery  TNNANews 

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