How often have you looked around your home and wanted to change the décor – to make it look a bit more upmarket? Or to change it’s look and style completely?
Well, it’s possible to do changes inexpensively using your skills with embroidery.
Let’s look at various ways in which you can introduce embroidered accents to your home.
There are lots of ways in which you can jazz up your windows using embroidery.
The simplest and easiest is to make curtain tiebacks and embroider them.
They can be as simple as strips of Aida Band with a counted thread design worked on them, or you could go completely over the top.
Why not make some tie backs out of calico, and embroider them using several different techniques. If you love roses, why not mix silk ribbon embroidery roses, with delicate bullion roses. How about using beads and raised embroidery to make a padded tie back?
Both Machine and Hand Embroidery can be used on curtains. You don’t even need to buy new curtains to make them look like new. If they already have a pattern, you could use embroidery to embellish parts of the pattern – floral curtains look beautiful with beaded centres to the flowers, or machine satin stitch around the edges of the pattern to make it stand out.
If the curtains are plain, or with an embossed design you can use embroidery in either the same or a contrasting colour to change the look of them.
Household Linen just screams out for embroidery.
Think of how luxurious it would be to go to sleep beneath embroidered sheets – many standard sewing machines have some great edging stitches that you can use to put pretty patterns on your sheets and pillow cases to make them individual.
Specialised embroidery machines can help you take it one step further, with hundreds of beautiful designs for you to add to your sheets.
Of course, hand embroidery is always great, and if you don’t want to do freestyle embroidery, use waste canvas to cross-stitch on your sheets and pillowcases.
Always remember, however, that when doing embroidery on linen that the backs must be as neat as possible to prevent threads being snagged and ruining the look of your work.
Another option is to stitch on another piece of fabric and stitch that piece to the linen – whether it be a sheet, pillowcase, or towel.
And speaking of towels, why not add bands of embroidery to your towels – both hand and bath. Aida band stitched on looks great, but bullion knots, and silk ribbon embroidery work exceedingly well on towelling.
Remember, however, that towels are designed to get wet, so do not use materials that cannot be gotten wet. Also remember that household linen is washed and ironed often, so your work must be sturdy and capable of being used hard.
Tablecloths and table napkins have been embroidered for hundreds of years – why not stitch some to match your dinnerware? Damask is a fabric that is beautiful on your table, and also looks beautiful if you embellish the woven fabrics with a bit of embroidery. Couching along the outlines of the flowers on Damask can be very effective, understated and formal, and the metal thread of the couching thread catches the light and gives opulence to your dinnerware.
And one of the simplest decorating touches you can use in your home is pillows. There are a lot of embroidery kits out there that are designed as pillows, however it’s just as easy to make your own.
Use your sewing machine to stitch random lines in different stitches onto plain fabric and turn it into a cushion.
Or use traditional crewel patterns and turn your cushions into a riot of Jacobean colour.
Indian Sisha embroidery looks great on cushions – the mirrors catch the light, and the designs give a great oriental look to your home.
A walk through your home gives a great source of inspiration for your embroidery – and once you have started you will never be without something to stitch.
Further Reading and Projects
"Sadi Thread & Shisha Glass Embroidery Techniques" by Betty Luke
"1-2-3 Embroidery: Easy Projects for Elegant Living" by Ellen Moore Johnson
"Decorative Embroidery" by Mary Norden
"Colourful Stitchery: 65 Hot Embroidery Projects to Personalise Your Home" by Kristin Nicholas
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© 2007 Megan McConnell