I love the dandelion motif I see a lot in Mid-Century art and decor! It seemed like a natural design to recreate with a little fabric and some easy embroidery.
It’s turning into “the year of the dandelion” around my house. I’ve made several batches of Dandelion Jelly recently, with several different flavors. I’ve also started four bottles of Dandelion Wine (blog post to come soon). I have 9/10 of an acre full of these happy little flowers…I might as well celebrate them.
So why not commemorate the dandelion summer with pillows?
I had this dandelion image saved on my computer for several months. I found it somewhere on a Google search (if there were a reference I would gladly link it) and it seemed a good fit for some easy embroidery, with a simple french knot and stem stitch.
Here is the Dandelion Pillow Tutorial:
Supplies for My DIY Dandelion Pillow
- I had one yard of orange burlap that I got a while ago for a window covering, but didn’t like the color when the sun came through the curtain. It turned the room into a weird orange hue. So the fabric has been sitting in my stash for four years. It was just enough to make two 18-inch pillows.
Orange is one of my key main colors so it was a perfect pick. I’m also trying to use up anything I already have while we’re in quarantine.
- I used white string that my husband picked up mistakenly at Wal-Mart once when I was looking for kitchen string. I used a regular hand-sewing needle, nothing fancy.
- I also used an old hanky that belonged to my father. It’s a sentimental item for me, but no one uses hankies any more. Any plain white cotton fabric will do.
- I didn’t have any pillow forms, but I had some cheap, plain muslin fabric. I wanted them to be orange anyway, because they show through the loose weave of the burlap.
- I dyed the fabric orange with the dye I used on my macrame feather wall hanging project. Then I stuffed them with the fiberfill of an old clumped up pillow. I pulled and fluffed the old stuffing and it worked like a charm.
Designing My DIY Dandelion Pillow Motif
I wanted to have white center for each of the dandelions, so I cut out random pattern pieces and laid them out on the burlap until I found an arrangement I liked. I kept in mind the finished measurements I had in mind.
I took a photo on my phone of the arrangement so I would know where to place the fabric. Then I cut out the dandelion centers from my father’s handkerchief. It’s a sentimental thing for me, remembering my dad always carryied a hanky in his pocket. A rotary cutter makes quick work of these, and they don’t have to be perfect.
I used bits of iron-on tape to secure the flower centers, then started embroidering. It was a simple matter of french knots and stem stitch. I frayed the edges of the white fabric as I worked.
Here is an image of the French knot from a the Spruce. I find a lot of great tutorials on this website:
Here is an image of the stem stitch, another favorite of mine. The stem stitch, in my opinion, works best for any line with a curve, or any line which needs to be thicker than other lines around it.
I did use a third stitch, a simple running stitch, to fill in some of the lesser lines.
Sewing the Dandelion Pillows
As I didn’t have enough fabric to create an overlapping opening, my favorite way to make a pillow, I sewed the pillow closed permanently. If I need to clean it, I will spot-wash it.
I sewed the pillow on three sides, turned it, and then sewed the flange edge on three sides as well. I put the pillow form inside and hand-stitched the end closed. Then I machine stitched the fourth flange edge.
I didn’t get any pictures of the sewing, unfortunately. I was so focused on the embroidery, lol. I love a flange edge on a pillow. It seems more modern to me, simple, stramlined and less frilly.
I couldn’t wait until I finished the second pillow to get this tutorial together. I’ll update this post with images of the sewing process when I sew the second pillow.
Here sits one of them on our chaise lounge:
I’m super happy. You never know how something in your head is going to turn out in real form. Truthfully, it isn’t exactly what I had imagined. The dandelions are smaller and there are more of them. I’m glad. It really makes me smile.
The two finished pillows will live on our enclosed porch when they are done. I think the rough look of burlap will be well suited to the porch.
Need Crafting Supplies?
Amazon is a treasure trove of crafting supplies! With Prime membership, most of it comes in days, even during this Covid 19 quarantine I’ve managed to get most things fairly quickly.
I didn’t need an embroidery hoop for this project because the fabric was so sturdy and thick. But if you do…
As far as embroidery thread, I have always loved DMC. There are other equally good brands, like Similane, Mira, and Soledi. Soledi is a cotton/polyester blend, which works well for wearables, whereas the others are 100% cotton. One thing is certain, don’t get the cheap brands. The colors fade and they run if the item gets wet. I’ve experienced it, lol.
I like to have a mixed pack of sewing needles as well as embroidery needles. Dritz is my favorite. This is all you’ll ever need if you keep them in a needle keeper…and not lose them or misplace them…like someone I know…er… me! LOL.
Any time I have the choice to get Guterman thread I do. Quality thread makes a difference in your finished piece as well as in the life of your machine…not to mention the frustration of clogs and knots and stopping and starting that comes with inferior thread.
If you cannot get to the store, here are some great deals on Guterman thread sets on Amazon.
When it comes to sewing machine needles, I like to stick with the brand of my sewing machine. You can find any brand of sewing machine needles you need on Amazon.
Check out other best sellers in Arts, Crafts and Sewing on Amazon. I hope you have created something recently that makes you smile!
Categories: Do It Yourself