Saturday Sewing …….. Valentine’s embroidery and sewing

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY !! ……. have you done any romantic sewing or embroidery lately?

We thought you might like another look at this Valentine’s memory pillow…..Our Janome 550E has some lovely designs especially for the RE36b hoop – Janome’s biggest hoop! There a number of wedding inspired designs. Think bridal shower decorations; wedding gifts, anniversary celebrations, Valentine’s day!

So without further ado, I offer up a cute little Valentine’s pillow for this week’s Saturday sewing: machine embroidery with Madeira metallic thread; decorative stitching using the same metallic thread and tips on making a double sided ruffle.

Firstly, I edited/added to one of the wedding designs on the Janome MC550E: I added in the date using one of the fonts built into the Janome MC550E in the medium size. I then resized it a little more ( I think it was resized 15% bigger), rotated it and moved it until it was positioned where I wanted the date between the 2 horizontal lines. I then stitched the rest of the design as is in the Janome MC550E RE 36b hoop.

I used silver Madeira metallic thread and am very happy to report that I did not have one single thread break during the embroidery or the decorative sewing (see below). I have long held the opinion that Madeira metallic is probably the best metallic thread on the market.  I was not disappointed this time either >>> It worked beautifully and gave me zero hassles – which is just the way I like it!

I then trimmed my embroidered block to the size I required for my romantic Valentine’s pillow.  Approx 14 x 9 inches.

I also cut 2 sections (approx 11x 10 inches) for the back of the pillow which overlap : The 2 open edges were folded over twice, pressed and the sewed on the Janome Continental M7 with a straight stitch. The other 3 edges get sewn into the seam all the way around the pillow.

I rounded the corners of my pillow slightly on the front and back sections – just because I wanted that look and because I think that is easier than square corners when you have a 3-4 inch wide double ruffle to squeeze into a tight corner…… I’m all about easy and good looking results!

Next up was cutting 2x strips of fabric for my ruffle (Incidentally the fabric I used was a subtle silver print on white 100% cotton fabric). I cut these strips approx 8 inches wide by full width of fabric. I sewed them together on both the short ends and then pressed these seams open. Then I folded the ruffle over in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and pressed a nice fold along the edge.

Next up was to attach the satin stitch foot F to the Janome Continental M7 and select one of the satin stitches. I like this satin serpentine stitch (below) which I adjusted slightly to make it a little more dense – the Stitch length was 3.5mm instead of the default of 4.0mm.  Using the silver metallic thread and riding the edge of the F foot along the pressed fold of the fabric ruffle, I stitched this satin stitch all the way around my circle of ruffle. I used white bobbin thread. Again, I am pleased to report I had zero thread issues –  Yay! and thanks to Madeira for making such great metallic thread.  (Madeira thread  is available through our Janome and Elna Canada dealers)

I then needed to gather up my ruffle. There are, of course,  several different ways to do this. I chose to use a narrow, strong cord in the Cording foot H (middle groove) which I zig-zagged over with white thread in my needle.

I used a zig-zag width of 4mm so that it did not stitch through the cord. I sewed all the way around the edge witht eh Cording foot H riding along the 2 raw edges of the fabric wrong sides together. The purpose was to “encase” the cord in the zig-zag stitching and then pull up the cord to gather the ruffle. It worked according to plan. Don’t you love it when that happens?!

I used Clover clips to attach my ruffle to the front of my pillow (the embroidered section) taking care to evenly distribute the gathers. TIP: allow a little more at the corners so that it does not bunch or pull later. Also ensure that the right side of the satin decorative stitching is right sides together with the embroidery of the pillow (you don’t want your ruffle upside down?!)

I stitched the ruffle to the pillow front before adding the back of the pillow. I figured 2 steps would be quicker in the long run than trying to get all those layers to stay together and not shift. That might have been tricky. Again, the plan worked. After the ruffle was attached, I layered the 2 back sections on top and stitched again all the way around the pillow. Neaten this seam with a zig-zag, machine overcasting stitch or with a serger.

Lastly, turn the pillow out to the right side and stuff with a pillow form or toy stuffing. My overlap on the back was quite big so I did not need a popper, Velcro, zipper or button to hold it closed. But you could add this before attaching the back sections if you wish.

Do you think your Valentine’s day will involve chocolate? Roses?  What will you be sewing for this Valentine’s day?


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6 Responses to Saturday Sewing …….. Valentine’s embroidery and sewing

  1. Suzanne Menard says:

    Hi – I am curious what needle did you use with the Madeira metallic thread?


    • Liz Thompson says:

      Hi Suzanne,

      I usually use a Janome red tip needle for my embroidery and this was no exception. It has a larger eye which reduces the risk of thread breakage. I also used a red tip for the decorative stitching. Another option is a top stitch needle which also has a bigger eye.



  2. Kay Warcup says:

    Beautiful pillow Liz! I’ve been making little net bags to put candy in for my Grandkiddles. I designed the FSL design in Artistic Digitizer (which I LOVE by the way) and stitched it onto the netting. Serged the bags on my Pro4DX and added a ribbon.


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