Do you love to embroider? Do you love to paint? Well, then I've got a project for you! How about mixing the two to create pretty linens for someone special? These pack quite a visual punch and are sure to wow even your most hard-to-impress gift recipients this year.
You'll need fabric paint, brushes made specifically for painting on fabric (they have very stiff bristles and let you really push the paint into the fabric with a lot of control), embroidery floss and a needle, a transfer pencil, a design and fabric to put your design on (muslin, linen, and cotton work wonderfully).
When choosing your design, keep in mind that simple turns out just as lovely as something complex. Color-wise, we like to stick with just a few paint colors and then embroider around them in a darker version of the same color -- it really makes the design stand out like in the leaves, petals, pollen and stems above. Try using DMC's glossy rayon embroidery floss instead of the standard matte variety to add dimension and luxuriousness.
As far as choosing your fabric, we've found that Osnaburg muslin handles beautifully and has a great texture. Linen is wonderful for achieving an heirloom-quality look and creating fringed edges, like in the runner above. Which ever fabric you choose, make sure to shrink it first and sew it into your desired shape -- it's much easier to align and transfer your design to a finished piece then to try sewing it after you've painted and embroidered.
If you have a stash of pretty laces, try incorporating some of them into your piece. We used a crochet lace border, a swath of muslin and careful stitching to create the large, one of a kind doily below.
Because the lace makes such a strong statement, we went with a simpler design in just green so as not to overwhelm the eye.
The blanket stitch running along the edge is more than decorative - it also helps to secure the border in place.
While we clearly have a thing for table runners, this technique can be used on all kinds of linens... a set of pillow cases or napkins, hand towels, even pillow covers. Most of the supplies you need are available at Michael's or Jo-Ann, and design inspiration is everywhere.
Happy weekend everyone! And happy crafting!