Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Retro Stitchery - Happy Stitching Pillow (mini tutorial)

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Hello crafty friends! I am so excited to share my This is my Happy Place patchwork pillow inspired by Retro Stitchery by Beverly McCullough. Hand embroidery plus tiny patchwork makes me super happy! This is my Happy Place perfectly describes how I feel about floss/thread and fabric!

Retro Stitchery is the brand new book written by Beverly McCullough and it has 13 absolutely fabulous embroidery projects to make - I'll share more at the end of this post.  Retro Stitchery is available at Fat Quarter Shop or Amazon or your favorite shop.

PS - This gorgeous fabric is Stardust - Beverly's newest fabric collection shipping to your favorite quilt shop this month! (here)

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I'm new to hand embroidery, but am familiar with the classic embroidery backstitch. After learning so many new embroidery stitches (lazy daisy, layered backstitch, and French knot) from Retro Stitchery - I am officially HOOKED! I love being able to embroidery anywhere - it's sooooo portable plus I don't have to count the tiny little squares like in cross stitch.  I'm already planning my next project from Retro Stitchery.

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Let me share how I made my This is my Happy Place Pillow as the original Happy Stitching project in Retro Stitchery makes a framed 8" x 10" project - see below.

Time to gather up all the supplies plus a few extra fun stitching accessories - like the super cute Sewing Canister Tins designs by Beverly McCullough (here).

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Supplies for This is my Happy Place Pillow 6" x 10.5"
clickable links below

Reducing Pattern Size
The original This is my Happy Place embroidery design size is for a 8" x 10" frame. I wanted my stitching to be smaller as I wanted to make a pillow for decor on a shelf or my tiered tray. So I simply reduced the pattern by 57% - I did this "copying" the pattern on my Epson Printer/Copier with the 8x10 to 5x7 reduction feature so no math was involved ;) 

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Print design on Sulky Stick 'n Stitch
Instead of tracing my pattern directly onto my fabric - I simply printed the design on Sulky Stick 'n Stitch. I LOVE this product as you simply stick the product to your fabric and start stitching... NO tracing required! Then rinse the Sulky Stick 'n Stitch away with water!  Hint- You may see upcoming projects I'm planning on stitching next from Retro Stitchery as I printed out multiple projects on one sheet

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Start Embroidering
Retro Stitchery has all the information for which embroidery stitch to use plus illustrations to explain if you are new to embroidery.  I used Sulky 12wt Cotton Petites Thread/Floss for my project. I used 2 strands of Sulky Floss which is equivalent to about 4 strands of DMC.  I realized shrinking the pattern down by 57% made the lazy daisy stitches a bit trickier to make since they were soooooo tiny, but I was up for the challenge ;).  Plus I just love the Sewing Machine Needle Minder by Beverly McCullough (Flamingo Toes).

After you are finished embroidering, rinse project per Sulky Stick 'n Stitch instructions. Dry and then iron. I was a rebel and ironed over my stitches so they got a bit flat, but I didn't want wrinkly fabric ;)

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Cutting Instructions
  • Trim This is my Happy Place to 5" x 6.5"
  • Cut (36) 1.5" x 1.5" squares
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Pillow Assembly
  • Sew together (6) rows of (6) patchwork squares [6x6 grid] with a 1/4" seam to create patchwork section.
  • Attach Lori Holt Vintage Trim to left side of patchwork section.
  • Sew This is my Happy Place embroidery to left side of patchwork section with a 1/4" seam
  • Fuse Pellon Shapeflex 101 to wrong side of embroidery/patchwork pillow front
  • Quilt if desired - I chose to top stitch next to Lori Holt Vintage Trim (ric rack) and 1/4" away from seam lines on patchwork.
  • Optional - add tiny piece of Lori Holt ribbon to corner for a fun little detailA Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuff #RetroStitchery #RetroStitcheryBook #MadewithMartingale #SulkyThreads #RileyBlakeDesigns
  • Place pillow front and pillow backing right sides together and stitch with a 1/4" seam around  - leaving a 3" gap to turn pillow right side out OR sew all around and then cut a 3" opening in pillow backing to turn pillow right side out.
  • Add PolyFill stuffing through opening.
  • Hand stitch pillow opening closed.
Enjoy your This is my Happy Place Pillow!

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A bit more about the fabulous Retro Stitchery Book. Beverly did an amazing job designing and creating such gorgeous projects. The 13 projects include framed embroidery pieces, jewelry, clothing embellishment, tea towel, zipper pouch, wreath, cup cozy, journal cover, and more. There is a definitely a project for everyone! These two are next on my "must make" list.

Retro Stitchery is available at Fat Quarter Shop or Amazon or your favorite store!

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Be sure to follow me on Instagram @ABitofScrapStuff and here on my A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog for more fabric fun!

Have a great day and happy quilting! 

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  1. I love your pillow so much, Melanie!! Thank you so much for doing the book tour - it means so much to me!

  2. What a beautiful pillow! I got my book in the mail after I had preordered it. I love this one of the embroidery designs, also. I hope to make it first. Thanks for giving us another option for it!


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