Embroidery was one of the first crafts I learned growing up. I've gone back to it at various times throughout the years, but I have to admit it's been a while since I've even picked up an embroidery needle and thread.
But when I saw the Shisha Ornaments project in the brand new DIY Holiday magazine I knew I had to try it. There was something about the look of the beautifully embroidered shisha mirrors that spoke to me.
I dove in, digging first through my stash of felted wool. I love felting wool sweaters that I find at thrift stores, and then repurposing them into projects. I chose different felt pieces for the front and back, just to add some interest. I enlarged the heart pattern 200%, cut it out, pinned it to the wool, and sewed around it. I have to admit, I've never sewn something this way, but it worked out really well. Look at that heart-could it get more perfect?
After stuffing the heart and sewing it closed I embroidered a fly stitch on the seams. Truth be told, I was a little intimidated by the Cretan stitch that goes around the mirror, and I was procrastinating by crafting. I was craftcrastinating.
I didn't have any shisha mirrors, so I used a mother of pearl button instead. I stitched it onto the heart to steady it, then made stitches that criss-cross the button like a hashtag. It took me a couple of tries, but after a few minutes I got the hang of the Cretan stitch.
Here's a tip: When following the stitch pattern, pay attention to the positioning of the needle and the thread, noting whether the needle is over or under the thread. When I did that, the pattern immediately clicked.
When I finished embroidering around the button I felt like a complete rock star. It actually looked good, and I was so happy that I mastered something new. I see so much potential for this technique: embellishing clothing, pillows, accessories-even shoes.
Instead of embroidering a traditional pattern around the button, I went for something more freestyle. I actually had no idea what I was going to do, but I threaded my needle with variegated pearl cotton and started making scrolls, using a chain stitch.
I added some French knots and a sari ribbon hanger. I love the finished heart, and I know I'll make more. After all, what holiday follows Christmas? That would be Valentine's Day. ~ Jeannine
P.S. For another great project from DIY Holiday, check out Barb Delaney's quilted coasters!