From the Heart

As I post this entry, Christmas is less than two months away.  Translation?  We should all get going on those handmade holiday items. While I admit I'm way behind in my efforts to meet the approaching deadline, I can say I've at least begun putting a dent in my long to-do list.

I've decided to try to keep things really simple this year and my little scented hearts in the photo below are a great start.




Of course the first thing you need is fabric. I love the look of linen for this particular project, because it's easy to work with and the embroidery looks nice against the linen texture. After you decide on your embroidery design, you'll need to cut two equal size fabric pieces for each pillow. 


If you take a look at the pictures below you can see the how the design looks as it's stitched out by my embroidery machine. I started with this open-centered floral heart pattern and then added a monogram.  People love monogrammed gifts and I think it makes the offering much more personal when you add this special detail.







By the way, if you're thinking about talking to Santa about upgrading your sewing machine this holiday season, might I suggest you consider an embroidery machine which will give you the best of both worlds. You can sew when you feel like it and when you're ready to do some embroidery, just attach the embroidery arm which comes with the machine. There are loads of models on the market to fit every need and budget.



The embroidery machine screen in the photo above, shows you all the information you need to help guide you through the embroidery process. Inside the grid you can see what your finished design will look like. The smaller box to the right shows you what stitch your machine is currently working on in the overall design.  At a glance you can see the dimensions of your stitched pattern, how many minutes the project will take to stitch out and how many thread color changes are suggested.

The pretty little finished design in the photo below is a simple example of how embroidery can turn ordinary items into extraordinary ones. 



Don't get me wrong, you can always complete this project with hand embroidery and get a finished product that is just as beautiful.  I just like to point out the advantages of an embroidery machine because my machine has been so instrumental in my crafting efforts and has really helped me enhance my gift giving.  Not to mention, I'm not very good at embroidering by hand anyway.


OK, getting back to this heart pillow project, once you have stitched out all your squares give it a good hit with the steam iron just to make sure everything is free of wrinkles before moving on to the next step. Adding just a spritz of spray starch at this point will also help give the fabric some extra crispness.




Trace a heart shape onto a piece of paper to make a template. Make sure the template you create is large enough to accomodate your embroidered design and fabric size. Before cutting out your heart shape, also make sure the embroidery pattern is positioned in the center of your heart template. 


Positioning is key here because you want the embroidery pattern to end up in the dead center of your finished pillow. Take your time and double check your heart shape placement before you actually put scissors to fabric.  Don't forget to slide your second plain linen square behind the embroidered square so you can cut out two identical hearts at the same time.

The picture above shows you what the heart shapes look like once you've finished cutting. Notice the embroidery is distributed evenly throughout the entire heart shape. This is why that initial template positioning is so critical before you cut the fabric.



Place the plain linen cut-out heart on top of the embroidered heart (right sides together) and pin all the way around.  At the center point of the heart, fold your ribbon in half and insert it between the two pieces of fabric with the two raw ends of the ribbon pointing upward and beyond the seam. The picture above shows the correct ribbon placement before sewing. 

Stitch 1/4-inch seam all the way around the heart, leaving a 1/2-inch opening for stuffing. At this point you can add a handful of lavendar or favorite pouporri to your stuffing to give the project a nice scent. Then close the opening with a slipstitch. 

Adding a matching bow helps finish off the heart pillow nicely.

Blog_heart_brown2_6 Blog_heart_door_edited1_4 

I think these dainty little hearts can easily work with any decor. They can be beautifully displayed just about anywhere you like, including on the end of a drapery tie-back, a dresser drawer knob or simply hung from a door handle. These would also look adorable in a nursery-boy or girl.



Each pillow took me less than an hour to complete and that includes machine embroidery time. I think if you're looking for a super simple and elegant handmade item for loved ones this holiday season this project is picture perfect. 

Also, when you say this gift comes from the heart, you'll definitely mean it-in more ways than one.

  • Anne F.

    I feel like I have overlooked something here, but have you mentioned the name of the machine you use to embroider?

  • Giana Forzareli

    I just saw one of these at Jo Anne Fabrics! You embroidery creativity is great! The monogram ability was the selling point that caught my eye. I have a grandmother who is a huge collection of different types of embroidered linens. I could only imagine the magnitude of happiness that my grandmother would feel if I made her monogrammed gifts. Thank you for sharing your review and proof of quality on this product. Keep up the amazing work!

  • Anonymous

    These are gorgeous. I know you said it is simple but for sewing challenged moi not so much! I will have to give this a try.

  • DuBuhDuDesigns

    Hi Lisa! These are simple yet very elegant. I love them:) I’m going to add you to my links so I can come here again and again!

  • Isabelle

    Thank you for the lovely inspiration. I am going to make a bunch tonight, for stocking stuffers! Thank you.

  • Aleida Franklin

    Thank you L for your visit and sweet comments. Funny but you were visiting me as I was on your blog showing my MIL your studio space and your sewing ideas. She loved it! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.. I’ve been a lurker on this site for a while and I finally left comment earlier today. πŸ™‚ I do like your creative space too!

  • Sonnja

    What a lovely embroiedery!
    Kind regards,
    Sonnja, from the Nedherlands

  • Jen ~ ARTful Dreamer

    These are beautiful! The embroidery adds sophistication but they still have a touch of whimsy to them – a wonderful combination. Goodness, I can’t even always sew a straight line – your work is divine. Lovely blog Lisa!

  • Kristin Co

    Un blog fort crΓ©atif oΓΉ tu prends plaisir Γ  nous faire partager tes astuces !

  • jjennifer Paganellli

    You share from the heart I love that about pun intended…see you at Silver Bella would love it..Jennifer

  • michelle

    Beautiful finished project, just loved it!

  • Sweet Remembrance

    I love your sachets!
    They are so pretty…
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Angela (Cottage Magpie)

    Goodness these are lovely. And here’s what I can’t figure out. WHY haven’t I been here before? I know you’ve visited my blog before–somehow I must have been confused and lost, because it’s absolutely lovely here and I want to come back. SOON!
    ~Angela πŸ™‚

  • phyllis


  • Karla

    Wow. These are gorgeous. I know you said it is simple but for sewing challenged moi not so much! I will have to give this a try. LOVE the embroidery machine. That is a fabulous invention!

  • PLT

    Another great idea. I really love the one with the P. Very elegant. What a great gift for a lingerie drawer.

  • Monkeyporkbun

    The Ten Commitments

    This is my niece in Massachusetts. Isn’t she cute? It happened to me around this time after Miss B was born as well. I began missing rituals that I had once held sacred in taking care of myself. And I

  • Abbie

    Your work is most fabulous and very inspiring!
    LOVE your studio space!!
    πŸ™‚ Abbie

  • Joelle Dolce Bebe

    Simply Charming!
    I Love these. so sweet. I realy like your work.
    Keep dreaming & doing what you do best!
    Joelle XO

  • Penny

    These are just beautiful! The recipients are very lucky indeed! This is my first time to check out your blog, it is quite lovely, I will be back! (with a cup of tea in hand, …..and maybe a cookie or two!)

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Lisa, I dont sew at all ( leave that all up to my mom ) but wow.. this stuff you make is beautiful really lovely work here..
    Happy Holidays (a bit too early )

  • Daisy Cottage

    Just as lovely as can be!

  • Rachael

    They are so pretty and so beautifully made.

  • lisa

    What a sweet little gift – so pretty! I love them!

  • jona

    Oh my goodness, I have tears in my eyes because that pink and brown heart is so sweet. I have an old Mary Engelbreit magazine with a similar idea and I’ve had the page dog-eared for about 8 years. This might just be the perfect idea for this Christmas!

  • gena

    Wow! Great ideas to inspire new use of my machine, which is seriously underused. Beautiful work! Thank you!

  • amandajean

    those are very sweet. I especially love the pink and brown one.

  • traci

    wow lisa, those are so beautiful. i wish i could say that i was going to follow your instructions and whip some up, but i don’t sew and i don’t have one of those awesome machines of yours. i have a hard enough time with my computer. so i am just going to look at your pretties and wish i was that talented. have a wonderful day!

  • katie

    these are so sweet! what a great idea!

  • Aina

    OH, i just wrote you a message, and it dissapeared? Or do you have to read through your messages first before they appear on this site?
    I told you how much i love your hearts, so stylish!!
    And i really have to think about investing some money in a new and good machine. The one i use now is more than 30 years old. I adore monograms and embroideries so i guess i should buy one that could do that for me. I just started to learn some simple stiches by hand, but it is very time-consuming so a machine that could do that for me should have been just perfect!
    I am very happy to get messages from you, you always put a smile on my face, thank you!
    Have a great weekend,
    Aina (“,)

  • Aina

    Oh wow!!! They look absolutely gorgeous!! So chic πŸ™‚
    I would really have loved to have my own embroidery machine, but they are quite expensive here. Have to save some money for that. The one i have now is more than 30 years old, yes! πŸ™‚
    So it is about time to think about buying a new one. I love monograms and embroideries so i guess i should invest some money in a embroidery machine. What kind of machine do you use?
    Thanks for always lovely messages, you always put a smile on my face πŸ™‚
    Enjoy your weekend too,

  • Natasha Burns

    Beautiful hearts, just gorgeous!

  • Laurie

    Oh, you and me, too! Aren’t these hearts fantastically fun to make and give!~ I love your embroidery work. Lucky you to have such a wonderful machine! πŸ™‚

  • Mosaic Queen

    Hello Miss Lisa!
    I LOVE your hearts and your pin cushion!! Talk about creativity! Oh, and your studio looks so organized! I’m jealous!

  • Betty @ She's Sew Pretty

    Lisa, those hearts are so pretty. What kind of embroidery machine do you own? I know they are quite expensive but I would love to have one.

  • rochambeau

    Dear Lisa,
    Your ornaments are stunning and perfection!

  • Zee

    Wow, great post! I really enjoyed reading it and looking at the photos. Your machine is fantastic. I am salivating to get an embroidery machine…hand embroidery is very nice, but takes forever to finish!!! Pillowcases, towels, aprons…with a machine like that we can make tons of nice projects.
    BTW, you are so beautiful!

  • jocelynne

    i’m sorry, did you just say and i quote “really simple this year”? umm, my family would probably croak if i did something like this for them. it’s really for their safety that i will do something even more simple, i truly don’t want them to die. πŸ˜‰

  • Keisha

    lisa, you are just a sewing QUEEN, i am just wowed!!!

  • Cora

    Love them!!!!!
    What a nice idea.
    My embroidery machine is in the shop, and it will be ready soon. Look out, when I get it, no one will be able to get a hold of me!!! πŸ™‚

  • liannallama

    super cute! I love your idea!

  • Davinie

    These ideas are delicious!

  • cindy

    Great little project. What kind of machine do you have? I have a Husqvarnsa Designer I. I spent a couple grand on the professional embroidery software and never use it. You’re making me want to get mine out!

  • Tracy

    Those hearts are gorgeous! I wish my wallet would let me get an embroidery machine- but for now I’m stuck with hand stitching. I love the design around the monogram. So elegant.

  • sugarshop (Dena Berg)

    Great Idea!! This would be a great project to try some different designs on my new machine. I just checked out the photos of your craft studio. All I can say is WOW! I would never come out! πŸ™‚

  • Nicole

    Lisa, these are just gorgeous! Love the idea of using a monogram to personalize.

  • Cherie

    I’ve never been able to embroider by hand and I’m terrible with a sewing machine (my mother tried her best to teach me but I had a lead foot on the pedal!)..what you have created is so elegant and I especially loved the ones with the monogram. You’re right..they would work in so many places. Just beautiful.

  • Mary

    Those are so elegant and beautiful!

  • Cascade Lily

    Lovely gift idea. I don’t think Santa thinks I’ve been good enough for a ‘big girl’s’ machine this year…maybe next year!

  • sheree

    Lovely gifts. The embroidery really adds a wonderful touch! I have an embroidery machine, but have never used it for embroidery. I bought it right before moving and so never took a class on how to use the thing–I need to it a try before the warranty runs out, just in case I break it!
    Talk soon,

  • Elaine Tutman

    Wow – another great idea and the clearly written instructions with the photos add just the right “zing” to the tutorial. Thanks.

  • Adrienne

    OH GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! Now THIS is why I want an embroidery machine!!!