In the throes of Ollalieberry Overdrive, I was looking at these dark, mossy-green sheets and thought I should take a few minutes to embroider a little flower on the pillowcases, and have an ensemble. For the design I took one of my inspirations for the quilt, the delicate blossoms of Queen Anne's Lace.
To create the template, I literally took a sprig of real Queen Anne's Lace and placed it on the copier. I made a copy and then traced (using a lightbox) the major details of the copied flower onto another piece of paper. It's helpful, when you're tracing, to think about what stitches you're going to use to stitch it, because that helps you decide how to trace. Then I reduced it so that it would fit comfortably on the hem. The embroidery uses three simple, basic embroidery stitches — back stitch, stem stitch, and the French knot — and is done entirely in one color.
People frequently ask me how to "finish" the back of the stitching when doing pillowcases. My answer is, "You don't. Don't worry about it." Wash them, dry them, they'll be fine. Stitch through both layers of the hem, do the best you can, secure your threads, and don't worry too much about the back of your work — it gets better as you get better, so just keep stitching. I promise.
To celebrate the month of hand sewing being hosted by the lovely ladies at Sew, Mama, Sew!, I've put together a free Queen Anne's Lace Pillowcases pattern for you to download there! And please check out all of the other gorgeous projects, inspirations, and tutorials they've put together for us this month — yay hand sewing! If you've been wanting to slow down the end of summer with a quiet afternoon spent stitching on the porch, I know you'll find something wonderful there. I'm going to go over and look right now, and am putting together a bundle for Iraqi Bundles of Love today, too.