Embroider a Rose-Petal Heart

One of the rose petals on one corner of a stunning tablecloth, now in the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, Colorado State University’s historic costume and textiles collection, has an almost perfect heart shape. The elegant embroidered heart, mounted in the lid of a small walnut box, makes a special Valentine gift for a special Valentine. Linda Moore, a former graduate student in historic textiles at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, stitched the heart.


Linda Moore’s rose-petal heart. 1⅝ x 2 inches (4.1 x 5.1 cm). Photo by Joe Coca.

Caron Collection Soie Cristale, 100% silk 12-strand thread, 6 yards (5.5m)/skein, #2046, #2044, and #2004, 1 skein each
Sudberry House Petite Walnut Box, #99861, 3½ x 3½ x 2¼ (8.9 x 8.9 x 5.7 cm)
Dupioni fabric, 100% silk, pale pink, 6 inches (15.2 cm) square, 1 piece
Sewing thread, to match silk fabric
John James Needle, crewel size 9
Embroidery hoop, 6 inches (15.2 cm) in diameter
Fleece, 4-inch (10.2-cm) circle
Finished design size: 1⅝ x 2 inches (4.1 x 5.1 cm)

Using a light source, transfer the outline of the heart to the center of the fabric. Mount the fabric in the hoop. Using long-and-short satin stitch and three strands of thread, work the stitches in a fanlike pattern from the bottom point toward the upper edges. Begin stitching with #2004 and continue the gradation from dark to light with #2044 and #2046 consecutively, blending the colors at each color change as indicated by the dotted lines on the pattern.

Remove the fabric from the hoop when the stitching is complete. Center the paperboard circle supplied with the box over the motif and trim the fabric ½ inch (1.3 cm) beyond the circle. Trim the fleece to the same size as the paperboard circle and adhere the fleece to one side of the circle. Sew a running stitch ¼ inch (0.6 cm) from the edge of the silk fabric; do not knot off the thread. Center the circle over the silk with the fleece facing the back side of the stitched motif and draw the thread up tightly around the circle. Secure the thread and arrange gathers evenly. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, secure the design unit in the box.


This project was featured in the January/February 2004 issue of PieceWork. Find other great Valentine’s Day gift ideas in “3 Valentine’s Day Gifts to Make and Give.”

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