Zakka Embroidery: eye mask project

By Jenna

When Zakka Embroidery arrived at Bolt it caught my eye immediately.  Beautiful, often botanical designs graced the pages on rich linens.  The thing that makes the designs in this book so striking is the author, Yumiko Higuchi’s use of only one or two colors of embroidery floss.  Her designs are a perfect blend of Japanese and Scandinavian style that make the designs feel fresh and yet traditional. 

I’ve been eyeing Yumiko’s work for a while on Instagram @yumikohiguchi (swoon!). In general most of her motifs make their way onto simple useful projects, oftentimes on a kiss lock purse or clutch.  I would love to take the time on one of her bigger floral designs and simply frame it on my wall.  Any of these designs would excel on an apron, pillow, apparel, you choose!  Using just one part of a design on a tea towel or on a small hoop would be a lovely housewarming or hostess gift.  

 A beautifully embroidered envelope clutch and fish ornaments. 

A beautifully embroidered envelope clutch and fish ornaments. 

 Have you been seeing pineapples everywhere in home decor lately?  The pineapple has long been seen as a traditional expression of "welcome" in a home!  A single pineapple in a small hoop would have big impact for a friend or entryway.  Eight pineapples on a pair of baby bloomers is pretty sweet welcome to the world!

Have you been seeing pineapples everywhere in home decor lately?  The pineapple has long been seen as a traditional expression of "welcome" in a home!  A single pineapple in a small hoop would have big impact for a friend or entryway.  Eight pineapples on a pair of baby bloomers is pretty sweet welcome to the world!

I chose to make the lily of the valley eye mask.  The leaves filled in elegantly with chain stitch made me swoon and honed in my skills with a few stitches repeated over and over (and over) again.  Plus I’ve been needing to sleep a bit more soundly and soft eye masks are helpful in that arena.  

 I like to break down most projects into like parts:  outline and straight stich the stems, Chain stitch the leaves, then ending with the white berries.

I like to break down most projects into like parts:  outline and straight stich the stems, Chain stitch the leaves, then ending with the white berries.

I used shot cotton in ice and two shades of good ol’ 6 strand embroidery floss.  Since shot cotton is a bit on the lightweight side I interfaced the embroidered fabric with stacy shape flex interfacing prior to stitching and it worked wonderfully!  To make finer stitch lines I split my 6 strand floss into two 3 strand sets.  The thinner floss and the use of Thread Heaven made stitching run smoothly.  Stitching up the mask was easy peasy on my machine.  I may have to look to my pretty scrap bin to make some un-embroidered ones for friends and family for gifts. 

 Lovely chain stitched leaves take time, but wow! what an impact.

Lovely chain stitched leaves take time, but wow! what an impact.

This little project took me quite some time with Netflix by my side, but I’m still relatively fresh to embroidery. Working in a little project for a gift would certainly be feasible and well loved by the recipient.  Come on in, get inspired by our handstitched projects and we’ll help you find everything you need to get started!  

 STOCKINGS and Fabric Garland Tree by Sarah frame our lovely staff stitched projects from our favorite embroidery books and samplers.

STOCKINGS and Fabric Garland Tree by Sarah frame our lovely staff stitched projects from our favorite embroidery books and samplers.

Jenna Kulluson