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Pinterest Challenge: My Turquoise Embroidery

When Sherry, Katie, Carmel and Sarah announced the fall Pinterest challenge last week I thought, “hey, this is the perfect motivation I need to complete my (currently ignored) embroidered pillow!”  I have pinned a lot of embroidery ideas of late (I had decided it would be the perfect craft during my four month research stay in Budapest, Hungary, because I knew I’d be going through DIY withdrawal and in need of a craft – you know how much I love a good DIY). 

The Boy Trifecta; Dream a Little Bigger;Angela Osborn; via Inspire Bohemia

If you recall, I had purchased a pretty pillow case, with a Hungarian pattern already drawn on, and oodles of gorgeous turquoise embroidery floss.  I was a little doubtful, but had all the supplies.  All that was missing was the actual time to complete the project, something I have been sorely lacking due to my tight research schedule and obvious sight seeing.  But when a bad cold knocked me on my butt last week, I thought the timing was meant to be (Pinterest challenge + abandoned embroidery + me too sick to type coherent thoughts for dissertation = surefire success).

So, let’s see the finished project, shall we?

Wait for it . . .

HAHAHAHA.  If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.  If only I’d known one small section would take more than seven hours of hand cramping labour, I don’t think the disappointment would have been quite so devastating.  At one point, I was just slumped over, embroidery loop hanging limply from my claw-like hand.  With my research progressing at a snail’s pace, the cold weather setting in and my wool sock supply barely sufficient (packing for winter when it was 35 degrees Celsius was too tall a task), I think I really needed to knock out this project to feel awesome.  Didn’t happen.  The hacking cough from my cold set in and then it became too dangerous to wield a needle at all.

But at least I have started (that’s always the hardest part, isn’t it?), and I’m getting better at it!  A little.  At some point, this will be done, and I’ll have a great little guide on embroidery for people who can’t embroider.  From a couple of Hungarian embroidery books I’ve already picked up neat tips about not starting with a knot, but a tail which can be later buried, and where to start embroidering on a dense design.  Through trial and error, I’m also learning to not embroider so tightly because it pulls the fabric wonky.  I have to relaaaax.

I will keep chipping away at it.  And try to fondly remember my last Pinterest Challenge success!  Plus my recent Pinterest-inspired agate necklace project, which I’m also linking up.  Ahhh, let’s ogle its finishedness:    

I’m linking up to these fabulous blogs:

Young House Love
Bower Power Blog
Ugly Ducking House
Our Fifth House



  1. annabelvita
    October 30, 2012 / 11:10 am

    Oh my goodness it's gorgeous! I love the colour you've chosen and the embroidery looks fantastic. Definitely better to take it slow and steady than rush through it for an internet link party!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 30, 2012 / 1:19 pm

      Thanks 🙂 I was lucky the store had such a great shade of turquoise. The embroidery floss they use here for this is thinner and has more sheen. I might have to stock up if embroidery and I don't have a falling out!p.s. Sage words of wisdom! If I rush, I embroider too tightly and it puckers. Lesson learned: slow and steady. But it sure is testing my patience.

  2. Kucorgó anyámkája
    October 30, 2012 / 12:53 pm

    Nagyon ügyes vagy! Gyönyörű az a szín, amit választottál. Hosszúak az esték, úgyhogy előbb-utóbb biztos végzel vele 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 30, 2012 / 1:23 pm

      Köszönöm! Nagyon boldog vagyok, hogy megtaláltam eszt a türkiz színt. Ez az én kedvenc színe. Magyar hímzőcérna gyönyörű.És igaza van: hosszúak az esték. És hideg 🙁

  3. Cathy
    October 30, 2012 / 2:45 pm

    Oh my that is going to be lovely. I have been looking for something to embroider,but so far not any luck. Looking forward to following your progress.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 30, 2012 / 6:59 pm

      I am now all about pillow cases. I pinned a gorgeous one (bottom right in my collages of pinspiration above) and now the cogs are turning and I have some plans for another pillow case of my own design. I figure it is a safe thing to embroider: it won't get damaged too easily if I put it somewhere decorative. I would cry if I made an embroidered table cloth or something and someone spilled wine on it!

  4. JoAnn
    October 30, 2012 / 3:41 pm

    That is going to be a wonderful objet d'art (said with a French accent) when it is completed and just think of the memories it will bring back when you look at it. good for you for starting it!JoAnn

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 30, 2012 / 6:59 pm

      Haha! Oh, I always say that, so I already read it with a French accent, lol.

  5. Tamsyn
    October 30, 2012 / 10:06 pm

    That looks like such a huge project Tanya! I love what you've done so far and can't wait to see it finished. That turquoise is just beautiful 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 31, 2012 / 7:08 am

      Thanks Tamsyn! I kind of wish I had done a smaller project for my first embroidery, but I'll get there. Then I still need to sew the pillow! But I'm so excited to share the finished product. Hopefully it turns out – fingers crossed!

  6. Emily @ ACanDoAttitude
    November 1, 2012 / 1:01 am

    I was going to join in on the comments that what you HAVE done looks amazing. I do cross stitch which is much faster and takes less skill and I would be very happy with that surface area in 7 hours. Keep up the good work, it will be beautiful.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 1, 2012 / 9:30 am

      Awww, thanks so much!! I'm happy to know to pace is okay, because this is entirely new to me. Thanks for the motivation! (I needed it).

  7. How2home
    November 1, 2012 / 4:09 pm

    This is so pretty!

  8. Christy
    March 18, 2013 / 7:34 pm

    That's pretty funny. I always underestimate how long things will take. I also started on a similar embroided pillow about five years ago (your design is much pretter BTW) and abandoned it about two hours into the making. What you have completed so far is gorgeous though! Let us know if you ever finish it.

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