Sketched Flower Trivet




Why have I never tried free motion embroidery?  It is really fun if you like to sew and sew like I did in this recent project.  Here are some simple steps for making this sketched flower trivet.  This would make a nice Mother’s Day project.


  • two 8″x8″ squares of fabric (cotton/linen blend)
  • embroidery thread (no. 100)
  • bamboo or cotton batting, two 7″x7″ squares
  • 6″x6″ embroidery hoop
  • fabric marker

For the free motion embroidery, you will also need an embroidery foot for your sewing machine.

Be sure to wash, dry and press your fabric before beginning the project.


  1. Mark the center of one fabric square by folding in half each way.  Put the fabric in your embroidery hoop so that the fabric will lay flat on your machine.
  2. Draw the flower design onto the fabric as shown.
  3. Turn the feed dog switch on your sewing machine to the off position (check your sewing machine manual for instructions). Practice your free motion embroidery on a piece of scrap fabric to get the right tension (you will need to turn the tension way down, most likely).
  4. Then follow around the lines of your design.  I went over each line three or four times and enjoyed the freedom to be messy with it.
  5. Press the fabric and spray with water to remove fabric marker (or let air dry, depending on the type of marker you’re using).
  6. Sew the two squares of fabric, right sides together, with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving one end open.  Press seams flat and clip corners.
  7. Turn right sides out and push out corners.  Press opening under 1/2″.
  8. Insert both squares of quilt batting and pin together opening.
  9. Sew around the square 3/4″ from the edge, then again 1/2″ and then 1/4″ from the edge, for three rows of stitching.

18 comments to Sketched Flower Trivet

  • Super cute! Those would make a very nice Mother’s Day gift…

  • Love it! Something to add to my “To Do” list =)

  • I love it, what a great idea! I can’t wait to try!

  • What a wonderful idea! Fantastic. 🙂

  • Fantastic! I love the way it still looks sketched, only with thread.

  • Did you free-hand the flower?? The drawing doesn’t seem free-handed and I really like it. I would love for you to send the pattern to me! I’m thinking this and some tea towels would be lovely…and I like the coasters too.

    I will really have to practice the sewing to let it just be fun! Sewing can stress me out…bc I am a beginner. This project seems to give lots of freedom!

  • Okay another question…why is embroidery thread and foot needed? Can we just use a contrasting color of thread and the regular foot without feed dogs?

  • I’m with Annette W with the same question about the embroidery thread and foot.

    In any case, the flower is so pretty 🙂

  • thelongthread

    You really do need an embroidery foot because you’ll find the turns to be quite tricky with a regular foot. But, give it a try. And you could certainly use any thread you like, but the no.100 weight shows up better.

    Be sure to wind your bobbin in the same color in case you have tension issues.

    And yes, I drew the flower by hand, so don’t have a pattern for it. But try cutting out some different sized ovals or print a flower design and trace it if you don’t feel comfortable drawing by hand. But I think the beauty of free-motion embroidery is the sketched quality you get with an irregular drawing.

  • very cool! thank you for the photos and sharing the idea. . . you always have such great ideas.

  • This is so pretty!!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:

  • The foot you are looking for is traditionally called “darning foot” or “free motion” foot, or even hopping foot; perhaps your machine came with it included. If not, it is easily available.

    Here is something that might make your life easier as you start the free-motion stitching. In order to avoid thread nests, as they are called, at the start, hold the top thread with your fingers, make the needle go down and then come up again bringing the bobbin thread to the top. Hold that also with your fingers and start to stitch slowly; it should avoid thread getting bunched up underneath. When you are done, just clip the threads close to the cloth. Let me know if this is as clear as mud! Thanks for the post. Love your banner as well.

  • Your flower is wonderful because it is free expression and shows your excitement for something new. I have been doing free motion for a while and I will make one suggestion- be sure to use stabliser under your material. This will give your material “some help”. Go to your sewing store and ask for it.

  • I just read about the question of thread. Be sure to use “embroidery thread”. This thread has a shine to it and will wear beautifully. Sewing thread just dosen’t cut it.

  • That is so beautiful. The ‘messiness’ makes it perfect. Maybe I need to get one of those feet, even if I don’t think that I am destined to be a quilter.

  • This is a great project and I think I’ll be doing something with it really soon for a website banner, how fun! Thank you so much for sharing your work!

  • thank you for this great blog. very inspiring!

  • I’m trying to learn how to do free motion embroidery on my machine. I love the your designs like the one above, and I’ve included this in my blog post (with a link back to your blog, of course).

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