Deerfield by Deborah Love

17th December 2021

Sometimes, the most effective projects are the simplest. There really is joy in working a project that doesn’t take forever to complete and yet the finish looks incredibly effective. Deerfield by Deborah Love, from our new book The Design Collective | Pincushions, is one such project.

Deborah Love is well known for her beautiful Deerfield designs. Deerfield embroidery is a type of surface embroidery, traditionally worked in shades of blue on a crisp, white background. It employs a range of stitches and a variety of different textures in sinuous, often herbaceous designs. 

This pincushion is the perfect introduction to Deerfield for anyone new to the technique, or ideal for the experienced stitcher looking for something in between larger projects.

This particular design was inspired by music. Deborah started with a swirl on paper, inspired by a musical riff, and then began to add the floral elements as soon as she saw that the shape was just right. 

Knowing that it was going to be worked on a pincushion and therefore needed space for pins, Deb placed the more detailed flower elements on the corners, leaving the bulk of the front covered with the delicate swirl worked in cable chain stitch.

The flowers themselves are worked in an array of stitches, including the traditional New England laid stitch that is characteristic of this particular style of embroidery.

Once she’d completed the front, she wanted to add an element of sparkle to her pincushion, so she chose to create a beaded border around the outside.

The border sits well apart from where the pins would go but adds a little extra to the project.

Deb admitted that the border took her the longest to stitch as she wanted the beads to sit exactly right, so she was very careful with their placement and stitching. The result is a perfect pincushion with something very special around the outer edge.

Traditional Deerfield is always worked in shades of blue, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t stitch this project using a different colour if that suited your own stitching kit or preference.

As long as you select the corresponding shades to mimic the four blue hues chosen by Deb, then you’re sure to produce a pincushion that is just as lovely but is unique to you.

One of the wonderful things about a project like this is the blissful satisfaction of creating and finishing it in a short period of time. This also means you can re-create it twice or even three times, whether for yourself, as a gift or simply for the love of it. But perhaps the very best part is that once complete, you’ll have a gorgeous new home for all your pins and needles!

Make Your Own Deerfield

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Deerfield by Deborah Love is a pillow pincushion with graceful buds and stems worked in harmonious blue shades and finished with a beaded edge.

Printed Books

The Design Collective – Pincushions

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Deerfield includes everything* you need to re-create this gorgeous pincushion: Fabric (unprinted), white sewing thread, fibre-fill, embroidery threads, beads and needles.


Deerfield – TDCP Kit

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the book.

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