Dutch Tile Sachets

Am I shallow? I don’t know, but I do know that I take great comfort in very small things: a neat sock drawer or a clean kitchen sink will do. Stumped by the seeming impossibility of world peace, for instance, lately I have enjoyed organizing my linen closet, and have come up with some little linen sachets filled with dried lavender and embroidered with blue floss to look like Dutch tiles. They were not totally Something for Nothing, because I had to purchase the lavender (my one lavender plant just wasn’t up to the demands of  this project), but with the lavender and a remnant of linen, I can make many sachets.

Supplies: You don’t have to use linen–muslin or a piece of old cotton sheeting will do. You will also need some medium blue embroidery floss, an embroidery needle, and a piece of 8.5 count waste canvas (sometimes called tear away). Small embroidery motifs can be found in cross stitch sampler books at the library. I have used The Sampler Motif Book by Brenda Keyes and Flowers in Cross Stitch by Jana Lindberg. Flowers, hearts, and birds make lovely motifs. I have included a tulip motif here to get you started. You might also strike out in another direction, entirely. Instead of using the “Dutch tile” idea, you might embroider roses or brightly-colored birds.

Multiple "tiles" can be embroidered before cutting.
How to: Once you’ve gathered your supplies, cut out a 4-1/2″ square of cardboard from a cereal box as a pattern, place on the fabric, and draw around it lightly with a pencil. Cut a piece of waste canvas that’s larger than your motif. Determine where the center of the square is, and pin the waste canvas over it. (Really should baste, but I’ve found for a very small project like this, pinning works). Determine where the motif center is, and embroider the motif so that it’s centered. When you are done embroidering, dab the stitched canvas with a damp sponge. With tweezers, remove each dampened thread.  Embroider three “Lazy Daisy” stitches in each corner to finish. (Look in any embroidery book for “how-tos.”)
Unfilled sachets.

Cut out your square plus one more for the sachet back. Sew with right sides together, leaving a 1-1/2 inch opening. Turn inside out and iron. Use a teaspoon to fill the sachet with dried lavender flowers. I have found this is easier than trying to use a funnel. Overcast the opening. Don’t overfill the sachets–they should be fairly flat to slip between the linens.

These would make nice gifts: tie together with silk ribbon, and add a pretty tag.

One last note on supplies. It’s possible to find linen dresses at rummage sales–they were in fashion some years ago, but being difficult to iron, found themselves demoted and given away. If you find one, snap it up–it’s a great source of linen. An online source for dried lavender is http://www.bulkherbstore.com, or just Google “bulk herbs.” As of this writing, a half pound of dried lavender can be obtained for about $7.00 plus shipping.

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