Improv Sewing by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut
An embroidered headboard sounds impossibly luxurious, something found only in Spanish palaces or yachts docked in Dubai. But when you realize that you’re basically just adding decorative stitching to fabric and stapling it to a backing, you’ll want to stitch one up for your home, castle, or maybe even your yacht!
Excerpted from Improv Sewing (c) by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut, photographs (C) by Alexandra Grablewski and illustrations (C) by Ryan McMenamy, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
© 2020 Nicole Blum / Storey · Reproduced with permission.
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You Will Need
Measure, mark, and cut
Measure and mark the following pieces on the wrong side of the fabric and batting and cut them out:
cover: 36" × 66" (mark the longer measurement along the fabric selvage)
batting: 36" × 66"
Sketch your design
Draw lines 6" in from each raw edge to mark where the fabric wraps around to the back of the headboard. With a vanishing ink pen or chalk, trace the template as desired, within the marked lines. Before sketching your design, practice on a scrap of the project fabric.
Using a straight stretch stitch and with the presser foot pressure set to 2, stitch along the design lines.
To turn sharp corners, stop with the needle down, lift the presser foot, and turn the fabric.
To stitch curves, as on the back of the wings, grasp the fabric on either side of the presser foot and control its movements, so the needle follows the line, with the needle moving fast. Try not to stop until the stitching reaches the end of the line.
Assemble the headboard
Place the foam on top of the plywood. Center the batting on top of the foam; it will extend 6" beyond the foam on all sides. Then, place the fabric, right side facing up, on the batting; it will also extend 6" beyond the foam and wood on all sides.
Wrap the batting and fabric around the foam and plywood on one long side, smooth it and then staple it to the plywood, starting at the center and moving out toward the corners. Repeat along the opposite long side, pulling the fabric taut before stapling.
Repeat along the short edges, making neat corners by tucking and folding the fabric over the already stapled fabric. Smooth, tighten, and staple anywhere the fabric seems loose.
Hardware note: We like these adjustable flush-mount hanger brackets, which we found for less than five dollars online. One piece is screwed into the back of the headboard, and its mate is screwed into the wall at a stud. The parts slide together, and you can use a few of them along the back for a very strong and stable mount.
Attach hanging hardware
Hang the headboard securely using the appropriate hardware for your wall.
Finishing tip: The back won’t look finished, but happily, it will be against a wall!
Stitching tip: Remember, each straight stretch stitch is actually three tiny stitches, two forward and one back. Try to end each line on a backward stitch. This will make for cleaner lines without rogue backward stitches.