Pay heed, good gentles of the Middle Kingdom, for we have been charged with a task from on high. Princess Arabella and her counterpart in the East, Princess Etheldreda, wish to mark the solidarity of Their two kingdoms as we approach war with AEthelmearc this summer. To that end, They are asking the populace of both Kingdoms to create favors and They have chosen a design that features the mighty dragon of the Middle Kingdom and the fierce tyger of the East, as was reported in February by our friends at the EastKingdomGazette.org.
To further this mission and encourage anyone who is willing to contribute, I created a step-by-step photo tutorial showing how to make the Queens’ Favor from start to finish for members of my barony. Those outside my barony have inquired about it, and so, with Her Highness’s approval, I include it here on the new Midrealm Gazette so that any group or individual wishing to contribute may do so. If you create a favor on your own, you may mail it to Baroness Una (with enough time to arrive well before Pennsic 44) to the address listed here:
Trish Gross23190 Willard AveWarren MI 48089
What You Need to Make the Pennsic Queens’ Favor:
1 – white linen or cotton piece sized 11” x 13”
3 – 2+ yard lengths of floss (Midrealm Green = DMC 700, Eastern Blue = DMC 803, and Royal Gold = DMC 444)
1 – embroidery needle
1 – pattern sheet (view/download here: favor-kit-directions)
1 – water soluble marking pen (or other removable marking medium)
1 – 6” embroidery hoop
1 – pair of scissors
How to Embroider the Pennsic Queens’ Favor:
Step 1: Cut out and fold your 11″ x 13″ material in half lengthwise to form a crease.
Step 2: Unfold the material and, using the pattern sheet, trace the design onto your fabric with the crease and bottom aligned as noted on the pattern sheet. I used a lightbox my lord made for me, but you can also just hold it up to a window during the daylight hours.
Step 3: Put your material in the embroidery hoop. First loosen the thumbscrew on the outer circle. Then push the inner circle out of the hoop and put it under your design, centered. Then place the outer circle of the hoop on top of your material, centered over the bottom circle, and push them together. Tighten the thumbscrew.
Step Four: Take your embroidery floss and cut off a length about 18″ long. Note that you can use ALL six strands of the floss together, or you can divide the strands so that it is thinner (as shown in the photo below). I personally like how bold it looks with the full floss (all six strands) and I have NOT divided mine into fewer strands for this tutorial. You may do as you please.
Step Five: Thread your embroidery needle, pulling about 5″ of the floss through the thread. Tie a knot at the end.
Step Six: Now let’s learn a simple, period embroidery stitch: the Back Stitch. Hold your embroidery frame in one hand, and, with your dominant hand, push the needle up from the back of the material to the front so that it comes out on the outline of your traced pattern on the fabric (as shown in the photo below).
Step Seven: Push the needle up and out and pull the thread through the material until it is stopped by the knot.
Step Eight: Push your needle back down into the fabric about 1/8″1-/4″ away.
Step Nine: Pull the thread down through the fabric until your thread lies flat. Do not over pull, as that will place too much tension on the fabric.
Step Ten: Push your needle up from the back of the material to the front about 1/8″-1/4″ ahead of the stitch you just made.
Step Eleven: Push your needle down into the material back at the very same point you came up in step 6. This is the back stitch, which is ideal for following both smooth and complicated outlines like those in our pattern.
Step Twelve: Continue like this along the line of your pattern. Once you feel comfortable, you can simplify and speed up the stitching by doing both the pushing in and out of the needle through the fabric at the same time, as shown in the photo below. As you can see, I pushed the needle in at the end of the preceding stitch and immediately came back up along my pattern line ahead of the thread.
Step Thirteen: You can do the back stitch around corners easily — just make the corner the start/stop of your stitch, as I’ve done in my next stitch here:
Step Fourteen: Keep going until you have only a few inches of thread left. Push your needle in and pull it through to the back of the fabric.
Step Fifteen: Flip your embroidery hoop over and weave the needle (with the floss still threaded in its eye) through the stitches nearby. You want to go between the stitched floss and the fabric. Do this several times.
Step Sixteen: Once your floss is securely woven into the stitches on the back, unthread your needle and cut off the tail. Go ahead and cut off the tail of the knot on the other end of stitching, too.
Step Seventeen: Now just repeat the back stitch until you’ve stitched along all the lines in your pattern! Note that the dragon and tyger, as well as the two letters, are all outlines; only the crown is filled in.
Step Eighteen: To fill in the crown, you can continue to use back stitch, placed in straight, horizontal lines stitched tightly together. I personally prefer to fill it in with chain stitch. You can learn how to do chain stitch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9qRaSmahtM
Notes: You can also use chain stitch and outline stitch for the entire favor — if you want to learn how to do these, let me know and I’ll take photos for you.
Step Nineteen: When you are all done, take your fabric out of the hoop and mist it with water or dampen it slightly to remove the blue pen lines. Iron your embroidered fabric until it is nice and flat.
How to Sew and Complete the Pennsic Queens’ Favor:
Step A: Fold the fabric in half along the vertical center line, wrong side out.
Step B: Sew 1⁄2” seam down and press open so that the seam is centered.
Step C: Making sure the pressed down seam is centered on the material, sew a 1⁄2” seam along the bottom edge. Sew the seams a second time to reinforce edges.
Step D: Clip corners and turn right side out.
Step E: Iron flat. The image should now sit 1” above the bottom hem and 1⁄2” from each side.
Step F: Fold the top end inside and stitch closed. You should now have a 5” x 12” rectangle.
Step G: Fold 3” down the back and stitch, forming the belt loop.
And voila! You have made a Pennsic Queens’ Favor! Please mail it to the address above or return it to whomever is coordinating the favors in your group. And be proud that you are helping to inspire the fighters at this year’s Great War!
If you have any questions, suggestions, or corrections for this tutorial, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You may distribute the link to this tutorial freely.