Valentine’s Day Gift of the Heart

February 12, 2020By Janice FergusonEmbroidery, Holiday, Projects 21 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

Here Is a sweet token of affection for Valentine’s Day or any day. The design on this heirloom handkerchief replicates traditional hand embroidery stitches such as fil tire’, lazy daisy, French knots and pinwheel roses—all worked flawlessly on any Brother embroidery machine! Give one to a dear friend or loved one, or include a heart hanky in a card to a shut-in or distant relative to show you care. Features on THE Dream Machine such as the laser and the camera make this little project so much easier than it looks. Handkerchiefs have long been sent to carry a message. During WWI and WWII, soldiers tucked these pieces to urge remembrance. Now you can tuck one in the mail to anyone special.


  • 13” square of white linen
  • 54” lace edging ½ – ¾” wide, starched and pressed
  • Downloadable design: ftheartSS.PES
  • Thread: For Embroidery: Though regular 40 wt. machine embroidery thread will work; better results can be had by using fine cotton thread such as DMC 50/2 or Mettler 60/2 Article #140. Colors needed: dark green, light green, dark pink, light pink, and yellow. For fil tire’ wing needle embroidery (heart center) white, ideally Madeira Cotona 80/2.
  • Needles: Wing, 75
  • Notions: Brother Pacesetter Lightweight Water-Soluble stabilizer, spray adhesive
  • 4×4 frame
  • Open toe foot SA147

Handkerchief Construction

Linen preparation

1. Cut an unstarched 13” square of linen. Pull a thread and remove it to create an 11” linen square in the center with at least a 1” linen frame beyond the pulled thread.

2. Starch and press. Starch and press again until linen is crisp.

Note: Pulled thread channel should be visible. If not, mark it with a heat or water-soluble marker.
Entredeux Stitching
Note: Remember to use your knee lift. It is very helpful as you stitch entredeux or join lace.

3. Thread needle and bobbin with fine thread. Insert wing needle. Attach open toe foot.
4. Select stitch hemstitch #307 in utility menu pg. 3. Adjust settings to width 3.5, length 3.5 and leave tension at default 4.0. Disengage thread cutter or simply do not use it when using a wing needle.

5. Pin narrow strips of Brother Pacesetter light weight water soluble stabilizer behind pulled thread channels. Center and stitch entredeux #307 in pulled thread channel.
6. Trim linen frame up to outer holes in entredeux stitch.


7. Mark corner of trimmed linen square with heat or water erasable marker with center placed 3” above corner.
8. Load Brother wss stabilizer in 4×4 frame. Spray with adhesive.
9. Apply linen to stabilizer diagonally, centering the marked center. Select design ftheartSS.PES.
10. Thread #75 needle with fine white thread. Stitch color #1 which will baste linen to the stabilizer.
11. Insert wing needle. Drop speed to 600 stitches per minute. Stitch color #2, the fil tire’, with fine white thread.

Note: The design indicates the color for the fil tire’ is black. This unlikely color is a reminder to insert wing needle.

Remove the Wing Needle

12. Finish stitching the design.

13. Remove the linen from the frame. If a heat erasable marker has been used, remove the center markings. Water soluble marks will be removed when the stabilizer is rinsed away.
14. Rinse away stabilizer and any remaining marks.
15. Starch and press when dry.

Lace Attachments

16. Attach open toe foot SA147.
17. Insert #60-75 needle and thread with finest white thread.
18. Extend lace 1” from top edge of linen. Then butt the straight edge against the raw edge of the entredeux stitch at corner #1, diagonally opposite the embroidery.

Note: Take care that lace faces right side up.

19. Select zig zag #1-09, adjusting the width and length so that the left swing of the needle penetrates one hole of the entredeux and right swing penetrates the lace, enclosing the lace header (the heavy threads along the straight edge of the lace). A length of 1.8 works well with the entredeux stitch settings shown above. Adjust the width so that the right swing of the needle encloses the lace header. Stitch along this side to corner #2.
20. Mitre the corner by folding the lace at a right angle away from the linen and across the lace. At the very edge of the lace hold in place with the point of seam ripper or pin while folding the lace back over itself. Hold in place with a pin.

Note: Worry not, this is just the first step of the mitred corner. It will be completed later.

21. Take one stitch to catch lace header of the folded lace. Pivot.

22. Continue joining lace to entredeux. Mitre corners #3 and #4 as before.
23. Zig zag fourth side up to corner #1. Fold end of lace under and against tail at corner #1. Pin in place. Take one stitch to hold folded tail in place.

24. Pivot to folded lace. Reduce stitch width to 2.0, length to 1.4. Zig zag into the fold with right swing of needle and into single layer of lace with left swing. Stitch to the point, taking care to keep the headers and the decorative edges stacked precisely on top of one another. At the point, reverse one stitch.

25. Cut needle and bobbin threads at least 5” long.
26. Pull needle thread to back and hand knot the two threads, trimming the tails.
27. Trim lace tails close to zig zag stitches.
28. Return to corner #2.
29. Push folded lace from right side to wrong side of handkerchief. Fold linen on diagonal leaving lace flat. Press.
30. Activate laser. In preparation for straight stitching, adjust line to run from corner of linen to JUST INSIDE THE POINT. Select straight stitch L 2.0.

31. Stitch from corner of linen to very NEAR the point of lace. Reverse 2 stitches.

32. Clip through the fold and press open.

33. Cut needle and bobbin thread approx. 5” from lace. Pull needle thread to back and hand knot.
34. Slip a piece of lightweight stabilizer below the right-side-up mitred lace. Bring needle and bobbin thread to top. Twist threads and place over the seam.
35. Zig zag over the seam and the two threads, W 1.5 and L 1.2.

36. Tear away stabilizer and trim threads. Trim lace from corner stitching.

You are finished with a sweet gift for someone dear.

Valentine’s Day Gift of the Heart _ Stitching Sewcial.pdf



    • Joy, welcome to the world of heirloom sewing! With your Brother machine you can get perfect results. I’d like to suggest that you also try entredeux stitch #3-08 and another one or two in the hemstitching menu. One stitch or the other might give better results depending on the fabric you use. I am so eager to see your handkerchiefs. Please share a picture!

  • Thank you for sharing your entredeux expertise with all of us Janice!

    Your embroidery design mimics the finest of a hand-worked design element. What a joy it is to make it with a Brother machine and still have it look like it was done with the intricacy of hand-worked stitches!

  • Thank you, Joanne, for your kind comment about the design. Your insight into the joy that comes with the perfect results–every single time–from our Brother machines is spot on!

  • Thank you, Lisa, for your comment. I’ve stitched this design on numerous Brother machines, from the ULT series, to the Duetta, Quattro and Dream Machine. Each recreates these classic hand embroidery designs flawlessly and so beautifully. How satisfying it is to spend a few minutes machine embroidering a design that looks like it took hours to create by hand. I hope you can use this design on many projects.

    • Thank you, Kathy. The capabilities of machine embroidery are absolute my amazing. From the look of hand embroidery to lace making to cutwork and more, these machines make me so happy that I love in this era.

  • Thank you so much for your great instructions! I can’t wait to give it a try. I’ve been wanting to do handkerchiefs for quite some time and with your instructions, I’m sure I’ll be successful.

  • Such a pretty design and project! It is the first time I’ve seen a wing needle used for machine embroidery – I’m intrigued. Thank you for sharing directions for the machine entredeux and attaching the lace. It is lovely.

  • Cheryle, wing needles have amazing possibilities and come in so many sizes. I hope you will give this a try and whip up lots of pretty wing needle heirloom projects. Thanks for your kind comment.

  • Janice, what a lovely project! Even if I never make a handkerchief, you have given so many tips and introduced techniques that are applicable to all sorts of projects. I can see using the entredeux stitch and mitering of lace on a baby blanket or little girl’s heirloom collar. Thank you for the easy to understand photos and detailed explanations!

    • Thank you, Donna, for your kind comment. I am so happy to know that you find the techniques and tips applicable to other projects. Because they are small, handkerchiefs are a great project to try out new techniques. Happy sewing, Donna.

  • Thank you, Carol, but what you see as talent is mostly from my fabulous Brother machine. When I look my antique treadle machine (God forbid I would be unable to sew anything during an extended power outage!) I think of the ladies to whom these machines were a miracle and a wonder. How lucky we are to sew on today’s Brother machines!

  • Thank you for sharing your talents with us. I learned so much making the heirloom christening dress to your instructions. I check this site often, just to see what you are doing!

  • That’s lovely. My mom has been an incredible seamstress for the whole time I’ve been alive. Her commitment to her craft is impressive. I love you, Mama.

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