I had a look around online to make sure that a bike was actually the shape that I thought it was, then I used a combination of appliqué and embroidery to create the bike on the background material (purchased from a local shop).
The basic frame of the bike is made from some pretty floral bias binding folded in half widthways, which I then pinned and machine stiched into the frame shape.
I then embroidered the rest of the bike around the frame. For the saddle, I used satin stitch then a double line of chain stitch for the handle bars, a single line of chain stitch for the wheels and a simple running stitch for the wheel spokes.
When I'm doing embroidery, I tend to draw out my designs on paper then when I'm happy, I go over the final design with a black felt tip. Unless your material is really thick or dark, if you put the felt tip drawing under the material you can usually see it and trace it onto the material. I use Frixion pens to trace the design onto the material as you can see here...
The lines are really clear, and once you've done all the embroidery, they'll disappear when you iron the material. This does mean that you have to be careful if you're ironing as you go along (so I don't usually iron till the end - the excuse for the massive outline of the embroidery hoop in this picture!), but I don't find that a problem.
I completed the cushion by embroidering "I want to ride my bicycle" under the bike in simple back stitch, and I think the whole thing is quite effective. Thankfully the birthday girl like it and fellow present-givers approved, so it can't be bad!
I'm now off to hide away under a blanket on the sofa until the imminent storm passes. See you next time!
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