Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tutorial - Creative Inspiration Pillow with Free Embroidery Swirl Pattern

Some of the best inspiration I get for crafting is from the tools that I use. Something about a cool vintage sewing machine stirs my imagination - that's why I chose a funky sewing machine graphic for this project. You could use any icon to express your favorite source of inspiration - knitting needles, paint brushes, books...whatever inspires you.

You’ll Need:
  22" x 22" pillow (or other size that you have on hand)
  medium weight light color woven fabric,  1 yard (or enough to cover your pillow)
  iron on transfer paper for light colored fabric
  inspiration clip art (I used some of my own from my Etsy shop - insert shameless self promotion - but you can use whatever you like!)
  swirls design (download here)
  embroidery floss in fun colors
  embroidery hoop and needle

How to Make It:

1 - Cut the fabric for the pillow case
-Measure the dimensions of your pillow.
-Add 1/2” to the width and 1/2” to the height. My pillow was 22” x 22” so my final measurement is 22 1/2” x 22 1/2”. You will sew it together with a 1/2" seam allowance so this will make your pillow case nice and snug.
-Measure and mark the final dimension directly onto the wrong side of your fabric using a ruler and chalk.
-Cut two squares

2 - Apply the iron on transfer
-Print out your clip art on paper first to help you decide where and what size you want the image to be.
-Print your image on to a sheet of iron on transfer paper. Remember to reverse the image!
-Cut out the image from the transfer paper leaving a 1/4” edge around it.
-Iron the transfer on to the front piece of your pillow fabric following the directions for the transfer paper.
Hint: Be sure to press hard and keep your iron moving to ensure the transfer sticks well. 

3 - Embroider the Swirls
-Print out the swirl pattern. You will need to tile it on several pages and tape it together if you can't print to tabloid sized paper. If you don't know how to do this it's a really handy trick. You can find out how here for Adobe products like Acrobat, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
-Place the swirl designs under your fabric and lightly trace over it with a pencil.
-Embroider your swirls using several fun colors of embroidery floss. If you’re new to embroider and want to learn, Sublime Stitching has my favorite online tutorials.

4 - Sew the pillow together
- Right sides together, sew the pillow pieces together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Leave about 6" open on the bottom edge.
- Press the seams open making sure the corner seam allowances are neatly pressed.

- Turn the pillowcase right side out and press it again.
- Stuff the pillow into the pillow case.
- Hand stitch the opening closed.
- Admire your work!

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful idea! I'll be sure to add it to my list of homey projects! I love adding new pillows to my living room: http://craftscafe.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/throw-pillows/