Friday, January 13, 2012

Hand-Embroidered Monogram Pillows

I originally wrote this post for Janny over at Que Linda, but I wanted to share it with you here as well just in case you weren't able to go over there to check it out a couple of weeks ago.  This also was officially my first project of the year!  I will be entering it into the 2012 First Project of the Year Party over at WhisperWood Cottage.  Have you entered your first project?  There are some great prizes for the best projects, including a feature in Cottages & Bungalows!  My first project of the year were some hand embroidered initial pillow covers I recently made for our living room.

I had bought some pillow foams & pre-made pillow covers from Jo-Ann Fabrics a couple of months ago.  I've been needing new pillows for our couch, but wasn't really sure what I wanted to do.  But, then I had a vision for these pillows!  I really like embroidering & doing cross-stitch, like our Christmas stockings that I've shown on my blog.  It's relaxing to me.  I thought that if I embroidered mine and my husband's initials on them in a navy blue, they could look great & go nicely with the pillows that we do already have.  So that is what I did, and I love how they turned out.

To do these, I started with plain canvas pillow covers.  I bought mine, since I don't have a sewing machine, but you could make these if you wanted.  Then I found a font that I liked, blew up our two initials on my computer screen, (S for me & B for him) & free-handed the letters onto my pillow covers in pencil.  My model font was called Edwardian Script ITC, & they didn't exactly turn out like the font, but I was really using it as just a guideline.  If you wanted something more exact, you could cut a template of your letters to use as a stencil, or print the letters directly onto the fabric, or trace them out onto the fabric as well.  I wanted mine to look a little homemade & free-handed.

Then I started sewing!  I used a thick, navy blue embroidery thread, using the whole thread, so that I would get nice thick lines.  I also used a large embroidery hoop to pull the fabric tight, putting the back side of the hoop inside of the pillow cover.  I used a back-stitch to sew.  If you don't know how to back stitch, the general idea is that starting from the back of your piece, you go up through the fabric, then to go back down into the fabric, instead of moving forward, you put your needle down behind where you came up on the line.  See below.

So you see, you'll create an overlap as you put your needle back down behind where you came up.  This is good!  These pillows took me about 2 hours to embroider each, so 4 hours for the two.  Once I was done, I used a Shout wipe on each of them to clean off access pencil marks.

I think they look lovely on my couch.

Just behind the coffee table that I built not too long ago!

There's the S pillow above, and the B pillow below.

They were really very simple to complete, you just need to have the patience to see them through.

I hope that you have enjoyed my tutorial on my hand-embroidered initial pillows! 

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