I am in love with this pillow from Pottery Barn! I can’t put the picture on our site so YOU’VE GOTTA GO SEE IT!
Are you in love or what?! I saw it a year ago in the Pottery Barn catalog and, after looking at the price, I was determined to re-create it. I haven’t ever done that type of embroidery and I’m pretty sure that my first attempt would look like a kindergartner made it, take me a year and a half to make, and would still be expensive because I’d have to buy tons of embroidery yarn and the canvas, so I didn’t go that route.
With some consideration, I decided that I’d better start simpler with a companion pillow to hone my skills. Good decision! I went with 3 huge jingle bells. Here’s a sneak peak at the end result so you can get an idea of where I’m going with this.
I decided that appliqued felt on cream home dec fabric would be inexpensive and give just the look I was shooting for. Don’t stop reading now because you don’t know how to applique and you’ve never done it before. ME NEITHER…until now!
I went about this pretty low tech. After the idea popped in my brain, I went on the internet in search of the right jungle bell. Once I found the right bell I simply enlarged it on my screen, and using my screen as a light box I traced the shape of it onto paper. From there I traced the shape onto freezer paper. I could have skipped the middle step, but I’d never used freezer paper before and wasn’t sure what to expect. But let me tell you folks, in case you didn’t know, freezer paper is not just for the freezer anymore. It totally rocks my crafty world!
After ironing some interfacing to my felt for stability I flipped it over and quickly ironed the freezer paper to the other side. It takes two seconds and is really easy to work with. From there I cut the bells out and peeled the freezer paper off. I was surprised how clean they came out!
After cutting my cream pillow fabric out (I did 16×16) I pinned and sewed on my black grosgrain ribbon. Before I got to the end, I looped it through the top of my jingle bell and back up then continued sewing to secure the end. It gives it a clean look with a little more dimension and hides the ends.
Time to applique. I’ve never done this before so this is proof that even rookies can applique…though maybe not perfectly. I checked a couple of tutorials and went for it. Not that hard. Seriously. First, I used basting spray so my jingle bells weren’t going anywhere before I got them stitched on. Be sure to protect anything you don’t want to be really sticky before spraying. IT’S STICKY! To applique you basically just catch a tiny bit of fabric all the way around. It takes a little time when you’re new at it, like me, but turn on your favorite Christmas movie and start stitching. Another option is to sew it on with your sewing machine. I chose to go the old-fashioned way this time around.
Next, bows. I really debated about the bows. I like the simplicity and graphic nature of the bells but wanted a little bit more dimension. I tried 3 or 4 different ideas, but decided to go with a simple, small, grosgrain bow. I tied them, burned the edges with a lighter, and stitched them on.
Okay girls, we have a completed pillow front!!! I pinned the outsides of the pillow together, sewed both sides, the top and part of the bottom (leaving it open for stuffing) and flipped the right sides out.
Now for finishing touch! I loved the bells in the corners of the inspiration pillow. They’re perfect! I bought my 1 inch bells and spray painted them. I think it’s easiest to paint a 3 dimensional item like this by hanging it up outside. Then you can get at it from all angles. After a couple of quick coats I took them off the twine, touched up what needed a little extra help, and they were done. With some yarn I stitched them to the 4 corners. Don’t use thread. The edges of the bells will snap the thread. Yarn is a better choice here.
Stuff it, sew it shut, and love it! That’s what I did!
I just love the satisfaction of a completed project and making my imagination a reality. But, just in case you think I’m ready to pack up my needles, can you guess what my next project is?