My 3 Monsters: Thread Sketching & Bird Appliqué Pillows

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Thread Sketching & Bird Appliqué Pillows

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Bird Appliqé Pillow with Thread Sketching technique at /
Hi everyone!  Today we're going to talk about the pillow that was lurking in the background of the pictures of the Embroidered Feather Pillow I wrote about on Friday.   I've had this idea in my head for a while so I decided to finally give it a whirl.  Have you heard of "thread sketching"?  You basically make a sketch on fabric using your sewing machine instead of a pen or pencil.  I love the look of it, but I was afraid that it would be complicated or require some special equipment.  Turns out that neither of those assumptions were true!

I just dove in head first and decided to make it up as I went, but I wish I had read this awesome tutorial at Clutterpunk first.  Her method is exactly what I did, but it would have given me a little more confidence -- and I probably would have added some more grunge to my nest with some zig-zag stitches.  I didn't even think of that!  

Step 1:  Cut fabric to fit pillow.

We're going to make this pillow exactly the same way we made the feather pillow last week.  You will need one long rectangle of fabric that measures the width of your pillow form + 1" by the height of your pillow form doubled + 7 inches.  Does that make sense?  For example, this time my pillow form is 20 inches square so I cut my fabric 21 inches wide by 47 inches long {20 x 2 = 40 + 7 = 47}.   I bought about 3/4 yard of a nice cotton duck fabric and it was plenty!

Step 2:   Appliqué the bird.

Bird Appliqé Pillow with Thread Sketching technique at /
Cut a bird shape out of decorative fabric.  You can either draw a bird by hand {if you rock like that} or go to Google Images and search "bird silhouette clip art" and print a pattern {like I did}.  If you are using a large scale printed fabric like I did, you want a bird with a chunky little body so that you can see as much of the design as possible.  

Find the center of your main fabric piece {both length and width-wise} and decide where you want the bird to sit on your pillow.  Pin the bird to the fabric and stitch it in place.  I used a straight stitch following the outline of the bird because I like my edges to fray a little bit.  For a more finished edge, use a tight zig-zag stitch and go around the outer edge.

Step 3:  Thread sketch the nest and branch.

Bird Appliqé Pillow with Thread Sketching technique at /
You can lightly sketch your design in pencil, draw it on with an air-soluble fabric pen, or just go to town with no pre-planning at all {which is what I did.}  Like I said before, I highly recommend reading through this tutorial before beginning.  I am really tempted to pick my pillow cover apart and add some more grungy detail to that nest and add some more sketchy details to my bird.  As it is, though, I'm pretty pleased with it.

Step 4:  Sew pillow cover together.

Bird Appliqé Pillow with Thread Sketching technique at /

{Please pretend that this is the white pillow we are working on, instead of the coral pillow from the other day, OK? I got lazy and didn't take pictures of both when I was sewing.}  Make a narrow rolled hem on each of the short edges of your pillow fabric, then lay the fabric out right side up on your table.  Fold each end into the center, laying one end on top of the other so they overlap by about 5 inches, as shown above.  Pin the fabric in place along each unfinished edge, then flip the pillow cover over to make sure your embroidered design is centered .  Make adjustments if necessary, then stitch each edge closed with a 1/2-inch seam allowance {shown by dashed lines above}.  To reinforce the edges, stitch the areas marked with dotted lines -- the part where the fabric flaps overlap -- again.

Turn the pillow cover right side out and insert pillow form.

Bird Appliqé Pillow with Thread Sketching technique at /
Voila!  I like the way these two pillows coordinate with each other and make my porch feel so bright and inviting.  Thread sketching is really a lot simpler than I thought it would be -- which means you might be seeing it turn up again in some future projects!  I have another fun bird-related project on the porch that I can't wait to share with y'all soon!

Thanks for stopping by!


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