So, it should come as no surprise that I’ve been diagnosed with “monogrammed pillow-specific OCD”. The embroidered monogram pillow for our master bedroom was fine. Eyebrows were raised when I followed that with a french knot-filled block K pillow for Kate’s dorm room. This latest pillow for our guest room was the final straw and prompted the family to hold an intervention. I’ve promised to lay off the monogram pillows for a bit. The definition of ‘a bit’ was left undefined…yippee! Anyway, our guest room has been the focus of (some of) my attention since I hung the plate wall in the room. The plate wall was followed by repainting a lamp and sewing pillows for the bed. Getting these tasks done motivated me to really make the room a welcoming spot for our family and friend guests.
I wanted to stretch my skills a bit on this pillow and so I tackled hand-applique, a technique I’ve never attempted before. I’ve got to say that my one little letter was quite doable for someone brand new to applique. In other words, if I can do it, so can you. I spent some time researching the process and realized my skill set was best suited for the freezer-paper method of applique.
Here’s what you will need to make a hand-appliqued monogram pillow:
- Freezer Paper, found in the grocery store where parchment paper and aluminum foil are
- Your pattern. Once again, I searched the internet and found a font that I wanted to use. I typed ‘free font S’ into my google search bar and then clicked ‘images’ to see what I could honestly download and print. This is what I decided to use. You’ll notice that my pillow’s ‘S’ does not have the fancy flourish on the end…my applique skills weren’t quite up to that challenge. But I’m so o.k. with that.
- Fabric you will use for your letter
- Fabric you will use for your pillow
- Pillow form (mine is 18″X18″)
- Needle, thread and straight pins
- Iron and Ironing Board
- Spray Starch
Here’s How to Make a Hand-Appliqued Monogram Pillow:
- Print off your letter in your desired size. I re-sized my ‘S’ in Microsoft Picture Manager so that it filled a large document (8.5″ by 11″ or 1024 pixels by 768 pixels) and printed it off. My pillow was 18″ by 18″ and the ‘S’ that filled up an 8.5″ by 11″ piece of paper was pretty perfect.
- Carefully cut letter out.
- Tear off three sheets of the freezer paper, big enough that your letter will fit on it.
- Iron the three sheets together. For those of you unfamiliar with freezer paper (as I was) seems that there is some wax on one side of the paper. I put one sheet, wax side down, on my ironing board, followed by the other two, also wax side down. Then I ironed the top one (not the wax side…guessing that would make a mess of your iron). This process makes a rather stiff piece of paper.
- Turn your cut out letter backwards and placed it wax-side down on the wrong side of my fabric. Truth time…the first time I did it I did not think to turn it backwards…live and learn. Cut out your Freezer Paper Letter.
- Iron the letter onto your fabric.
- Cut out your letter on the fabric, leaving a good 1/2″ around the letter. You can always trim it later if you need.
- Using your scissors, make some cuts in the fabric so that it will curve around your letter pattern.
- Spray some starch into the lid and use your finger to dampen each cut area before you iron it down. In some areas, where I cut too close to the paper, I used somefraycheck to kind of glue the threads so that they didn’t fray. It’s a slowish process, I’d make a cut, starch it, iron it and so forth. Just have some good music or a good show on TV.
- Once you’re done, give the whole piece a good ironing, checking for any frayed areas.
- Carefully cut the freeze paper letter out from your fabric letter.
- Check again for any frays and give it another good ironing.
- Some folks recommended using an applique glue to adhere your applique to the fabric. I was doing this at 8 p.m. and had no intention of going out, so I pressed on without it and it worked fine for me.
- Pin your applique where it needs to be on your pillow fabric. I used many pins to make sure it didn’t move at all. Then it’s time to sew your letter onto your pillow. I started from underneath the fabric and had my needle go out the side of the applique and then back into the fabric right underneath where it came out on the applique. You can’t see the stitches at all.
- Sew your pillow cover together, insert your form and voila!
- It was really a very easy and relatively quick process. You could easily do it in a day, but I did mine in 2 evenings…start to finish.
I sewed two additional pillows in the pinky-red fabric to go behind the monogrammed pillow and can comfortably say that I am done sprucing up the guest room.
In addition to the plate wall, the pillows and the lamp, I made a couple other improvements to the room:
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- Used gold spray paint to jazz up a digital clock and a frame. The frame holds the WIFI password for our home which was an idea I’ve seen around the web, but most recently on BowerPower.
- Purchased a bedside carafe. I’ve been planning to add this to my guest room for well over year, but spiffy-ing up the room gave me the kick in the butt I needed to finally order it.
- I purchased the Gold Mirrored Tabletop Tray at CostPlus World Market. This tray was truly kismet. I had to go to World Market to get some green tea Mochi for my son as that was his request for his ‘birthday cake’…he’s 16, what can I say. Anyway, while there a very nice sales associate asked me if I found everything I needed, which prompted me to think that I needed a tray for this room. So I asked where the serving trays were, she took to me them and lo and behold they were 20% off! Then she asked if I was a Explorer member, which I am, as there was currently a 10% off coupon for all Explorer members which I could pull up on my phone and use that day in the store. But…and here’s the kismet part…when I pulled up my account on my phone I also had a 15% off coupon that they sent me for my birthday month! So I was able to apply both the 20% promo and the 15% off coupon on my tray. Honestly, how could I walk away??
- And finally, because I just can’t leave well enough alone, I succumbed to the call of my can of gold spray paint and hit up the luggage rack. Now this luggage rack was purely utilitarian…nothing pretty about it. But that’s not to say that it can’t be jazzed up a bit.
I used a can ofRustoleum Universal Metallic in Pure Gold which is a Primer and Paint in one spray. The black straps easily unscrewed from the frame. I was able to sew the fabric over the black netting with my 30+ year-old hand-me-down sewing machine and then I just screwed the covered straps right back on. Easy peasy.
So there you go! The vacancy sign is once again hanging after the minor remodel. I had fun upgrading this room with very minimal investment and it feels good to check something off my ‘to-do list’ that’s been there for over a year!
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