If you’ve been following my blog recently, you know we have been smack in the midst of sending my oldest of to college…like yesterday. Since she and her roommate chose a white/gold color scheme, with splashes of navy and hot pink, we’ve been blinging up all sorts of things around here. Most recently, we recovered a storage cube to make it work with their room.
I’m not exactly sure the genesis of this pillow, but at some point along the road, there was a ‘Hey mom, could you make a gold monogram letter pillow for my room?”, followed by a “Sure I can do that!” (I am a mom after all).
We decided on a big blocky ‘K’ monogram using gold metallic thread. I pointed out several options for filling in the monogram and she chose to have the ‘K’ filled in with french knots. Not at all difficult, but suffice it to say that I’m officially ‘french knotted out’ for a while. The pillow took me probably 8 days, start to finish, working on it in the evenings while Terry and I watched “The West Wing”.
Which reminds me, how did I miss this show when it was out originally? It is fantastic! The writing and casting…spot on. Terry and I thrilled to still have 100 of the 154 episodes to watch on Netflix. Bring on the binge watch.
DIY Monogram Letter Pillow Material:
Fabric depending on the size you choose. Our pillow is small, 12″ by 12″, so I got 1/2 yard of fabric. Specifically, I chose a white Kona cotton.
Embroidery Hoop I used a 6″, but it would make sense to get a larger one that would encompass all your letter. It got difficult to keep the hoop on towards the end when it had to go over the part of the fabric that had all the french knots.
Initial that you want to use. Kate searched the internet and sent me this one. I didn’t realize until today that this was a link for a wooden letter sold at WalMart, we just printed off the image and it worked great. I pasted the letter into a word document and enlarged it as much as possible. As I was working with 8.5″ by 11″ paper, I was limited to an image that was right about 8″. I’d imagine if you needed it bigger you could either cut and paste it or send the image to a printer and have them print it on a larger piece of paper.
Embroidery Stabilizer – I did not use this, but if I make another pillow I think I will as I think it would prevent your work from rolling
Once you have your image the size you need it (see last bullet point above) you need to transfer it to your fabric. I’ve used several methods in the past, but this time I used some Singer Dressmaker’s Tracing Paper that I had at home. The blue didn’t transfer at all, but the yellow worked enough. I’m seriously not a fan of this stuff. In the past I just rubbed pencil on the back of my image and then traced and that seemed to work just as well if not better.
At this point you can begin your embroidery. I first outlined the letter using the, wait for it, outline stitch! Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials has a great explanation. By outlining first, you make sure all your knots stay in the lines.
Then the fun starts…many, many, many french knots. Sarah has another great explanation, the only difference being that I wrapped my thread 3 times around, instead of 2. In fact, I produced a little ‘movie’ to show you how to do french knots…think you might see it at Sundance!
My work ‘curled’ on me, which I think might be prevented by using the peel away stabilizer referenced above. However, after washing it, I was able to iron it flat without diminishing my many knots. That being said, I think I will try the stabilizer next time.
Then I made my work into a pillow with gold fringe trim.
As I was using a 12″ square pillow form, I cut my fabric into 2- 13″ squares, centering the K.
I sewed the fringe on the front of the back piece, with the fringe facing towards the center of the fabric.
Then I sewed the two pieces together, with the front of the K facing the front of the back with the fringe in between. I did leave a small, maybe 5″, opening to stuff the pillow in the cover.
I sewed the opening closed and Ta Da!
I added a little something on the back, just so my sweet baby girl always remembers.
Kate is thrilled, so I am thrilled.
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