Saturday, September 15, 2012

Heather's pillow

Last Christmas I decided I wanted to make something special for my little sistar*. We are very close in age & shared a room for the majority of our childhood. In many ways we were best friends. I thought about sister quotes, but I'm not a fan of embroidering words.

If your family is like my family, there are a few iconic photographs that everyone loves & remembers. I decided I would adapt one of the images into an embroidery pattern & make a pillow. Brilliant!

I decided on one photograph. Luckily it was already scanned, so I had a digital copy to work with.

Heather & Tisha outside Nanny & Gramp's house c.1977

I printed the image out on a regular sheet of paper. Then, using pencil, I traced the objects to be included in the finished design & added embellishments.

pencil outline on copy of image above

Then, I blew up the image on the printer/ scanner & retraced the outline using black marker for most lines & black pen for fine lines.

marker & pen outline on copy of previous image

Notice how I chose to include a complete outline of the mailbox on the fence? I nixed the tree & added some cartoon flowers near Heather at the base of the fence. I chose to add the flowers because Nanny was an avid gardener & owned her own greenhouse business for many years. She eventually put a flower bed around the mailbox.

If you want a reverse of the image simply flip the paper over, & using a light box or taping it to a window, trace the image onto the back of the paper. Now you have two patterns.

reverse of previous image
Next, I traced the image on white Kona fabric using pencil (but water soluble blue marking pen works as well). I used crayons based on the colors in the original photograph & colored in little Tisha & Heather & the flag on the mailbox. Then, sandwiching the colored fabric between two pieces of paper, I ironed the crayon into the fabric (process is called "crayon tinting"). Then, choosing coordinating embroidery floss, I got to work. Since I don't sew, our mom^ made the finished square into this pillow. (Thanks Mom!)

finished pillow

* I'm not sure how this started, but my sister Emily came up with this. We are Big Sistar (Emily), Middle Sistar (me), and Little Sistar (Heather).

^ Mom's blog-

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