Pillow Lettering: Cheater Embroidery

A few years ago I attended and spoke at The Conference for Creative Entrepreneurs in San Francisco. One of the speakers was the incredibly talented Lisa Congdon. She talked about her typical work day and how she schedules the multitude of projects and tasks into it. One of the things that most stood out to me is the fact that she counted daydreaming as an important element in her day. Daydreaming validated? YES! All those early school years of being chastised for doing such a non-productive activity had me feeling guilty for it. I now realize how absolutely crucial it is to my everyday creativity. Thank you Lisa.

Take time to daydream.

I’d been scheming a handmade pillow for my vintage green studio sofa and thought a little reminder to daydream would make the perfect embellishment. However, being a bit of an impatient crafter at times, I wasn’t up to the task of hand embroidering a sixteen-inch long legible sentence. Luckily, my go-to-gal, Suzy-Homemaker, was able to have the wording machine-embroidered for me by a friend of hers who had the equipment to do so. Score! (You may have a walk-in embroidery shop in your area where you can bring in your own fabric or other items for custom work.) The lettering was done on a taupe linen fabric in a dark turquoise to coordinate with the workshop tables behind the sofa. And although this quick solution was awesome, I really wanted a bit more hand-hewn look to the lettering than the standard digitized font. So, I went about stitching some very non-perfect stripes onto the existing letters with a duller blue-grey embroidery floss that helped the lettering better coordinate with the tables and metal workshop chairs. (Full barn studio-workshop photos under wraps for now… secret squirrel stuff.)CatheHoldenPillow-08This was a very quick and simple solution and I love the way it turned out.CatheHoldenPillow-03 I sewed the embroidered fabric to some soft, vintage upholstery in delicious coordinating colors, (courtesy my sister, Jennifer, who skinned a damaged/discarded funky couch.) CatheHoldenPillow-09I stuffed the pillow with down fill from a pillow form I had, but while sewing up the open end of the pillow I made a  zinger of a mess, so to cover it up I went digging for some trim in my stash of vintage textile goodies. I was so excited to find this blue vintage fringe. (And, again with the impatience-) I pulled out a bottle of Beacon Fabri-Tac and went to work. (Total cheat.)CatheHoldenPillow-01 CatheHoldenPillow-06I learned about this intensive-bonding product from my friend, Michele Hamilton of Scrappin’ Girlfriends, who swears by the stuff. If you haven’t tried it, get going. You’ll thank us both. I have absolutely no concerns about my trim pulling off, it’s that good.CatheHoldenPillow-05Here’s the finished pillow.CatheHoldenPillow-02I’ve accented it with a darling vintage embroidered pin-cushion, sans the pins.CatheHoldenPillow-07 Cuteness like this always reminds me of my dear friend Charlotte Lyons, who’s embroidery work, pattern designs and fabric collections are pure delights.CatheHoldenPillow-04

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7 Responses to Pillow Lettering: Cheater Embroidery

  1. #1 - Charlotte Lyons says:

    well, that was unexpected and so sweet! thank you, my friend. You never cease to impress, inspire and amaze me! xoxo

  2. #2 - Dorothy says:

    Such a pretty pillow! I’ll have to give that Fabri-tac stuff a try.

  3. #3 - Mary says:

    Oh, my gosh, this is gorgeous! I love the embroidery over-stitching that you added, and the backing and trim are perfect! A great addition to your studio.

  4. #4 - Yasemin says:

    Lovely colors, great handwork, lovely cushion!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Yasemin from breadpassion.com

  5. #5 - Laura says:

    I just love your clever ideas!

    I have used the phrase “secret squirrel” forever, and my kids (24, 22 and 15) all know what it means, but hardly anyone else their age does. Surprising and fun to note that you use the phrase, too.

    Laura

  6. #6 - maggie raguse says:

    Awesome as always, Cathe! And, listen, daydreaming is a KEY component to my creative process!! Validated!!

  7. #7 - magamma says:

    I like this embroidered pillow;)