Thursday, September 15, 2011

State of Bliss Pillow How-to

Whew! I've been sewing all week to get my pillows finished and I think I'm ready to put the sewing machine away for awhile. Or at least 'til Monday. I've been putting together the pieces to the design plan in my head one little step at a time and bringing you a few tutorials for Pillow Week that I hope have been an inspiration to you.

Here's the last little tutorial for you from my sort-of major family room makeover.

I'm calling it my State of Bliss pillow. And I think you're going to like it.

These are great for showing your love for your home state.

They'd also be great for a college student who has just left home, a friend who is moving out of state, or how about making a pair of them for a newlywed couple from different states?

Whatever you need one for, here's how to do it:

Google and print out an outline of your state in the size you want on your pillow.

Then, using Heat 'N Bond and a fabric of your choice, follow the instructions on the package to make an appliqué of your state and iron it onto your pillow fabric. (Once again, I chose unbleached muslin to coordinate with my other pillows.)

Next, sew a straight stitch along the outline of your state in a contrasting color.

At this point, you may decide you like your design how it is and just sew it up and go have a latte.

Or, you can choose to add the state name like I did. In that case, print out your state name in a size and font you like. I used a font called League Script #1 that I found at this site, which is a great place to find free fonts.

You'll need to make a pattern for your stitching by tracing the state name onto your fabric. In order to do this, I printed my "tennessee" out in a mirror image and then traced the name onto the back of the pillow top. I did this so my pencil tracing wouldn't show thru my stitches on the front. If your fabric is thick or dark, you can tape the pattern and fabric onto a window to get a good tracing.

Once that's done, you're ready to stitch! Yes, I mean with an actual needle and thread and embroidery floss. You can do this! Thread your needle with at least 3 strands of the floss and start sewing over the pattern. Remember, using short, spread-out stitches on the back will give you longer stitches on the front.

When you're done, the only thing left to do is sew up the pillow!

And now my sofas and chair have all new pillows and  my sort-of major family room makeover is done.

I also made an "R" pillow with the freezer paper stencil method we talked about on Monday.

Here they all are, once more...

And not only do the pillows add a little style to the family room, they're cozy too, as demonstrated by Lola.

You can catch a recap of the week of pillows by clicking here and here. And find lots more pillow inspiration by checking out my Throw Pillow Link Party here. Link yours up as well from now thru Monday.


  1. Woo hoo!!! Go Vols!!!!! This TN girl loves it!!!

  2. Really cute! Love that pillow AND the tutorial! xo Diana

  3. Hey, thanks for visiting my site! Your "state" map pillow idea is genious! I love that :) Great job ~ looks very cozy :)

  4. I love this! Great tutorial. I especially like how the colors in the pillows match your chair. You give me hope that maybe I can add a little color to my place one day.

  5. I have a bit of a pillow obsession and I love projects that have an extra meaning behind them aka not just pretty fabric. So I ADORE your pillow. I have also become a fan of applique recently so this will be a must try project. Thank you for sharing - found you @ Tidy Mom.

    Literally Inspired

  6. You are so amazingly creative and resourceful! And of course you make everything look so easy. Your family room looks great.

  7. I lOVE this pillow! We're from Alabama and moving to Delaware in three weeks and what a great way to remember our roots. Thanks for sharing this on Tatertots and Jello. I can't wait to make this!

  8. Just found you... I am your newest follower. LOVE your blog.

    ~ Meredith From A Mother Seeking A Mother Seeking...

    My City Backyard Garden

  9. Love this project!! I am such a sucker for state projects! I'd love for you to link up to this weeks Saturday Show-off!

  10. Love the Tennessee pillow! I'm a fellow Tennessean :)

    I've never really gotten the hang of the whole sewing/stitching thing, but maybe I should give it a shot and make my own TN pillow!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. You are my pillow Queen! I featured this today! Come check it out and grab a button


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