It includes the graphic ampersand in machine appliqué, the pieced frayed-edge design, a bleached zig-zag and the original pieced chevron pillow. This collection is for the sofa in my living room which is eclectic in style but probably best described as contemporary country. The denim used for these contemporary designed pillows is a perfect addition.
My goal is five or six pillows, all different in technique but crafted from the same stack of old jeans. Four are done and I have no shortage of ideas. I am running out of old pillows to recover though.
Machine appliqué was the easiest design so far. And, just like the other three designs, I will include a tutorial. Links to the other three design tutorials are at the end. I love the ampersand as a design element and even have a Pinterest board for just ampersands. This design would be as effective with just about any number or letter as well.
Tutorial for Machine Appliqué Denim Pillow
- Computer & printer
- Sewing Machine
- Recycled Jeans, 2 pair in contrasting denim shades
- Iron-on fabric adhesive
- Create your pattern. I created mine using iDraw but any program that allows for large fonts and the ability to rotate them will work.
- Choose the character you would like to use and look through a variety of different fonts for that character in a style you like. You need to avoid anything with thin lines for this project. I made a list showing the ampersand and the title of the font. In the end I selected the Lucinda Bright Ampersand.
- I measured my pillow form and decided my design needed to be 13" square.
- In iDraw I drew a 13" square and made a very large Ampersand (500pt).
- I rotated it within the square to make the design more dynamic. Notice I also made it larger than the square.
- I printed it on plain paper. It took up four sheets....
- which I then taped together to make my pattern.
- I also selected two pairs of jeans that were contrasting denim colors. I decided to place a light ampersand on a darker background although I debated the opposite as well. Either would work.
- I cut the legs off the jeans and removed all seams and hems creating flat scraps to sew together for my pieced fabric. It took two leg backs for each color.
- I stitched the legs together making a square of dark denim and a square of light denim.
- I used Heat n Bond iron-on adhesive to hold my two layers of fabric in place. It is very easy to use and helps a lot.
- Following the directions on the package, I adhered the adhesive to the back side of the lighter denim square. I just used a iron on medium high heat and held it for 2 seconds in each area. It stiffened up the fabric and made it much easier for cutting.
- I pinned the paper pattern to the right side of the lighter fabric and carefully cut it out.
- I cut out the inner spaces as well.
- I removed the pins and the paper backing on the adhesive.
- I then positioned the ampersand adhesive side down on the front of the dark denim square.
- I pinned it in place and again ironed it. The directions said to iron for 6 seconds but with the heavy jean fabric I found it took twice that amount of time.
- Using my sewing machine, I first did a sample on a little square to establish the correct settings. I used a wide zig-zag stitch and short stitch length combined to create a satin stitch. My sewing machine is a very basic model and fancier machines will have a setting for this. It helped to practice on a scrap because if the stitch was too small, it created a puckered edge which I didn't want.
- Sew all edges of the design using this tight, wide stitch being careful to make nice square corners.
- Once done, cut your fabric to exactly the size needed for your pillow cover plus 1 1/4" to allow for seams.
- Cut a backing fabric as well. My backing is split and hemmed in the middle to allow for a velco closure but you can make any type of pillow closing you want. I like to be able to remove my covers to wash them.
- Pin the two layers together with fronts facing.
- Stitch the front to the back leaving a space to insert your pillow form.
- Clip all corners and then turn the pillow right side out.
- Insert the pillow.
- Close using the techique you decide to use.
- You have another denim pillow!
Be sure to check our my Denim Themes page as well. It is filled with hundreds of ideas for using denim in décor.
And here is a link to my Pinterest Board on Denim and Indigo. It continues to grow.
Do you have any links to interesting things you have done with denim?
©2013 AshbeeDesign, Marji Roy
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