Tuesday, October 6, 2015

branch and berry applique pillow covers for people I love

Handmade gifts. I sewed these two pillow covers over the course of the last month for beloved people Robyn and Leigh. And they were mailed embarrassingly late for their September birthdays. Sorry, guys.

That's what they look like stuffed with pillows. This grey one is Robyn's, shown flat:

The colors were chosen to match her decor. So if it clashes, Robyn, please feel completely free to never tell me.

While I'm showing Robyn's cover I'll throw in the other handmade item in her package (but not made by me): this pretty embroidered necklace by Skrynka. Natalka is really so friendly and handles custom orders with ease. I got one for myself a few months ago and love it. Her work is so neatly done and I dig the antiqued finish on the chain and settings.

The orangey browny cover is Leigh's, made with her family room in mind:

Covers are much easier to mail than actual pillows, you know. All this goes on the assumption that they already have handy an 18 inch pillow that needs a fall makeover. Fingers crossed, ears plugged.

Both covers were made with the same pattern. I sketched the original design small on paper (I work much better with thumbnail size) and then scanned it and scaled it way up to actual size. I printed it out and traced a cleaner copy over it with freezer paper and punched holes for placement guides.

The fabric is heavyweight canvas. The leaves were appliquéd with a zig zag and the stems were done by many passes of straight stitch machine sewing while I re-watched Dr Who series 5. (My favorite is the first episode. "You're Scottish, fry something." Prisoner zero. Fish custard!) The berries are cut from wool felt and sewn on by hand.

I always wonder when I'm in the middle of sewing these stems if there is a heavier weight of thread that I can use (like jean thread) that wont mess up my machine in the process. I'll have to look into that.

I finished the covers with the envelope backs and piping method from my pillow cover tutorial of yore. Tacky glue sure beats pins.


  1. Those are just beautiful! What precious gifts!

  2. Both pillow covers are beautiful! Such lovely fall colors!

  3. These pillows are so pretty! I am sure your friends will love them!

  4. Huh. So I thought I commented on this post weeks ago and now I see that it didn't publish, apparently. So! Thank you again for my thoughtful, lovely, creative, artsy bday gifts! You spoil me. :)

    1. Hey, Dude, haha! Thanks for being my craft victim!


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