Happy November! While a lot of other bloggers are starting to decorate for Christmas, I couldn’t bring myself to skip over Thanksgiving. We have to enjoy the time we have right now and not try to hurry things along. Life goes by way too fast as it is, am I right? Plus, then we could not enjoy beautiful sights such as this.
This tree is across the street from us, and for a short time in the fall, we get to look out our living room window and enjoy the beautiful colors it changes into. This tree inspired me to make a fall leaf pillow. I hopped onto Pinterest to look for ideas and came across this post from Allison at The Golden Sycamore. This pillow is stunning but there was no way I was going to hand embroider it. 🙂 I knew I could do it on my sewing machine, so I thought I would give it a shot. I think it turned out pretty well.
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For this project you will need:
- Fabric – I used a dropcloth for the front
- Sewing machine
- Cutting mat, rotary cutter and 24″ ruler – this is optional, you can just use scissors to cut your fabric but this makes cutting fabric so much easier!
- Tear away stabilizer
- Leaf Outline
This pillow was actually pretty easy to make. Even if you don’t have any experience embroidering with your sewing machine, I think you would be able to handle it. I used a dropcloth for the front of the pillow and used some leftover orange fabric that I had on hand for the back.
First thing you will want to do is cut your fabric into two 20” (inch) square panels. Dropcloths are great because they are neutral in color and cheap! They usually come in large sizes and it can be challenging to cut those down. Here is how I do it. Fold your dropcloth in half and keep repeating until it is about the size of your 24” ruler. Cut a straight edge on one of the ends of the dropcloth. Use a yardstick to measure the 20” then using the 24” ruler as a guide, you will cut the dropcloth. Now you should have a long 20” wide piece of fabric. I cut several 20×20 panels from this to keep for future pillows.
Next you will print out the leaf. Here is the leaf outline I used. Copy the image of the leaf into a word document and make it larger. I enlarged it to about 12” tall and 13” wide. Being this large, the whole leaf is not going to fit on one piece of paper. I printed the image out on 3 pieces of paper after moving the image from side to side and top to bottom. I made sure I had the whole leaf over the 3 pieces. Overlapping them, I taped it all together so I could get one large leaf.
Cut the leaf out and measure on your 20×20 panel where you want it to go. You could just eyeball it, but we are a little particular about that stuff around here. 🙂
Trace your leaf pattern onto your pillow. I used an orange sharpie marker, just in case some of the marker showed through the stitching.
Cut out a piece of the tear away stabilizer large enough to cover the whole leaf. You will have to cut a smaller piece to cover the stem. The stabilizer will make your fabric stiffer and makes it so your fabric doesn’t pucker while you are embroidering it. Using a dry setting, iron this onto the wrong side of the fabric of your leaf drawing.
I used a dark orange thread for the leaf. Setting my machine to a zigzag stitch and using a satin stitch foot, I embroidered the leaf with a satin stitch. Here are the settings I used for stitch length and width.
Start sewing following your outline. Remember to backstitch at the beginning! Line up the arrow on your foot with the line you drew.
Just a couple tips…
- It is always good to try it first on a scrap piece of fabric to practice.
- When sewing around a curve, go slow! You always want to end with your needle down on the outside of the curve to lift your presser foot and turn it. This way you are overlapping your stitch line and not leaving a noticeable gap in the line. Stop and turn your fabric often.
- When turning corners, sew up to where the line stops and again end with your needle on the outside of the line. Lift your presser foot and turn the fabric. You will overlap the thread a little bit and that is fine.
After you are done sewing the outline of the leaf, take off the stabilizer from the back. It should tear away easily from your stitching.
Now you are ready to sew your pillow together. If you need help with that you can follow my easy zippered pillow tutorial. That’s it, now you get to enjoy your new pillow!
For even more awesomeness, pair it with a pretty plaid fall blanket, or in this case a blanket scarf. The great thing about blanket scarves are that you can use them for fashion and decor! 😉 Throughout this month I will share some more of my fall decorations, including another pillow. How about you, are you still decorating for fall or have you moved onto Christmas?
Have a wonderful day!