Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lovebird Pillows


We love this great DIY project from Homlife. These love bird pillows will dress up any bedroom in need of an instant makeover. If you can’t find a suitable bird print fabric, however, you could use one with a butterfly print or something similar. The branch the birds are sitting on is appliquéd fabric, and some silk flowers and leaves are added to create the effect of spring blossom. The flower pillows are made using cutout fabric flowers on embroidered stems, and even the chintz-type fabric has some added silk flowers and leaves. Green sequins sewn onto all the pillows add a delicate sparkle.

Materials and equipment
Solid-colored and floral linen, for pillow covers
Cushion inserts
Scissors and pins
Long ruler, tailor’s chalk, and pencil
Set square
Fusible web and iron
Patterned fabrics with flowers and birds that can be cut out
Dark fabric, for branch
Silk flowers and leaves
Embroidery needle and floss in yellow and pink
Sewing needle and sewing thread
Green sequins and yellow beads
Green embroidery floss, or sewing machine and machine embroidery thread

1. For each pillow cover, cut from the linen a rectangle twice the length of the pillow plus 15cm and the width plus 3cm. Using tailor’s chalk, mark the main elements of the design on the right side of each fabric piece. 

2. For the bird pillow, iron fusible web to the wrong side of the bird fabric and the wrong side of the dark fabric for the branch. On the backing paper of the fusible web ironed to the dark fabric, draw a branch (remembering that it will be the mirror image of the final design). Cut it out. Also cut out the birds from the bird fabric. Remove the backing paper and iron the branch and then the birds in position on the right side of the linen.

3. Pull the silk flowers and leaves off the stems. Sew the flowers in place on the branch using cross stitch and yellow floss to create stamens in the flower centers. Sew the leaves in place on the branch, using running stitch in green thread down the centers. Sew sequins to the linen.

4. For the floral-patterned pillow, sew on additional silk flowers with little yellow beads in the centers. Sew sequins to the linen.

5. For the flower pillows, embroider green vertical stems with tiny leaves either by hand using running stitch or backstitch, or by machine using zigzag stitch. You could also sew on a strip of green sequins to make a wider stem.

6. Cut out some flowers (and leaves if you wish) from fabrics and iron fusible web to the wrong side. Remove the backing paper, and iron them to the tops of the stems. If you wish, you could use free machine embroidery to stitch over the centers and stems and to add the outline of another flower or two.

7. Pull flowers and leaves off the stem of some silk flowers, and sew the leaves to the embroidered stem using running stitch and green thread down the centers. Sew the silk flowers in clusters at the top of other embroidered stems, using cross stitch to create stamens in the centers. Sew sequins to the linen.

8. Complete the cover by hemming the short edges, stitching the side seams, and turning right side out.

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