Jeremy’s Grandpop celebrated his 90th birthday this week. We struggle at all holidays for gifts for Grandpop. A man who has lived 90 years already has everything he wants, and in most cases, he has several of them. Lucky for us, I’m an “artist”. I can make stuff, and he likes it, even if it is silly.
I decided on a monogrammed pillow. Grandpop loves things with his initial prominently displayed. I pulled up a fancy drop cap D from Daily Drop Cap. I dithered over fabrics for a while, thinking of cutting this out and doing an appliqué treatment. Nothing felt right.
After a shower, the best place for ideas, I remembered the letter N I had quilted on my Mom’s Florence Flamingo quilt. I was off to the races.
I pulled black sateen from the stash for the front of the pillow. I used muslin for the back of the front panel (it will only show inside the pillow.) I layered on 80/20 Hobb’s batting*, followed by a layer of Hobb’s wool*.
I loaded up Darla with some Fantastico variegated green thread. (This is #5054, Dixie Forest.) It has a lovely sheen, and I really enjoy working with variegated thread.
I pressed the panel, then pressed it into quarters, giving myself a center mark to line up my template. I cut out the D and placed it over my registration marks.
Using my Bohin fine point chalk pencil*, I traced the letter.
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Stitching around it was next. I got very excited and took a lot of photos at the beginning. Watching the texture develop when I’m stitching on double batting is intoxicating. I was a little concerned about my wobbly stitching lines, but it all came together at the end.
After going around the outside, I cut apart the letter and traced different pieces. I knew I wasn’t going to copy it exactly, but I really like the shape. Each section was traced then stitched. The great thing about the chalk pencil is that as you go over the line the chalk bounces off. No need to wash!
So, I forgot to take pictures of the next steps, because I was riled up over how well it was coming along. I filled in the spaces I had broken out. Rather than go for straight lines and circles, I did a wavy line.
I stippled the background around the letter, filling tightly to make the letter really pop. It looked a little bland, so I went over the outside lines several times with the green thread. That helped disguise how wobbly my first pass was, and it gave the thread a chance to shine.
This is the back of the panel. I used up an old bobbin of blue thread just to get rid of it. It is interesting to see how different it looks with the white background.
I used a green and gold striped fabric for the back. I did a simple envelope finish – the only one I know how to do, and included a Dizzy Quilter tag.
This is the finished pillow. I totally forgot to take a photo of the back. Who cares about the back anyway? I make it presentable, nothing more. I do want to learn how to add snaps to the back, and maybe piping around the outer edges. I’ve got to take my pillow game to the next level.
This is the birthday boy, with his outlandish balloons and his pillow. He’s wearing a special birthday badge on his suspenders. He’s a doll.
Finally, Oscar was very excited when I started taking photos of the pillow. He’s such a clown. He had been snoozing on the sofa, but the minute I got down on the floor for a good angle, He hopped down to ham it up.
I’m really happy with how well this idea turned out. It was easy, relatively quick, and I think the quilted panel could be used in different applications. Pillows, tote bags, and even the centerpiece to a quilt. There may be new products available in my Etsy shop soon!