Friday, December 27, 2013

Seriously BIG Applique Name Pillow

I have only made a couple of appliqué name pillows (Kylie and Kenzie). I've wanted to do one for Annaliese but joked that hers would be the size of a body pillow since her name is so long, ha!
Then I realized she had a sad, OLD body pillow on her bed that could use a facelift. Or replacement!! So for Christmas I surprised her with a new body pillow!
I bought this super soft pillow cover at Walmart. They didn't have a lot of color options, but this worked perfectly with the current quilt on her bed. While I would have loved to use nine different fabrics, the reality is a) I would never be able to decide on nine different fabrics, and b) my mom made this quilt as a high school graduation gift for me (ahem, 20, yes TWENTY!! years ago) so nothing in my fabric stash was really going to work anyway. I did however have this one perfect fabric that had all four colors from the quilt incorporated in it, so it won!

Next I had to pick a font. I wanted something with some curls and whimsy. I wanted lowercase letters. I wanted the A to be at least 6" tall. And I wanted zig zag stitch because frankly I WAS OUT OF TIME. I started this after 8pm on December 23. Not so smart for a Christmas gift. :) But Embroidery Boutique's Swirly Applique Alphabet fit the bill! So I got to work.

First I merged it all together in Embird. Thirty-three inches wide! I intentionally placed the letters at varying heights so I didn't have to worry about precise placement on this multihooping project.
Then I saved the design in four 6x10 hoopings: An - na - lie - se. I printed templates, taped them together and laid it on the pillow. Here's an in progress picture after two hoopings:
If I were to do this project again, I would take out the side seam on the pillow and then sew it back up. But I really wanted to get to work and wasn't sure I had the time to mess with that. So I did all four hoopings by turning the pillowcase inside out and stitching through the zipper opening on one end. (I should have gotten a picture of that!) A magnified version of doing a onesie, but with LOTS of extra bulk. :)
I did use three different thread colors for the zig zag stitch. And one thing I did to save myself some headache... I waited and trimmed the letters after the zig zag was done. I had such a hard time getting the hoop on in the first place that I didn't want to mess with taking it off and on. So I had to trim carefully to not snip the zig zag stitch. Thankfully the plush factor of the minky-like pillowcase is very forgiving.
And I'll admit it was NOT fun removing the tearaway on the inside. I wish my 6x10 hoop gripped polymesh better, it just doesn't stay taut for some reason.
But it was all worth it because her reaction was priceless. It was one of her favorite gifts!
I don't think anyone could pay me enough to do this again. But as an embroidery friend pointed out, surely I'd do it again for Annaliese. :) If she wants a new one someday with new bedding, I'm sure she could talk me into it. But not anytime soon!!

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