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Monday, December 6, 2010

Cross-Stitch Christmas Pillow

This is a project I've been wanting to do for literally years!! I made this cross-stitch picture the winter of 2004. It's been sitting in a zip-lock bag ever since. Yes, I'm a procrastinator!
But today is the day! My last day off was Friday, so I went shopping and finally bought the material for my pillow. The picture has red and green in it, so I chose a beautiful red fabric. I bought a red ruffle (no I'm not that good at sewing just yet!) And I bought a pretty strip of white lace. I knew my next day off would be today - Monday - and I set everything out to be done today!
Here I am, sewing my pillow!

I really love to Cross-Stitch!! It's one of the very first "crafty" things I learned how to do - The summer I was 12, my grandmother taught me while I was visiting her in Florida. She had a bunch of those tiny ornaments in frames, mostly birds. I was bored and complaining and she thought it would be a good way to pass my time. I cross-stitched an Owl as my very first project. I was so pleased with myself and what I could do. 2 decades later I still love to cross-stitch!
So I did my picture 6 six years ago. It's very pretty. I plan to make several seasonal pillows with cross-stitch pictures I've made over the years - all just waiting for me to do something with them LOL This will be my first project.
It's always best to wash your fabric before you sew anything, just in case it bleeds or shrinks, at least that's what Mrs Howard taught me (high school home ec). I of course forgot to do this over the weekend, so I did a quick hand wash in the kitchen sink and threw it in the dryer. It needs to be ironed after it comes out.
While the material is drying I pin the lace to the ruffle and sew it on.
It takes me hours to figure out exactly how to layer the bottom (red) material, the ruffle, and the top cross-stitch piece just so in order to get it to come out right!! But finally I figure out something along these lines:
The ruffle gets pinned lace-side down on top of the picture.
The red material (back of pillow) gets pinned on top of the ruffle.
Sew along the edge of 3 of the sides, so that you are sewing all 3 layers together in one stitch, leaving at least 1/4inch seam allowance - I left 1/2 just to be safe, considering I was having so much trouble it seemed best.
Leave one side open to stuff. It will be sewn by hand.
After stitching, turn pillow inside out and be sure ruffle is free and sticking out along the edge as it's suppose to . . . yep, this is where I had my trouble! Apparently I pinned the ruffle all the way around and had the open ends both meet on a corner - a corner that I sewed. Yeah. So my ruffle was all bunched up and sewed crooked in one spot.
I pulled the stitches just in that corner . . . . And did it again!
I pulled the stitches again. Not so easy this time. Along the way I stuck myself with the needle right underneath my thumb nail. I cut a hole in my red material. I sewed a pin into the seam of the pillow. That's where the cut came in - I had to cut it out!
I cried.
I seriously thought about just cutting everything off and and buying more material and a new ruffle and starting it all over before I destroyed the cross-stitch piece - the one part I couldn't replace.
I finally got the dang ruffle right and . . .
put the whole thing down until tomorrow and watched a movie with hubby. It seemed like the sensible thing to do.

. . . . 3 Hours Later
Well I decided to give it one more go before going to bed. I felt refreshed after my movie break and when looking at the pillow, I realized, there wasn't a lot left to do. And to tell the truth, I didn't want it facing me in the morning! LOL So I tried again . . . And here it is!!
              Christmas Pillow  


Certainly not my very best work to date, but not too bad considering it was my very first attempt at a pillow and I was working with no instructions whatsoever ... not even a YouTube or eHow Video! You should see my very first cross-stitch project. And my first crocheted blanket. Not too mention my first scarf! It's all about learning and practice. I'm definitely glad I tried it - and finished it!
And I will be making more in the future!



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