Burlap Pillow Ensemble


This tutorial provides instructions for creating the companion pillows appearing in PaintWorks Magazine April 2014 Issue.  The magazine article features the rectangular pillow with the hand-painted dogwood blossoms panel.  The decorative panel overlay is attached with buttons allowing you to change it with the seasons.

I have provided you with the total fabric requirements at the beginning then the cut size with each pillow.  The process for each pillow is complete so you won't have to skip back and forth for repeated techniques.
 
Fabric (enough to make all three pillows)
 1/2 yd. Sage Burlap
 3/4 yd. Paisley Romance/Scattered Dot (Cream Multi)
 1/3 yd. Paisley Romance/Gingham (Grey)


Preparing the Burlap

New burlap is strong smelling and stiff so I opted to wash  mine before creating anything with it. Additionally, the sizing present in new fabrics inhibits paint adhesion and I wanted to stencil on the burlap.  Washing removes the sizing and significantly softens the burlap making it easier to work with.  Wash the burlap prior to cutting to size.  

There are a few things you should consider if you choose to wash your burlap.  First, it is incredibly linty.  Be sure and wash it alone and wipe out the inside of the washer when it is done.  Second, it is a loose weave and will fray extensively.  Be sure and allow extra for trimming to size. The frayed strings will tangle together and you will need scissors to cut these off.  Alternatively, stay-stitch the perimeter of the burlap before washing to reduce fraying. Third, do not use any fabric softener.  You can line-dry the burlap or use the dryer but it will leave a lot of lint in the dryer so be sure and clean it out.  Iron the burlap.  Do not use any starch or sizing when ironing.  This process will make your burlap more user-friendly.  



Cutting the burlap straight

Burlap's loose weave makes it hard to cut straight leaving short strands that fray off the edge while you work.  The simple solution is to pull a single stand from the burlap to define your cutting line.  This creates a visible line along the straight grain of the fabric for you to cut.  I also use this method to mark the fold line for hemming.



Large Pillow

 [1] 16"H x 16"W  Paisley Romance/Scattered Dot (Cream Multi)
 [2] 16"H x 12"W  Paisley Romance/Scattered Dot (Cream Multi)
 [1] 16"H x 11"W Paisley Romance/Gingham (Grey) plus scrap to cover button
 [1] 6-1/4" x 16" Sage Burlap

General Supplies

 16" Pillow Form
 16" 7/8" wide Grosgrain Ribbon Brown 
 32" 3/8" wide Grosgrain Ribbon Grey
 Matching Thread for fabric and ribbons
 [1] 1-1/2" Dritz Half-Round Fabric Cover Buttons 
 [2] 7/8" Dritz Half-Round Fabric Cover Buttons 
 Plastic Coated Freezer Paper
 Chalk Pencil
 Glue stick
Americana Paint
 Shale Green
 Neutral Grey

RB Artiste™ Brush

 #2 Stenciler 500 series

Rebecca Baer® Stencil

 Arabesque Border-Large Stencil ST-302.L

Stenciling

Stencil the burlap panel using the Arabesque Border-Large stencil  (ST-302.L).  To do this,

Iron freezer paper to the back of the burlap to stabilize it.  Place the burlap face down on the ironing board.  Position a piece of freezer paper with the plastic-coated side down over the burlap.  Iron on high using no steam to bond the paper to the burlap. Turn the burlap and paper face up.  You can tape this to your work surface if desired to prevent shifting.

Position the stencil at  one corner of the burlap.  Tape if desired.  Combine Shale Green + Neutral Grey 1:1.  Pick up the mixture on a #2 stenciler and wipe well on a clean, dry paper towel to remove excess paint then swirl gently over the stencil.  When the image is complete reposition the stencil to continue the pattern.  The top and bottom of the border stencil have bump-outs that overlap the last scroll to continue the pattern in either direction.  Repeat the border along the other edge of the burlap as shown.  If you get paint on the segments of the stenciling that extend into the center between the two rows of border it does not matter.  The center will be covered by ribbon.

Embellishment

Fold under and press 1" on each long side of the gingham fabric. Center the burlap over the gingham. Pin or tack using the glue stick.  Draw the brown grosgrain ribbon over the glue stick and center the ribbon on the burlap panel.  Likewise attach the grey ribbons along the edges.  

Position the embellishment off center on the front of the pillow front (the 16" square scattered dot fabric) roughly three inches from the left edge.  Stitch the layers together  sewing along both sides of each strip of ribbon.  Use thread matching the ribbon and keep the stitching as close the the edge of the ribbon as you can.  Using a lighter thread matching the fabrics stitch the gingham to the pillow front 1/4" in from the folded edge.  Fold the pillow front in half top-to-bottom to find the center and use the chalk pencil mark the brown ribbon with a dot.  This is the placement mark for the large button, however, I prefer to construct the pillow with the layers flat so I do not attach the buttons at this time.


Construction
Hem one end on both 16" x 12" pieces.  Fold over 1/2" and press. Then fold this over another 1/2" to enclose the raw edge.  Press and stitch.  The finished size of each hemmed piece is 16" x 11".

Position the layers with the right sides together and all outer edges aligned.  This will create a three-inch overlap at the center of the back.  Pin if desired.  Stitch with a 1/2" seam allowance tapering to a 7/8" allowance at the corners.  If you continue straight at the corners rather than tapering inward your pillow will have dog ears.


After stitching, snip the corners diagonally to reduce bulk and press open the seams.  It is helpful to place a rolled hand towel inside the cover when pressing the seams.  Invert the cover.  

Buttons

Cover the buttons according to package instructions.  Hand sew the large gingham-covered button in place over the dot marking the center of the ribbon.  Visually space the small scattered dot-covered buttons equal distances above and below the central button.  I used a tall, narrow spool as a spacer.  Hand-sew these to the pillow front.

Assembly

Before inserting the pillow form make sure the fill is pushed into the corners of the form.  Insert the pillow form through the opening in the back.

Small Pillow

[1] 10"H x 10"W  Sage Burlap
[2] 10"H x 9"W  Sage Burlap
[1] 5" x 11"W Paisley Romance/Scattered Dot (Cream Multi)
[1] 5" x 22"W Paisley Romance/Scattered Dot (Cream Multi)
[1] Paisley Romance/Gingham (Grey) scrap to cover button

General Supplies

10" Pillow Form
1/4 yd Paisley Romance/Scattered Dot (Cream Multi)
Paisley Romance/Gingham (Grey) scrap to cover button
[1] 1-1/2" Dritz Half-Round Fabric Cover Buttons 

Americana Paint
 Shale Green
 Neutral Grey

RB Artiste™ Brush

Rebecca Baer® Stencil
 Arabesque Background-Small Stencil ST-301.S


Stenciling
Stencil the front (10" x 10") panel using the Arabesque Background-Small stencil  (ST-301.S).  To do this, Iron freezer paper to the back of the burlap to stabilize it.  Place the burlap face down on the ironing board.  Position a piece of freezer paper with the plastic-coated side down over the burlap.  Iron on high using no steam to bond the paper to the burlap. Turn the burlap and paper face up.  You can tape this to your work surface if desired to prevent shifting. Position the stencil at one corner of the burlap.  Tape if desired.  

Combine Shale Green + Neutral Grey 1:1.  Pick up the mixture on a #2 stenciler and wipe well on a clean, dry paper towel to remove excess paint then swirl gently over the stencil.  When the image is complete reposition the stencil to continue the pattern.  This stencil has a drop repeat so it will not match straight across.  Use the irregular inner edge to align the motif.



Decorative Band 
With right sides together stitch the long sides of the  5" x 11"W scattered dot fabric together to make a tube.  Press the seam open and invert the tube.  Position the seam in the center of the band and press.

Construction
Hem one side on both 10" x 19" pieces.  Fold over 1/2" and press. Then fold this over another 1/2" to enclose the raw edge.  Press and stitch.  The finished size of each hemmed piece is 10" x 8".

Position the band, seam down, on the front of the 10" x 10" stenciled burlap.  The band should be centered top-to-bottom with the raw edges aligned at the sides.  The band is slightly wider than the pillow to allow for gathering at the center.  Simply take up the extra at the middle with a fold.  Place the back layers over the front assembly with the right sides together and all outer edges aligned.  This will create a three-inch overlap at the center of the back.  Pin if desired.  Stitch with a 1/2" seam allowance tapering to a 7/8" allowance at the corners.  If you continue straight at the corners rather than tapering inward your pillow will have dog ears.

After stitching, snip the corners diagonally to reduce bulk and press open the seams.  It is helpful to place a rolled hand towel inside the cover when pressing the seams.  Invert the cover.  


Gather the center of the band and hand-stitch.  After stitching through the gathered band as shown, wrap the thread tightly around the center several times.  Finish by stitching through the gathered center again before tying off the thread.
 

Rosette
With right sides together stitch the short ends of the 5" x 22" scattered dot fabric together to make a loop.  Press the seam open then fold the loop in half with wrong sides together and the raw edges aligned; press.

Stitch two loose (long stitch length) rows 1/4" apart just in from the raw edges.  Do not snip the threads.  Knot each pair of thread ends on the top side.  Hold the pair of bobbin threads (starting tails--one from each row) and gently pull as you work the fabric back the threads to gather it.  
When it gets difficult to keep sliding the fabric along the threads gather the rest using the threads at the opposite end (ending tails--one from each row).  Gather the fabric as tightly as possible then knot the threads and clip the tails.  At this point the rosette lies flat.

Use a hand needle and thread to further pinch and stitch gathering the center as tightly as possible leaving no hole in the center.   Stitch through the ruffles and across the center to keep everything tightly bound.  The rosette no longer lies flat.


Hand-stitch the rosette to the center of the gathered band.

Buttons
Cover buttons according to package instructions.  Hand sew the large gingham-covered button in place over the center of the rosette.

Assembly

Before inserting the pillow form make sure the fill is pushed into the corners of the form.  Insert the pillow form through the opening in the back.

3 comments

  1. Lovely! I like how your creative mind works! Thanks for sharing. I just pinned it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where is the pattern for the dogwoods

    ReplyDelete
  3. The pattern for the dogwoods is featured in the April 2014 issue of PaintWorks magazine.

    ReplyDelete

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