Step by step
Sitting here on a blustery Saturday afternoon it occurs to me not too long ago I was developing my first pattern and shaping the first animals. Then I wonder if you, my faithful fans, would like to see some of the process involved in the making of an animal pillow.
Decide on the animal you want to make.
Sometimes it’s what I think is running low in stock. It might be a custom order or I want to use some really cute new fabric. I was just in a quilt store today - hubby and I were playing tourist - and now I can’t wait to get to my cutting table!
Find the fabrics.
This is almost the best part of the process for me. Last year I “inherited” my aunt’s stash of quilting fabric. It was sooo extensive I don’t know if I will ever get through it. Thankfully my sister Beth loves to quilt so between the two of us we may make it! I also love to go buy from my local quilt shop. Todays find was tiny sheep, tiny pigs and tiny cows!
Pin on pattern and cut out.
I actually don’t do this one so much anymore! Beth does a lot of my cutting for me of the basic animal shapes. I injured my wrist several years ago and it flares up if I do a lot of cutting. Teamwork at it’s best! But what I do cut is the details for each animal. This is where I get to play with mixing and matching the fabric.
Sew on noses, eyes, and wings.
Each animal takes different parts to make it unique. Cows get slightly different noses than a pig for example. One at a time each layer is sew on. Some animals have multiple layers. Sometime the ears are separate from the body and then it’s an additional step.
Add any hand sewing bits.
Many of the animals have button eyes. If this is the case each eye is sewn on by hand. (felt eyes can be requested) The dolls and gnomes have mouths that are stitched on by hand too. Cat’s get whiskers added at this point also.
Sew front to back.
Now I get to stitch the front to the back. Most of the time the two parts are cut out in step 2, sometimes it is done here. Especially if I am using denim for the back. I also add the ribbon tag at this point. Mostly I started adding it as a place to hang a price tag for craft shows, but now I think it adds a nice touch.
This is also the part that the feet and wings for penguins get added. Yes those are a whole bunch of penguin feet waiting to be added.
Is this step even needing an explanation? Well it’s what makes it a pillow, right? Soft and cuddly!
Sew up the hole.
I use a ladder stitch for this. It allows the thread to be hidden inside, which I like! I also discovered that certain fabrics need a different knot to hold the stitching in place. Practice makes perfect!
Embellish the pillow.
The last step is the finishing touches. It is really what makes them one of a kind. If requested or I decided to, each animal pillow gets either a bow tie or a flower. They never look quite finished until I have done this part. And now they are ready to come live at your house!
Ta Da! And that's how the magic happens!