I had marked this embroidered table runner tutorial a while ago and thought it would be perfect for my stepmom, who loves the stars. I ended up doing pillows instead, because they seemed more useful for everyday.
I mostly followed the tutorial instructions, which didn't require much embroidery skill once I retaught myself to tie a french knot. I picked up a remnant of navy blue cotton (these would be beyond good in a dark blue linen, but I didn't have time to search it out), a couple skeins of silvery grey embroidery floss and two 20x20" pillow inserts from Ikea (do not get their poly fill pillow inserts because they are terribly depressing - the down inserts are great and inexpensive). I used silver sequins for the stars in the actual constellation and scattered in a few silver beads as well.
I didn't use the actual template from the tutorial because I specifically wanted Sagittarius and Cancer only. I wasn't expecting it to be so difficult to find a definitive image of the constellations! They vary a lot. I ended up using images from this site because it seemed a little more authoritative than the others and the images were nice and clear. To make it easy to print, I opened each image in Illustrator, locked the layer and then added dots wherever the stars were and lines as indicated. Then I deleted the image, which left me with just the black dots and lines. I traced it on the fabric as indicated in the tutorial (using chalk sheets, which I'd never used before - they're handy!).
After I finished embroidering the pillow fronts I made simple envelope pillow cases using this tutorial. I have a zipper foot packed up in my stuff but this was easier than trying to find it. I should probably have added a little button on the back but I didn't.
Sorry - no close ups! I was taking these pictures super last minute before stuffing the pillows in a giant gift bag.
I'm happy with how they turned out and it was a fairly simple project. And now I want to get much, much better at embroidery. I'm thinking needlepoint portraits for next year? I better get started now.
You did an amazing job! They look fantastic. I do think you could have gotten away with stuffing them with a One Direction pillow from Walmart. (You'd have to read my blog to understand that one.)ReplyDelete
Ha - I remember that post! I briefly contemplated getting a random pillow to use as an insert but figured it might be weird when my parents took the cover off to wash it. : )Delete
I read your blog, too, Jules, and I remember this post. So funny, and the pillowcase is beautiful!Delete
Thanks so much for posting links to "authoritative" pics of the constellations. I actually have been wanting to embroider constellations on paper (as I've been really into hand embroidering lettering onto paper cards for bdays, etc), but I got overwhelmed during google searches to find the most legitimate representations. But seeing this post has inspired me to give it another go. I might have to sub the sequins out of laziness/lack of need for other projects, but they would look a lot nicer than prob just sewing circles or asterik shapes.ReplyDelete
Also, I love the density you've achieved using French knots. I really need to practice these since I've always been terrible with French knots (no idea why it's so difficult for me).
So I can't guarantee that the images on that website are "accurate" but it was the only one I could find that actually had names of the stars, etc, so it seemed best! You're right - the google search was overwhelming and some of the constellation images don't even vaguely resemble each other!Delete
I tried it without the sequins first because I couldn't find them, just did clusters of french knots for the stars and it didn't look nearly as nice or clean. : (
I ended up pulling them out because I finally found the tiny package of sequins I was sure I had lying around. They actually came with my sequined shrug and I held onto them! Advantages to being a hoarder, I guess.
Oh! And I meant to say - I was having a terrible time with french knots at first and finding a good image made a huge difference.Delete
This is the most helpful diagram I've found and it improved my knots immediately.
oh my life, my son would absolutely love these! fab!ReplyDelete
Those are very very cool!ReplyDelete
bah, i love them (and you know i appreciate diligent research)! on needlepoint, perhaps that can be our next project challenge? i treasure you as a motivator, and i haven't completed a portrait project in far too long.ReplyDelete
Yes! I've never attempted needlepoint and I have a dream of a gift that would be perfect for my sister for Christmas. It will probably take me all year so I should maybe get started now.Delete
Those turned out great! I may end up copying your idea - I want to get back into my embroidery/needlepoint, too!ReplyDelete
It's been a while since I've come by your blog for a visit, so I'm so happy to see that you're still at it! I love these pillows. Great job!ReplyDelete
These are gorgeous! What a great idea, I bet your stepmom loved them :-)ReplyDelete
Oh, what a brilliant idea! That's so romanticReplyDelete
I made a constellation pillow for my roommate for Christmas! It's a bit different stylistically than yours, but it was really fun and I love how it came out.ReplyDelete
wow! these are so beautiful!ReplyDelete
Thanks for showing this lovely project - I really wanted to do this but had such difficulty finding the constellations (would you believe, Sagittarius and Cancer?!!) that I gave up… I will follow your links and maybe this is an idea for all my close family for next year!! :)ReplyDelete
Wow, I love these pillows and think they would be great in a kids room as well as on a couch. Really beautiful!ReplyDelete