Birds Of A Feather {simple DIY embroidered pillow}

Sis has the cutest little Pottery Barn Kids bedding in her room. The style is called “Penelope,” if memory serves.

00 swaddle to pillowcase upcycle

Well, the little pillow sham I made a while ago compliments the set really well… But when I went to change her pillow sham this week, she said she didn’t want this one because “it doesn’t have birdies on it.”

bird embroidered pillow 01

[Here is a shot of her PBK Penelope quilted pillow sham.. with birdies.

Well, I’d just love to act like I was all put out and huffy over that, but really I was more like, “You want a birdie on your pillow? I love that! Let’s do it!”

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[Since the sham was in the wash,] she chose a birdie she liked from her quilt and we set to work!

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Hello, simple shape! This one’s hard to mess up if you want to give it a whirl, really! I cut a scrap of pale pink microcord, same color but different material from the ruffle on this pillowcase, in a sort of half moon.

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I cut the edges with pinking sheers then left them raw. I pinned it where I wanted it on the pillow and sewed it on about 1/4″ from the edge all the way around.

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Then i grabbed my borderline-ridiculous stash of embroidery floss and set to work with a pretty pink and a light tan for all the details.

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For the beak, I started at the top of the beak, close to the head, sewing from the back down to the center. Then I pulled the thread up at the bottom of the beak and back to the center again. I continued this pattern, sewing from the inside to the inside of the beak, gradually making my stitch length smaller so the beak would end in a point.

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For the eye, I just did a few basic stitches close to each other. Then for the wing, legs, and tail feathers, I used a simple embroidery technique:

bird embroidered pillow 08I started my [knotted off end] thread under the fabric and pulled it through where I wanted my leg (wing, feather) to begin. I did the first stitch normally, but I came back up where I wanted my next stitch to end. Then I pulled my needle back to the underside right where my fist stitch ended. When I came back up, I did so two stitch-lengths later…

BASICALLY, I went two steps forward underneath, then one step back on top, always pulling my thread up where I wanted the next stitch to end.

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So here it is again with the feather. I am coming up past the stitch that is still loose, and once I’ve pulled that thread, I will plunge back down through the end of the last complete stitch (then back up two stitch-lengths later).

bird embroidered pillow 19'

[Here are the tail feathers after a wash.]

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This was a fast and easy project to complete. Hooray!

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The boss checked my work and heartily approved.

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The great thing for me, too, about leaving these edges raw is that I knew they would just get the teensiest bit ruffled in the wash.

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But I knew this birdie would be okay with getting her feathers in a ruffle.

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I just love a good frayed edge!

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I imagine the bit of fray to be downy soft feathers. BUT if that’s not your thing, it would be really easy to zig-zag stitch around your bird body or use the same technique I used for the little boy tie shirt to get finished edges.

bird embroidered pillow 16'

Now this pillow REALLY goes with her bedding.

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And that sweet girl must have thanked me about a gazillion times since then for putting a birdie on her pillow.

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You’re welcome, Sis. xoxox

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3 responses to “Birds Of A Feather {simple DIY embroidered pillow}

  1. Pingback: Onesie To Monogrammed Applique Pillow {upcycle} | CampClem·

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