Crafting Throw Pillows

So after years of doing all of my sewing by hand (which trust me is not nearly as glamorous as it may sound) I FINALLY got a sewing machine. So what better way to learn to use it than a new project?

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I decided I wanted to do something simple, and that wouldn’t require a trip to the craft/fabric store so I looked in my closet and found out I had a large amount of left over felt from a previous pillow project where I had made p0rtal companion cube throw pillows.

So I decided I would make a set of throw pillows using some of the Guild Wars 2 profession logos. Since I play regularly with two real life friends I figured I would just make 3, one for each of us, with the profession symbol for each of our main characters. This meant I needed an elementalist, ranger, and warrior symbol.

First I had to find a template for the symbols. This was pretty easy, since a quick Google search led to a quite a few options to choose from. I ended up using one that was showing vinyl decals, since they were the least stylized and translated best in to templates.

Once I had decided on size and printed out my templates I pinned them to the felt and started cutting. When it came to the ranger symbol I made an executive decision to modify it a bit in order to simplify spacing it on the pillow and so forth. Originally I planned to keep all of the little pieces, and just leave small pieces of felt to help with spacing that I would cut out at the end. However after realizing just how small the “toe” pieces of the paw would get I decided to simplify the symbol a bit more and just made that one large piece that kept the same overall shape.

Once my symbols were cut I decided on the size of the pillow that they would go on. Since I wasn’t using any pillow molds and was going to stuff them by hand with polyfill I had a lot more flexibility in sizing. Since each pillow would need 2 sides (duh :p) I cut 6 squares of the lighter colored felt to serve as the actual pillow.

The next step was sewing on the symbols to one side of each pillow. First I pinned the symbols on to the felt. I did not try to get the symbols *exactly* centered and instead just eye-balled where I thought they looked best. Once each symbol was pinned down it was time to start actually sewing.

Since I am the elementalist and this was a learning project I decided to do mine first. I chose to use a lighter thread to sew the elementalist symbol on which turned out to be both good and bad. It was good because it made it very easy to learn how the sewing machine reacted to my choices, but since it was my first time using it, the light thread on the dark felt also shows how horrible I was at keeping my stitches straight etc.

When I finished with the elementalist symbol and I saw how the lighter thread looked, I decided that for the 2 pillows I would be giving to other people I *might* want to pick thread that was a bit more camouflaged, so I switched to the darker grey. Since I had already learned all the things to not do on my pillow, the second two went a lot smoother and a lot faster. I did have one mishap while working on the warrior where the bobbin decided to catch and knot up, but thankfully I managed to fix it without it showing too badly on the final product.

Once the symbols were sewn on it was time to actually make the pillows. For those of you who haven’t done that before, I’ve found that the best way is to sew the pillow inside out until you have sewn 3 sides together. On the fourth side, you want to sew just enough that you can still flip the pillow the correct side out and stuff it and then finish that side by hand sewing. Since the background felt was the lighter color I decided to switch back to my lighter thread to sew the pillows together, since especially the hand stitched part had the potential to show through.

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Once I had all three pillows put together and flipped right side out I filled them. As I mentioned I did not use pillow forms, so I simply got my large bag of polyfill and started stuffing. I have a tendency to stuff pillows pretty full when using polyfill, since as the get used the polyfill does tend to compress and I find it really frustrating when one of my hand made pillows goes flat.

The last step was the hand sewing. I left extra thread when I pulled each pillow off the machine, and used that to sew the last few inches. I have yet to figure out a way to stitch the last bit to make it completely invisible, but I am sure that someone out there has posted the best way to do that.

Finally the finished products! They aren’t super fancy but I thought they were a fun learning project and hopefully will be well loved by their recipients!

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