Friday, September 9, 2011

Wedding Ring Pillow

One of the projects I took on for our son's wedding was to create a ring pillow for the big day.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate some of the flowers from my mother's wedding veil headpiece but it took me quite a while to come up with a plan for the pillow.  I finally decided that I needed to make the whole pillow from vintage materials to go along with the 64 year old flowers.

The wedding colors were gold and blue and when I searched through my stash of old linens I was excited to find two small linen doilies with tatted edges, one in blue and one in gold.  I don't know for certain who did the tatting but there were many talented needleworkers in our family in earlier generations.  I liked the slightly rough texture of the linen and the contrast with the fine tatted edges.

One important part of the pillow was the initials of the bride and groom.  They chose a special font called "Estilo" for all of their paper items and I needed to carry this over to the pillow as well.  The font has an Art Deco/1930s look and the lines are very straight with a few slight curves.  This made it easier for me to work with since my embroidery skills are very rusty!

You may remember the thank you note cards that I designed for them - this was the first of many printed pieces that I created for the wedding and rehearsal dinner.  You can see the post about the note cards HERE.

Since it was important to use this particular font, I was not able to use the Cricut for any of the projects I made for the wedding.  Fortunately, my Silhouette SD will allow me to use any font for printing or cutting so I was able to produce many items in the Estilo font.  I'll show you some of the paper items in another post.  I planned out the placement of the letters using the Silhouette Studio software.  If I had been using a Cricut font I could have done this with the Gypsy or Design Studio.  I measured the doily and placed a 6 inch guideline circle on the mat and then chose a letter height that seemed to fit comfortably.  I also added some flowers to represent the flowers from the veil headpiece.

The Estilo font has an unusual ampersand so I decided to use the simple plus sign instead.  This is a screen shot of the cut the I made for my embroidery pattern.  I used freezer paper and placed it on the mat shiny side down.  Since this was a simple cut I wasn't worried about slipping but, in some cases, you might want to add some tape to hold the paper in place.  The waxy, shiny side of the freezer paper can easily be ironed to fabric for stenciling or embroidering and it will remove cleanly when you are done.

Here you can see the freezer paper ironed to the linen.  The initial cuts show me where to embroider.  I tried to line the letters up with the weave of the fabric to make it easier to get even stitches.

The paper did not stay stuck down when I was working so closely with my needle but it was simple to hold it down to see when to stitch.  I could also give it a few taps with the warm iron to get it back into place as needed. 

Once the initials were completed I simply peeled off the paper to reveal the embroidered letters.  The texture of the linen with the natural slubs made it a little difficult to get perfectly even lines but that just added to the handmade/antique look.

Once I had the top layer finished, I needed to add some stuffing and sew the back to the front.  I cut some warm and natural batting (a soft thin batting) in two circles that were just under six inches and then cut a few more circles of about four inches to stack between the larger layers.

I stitched along the outer edge of the linen with quilting thread in the same linen color.  This is the back of the pillow (I later added a piece of ivory ribbon as a handle for the ring bearer to hold onto).

The stuffing was not very thick - just enough to give it a bit of a shape.  I didn't want to end up with a round ball and I had decided against trying to add sides to the pillow.  The ring bearer was only two years old so I didn't want this pillow to be too large.

I sewed on a piece of gold satin ribbon to use to tie on the rings.  In the end, we decided to use "dummy" rings and let the best man hold on to the actual rings.

This photo was taken with a flash and may show the true colors a bit better- the actual color is probably somewhere between these two photos. 

I attached the delicate old flowers with embroidery floss, stitching through a few times to secure each flower and then wrapping it around the petals.  There was an unattractive bump in the centers that the embroidery floss did not cover so I added a gem sticker to each flower center.  This adds a bit of sparkle to the project (I do love a bit of sparkle!).

Using software to plan out the placement of the embroidery and then cutting the freezer paper as a template made this project much easier to complete.  I always like finding different ways to use my die cutting machines.

Thanks to everyone for the advice about the cat.  Jelly seems to be settling in nicely and has ventured out into more parts of the house.  She likes to sleep under chairs so I have to be careful before rocking or reclining!  I hope you all have a great weekend - I'll be headed down to Pennsylvania to see my Dad.

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  1. You are a woman of MANY talents, Diane. It turned out so beautiful and I'm sure it will be a special keepsake for them.

  2. Just love the wedding pillow. What a wonderful keepsake.

  3. Your new daughter in law is so lucky to have such a talented Mother in law. I can see many years of keepsakes coming from you to them.

  4. I am so impressed by all the special touches you have added to this wedding. Your Son and Daughter in law are very lucky! I hope they appreciate all the time and effort that went in to making their special day a wonderful memory! Glad the cat is settling in!

  5. yes, we are all fortunate to have Diane as a part of our family! Thanks Diane for all the amazing, creative and beautiful crafts and decorations you created!

  6. This is gorgeous and so so special, it will be a very treasured but passed on piece.
    Kim xXx

  7. Just beautiful. A perfect addition to the wedding and it it family heritage all the way.


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