Sunday, January 18, 2015

Feb. 14 Hugs & Kisses Stencil Valentine Pillow Project

Bring the warmth of Valentines Day celebrating
into your home decor
with this new stencil design.
Cut a maximum 11.65 x 11.65 size square of vinyl,
weed out the "objects" leaving openings
where the paint applied by daubing or spraying
will transfer through to pillow panel
or commercially made pillow front.
Mask off areas for first and second stenciling paint colors,
then apply.

This tutorial will describe and visually show steps
to create a 16x16 spray paint-stenciled pillow
with zipper in seam and edge welt piping.
 1. Prepare the stencil. Use a 12x12 square of regular transfer vinyl (or clear stencil vinyl, if preferred) placed in your cutting tool. Prepare the cut file job and send to the cutter, centered on the screen cutting mat. I prefer to load my vinyl onto a cutting mat to cut, just as mental security.

(The original file opens at the max size for a 12x12 mat. Re-size if desired.)

2. Remove vinyl sheet from cutting mat. Weed away from the sheet the letters, numbers and symbols (all the shapes that you want to show up in the finished project as "paint".

3. Place transfer paper sheet over the front of the weeded stencil panel. Rub with scraper tool to make sure that all the vinyl parts will stick to the transfer paper.

4. Turn the stencil face down and carefully remove the paper backing for the vinyl.

5. Position the stencil assembly, centered, onto your fabric panel (or commercial pillow cover front) and press in place well with the scraper tool. Since this project is a finished size 16x16 pillow, my fabric panel is roughly 18x18, to be trimmed down to size later.

6. Carefully pull back the transfer paper layer, making sure that all edges remain attached to the fabric, including the "O" centers, and other small interior bits.
(I believe this is the most tedious part of the process.)

7. Mask off the edges around the stencil vinyl panel so that all of the fabric panel is protected from paint. Use strips of waste cardboard or chipboard, or several rows of masking tape as is used here.

8. Decide which color to stencil first, and mask off to protect the other areas that will NOT be painted with the first paint application.

(For my project, I will paint RED first, so I have masked off all the XOX rows.)

9. Apply the paint evenly for thorough coverage. It may be best to apply one medium coat, allow paint to dry according to packaging directions, then re-apply a second medium coat. Allow to dry.

NOTE: with a vinyl stencil on fabric, spray paint application is usually better than brush and cream paint, since the "grab" of the vinyl to the fabric may not be secure enough for the abrasive action of the brush, and the final stencil edge may not be as crisp as desired.

10. Remove the second color masking. Mask the first color area.

11. Apply the second paint color as described in step 9.

12. Remove the stencil from the fabric panel. (This is the FUN part, of course.)

The remainder of this tutorial deals with construction of a pillow.

13. Mark the fabric for the pillow front cutting lines. Include the seam allowances as shown in the panel, left, with an extra 1/4" included in the bottom zipper seam edge.

For my 16x16 pillow, the fabric is cut 17" wide x 17.25" top-to-bottom.

14. Prepare piping. More conventional preparation uses bias fabric strips. For my project, I am using 1.5" wide red grosgrain ribbon to enclose the 1/4" upholstery cotton welt cord. For a 16x16 pillow, use 2 yards of ribbon and of welt cord.

Place the welt cord at the center of the "backside" of the ribbon, then fold the ribbon "backsides" together to enclose the cord. Bring ribbon edges together. Use a matched thread and long stitch to "baste" next to the cord "bump". Keep the stitching consistently next to the welt cord bulk along the full length of the cording.

15. Cut the lead edge straight across. Position the end at the 1/2" ahead of the center of the bottom, zipper edge of the pillow FRONT, with stitching 3/4" in from the edge ON the seamline. Use regular length stitching to stitch the bottom edge piping.

16. Stitch across the left bottom half of the pillow front panel. As you approach the first corner, snip the welting seam allowance at the side edge seam allowance 1/2" from the panel edge.

17. Stitch to the corner, insert the needle at the corner and pivot to align the welting along the left side edge to continue the application process. Adjust stitch length longer to a "basting" length. Complete left side, top and right side edge welt application. At the sides and top edges, the welt basting stitching will be placed at the 1/2" seam line.

18. As the welt application approaches the bottom right corner, measure and snip the welt seam allowance 3/4" from bottom panel edge.

Stitch to the corner at the 3/4" seamline, pivot, and adjust stitching from basting to regular stitch length. Continue the bottom edge welt application. Pause approx. 1 to 1.5" from the lead end of welting.

19. Prepare to SPLICE the welt ends.

a. Cut excess welt cord length a 5/8" to 3/4" beyond the lead end straight cut. 

b. Un-do the stitching of cut welt end to a point slightly farther than the lead end cut.

c. Trim away cotton welt cord so that it will abut exactly with the lead end cotton cord.

d. Fold the ribbon cut end under 1/4" or slightly more to create a clean finish for the splice joint.

e. Tuck the lead end in at the cut cord end while enclosing it between the cut end of the ribbon.

f. Complete the stitching across the splice area, then angle the stitching toward the panel edge and sew off the edge.

20. Fold back the 3/4" seam allowance of the BACK pillow panel BOTTOM edge.

21. Line up the bottom edges and corners of the FRONT and BACK panels. Pin together at corners.

Measure 2 to 2.25" in from corners and mark with a straight pin through all layers. 

22. Sew each of the short end seams marked in step 21, backstitching two times to lock at the zipper opening end of each short seam. Stitching should be on top of the basting stitching that attached the piping to the front panel. 

23. Apply the zipper.

Open the zipper. Place the top stop of the LEFT side, face down over the piping on the FRONT pillow side of the seam opening. Place the zipper's teeth so that they are a scant 1/8" beyond the piping stitching line. The teeth edge will be riding up on the welt cord bulk.

24. Stitch down the center of the zipper teeth across the opening to a point approx. 1/2" beyond the beginning of the opposite short seam stitching.

25. Reposition the BACK panel's fold edge under the teeth, and adjust so that the back edge is smooth and even. Close the zipper.

26. Lift the back seam allowance to align the cut edge with the zipper tape. Tape should be slightly below the cut edge. Pin ends, center, and then between, taking care that the zipper tape and pillow edge are smooth and even, without gapes or tucks.
Open the zipper.

27. Re-pin the tape, cut edge and panel behind the cut edge all across the zipper length.

28. Open the front and back panels and lay the assembly face down on the sewing machine table top. Stitch through the zipper tape, seam allowance that was pressed back, and panel back, locking the stitching at the beginning and end of the seam. Stitching should start approx. 1/2" before the zipper opening on each end.

There is no need to pivot and stitch across the zipper ends with this application method.

29. Fold the front and back panels face sides together and line up side and top edges exactly. Pin.

30. Stitch the layers together, following the basting stitching line that attached the welt cord to the front originally. Lock stitch at the beginning and end of the seam. 

31. Turn the pillow cover face side out, and work the corners out completely. Finger press the welt seam to give the pillow cover its best finished look.

Insert pillow form, and close zipper.

Your pillow project is complete!

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