Summer is so close! I can almost taste it. Long hot days, reading under trees, playing outside with kids, and of course….strawberries, lots of strawberries. I am getting pretty excited about summer over here. With that in mind, I sewed up this strawberry pillow for my family room.
This project combines 3 different techniques – fabric painting, applique, and sewing (with a zipper!) into one project. I love projects like this, with a bit of depth. You can layer a few different techniques to make something really unique. Create the background fabric. Cut and embellish the strawberry. Sew it together. How fun is that?
- half a yard of linen fabric
- scraps of red and green fabric for the strawberry
- 16 inch zipper
- fusible web
- Strawberry Pattern
- bronze paint (or other color for stripe and seeds on strawberry)
- colorless extender (optional – if you want to lighten your paint color)
- cup or tray to mix paint in
- 1 inch paintbrush
- small paint brush (not shown)
- masking tape
Time and Location:
This pillow project can be divided into four stages:
- Prep and cut the fabric
- Apply the paint
- Applique the strawberry
- Sew the pillow
Cut it out
Cut the linen into two 18 inch squares.
Apply the fusible web to the back of the red and green fabric. Your fusible web should come with instructions, but here is a quick how to: The goal here is to melt the fusible into the back of your fabric. Cut a piece of fusible web slightly bigger than your pattern piece. Place your fabric right side down on the ironing board. Put a piece of the fusible web on top. If you fusible is paper backed, dry iron it to the back side of your fabric. If not, cover the fusible with parchment paper and iron to the fabric. The parchment paper will peel right off when cool.
Transfer the strawberry pattern to your red and green fabric. I use parchment paper for this. You can read about the method in more detail in my Parchment Paper Magic post. Here is the gist: Use a pencil to trace the strawberry pattern onto parchment paper. Iron the side of the parchment with pencil lines to the back of the fused fabric. and peel off the parchment paper. The pattern lines will transfer with no need to reverse or cut out your pattern pieces.
Cut out the strawberry pieces.
After the stripes have been painted, it’s time to add dots to the strawberries. Use the back tip of a paintbrush, a toothpick or a pencil tip to add small random dots to your strawberry. I used 100% bronze paint (without any extender) so that these would be a bit darker. Be sure to test on scrap fabric first!
Once the paint is dry, heat set the STRIPES ONLY with a hot iron. Next position your strawberry body on top of the stripes and fuse it to the fabric by ironing on steam setting. This will also heat-set the paint on the strawberry.
Time to stitch around your strawberry. There are lots of options for the type of stitch to use here and each type will give a different vibe to your pillow. For this project, I wanted a looser, more casual feel to go with the brushy stripes. Straight stitch will give more of this feel and allow the edges to fray a bit (adding to the feel) over time.
Tip for even stitches. I line up my machine foot against the edge of the strawberry and adjusted the needle so that it was 1/8 in away from the edge. This lets me keep a fairly even width between my stitch line and the applique edge.
Make the Pillow: