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Sharing Pillow Talk

We’re back with this month’s Crafting Genealogy. Today we’re making Family Photo Pillows! I’ll bet you’ve seen this month’s project quite a few times and passed it over thinking it’s too complicated but actually it’s not! They’re small, adorable and make a fabulous Mother’s Day gift! So let’s get started.

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

Here’s what you need:

  • Jacquard InkJet Fabric sheets* – I used cotton but they have silk and other choices. It’s your preference.
  • Fabric for pillow backing – I used linen, remnants are wonderful. Choose a solid or designs.
  • Poly Fiberfill stuffing
  • Scotch Guard
  • Fusible Backing (Optional)
  • Sewing machine – Or you could make your pillows small enough to hand stitch.

I decided to make three pillows and looked through my digital images for some good family pics. I chose a black and white one, a sepia and a recent one with lots of color. I made sure the black and white and sepia pics were clear and not muddy or out of focus. I used my pics “as is” but depending on your preferences you can crop the pics, adjust the color and so forth. I did resize my images making them larger for the pillows. I decided on two portraits and one horizontal image. I thought this would make a nice pillow grouping.

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

The fabric sheets I used were 8-1/2″ × 11″ and paper backed so they went through the printer easily. After printing the fabric sheets give them a minute to dry. Next they need to be sprayed with scotch guard. Using an inkjet printer the pillow covers will smear if they get damp or wet. It’s best to spray a couple light coats of scotch guard letting them dry between coats. I was so excited to finish my project I forgot the scotch guard and had to spray my pillows after they were sewn and stuffed. I’m sure it’s easier scotch guarding them before they’re stuffed and puffed. Just remember light coats.

In between my coats of scotch guard I ironed the backing material for my pillows. Once ironed I cut my backing material for each pillow making sure each piece was about ½ inch larger than my pillow fronts.

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

When your pillow fronts are dry from the scotch guard, peel the paper off the back of the sheets. It was here that I thought the pillow fronts were a tad flimsy and needed a little reinforcement. You may not think so depending on the ink jet sheets you use. I ironed some fusible backing to each pillow front. This small step made a big difference. The pillow fronts were very sturdy after this.

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

Next I pinned the “right” sides of the pillow front and back together. I sewed three sides of the pillow leaving the fourth side open for stuffing. I trimmed any large amount of excess fabric around the pillows with pinking shears before I turned the pillow right side out to stuff. Once stuffed I hand stitched the pillow closed and viola! Here are my finished products!

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

©Cindy Freed 2014; used with permission

I’m really pleased with the way the pillows turned out. It was much easier than you might think. I’m not a seamstress but was able to easily make this project. (In fact I’ve only used my sewing machine for crafts. Honestly I don’t sew!)

* Remember to use your favorite store’s 40% off coupon and save a couple $$.

I hope you’ll try crafting your own Family Photo Pillows. If you do or even make a variation of it, please send me a pic or two. I’ll share them in a future post giving all of us even more ideas and inspiration.

In the mean time have fun Crafting Genealogy!

About Cindy Freed

Cindy Freed is a genealogist, researcher and writer. Her blog Genealogy Circle (www.genealogycircle.com) documents her personal family research as well as her continuing interest in the Civil War. Along with her monthly IDG column, Tracing Blue and Gray, Cindy is a regular contributor to 4th Ohio, First Call quarterly magazine for the 4th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry Descendants Association.
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