I have always known that I would be making a pillow for this year’s Valentine’s Day Decor. I love this one!
You probably aren’t surprised that I decided to make another pillow for my Valentine’s Day Decor.
I love painting pillows and adding free stitch embroidery. I shared painting/free stitch embroidery projects seven times already on my blog.
Can I assume that some of you have been intimidated to try this?
I have good news. This time I added a step to make it even easier to do!
And, I have joined nine other blogger to share a Valentine’s DIY. Be sure to swipe all the way down to see their projects.
A Valentine’s Day Pillow
Ok. Is this not the cutest pillow ever?
It really is quite easy to make. I painted hearts on a pillow cover and then stitched a heart on top of the painted hearts. Easy peasy.
The “stitching part” is called Free Motion Embroidery. But don’t let that scare you! All it means is that you pull out your sewing machine, (dust it off first), lower the pressure feed, and add a darning foot.
When you start sewing, the fabric doesn’t move until you move it. So you just pull and push it in the direction you want it to go. In this case, the motion would be heart shape.
Guess what the best part is? It looks better if you sew outside the lines.
Look at All of My Free Stitch Embroidery Projects
In the past year I have made quite a few Free Stitch Embroidery projects. I have made pillows, placemats and coasters.
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How to Make a Valentine’s Day Pillow
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Estimated cost: $15
What You Need to Make This Machine Stitch Embroidery Thread Painted Pillow
(Links to products I used are included)
- Pillow cover (I use Ikea Gurli which are 20″)
- Pillow insert (20″ x 20″)
- Acrylic paint
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
- Paint Brush
- Sewing Machine and Embroidery Thread
- Parchment paper or cardboard to fit inside the pillow while painting.
- Free motion (or darning) sewing foot for your machine
You will need a free motion foot for your machine. This foot may vary based on your type of machine but I linked a “universal” one.
I read a lot about lowering the “feed dogs” on your machine when stitching free motion embroidery. Feed dogs are the little teeth on your sewing machine that feed your fabric evenly through the machine. These teeth are extremely important because they help us produce perfectly spaced, even stitches whenever we sew garments, piece quilts, or applique shapes on our machine. Most people (including me!) recommend that you lower the feed dogs for free motion embroidery.
If your machine doesn’t let you lower the feed dogs (my lever is near the bobbin) then you just need a feed plate for your machine to cover up the feeds.
Here are the paint colors I used. You can use any similar colors or completely change them It is up to you.
I like to use acrylic paints. I iron them to set them so they are ok to wash. If you really want to be safe then use fabric paint.
I decided it would so much easier to make this pillow if I showed you how to start with a heart pattern for you to use as a guide for the machine embroidery.
Before you get started, place a piece of parchment paper or cardboard inside the pillow cover. This prevents the paint from seeping through to the backside of the pillow cover.
I used a cookie cutter, dipped it in paint, and started placing heart outlines on the pillow. I didn’t measure anything, I just eyeballed it.
Here are the paint colors I used. Any shades of pink (and orange if you want) look good.
In hindsight, you could just use one color for the heart stamps. Use a darker color as you will be using the outline as a guide to paint and stitch your hearts.
Let the paint dry.
Paint each heart with a small brush. I thinned out the paint a bit so it wasn’t quite so opaque. Don’t let it get too runny or else it will bleed. Don’t worry about painting within the lines. I think it looks better if you don’t.
I used two different paint colors on some of the hearts just to add some variation.
Let the paint dry. I usually iron the pillow cover to get the wrinkles out before I start sewing.
Now it is time to start the free motion embroidery.
Attach the darning foot to your machine, and lower the feed dogs. (The feed dog is what moves your fabric forward. If you lower it then you can move the fabric in any direction you want.)
Sew three times around each heart and DO NOT try to sew perfectly. Just follow the line of the cookie cutter. It’s so easy. I actually think that messy is good … within reason. Haha.
Watch this video to see exactly how to make this pillow.
Here is a close-up of the free stitch embroidery on the hearts on my pillow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Free motion machine embroidery is a type of sewing that you do on a regular sewing machine but you can move the material in any direction while sewing it on your machine. Normally when you sew, the machine automatically moves the fabric forward. When you sew free motion embroidery, you get to move the fabric so you determine exactly where you want to sew. You can move sideways, forward, backward and create any shape you want. All you need is a quilting foot.
Use a medium-heavy fabric for free motion embroidery. Attach the darning foot to your machine, and lower the feed dogs. (The feed dog is what moves your fabric forward. If you lower it then you can move the fabric in any direction you want.)
Sew your design two times so the stitching is more predominant. DO NOT try to sew perfectly. It’s so easy and don’t worry if you make a mistake here and there. It looks better that way.
Yes, you can do free-motion embroidery using a regular sewing machine. You will want to use a darning foot and lower the feed dogs to allow you to move the fabric in any direction you want.
I like to add Valentine’s decor to my home that is more pink, red, and hearts than specifically Valentine’s Day. I add flowers (fresh and faux), pillows, throws and lots of other decor items to give our home a very romantic feel to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
It’s up to you! I started adding pink to our home in January this year. With subtle changes I have eased into Valentine’s day very easily. My decor is more based on colors than actual “Happy Valentine’s Day” decor. I usually save that decor for a few days before.
I think this pillow would not only look great in your home, but it would make a great Valentine’s Day gift.
Links to the Items Shown in This Post
10 Best Valentine’s Day Projects
Dollar Store Triple Heart Valentine’s Day Wreath // Tatertots & Jello
Valentine’s Day Heart Tree Tutorial // Happy Happy Nester
DIY Perfume Roller with Essential Oils // Most Lovely Things
Valentine’s Day Decor Ideas // My 100 Year Old Home
Valentine’s Day DIY: Clay Heart Napkin Holders // Zevy Joy
Heart Topiary DIY // Craftberry Bush
Pipe Cleaner Heart Garland // Modern Glam
Home Is Where The Heart Is FREE Printable // My Sweet Savannah
Polymer Clay Marbled Heart Ornaments // The DIY Mommy
Blooming Branches DIY // Finding Lovely
Pin the images below to your decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!