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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Skeleton Key Trapunto Pillow Tute

This was my guest post for Craft Envy this past week. I'm reposting here for all my friends who may have missed it. Thanks for stopping by!

I've been creating and crafting for a long time. A long, long time, lol! Here's a pic of my high school I.D. card from way back...way, way back. Let me just say, Class of 1970 RULES!!!

Back then embroidered denim cut offs were hot, because we could keep them from tearing and fraying with some cool embroidery. Now they're being sold at Old Navy. Back then crocheted ponchos, vests and ripple afghans were all the rage and now there are Etsy shops dedicated to crochet. And Danish Modern furniture was in (now there's Ikea) and wonderfully wild floral print hip hugger mini skirts were in style, which I and all my friends sewed ourselves because BACK THEN all the girls took sewing in Home Ec!

They say that everything old is new again and this little project I'm posting is no exception. Back then we discovered trapunto, the dimensional quilting technique, for our way cool embroidered vests and skirts. It's the perfect craft for making some unique home decor and especially that favorite project, couch pillows! So here we go, a trapunto skeleton key couch pillow just for you.


Skeleton keys are hot right now. Their vintage charm and character really bring personality to otherwise modern decor and they fit in with any number of styles, including shabby chic, farmhouse style and an eclectic mix. The dimensional look of the skeleton key on this pillow would fit in with all those styles. Annnnd, it's easy to get this look!

I used muslin for this project. It's my favorite fabric for home decor. It's inexpensive, easy to work with, a nice neutral color and works up beautifully. For the front of your pillow cut two matching pieces of fabric.

Using a quilting pen, whose ink disappears when you spray the fabric with water, I outlined a simple skeleton key shape (this one is grungeboard from Tim Holtz).

I simplified the detail within the key head to make it easier to stitch. Set your sewing machine stitch length to 3 or 2, since you want small stitches for this project. Sew around the shape and use your judgement, going slowly, turning each angle with the needle DOWN to make sharp corners. Feel free to simplify your design as you sew, this technique is very forgiving and looks better with a simple shape. For example, I eliminated the little bumps in the shaft when I stitched this key.

Sorry for the poor contrast in this pic, but if you look you can see I've stitched the outline of the key in matching thread with small stitches.


Next you will clip several small openings in the backside of the design thru ONE LAYER OF FABRIC ONLY. This will give you the openings for stuffing your shape. I used the blunt end of a crochet hook to get the small pieces of stuffing into all the small areas. You can also use a needle to "wheedle" the stuffing into place smoothly. Stuff your shape evenly until it is softly plump.

Here you can see the small slits in the backside of the fabric with the stuffing showing through. Once your stuffing is in place, handsew each slit closed. Your stitches do not have to be pretty, just as long as they work. Do not draw too tightly or you will distort your stuffed shape. Spray your design with water to erase the ink and at this point you can iron your pillow top around the stuffed shape if you wish. I put a simple envelope closure on back and put my new pillow cover on a 12" stuffed form and there you have it, a trapunto skeleton key cushion for your couch or bedroom. I like the way this came out. I like it alot! I'll be posting more projects using this technique, so if you have questions, drop me a line.



I'll be visiting the parties in my sidebar to share some linky goodness, so please come and visit. You'll love the creative projects and great bloggers you will find there!

And Someday Crafts is having a pillow party, come join the fun...

34 comments:

  1. Oh, cute! What a great idea that is! And wonderful tutorial, too! :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by and your lovely comments!!

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  2. I love this! what a great idea!

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  3. Class of 1970 does rule...oooohhh that does so hurt to see in print... I feel so old when I see it in print!!!
    Great tutorial and I've always wondered about this method...thanks

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  4. This is great and looks like something I will attempt. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  5. Love the pillow... I could see it with a crown or Fleur de lis, too
    Lezlee

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  6. What a beautiful work of art. When I was growing up, the only key we had to the house was an old skeleton key that looked just like that, but we never locked the house back then! I love your blog! www.billieshealthconnection.com

    JULY 6, 2010 1:16 PM

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  7. Love this pillow! I am really into skeleton keys, and just got a bunch at an auction.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today and I will be checking back on yours!

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  8. How cool is that!? You make it look so easy... I might just have to try something similar! Thanks for stopping by my blog too!

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  9. Great little pillow project...I forgot about stuffing an outline to make it puffy...thanks for the idea! I graduated in 1978 but I had four years of home ec...did your school have Future HOmemakers of America clubs like mine?

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  10. I love this idea ~ your pillow looks great. thanks so much.

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  11. What a beautiful pillow, and it looks relatively easy to make too! Thank you for the great tutorial. Oh, and I love your blog header!
    Happy WW!
    Carol

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  12. Wow, so cute!! You make it seem so easy...!!

    Thank you so much for stopping by and your awesome comments!! I appreciate it! :)

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  13. This is one technique I haven't tried before. What a great idea to use the key shape. I'd love for you to link up with Fabric Fun Thursday :).

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  14. That's super clever!! You did a great job! I would totally buy one fo these...Visiting from justsewsassy.com

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  15. That's really great, love how that came out!

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  16. Its wonderful...not much difficult to make...so nice!!!thanks for sharing

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  17. What a lovely idea!

    Thanks for joining Crafty Friday.

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  18. I have never seen this technique before... great! I love the skeleton key motif as well! Awesome project.

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  19. That is a really cool pillow. Again, I'm wishing I was a seamstress. Your ruffle pillows are absolutely YUMMY! I'm your newest follower!
    smiles!

    www.blackberryvine.blogspot.com

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  20. I am so happy you linked to lush friday. I am glad you showed us how to do that quilting. I was looking at the pillow thinking 'how did she do that' and then scrolled down. Thanks Andrea

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  21. Oh, my goodness... I love your pillows!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Leticia

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  22. This is a really lovely idea! So simple and effective..

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  23. So cleaver! I love it!

    Thanks for Socializing with me Monday til Sunday!

    I'm featuring this tomorrow!

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  24. This turned out so perfect! Thanks so much for sharing this idea :)

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  25. I've never seen anything like this before - and your pillow came out great!

    Thanks for linking up to Fab Friday -

    Cheers!

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  26. I have a craft book from when I was a kid sharing this technique but never had the nerve to try it. You make it look easy!!

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  27. I love this! I featured you at this weeks link party!

    http://www.houseofhepworths.com/2010/07/21/hookin-up-with-hoh-12/

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  28. This is incredible!!! I must try this! Bookmarking NOW. Thanks so much for sharing :0)

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  29. Such a cool technique! I've seen those types of pillows, but never thought much about how they were made. Great tutorial!!!

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  30. I will feature this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com. Grab my "featured" button.

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I love your comments and read every one. They let me know if I'm on a good track with my blog. Thanks for stopping by!