Well, I’ve been working on this project for a few weeks now. I’ve seen all those beautiful transfer pillows on Pinterest and Etsy, and I decided I wanted to try making a couple. A while ago I got two feather/foam lumbar pillows with light blue silky embroidered zip off covers for $2 each at the thrift store.
I was going to use them for something else, but started thinking about making commemorative pillows for my two great grandmothers, both of whom were immigrants and both of whom I admire so much, although they died long before I was born. To make the new covers I used part of a cheap painters tarp I bought at Home Depot—you can read about the durability and great texture of these tarps all over pinterest. The fabric looks very much like unbleached linen.
I cut off the hemmed edges and used that for piping . It worked brilliantly and saved so much time/effort. You can see above the piping sewn onto the pillow shape, which I copied from the original covers.
Once the piping was basted on, I started the transfer process. I looked online for two ornate frames that were horizontal, so I could put my great grandmothers’ names and towns inside the frame. I also wanted someplace on the frame to insert their birth and death dates. I found one at The Graphics Fairy and one at The Sum of All Crafts–both great printable sources. I had them printed in reverse on a toner copier (darken them!) and then used the blender technique used by Rosemary Villabarnes (one of my idols). The transfers were pretty clear but too light for my tastes–not easy to read. So I went over it with a super fine point and fine point black sharpie—permanent ink. It took some time and patience because these frames are pretty darn complex, but I am thrilled the results.
Then I stitched the back to the front of the pillows, hand stitched the end closed and voila! What do you think? Try making some of your own!