Some of you may have noticed that our dog is a little spoiled... just a little. The precious angel (are you sick yet?) has a set of stairs, built for him by his aunt, that allows him to sit and look out the office window while I am either working on my computer or at my craft table. However, I have been noticing lately that he doesn't sit up there for as long as he used to, and if he does, he shifts positions a lot like he is trying to get comfortable. He has hip problems so as he gets older, especially during cold weather, we have to help him up/down stairs, etc. So, because I am quite accustomed to hearing his little snores while he sleeps next to me, and his comfort is of paramount importance to me, I decided to whip him up a pillow to add a little extra cushion to the generic bumpered dog bed that already was on the top plank where he lays.
I measured the space I wanted it to fill, he was sleeping on one of those flat dog begs you get that have the slightly higher rounded edges they can curl up against. He likes those sides, and like his bed, I just wanted to fill in the middle so to speak. So, I measured the space, 15x20in, and added one inch to each side to allow for the padding (I used Supreme Poly-Fill) and added an extra half inch on each side to allow for the seam allowance, i/e the peaces I cut were 17x22in, 15+1(padding)+1(seam allowance)x20+1(padding)+1(seam allowance). It fits almost perfectly, except I should have rounded the corners, instead of squaring them.
The fabric is from Joann's, it is just their brand of quilting solids, about $3.49-$4.99/yd. This print comes in a couple different combinations, but I thought the black thread would look best against the red/white print. I wanted to embroider his name and a Shih Tzu motif on to it. The Shih Tzu motif came from the Sublime Stitching book I got last week. The name font came from Kevinandamanda.com, it's called Crazy Milktop Girl. I just used my PSE to size it, and rotate it backwards as all words need to be backwards so when they are ironed on they read properly. (I have forgotten to do this almost every time I have used words so far, luckily I always notice before I iron it on to the fabric!.) After printing all i had to do was trace it with my Iron On Transfer Pen, and iron it on the fabric. I oriented the embroidery motifs 2 inches from the side and bottom edges, keeping in mind that the pillow would be stuffed. I didn't want the motifs to be on the side, i wanted them to be able to be seen if you were looking at the pillow from every angle. There was really no reason I picked 2 inches, but it turned out to be the perfect measurement, because the embroidery is exactly where I wanted it. One thing, the fabric was not the easiest to embroider on. I used 6 strands when I embroider, because I like the thick, bold look. However, if I used this brand fabric again, I would probably go down to 3-4 strands, as the thread kept trying to bunch up as it was pulled through the tighter weave.
Once the embroidery was done, I simply stitched it up, loosely stuffed it (I wanted it to be a very soft, giving cushion, not like a sofa pillow), and did a top stitch all around the edges at a 1/4in to close it. I did the top stitch after I had stuffed it, no such a great idea. Next time I now to top stitch everything but the turning opening before filling and then just finish the top stitch. Lesson learned, the pillow with all the poly-fill was a bit unwieldy.
He apparently loves it, because he is sleeping away right next to me on it right now :)