Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beetle Specimen Art Pillow

Remember the Butterfly Specimen Art Pillow from Monday? Well naturally I needed to make a pillow for Jude as well. I wanted the pillows to "go together" enough so I was thinking about what kind of specimen art I could do when my mom suggested Beetles. Well since I am fairly obviously a Beatles fan, I was of course on board with the idea of another beetle. Plus Jude loves all things creepy crawly. The bright colors make them a little less creepy. 
 The pillow was made the same way as the butterfly pillow. If you need a refresher I cut out 3 21X21 inches squares from a plain white cotton. Also one 15X15 inch square from interfacing and then ironed the interfacing onto the center of one square for the front piece.

 Then for the beetles I cut out some legs a body (with a curved top for the head) and two wings. I cut out 6 from 6 different colors and same with all the pieces then I mixed and matched them.
 Stack all the pieces on top of each other and sew some wide zig-zags through the wings to get the texture the wings usually have.
 Then line up all the beetles and sew them in place right down the middle of the wings. (yes we will pretend they are sewn in place in the picture even if they are not)
 Next for the embroidery. Here are some tips. I printed out the words that I wanted to embroider on. In this case the numbers and some general information about beetles since Jude likes to learn about anything.
 Then with the paper behind the fabric I used a disappearing ink pen to trace the words on.
 A tip for better embroider is to use a hoop. They make the fabric nice and tight so your stitched can be tight without puckering the fabric.
 For the basic back stitch that I use to trace the letters you come up where you want the stitch to start and then stitch back to the last hole. Simple as that.
 The other thing I use is a french knot. Pull the thread up where you want the knot.
 Wrap the threat around the tip of the needle 2 or more times. The more you wrap it the larger the knot will be.
 Then while holding the thread that is coming up tight push the needle through right next to the place the thread came up. Then the front should be done.
 For the back fold the end under an inch and sew in place. Then it down again 5 inches.
 Then with underside of the fold (the side with the flap) facing down overlap both back pieces at the fold so that they make a square that is the same size as the front piece.

Place the front piece face side down and sew all around the edges. 
 Clip the corners and then turn the pillow case right side out. You will have a nice little envelope style pillow case. Put the pillow form in and you are done.
 A cute little pillow perfect for a boy.
 With creepy crawly bugs that are cute enough they kind of make me smile.
 Goes perfectly with the Butterfly pillow to add some fun color and education to the kids playroom.
 And the kids love the big oversized plush pillows.
Perfect for curling up with a good book.


  1. Oh my gosh! I love this as much as the butterflies. That quilting on the wings just makes it :-) Also, your embroidery looks awesome.

  2. So the stitching! Your kids must be ecstatic! Great tutorial too :)

  3. So cute! Do you remember what font you used?


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