Hello AGF Fans,
Today I’d like to share a step-by-step tutorial on how I made the Woodlands Fawn Pillow! Perhaps you saw her gazing up at you in the new Fusions look book? I was so happy to be able to design for the Woodlands Fusion collection and I found myself inspired by the color palette- rich, deep, dark and yet bold and vibrant. I knew right away I wanted to make a sister pillow to my Boho Flower girl and started sketching my version of a Woodlands Fawn Sprite.
Fabrics & Materials Used:
Face template (download here)
Double-sided fusible web
Print and tape together your pattern pieces. I suggest printing out two copies of the sketch, keeping one for reference while sewing the pillow and cutting the other one apart into pattern templates (or you can trace onto pattern paper). You’ll want to cut templates for the face & shoulders (one piece, chin is defined by stitching), hair, eyes, mouth, antlers and moon. Separate templates are provided for antlers and moon.
Step 2: Background and Moon
Cut the background 19" square and back with batting. Trace Moon Circle Template onto double-sided fusible web, peel and stick to fabric, then cut out and adhere to the background piece following fusible’s instructions and using the sketch for placement. Sew around the moon’s edge with a blanket stitch.
Step 3: Hair & Face Placement
Trace your hair template onto the fusible web as before and stick to fabric, cutting as one piece with an opening up top at the bangs for the forehead to tuck into. Make little cut outs around the edges to soften the look and give the effect of hair blowing in the breeze. Stick the hair to the pillow (using sketch as placement guide), but only fuse the bottom part leaving the top un-fused.
Fuse face fabric to fusible fleece, pin face and shoulder template to it and cut out. Use a light table (flashlight under a glass table, tape to window on sunny day) to trace face details onto fabric with a Frixion pen. You can’t trace before fusing even though it would be easier because the marks will disappear with the heat. If you don’t have a light table and can’t DIY, then consider using another fabric safe marking pen.
Place your face/shoulders piece onto the pillow and pin the bottom, then tuck under the hair up top and finish fusing the hair. Be very careful not to iron your face! It will remove all your sketches! After fusing the hair, go ahead and scratch at the edges to fray it a bit to add to the wind-blown look.
Step 4: Flower Blouse & Necklace
Roughly cut out flowers from the fabric and stick to the fusible web, then carefully cut around the flowers. Arrange the flowers across the bottom of the pillow until you are happy with the arrangement, then peel and fuse down the flowers. Again, be careful not to accidentally erase your face and chin!
Step 5: Antlers & Flower Crown
Fuse the antler fabric to the fusible fleece, then pin antler templates to it and cut them out. Place them on the pillow using guide and adhere them by sparingly dotting the center of the the antler fabric with fabric glue. Edges will be stitched down later, put just enough to prevent them from shifting.
Roughly cut out flowers for the flower crown and stick to the fusible web, then carefully cut around the flowers. Arrange the flowers across the top of the head, over the antlers, until you are happy with the arrangement, then peel and fuse down the flowers. (Don't erase your face!)
Step 6: Eyes & Lips
Cut out your pupils and lips and stick with double-sided fusible as previously done. This time only use the tip of your iron when fusing to prevent erasing everything. For the lips, cut apart template into top lip and bottom lip and use the dark and light parts of a red flower for the top and bottom lips, respectively.
Step 7: Draw Extra Flowers on face
I added extra flowers and leaf decorations about the eyes at this point. The great thing about the Frixion pens is that you can freehand sketch and if you don’t like it, just press away and it disappears like magic and you can try again. You can see from the picture here that I ended up changing a little what I decided to do around the eyes from what I had originally drawn.
Step 8: Free-Motion Quilting
Since the edges of the face and antlers are raised due to the fusible fleece, before free-motion quilting apply a blanket stitch, zig-zag stitch or satin stitch around the edges to secure them. A satin stitch has the benefit of covering any white fuzz that might show from the fusible fleece. I attached the face & antlers with a zig-zag thread and then colored in with free-motion quilting until I was satisfied with the result. Use a dark contrasting color for the thread, I used a dark green.
Finally, we get to free-motion quilt and here’s where all the fun and magic happens! It really brings our Woodland Fawn sprite to life so take your time and remember that the look of a single line might look sad and wobbly by itself, but when it’s gone over back and forth a couple times it can look like an artist’s sketch. If you’re not comfortable with free-motion quilting practice on a scrap fabric face first. Outline the flowers once or twice, but for the face go back and forth as many times as you need to to get a good dark outline on the eyes, brows, nose and mouth. After you've filled in the face press the pillow top to erase the Frixion pen marks and then decide if you want to go back and add more definition. After erasing my marks I wasn't happy with the amount of white fabric showing and went back and added more stitching to the eyes and nose.
Define the hair tresses by drawing in some extra waves with free-motion quilting. At this point I chose to use a lighter color thread (matching the green moon) and use decorative stitching to draw some accent hair strands as well. You can also see that when free-motion stitching around the antlers I added some scribbles as shading to the undersides to give them a more 3D look.
Step 9: Square off and Finish!
Trim your quilt to 18.5” square and sew an envelope back on it (or your preferred back). I chose the Buck fabric for my back. To make an envelope back cut a 18.5” x 14” rectangle and a 18.5” x 9” rectangle. Press under a quarter inch, and then again another half inch on the overlapping 18.5” long edges. Edge stitch and press. With right sides together line up the raw edges of the rectangles to the sides of the pillow top, overlapping the finished edges in the center to create the envelope back. Sew and serge/ overcast stitch around the edge of the pillow at a quarter inch seam allowance. Turn your pillow inside out, using a chopstick or point turner to pop out the corners.
Remember to enjoy your free-motion quilting, put some nice music on and let the the stitching carry you away. Don’t worry too much about any little imperfections, remember, done is best and perfect doesn’t exist. There are tons of little things I notice on my pillow that might bother me if I let them (and I actually went back into Photoshop and fixed them on the template sketch for your benefit, haha), but I’m proud of the finished product and don’t let them bother me. In the end, it’s those little things that make our handmade products the more special. I hope that you decide to give this pillow a try! (And if you do make sure to tag us on social media so we can see your version!)
Until next time!
P.S. For more inspiration made with our other Fusions collections check out this short video.