Portrait Pillows


For Christmas this year, i made my nieces and nephew each a pillow that was a portrait of each child. Here they are:
Pillows for Maia and Elise:
Lewis Christmas 21
For Elise’s pillow, I wanted to show her love for kindergarten and “paperwork.” Her picture has a giant pencil (hard to see in pic) and her name written neatly on that weird lined paper they give you in the early grades. Elise with her pillow:
Lewis Christmas 17
Maia loves Peter Pan and Robin Hood and is always dressed up like them, yet she’s still a girl, so that’s why I went with green and pink. She’s also mischievous so that’s why she has sneaky eyes. Maia with her pillow (her hair used to be all layered and that’s what the pillow portrait was styled after, but she got this new sleek look just before Christmas):
Lewis Christmas 16
Jenna’s Pillow:
Whiting Christmas 30
Jenna is a girly girl and loves princesses and pretty things, so I made her a princess with butterflies that sparkle. Jenna with her pillow:
Whiting Christmas 35
Marcus’ favorite things is cars, and cars that go fast, and cars that look cool, and cars on the road, and him driving cars. Marcus’ pillow:
Whiting Christmas 31
Marcus with his pillow:
Whiting Christmas 34
I made the pillows using a variety of scrap fabrics, fusible web, and then sewing them on my machine. I started with a simple drawing I made on paper, cut out the pieces with an x-acto knife, then used those pieces as templates to cut out all of the fabric pieces in the portrait. With fusible web on the back of the fabric, I’d iron them in place on the pillow and then sew around the edges using my machine. The key was layering fabrics in the right order, which is not always easy to do. I tried to use a variety of fabrics so they’d be very tactile.
The pillow backs are grey fleece with a surprise zipper (wish I got pics of it…). When you open the zipper, there is a pocket with a tag that says, “Shhh! It’s a secret!” For each child, I put a “secret” gift in the pocket and whispered to them about it later. They got a big kick out of having a secret place to keep their secret stuff.