Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Out to Sea DIY Blog Tour/ Tutorial~ Narwhal Pillow

I had an opportunity to be a little helper for Sarah Jane at the quilt market this spring. I have been a big fan of her art work for a few years and I was so thrilled when she started designing fabric lines.

I love her new fabric line Out to Sea as much as (well, if not even more than children at Play . I love the color scheme of the collection, and her illustration is so fun and playful; just looking at them brings out the inner-pirate in me. :)

I had permission from Sarah to use some images on my blog, are you excited to see what her booth looked like at the market?

So creative isn't she?

There are a bunch of other people who created all the amazing projects for her booth, and Sarah decided to do an ‘Out to Sea Blog Tour’!

I made a couple pillows, but today I am sharing a tutorial on how I made the Narwhal pillow.

{You will need}

A Couple different fabrics from the Out to Sea collection; for the center, sides, top & bottom of the of the pillow (wouldn't it be so cute to make this for a girl’s room too?)

21"x 21" fabric for back of the pillow

Blue fabric for the body of the Narwhal

White or Ivory fabric for the horn

DMC floss for the eyes, mouth, and stitches around the Narwhal. I chose the same navy color as the fabric

20"x 20"Pillow form or polyester fiber-fill to stuff the pillow yourself

Matching thread

{How To}

1. Cut the fabrics and set aside.

2. Prepare applique pieces.

To applique the Narwhal, you can use your favorite method. I did the freezer paper (you can find it at a lot of the grocery stores) method for this one and I will share what I did.

First, Download PDF for the Narwhal (I printed mine out a bit larger, you are free to modify however you wish). Because the image will be the opposite (mirror image) when you trace it, you need to trace the image on the back of the paper. It will be much easier if you have a light box, if not, tape the paper on the glass, and then trace the Narwhal. Basically you have 1 piece of paper, and on both sides, you will have the Narwhal, but you will use the one you traced by hand, so when it's all finished, the Narwhal is facing left. Well, if you don't really care, which way he is facing you don't need to worry about this step. :)

Second, keep the Narwhal paper on the window (or light box) and layer a piece of freezer paper on top, shiny side down, then trace his body and horn separately. Cut out the shape.

Third, place the freezer paper shape on the wrong side of the fabric shiny side down. Gently press the shaper to the fabric with a dry hot iron. Cut around the shape leaving 3/8" seam allowance. Make some clips into the seam allowance; such as around curves and indented areas for a clean finish.

Press the seam allowance with a hot dry iron towards the freezer paper.

Make the horn applique piece the same way.

3. Pin the Narwhal onto the center fabric. I pinned him slightly off to the right side, so when I add the long horn later, it is still equal spacing on both sides of the Narwhal. Applique the Narwhal using blind stitches.

4. After you are done stitching, cut away the background fabric and pull out the freezer paper.

Applique the horn same way.

5. I added a thin layer of quilt batting (I used 80/20) on the back of the appliqued fabric. Because I was going to stitch around the Narwhal, I wanted to give some texture to it.

6. Using 3 strands of DMC floss stitch the eye, mouth, and lines on the horn. Then, using 6 strands of floss stitch all around the Narwhal, gently press with and iron.

7. Sew side pieces to the appliqued fabric. Press with an iron. Then, add the top and the bottom pieces to the appliqued piece; again, press with an iron.

8. Put together the back fabric and front fabric right sides together and pin. Leaving about 5" for opening on the bottom seam sew all around it. Snip off the four corners.

9. Turn the fabric inside out. Press with an iron. Stuff and close the opening with slip stitch. Time to enjoy!

I couldn't go to the Market this year, but the pillow was accompanied by an adorable looking pirate and looked like this at the booth...

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. A big thanks to Sarah for letting me be a part of this!

Make sure to check out Sarah's blog every Wednesday for more "Out to Sea" blog tour projects. So many fun tutorials are waiting to be revealed!


  1. LOVE it! and I'm super jealous you got to be a helper!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I wonder how this pillow was made and so wanted one for my baby boy's room. I will be making one as soon as hte fabric comes out!!

  3. I also love Sarah's illustrations and quite enjoyed this post! Thank you!

  4. Sachiko,
    I wanted you to know what a delight it is to read such a well constructed, well written & clear pattern!You did an excellent job!It certainly reduces frustration & encourages me to try the project myself. Thank you for the tutorial.

  5. Cute project!! Thanks for the tute!


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