Category Archives: Lesson Plans

Wordsworth Pillow Tutorial

By Marian (Miss Mustard Seed)

A few days ago, I got a new toy from Artograph® and I couldn’t wait to put it to work.

I’ve been eyeing a light box for a long time, but it was always bumped down the priority list after lenses and sewing machines and other tools of my trade. My new Artograph LightPad A930 arrived on my doorstep last week and I knew my days of taping things to a window to trace were over.

Can you hear the angelic choir?

I have loads of ideas for how to use this, but I started out with something simple. A hand painted poetry pillow.

I started off by selecting a pillow, fabric, poem and a font. I chose the very last paragraph of a Wordsworth poem called “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” I printed it in a free downloadable font called “Jane Austin.” Once the poem was printed (in 100 pt. font for a 13″ x 19″ pillow), I cut it out and taped it together and in place on the LightPad.

I spread a piece of linen (cut to the size of the pillow, plus one inch added to the length and width for a seam allowance) over the poem on the LightPad.

I then used some tape to secure the fabric in place to prevent shifting while tracing the poem.

I then traced the lettering lightly with a pencil…

…turning the LightPad off after each line to make sure I was tracing all of the lettering.

After removing the fabric from the LightPad, I used a 1.0 liner artist brush and charcoal gray latex paint to paint over the pencil marks. If you’re not comfortable with a brush, you can use a paint pen.

Once the paint was fully dry, I pinned on a charcoal grosgrain ribbon in a pleated pattern to act as the pillow trim when turned right-side-out after the front and back of the pillow are sewn together.

I didn’t measure or anything. Just pinched and pinned.

I sewed the pillow together the same way I did in my Ruffled Pillow Tutorial.

I’m really happy with how it turned out.

In case you’re curious about the paragraph I used, it reads…

“Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give,
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.”

Man, that Wordsworth knew how to string some words together.