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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cross Stitched Feminism Pillow

We can find power and celebration in many things. We can turn old fashioned skills and arts into an expression of something else. I find some sort of strange comfort from turning something that used to symbolize much of a woman's bonds into something that can symbolize what we are capable. A woman doesn't have to reject the arts of her grandmothers to embrace the ideals of equality and feminine power.

For this project, I used the female symbol, cross stitched in black and red to embrace the ideals of feminism and equality.

I started with a template made on graph pattern for the pattern. The lettering and phrases around the edges were mostly just to get a template for the letters not for the final placement.
Using black and red embroidery thread, I cross stitched my female design with phrases around the edges that emulated the theme. "Never let the hand you hold, hold you down." "History and Herstory." "If your not outraged your not paying attention." "A woman's life is a human life." "I am not your Barbie Doll." "The meek are ready." "Proud to be a feminist." "equality.""I resist." And so on. I then embellished the sides.
When the needlework was completed I cut a square of a red velvet-like material (seen in a few other projects) for the backing. Instead of sewing them right sides together, I opted to sew them wrong sides together.
Wrong sides together, I pinned the edges securely, especially taking into account the stretchy nature of the red backing fabric. Then, using a strong backs titch hand-sewed the two sides together with black embroidery thread, using the stitches along a clear straight line as part of the overall design, but making sure to leave a small gap to stuff.
Using the opening I left, I carefully stuffed the pillow to the desire fluffiness with some poly-fil I had on hand, being careful not to rip open the stitches around the opening.

Once full, I pinned the opening (once again being mindful of the stretchy nature of the red fabric for the backing), and sewing it securely shut with black embroidery thread and the back stitch. I pulled the loose thread from the fabrics to give a fringed edge to the small square pillow.
A pillow to make any feminist proud. (Take ye inspiration where ye may.)

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