Hello there! I’m Emma Adams, an artist from the Twin Cities.
I am excited to be taking over the North & Shore blog today and tell you about how I design and make my printed pillows! You may have seen them hanging around the North & Shore shop.
I was first inspired to make these pieces because I love accent pillows and wanted to see how I could bring my artwork and craft into home decor.
As a children’s illustrator primarily, I wanted the designs to be something that could be used and loved by kids, but also had a sophisticated touch so adults could decorate with them as well!
I started with my “Woodland” designs featuring a bear,
rabbit and fox, each wearing cozy sweaters and hats.
Shortly after that, I launched my “Cottagecore” designs
featuring a mushroom, moth and snail - which very
quickly became best sellers.
To start, I sketch out my designs on my iPad. I like a more hand-drawn feel in my work, so I leave rough edges and imperfections in the designs.
When I’m satisfied with the design, I bring it into Adobe
Illustrator to vectorize, size and format it for printing.
When I first began making these pillows, I was printing
everything myself at home. I now contract a local
printer to help me with that workload!
Once I have all the fabric prepped and the prints ready, I use my handmade pattern pieces to cut out the shapes. To speed up this process, I use an electric rotary cutter and that way I can cut out 5 pillows at a time!
Now comes the tedious part. Pinning each pillow together with a brand label and right sides in, I use my Singer machine to sew around the edges of each one leaving a 2-3 inch opening at the bottom. Once they are all sewn together, I turn each one out so the prints are on the outside and raw seams are on the inside. Using polyfil stuffing, I hand stuff each pillow so I can get all the little corners filled out nicely. The last step is sewing up the bottom hole, which is stitched by hand using an extra strong tunnel stitch to create a seamless look and finish!
After tagging each pillow and giving them a final clean and look over, they are ready to package up and send out to their new homes!
Making an idea come to life from start to finish can be a long process, and you have to learn and adapt every step of the way. When you finally have the finished piece in your hands, it is so exciting and such a rewarding experience! There is so much love and time that goes into every product and it always starts with an idea.
It’s so interesting to think about how things are made and developed and I hope that you enjoyed learning a bit about my process! You can find my work on the web and socials:
If you have any comments, questions or would like to connect with me - shoot me an email at email@example.com
Thanks for reading!