by: Denise Holguin
Several of my friends have had to say goodbye to their pets due to old age and diminishing health. Dealing with death—even when it involves the 4-legged type or feathered-type isn’t easy. Pets become part of our lives—they become family—and serve as faithful companions. Saying goodbye and dealing with their absence is very difficult.
As a friend, I often wonder what to do? What do I say? How can I offer consolation? That’s when I decided I’d put the embroidery machine to work.
I did a simple search online to find a quote. I typed: “quotations + deceased pets” and several options came up. I found this quote that seemed fitting: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”-Roger Caras.
Using the Calligraphy Project Designer, I typed the quote and selected the Arial Central Run font. I selected the Path option.
Next, I selected “Edit the Baseline.”
This is where you create the path for the text to follow. I created a freehand heart shape by moving the end points and adding some additional points. I’m not going for perfection—just a simple heart!
After creating the heart shaped path, the text automatically rearranged itself.
The text didn’t wrap all the way around the heart. So I used one of the editing buttons to extend the text all the way around the heart shaped path. Very fun!
Additional edits can be made at this point. You can move or rotate individual letters and you can also slide large portions of text.
The center of the heart looked empty – I decided to add the dog’s name. I rotated the font to make it more playful, as I would imagine Daisy would be. I also enlarged the individual letter, “D”.
I sent the design to the embroidery machine and began stitching. When I reached the “Daisy” portion of the design, I decided I’d get a little ‘adventurous’ and stitch each letter a different color. (Since this decision was made at the last minute, I stopped the machine after each letter and switched the thread colors. Sometimes you just have to improvise!)
Once finished, I removed the fabric from the hoop. I printed a template of the design to use as a pattern to trace the heart shape on the fabric. I added about an inch all the way around the heart to ensure there was enough fabric for a seam allowance.
Next, I carefully sewed the heart and stuffed with batting. Before sewing the pillow closed, I realized the pillow needed something extra. I went to my local Michael’s and picked up some dog themed charms to add to the pillow. I sewed the charms and stitched the pillow closed.
I’ll present to my friend the next time I see him. It’s not so much that he needs a heart shaped pillow. But it’s the sentiment behind it.
The next time you are at a loss for words to express to a friend in need—let the stitches do the work. It’s a loving gesture and an opportunity to use your embroidery machine to make someone happy.
Is there a project you have stitched for a family member or friend to help them cope with loss? Share your story.