Thursday, August 22, 2013


School's not quite in yet, but I'm trying to get back into a sewing groove anyway.  Awhile back (like months ago), I finally got around to making some new pillows for my living room.  There were 2 reasons to do this:

  1. The color scheme was being dictated a bit too much by a tapestry we had hanging in the adjoining dining room (we live in an old home so though I would not consider calling our space a "great room" our living room is completely open to the dining room).  [Sidenote: I still LOVE that tapestry so I decided to move it to another place in the house after I replaced it with the new art display gallery.]
  2. I just like switching things up sometimes. 
Square Pillow B

As I previously blogged, I fell hard for a print from Anna Maria Horner's LouLouThi line, bought a yard, then sat on it for awhile  Finally it was time, and I decided to cut it up to make two 16" pillows.  The backing was done envelope style with a print I found at JoAnn Fabrics (not my favorite place to buy fabric, but I was hopeful I could find something suitable).  It's a yellow DS Quilts print with mustard-y accents.  I had been itching to add piping to something since I made the covers for my sewing machine and serger, so I flipped through my small collection of Kona remnants and came up with (I think) Lagoon.  It's a teense brighter than the blues in the AMH print, but because I just used it for accent piping I think it works alright.
Square Pillow A

I bought a charm pack of LouLouThi to see if I could figure a way to get some more coordinating, but different kinds of prints in the mix without too much thought.  Fabric coordinating is something I usually relish, but I had been searching for months and months for the right combination of prints to use for my new pillow project and after all that time I still wasn't feeling thrilled with how some of the other fabrics I was loving were jiving with my main print.  Probably I overthought the whole thing to start with and therefore overly simplified the solution.  Oh well.
Patchwork Pillow A

I laid all the squares from the charm pack out and cherry-picked the prints I liked best to go with the Summer Totem.  Some former pillows I had living on my couch were just about the same size as 6 charms laid out in a rectangle, so I sewed them together that way and enveloped the backs with the same yellow backing I used before.  I briefly contemplated piping these too, but I had kinda run low on the Lagoon and didn't have enough piping filler left, so I just went with what I had.  I don't know if that makes me lazy or cheap (or both), but I haven't regretted it at all.
Patchwork Pillow B

I got a little overzealous (as I do sometimes) and tried to whip out the charm pillows as quickly as I could.  In my haste, I didn't realize that I cut my backing just a wee bit too small for the old pillows which I was just shoving into the new pillowcases.  Rather than unstuff the old pillows down so they fit better I just worked all that fluff in to the new cases and hand stitched the envelope closed so that they wouldn't bust apart.  Another thing I don't regret.
Hand stitching detail

There was one other dull, rust-colored elephant of a pillow in the room . . . it's a 26" floor pillow that I really wanted to recover to make the living room pillow overhaul complete.  As every modestly able blogger out there who has ever seen this Anthro pillow has done, I decided to DIY my own version using the rest of the charms in the pack.
Anthro Knock Off Floor Pillow

I've got to give props to Steph for providing a free template of her version.  Originally I was going to just kinda freehand my scraps and do it that way, but her template helped me dive right in without hesitation.  I put my favorite Field Study print on the back . . . Parenthetical Flight in Potpourri (this is linen, people, and it is WONDERFUL):
Floor Pillow Back

The only modifications I made to Steph's instructions were:
  1. I blew the template up 150% to accommodate the fact that I was making a much larger pillow (I think hers is for an 18" square).
  2. I raided my fusible stash and used Heat N Bond Lite (and Wonder Under on a few pieces after I ran out of the HNBL) to adhere my pieces to the base fabric rather than gluing them on.  It took a little extra time to do this, but it helped to ensure that the pieces were exactly where I wanted them and helped me avoid stitching a straight line around them before satin stitching the edges.  :)
Ironed in Place

Because I had blown up the template so much, some of my template pieces were too big for one charm square.  Thankfully I still had plenty of the Summer Totem print so I just isolated a few of the many different motifs to keep things from being too repetitive.

I chose a polka dot print from Malka Dubrowsky's Simple Marks line for the sides.  The red helps pull all the other stuff in the room together in my book, though clearly I could have used any number of different  colors for the sides.  (Because I did this, I went with a coordinating red thread for the satin stitching on top.)
Floor Pillow Side

My main goal with this project was to brighten the living space, and I think I achieved that.  The walls and carpet are completely neutral so it really helps liven the place up.  (Not that having 3 active children doesn't liven up the place enough, but I'm speaking decor-wise.)
Group of Pillows
This setup is just to put them all together in one shot.  :)

Ahh!  Bright and beautiful summer-y color.

And just in time for fall.  ;)

  • Floor Pillow:
    • Front: Kona Eggshell with assorted prints from AMH's LouLouThi line
    • Sides: Simple Marks Summer Tomato 23209-36 by Malka Dubrawsky 
    • Back: Parenthetical Flight in Potpourri from AMH's Field Study line
  • Square Throw Pillows:
    • Front: Summer Totem in Tart by AMH
    • Back: DS Quilts Collection - Meadow Lark Tonal Berry Yellow
    • Piping: Kona Lagoon
  • Small Rectangle Pillows:
    • Front: Assorted charm squares from AMH's LouLouThi line
    • Back: DS Quilts Collection - Meadow Lark Tonal Berry Yellow

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