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


Anonymous,  August 22, 2013 at 7:05 PM  

I have never seen that pillow before! (Does that mean I haven't spent too much of my life recently reading blogs? Hurray!) Yours is beautiful! All of yours are beautiful!

Skooks August 22, 2013 at 9:44 PM  

K - HA! These Anthro knock off pillows have been kicking around the interwebs for quite awhile now (like years). I'm sure you haven't read anyone doing them recently because everyone already did them! ;) (Check this out:

Kathy August 22, 2013 at 11:18 PM  

As always, another great project - it looks amazing, especially love the floor pillow!

Skooks August 23, 2013 at 12:08 AM  

K - The floor pillow is definitely the piece de resistance. It's a shame that when it's not in use it is tucked under the TV. I'm going to have to work that Field Study print I used on the back of it in some other way in the room too, since that one needs to be seen! Maybe I'll craft it into a table runner or some place mats for the dining room table? Still thinking on that one.

Shelley: the Dread Pirate Rodgers August 27, 2013 at 3:21 PM  

Apparently, I've been hiding under several rocks all these years because I had never seen the Orimono pillow before you blogged about it. And I'm so glad that you did! It's such a wonderfully different way to use up scraps!

I wandered on over to the Anthropologie website. I was absolutely FLOORED to see that their 22" Orimono pillow is $88. Eighty-eight dollars!!! Holy moley!

This is definitely goes to the top of my Handwork To Do List. :-)

Skooks August 27, 2013 at 7:17 PM  

StDPR - I KNOW! I can't believe how expensive that place is. Sometimes I can see why the prices would be high and sometimes I just think C'MON! Anyway, the good thing is that this is a super fun project and yes - a most excellent scrap buster. I'd love to see how yours turns out if you get around to making it!

Unknown August 27, 2013 at 9:59 PM  

Beautiful pillows! They look great on your sofa and I'm a fan of the fabrics.

Skooks August 27, 2013 at 11:14 PM  

SS - It's funny, because initially I wasn't completely wooed by LouLouThi, but now that I've seen them all in person and made the pillows up I REALLY dig it. Thanks for stopping by!

Larissa Holland September 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM  

Oh my goodness with the beautiful pillows and the pretty fabrics! Stupendous job. You make me itch to update mine too.

Skooks September 14, 2013 at 5:13 PM  

LH - I aim to add things to your to-do list. ;)

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