Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pillow Party

Yep, I titled this post pillow party. And I don't mean of the pillow fight variety. I mean of the "I made a few pillows as Christmas gifts this year" type of party. I also made myself an easy to switch out holiday pillow earlier in December I want to share. Let the party begin.

This first pillow, which I call "The Felt Poppy Pillow," I made for my mom. I was originally inspired by this pillow on Pinterest, but put my own spin on it. To start, I bought a pillow form and cut my brown background fabric accordingly (I added 1/2 inch to each side for a hem allowance). Then I got to work cutting circles out of felt. I found some at Joann's and Hobby Lobby that I thought would match my mom's living room/couch (turns out it matches my own living room pretty well too... mom almost didn't end up getting this for Christmas!). I just traced the bottom and top of a tapered glass, and the top of a shot glass onto the felt to get the different sized circles.

I laid all the circles out where I wanted them (I doubled and tripled some of them up to add dimension) and picked out a button to serve as the center of each flower. I varied the colors and when I sewed the buttons onto the felt I just sewed all the way through so they were also attached to the pillow.
These few steps so far took a surprisingly long amount of time. I wanted to get the placement just right. The final step was sewing on the "stems." I just used a bigger needle and embroidery floss to do this. I drew straight lines with a ruler from the bottom of the pillow to the center of each flower with dressmaker's chalk, which I knew would easily rub off when I was done with the lines.

The last step was to put right sides together and sew all around, leaving an opening to stuff my pillow form through. I turned it inside out, stuffed in the pillow form, and whip stitched the hole back together. Viola, Christmas gift!

As for the blue snowflake pillow... when my sister and I were Black Friday shopping at Joann's she spotted a super cute button snowflake pillow. She thought it might make a nice Christmas gift and that she might want one for her house. The one at Joann's was made of felt (too scratchy) and the buttons were just hot glued on (too easy). Also, it was red. She is more of a blue kinda gal. So I got to work. To make this design I just used a ruler to draw a cross, then diagonal lines on the flannel blue fabric I picked for the background. To draw the lines I used dressmaker's chalk (like I did above) so the lines would go away after I was done with them. I picked out a slew of white buttons in various sizes and went to town. I used a quilters hoop to make sewing them on easier... but it still took a very very long time. I can see why Joann's would be tempted to hot glue them on instead!

Then I did the same thing as above: right sides together, sew all around leaving a couple inch long hole, inside out, stuff in pillow form, sew up hole. Done!

Last but not least, the most fun and easy pillow I made this season was for myself. I found this fabric at Hobby Lobby (for around $4 a yard!) with the intention of using it for my Etsy store, but decided I couldn't part with it. I have enough left so I may make matching stockings out of it next year.
For now, I have this pillow though. It is a big thing on Etsy to sell pillow covers, rather than whole pillows. That way you can reuse the pillows you have, and when you get sick of it you can just take the cover off. It is brilliant. Especially for holiday pillows that you have to store until next year. Its much easier to store just the fabric in the form of the cover than a bulky pillow.

So I made my cover just like I made the shams for my bed. The back piece is actually two pieces that overlap. This technique is even easier than the regular way because there is no hole to sew up when you are done. The flaps just overlap and look nice. When spring comes, this baby will just go in the closet with the other winter decorations and I will have my old yellow pillow back (which was really just waiting underneath the whole time!). Brilliant, functional, and easy! What could be better?

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