Head over to Sew, Mama, Sew for an inside scoop on how to make pillows that look more professional than a simple envelope pillow cover. I did a guest post for them earlier in the month, but forgot to get it published over here. Oops!
I’ve been making pillows for a while and have them up as PDX Pillows on Etsy and have figured out a few tricks that make a real difference in the final appearance.
One important thing that I don’t really talk about in the SMS post is the choice of pillow form. I prefer a down pillow form, but they can be hard to find (and expensive!). Instead I have been using the Home Elegance pillows from Poly-Fil. They have them at work and feel more like down than most other pillow forms. They sell for $20-25 for a 20-inch square pillow, so they cost a bit more than your typical stuffed pillow form, but they feel so much better. And really, when you’re leaning back against pillows on your sofa, you want them to feel nice.
Do you have other tricks for making nice pillows? Do you prefer invisible zippers or lapped? What’s your take on button closures?
Curved piecing has been a bit of an obsession for me lately. Blame it on finding a little template for little Drunkard’s Path blocks while I was at Sew Expo. I also just happened to have a charm pack of Gardenvale from Moda at last Quilt Market. I figured they should meet.
I sewed all the pieces together, in totally random fashion, as leaders and enders, so it hardly felt like I’d done any actual sewing at all. Then all the sudden the blocks were all sewn together. I gave them all a quick press and squared them up a tad smaller than the template (a scant 3-7/8″), then arranged and re-arranged some more until I got something I was okay with.
We just got the collection in at the shop, which was the perfect impetus to actually finish it up (so we could use it as a display). I did a little unevenly spaced straight line quilting on the front.
Then made a super simple envelope pillow back and voila a new pillow for the sofa! I love it even more than I thought I would.
I tend to stay within the neutral palette for quilts, home decor and clothing, rarely feel confident enough to start prints. I love the scrappy look, but dear god, it scares me to death to mix fabrics (I know, it’s weird). That’s what makes Gardenvale a favorite for me. It doesn’t look like a collection. It’s crazy mixed-up colors and prints and scale and I would never in a million years feel like I could mix three different circles with two different florals and stripes. But Jen Kingwell did and it’s gorgeous.
If you’re familiar with her patterns, you know this is totally her style and I find it entrancing (though, the quilts can slightly overwhelm me if I stare too long). There’s a skill to this mixing and matching that I will never have. And that’s okay, she’s doing it for me now.
Check out #gardenvale and #gardenvalefabric on IG for lots of other projects that people are making, especially the PJ pants by @tinkerfrog. They might just be the favorite. Next to my pillow, of course.