Today we begin a really fun ongoing series in which CT staff members will share a pillow project they did. Some may be custom designs, while others are from favorite books or blog posts around the web. Since basic pillows are so quick and easy to sew up, the sky is the limit with how a more embellished pillow can turn out!
To start things out, I want to give you all a taste of my pillow project. I initially went a very different direction, with plans to use these lovely vintage dresden plates my mother in law found at a shop and mailed me.
I wanted to put them onto pillows with embroidery in the middle and mail them back to her! I asked her what some of her favorite animals were and made two of the animals into redwork pieces.
But, alas, after I finished designing my two sweet redwork designs; I realized they needed a much bigger space than the mere 2 inches the diameter of the inner circles allowed.
I decided I still wanted to do two pillows and very much wanted to gift them to my mother in law, who has a modest nursery and farm down in Fort Bragg, CA. She’s quite feminine, but also extremely practical; which lends itself perfectly to redwork on burlap pillows with dainty white crochet accents.
Have you ever ironed burlap? I feel like my rancher and farmer ancestors had a good laugh at me while I was slowly pressing the creases out of it all, being so dainty to not re-crease it. Cutting through it was extra satisfying though, it has a delightful crunch as the blade rolls through the layers.
I cut scant 13-1/2″ squares to ensure I could really show off the embroidery I had planned.
After quickly sewing three and a half (I left hand-sized openings for the fill) of the wrong sides together, trimming the corners, and smoothing right-side out; I was ready to stuff!
Using our Hobbs Polyester Fiberfill, one package perfectly filled my two 13″ pillows!
There aren’t photos of this step, but I just did a whip stitch to secure the openings.
At this point, I realized something silly: it would have been a LITTLE BIT easier to have done the redwork before turning them into pillows, but I like to see progress!
Sewn pillows look like progress to me!
Regardless of sewing on a flat or poofed up piece of burlap, I knew I was going to be sewing straight through my printed designs onto the burlap. I had no interest in fussing with the inconsistencies of the fibers with any sort of marking pens.
I opted to tape the design on with extra-sticky gaffer’s tape, to prevent the paper from warping like it would if I had pinned it in place. Three strands of embroidery floss proved to be just right for a basic back stitch to really make this and the other design really pop against the burlap.
I had to sneak a peek at the little feet while I was stitching!
That’s all for Part One of my burlap mixed-craft pillow project, in Part Two you will see the finished designs with the crochet work, plus photos of them “in action” down at my mother in law’s house… And! Design downloads for my redwork owl and a second animal you will have to check back to see!
We really hope you find inspiration from Plethora of Pillows, we have all had a ton of fun sewing pillows. Check in on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for new pillow posts!