Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Christmas Pillows

I've been dying to change the pillows on my couch.  I've pinned quite a few pillow I want to make, but then I told myself I'd just do it after Christmas.  While visiting my in-laws in LA over Thanksgiving, I made a quick trip to the fashion district.  I found a couple cute Christmas fabrics, and in my head new pillows were being created.  Sew, I got new pillow for my couch.  Hopefully I'll be as ambitious after the holidays to make more pillows.

First I found the Michael Miller Tree Farm print, and thought it would make a cute bow pillow coupled with a candy cane striped fabric for the front.  This was actually the last pillow I made, but it's one of my new favorites.  I made a bow pillow a couple years ago, but I'd put it into retirement, so having a new bow pillow has reaffirmed how much I love bow pillows.  Maybe I'll make another one?  I just made this up as I went along, but I followed this tutorial many, many moons ago.

The fabrics really got my wheels turning were Aneela Hoey's Cherry Christmas.  Aneela's fabrics all have a similar feel to them with small, detailed fabrics, and she uses a lot of the same color palettes in most of her lines.  This fabric might not be for everyone, but I found it so charming, and I knew I needed it.  I bought a quarter yard of all six of the prints that Michael Levine had, and I made two 20" patchwork pillows with fabric to spare.  I just did simple 5 1/2" blocks sewn together and then quilted the tops using the free-motion quilting.  Oh, Fransson!'s tutorial really helped me figure out how to FMQ.

I bound my Cherry Christmas pillows in the candy cane stripped fabric I used on the bow pillow, and for the back I actually found a cute print at JoAnn's.  Gasp!  Sometimes JoAnn's surprises me in a good way, and with 50% off, this was a very good surprise.  I used the christmas light print for the back of the Cherry Christmas pillows and the bow pillows.

Probably the pillow that made me feel all giddy once completed way my 25 Pillow. 

 I attended a Pinterest Party a month ago.  A fellow Pinner brought her burlap pillows, and I thought they were so simple and stylish.  Having never worked with burlap, I was curious, so I gave it a go with a new Christmas pillow.  Burlap is $3.99/yd at my JoAnn's and for my 16x26 pillow for I used almost an entire yard.  I found a font liked in Microsoft Word, blew up the numbers 2 and 5 to 500 pt, printed them out, cut them out, traced them on to freezer paper creating my template, and then cut out my template.  I then cut a pillow top 16 1/2 by 26 1/2, placed my template down, ironed it on the burlap top, and painted.  It's a tedious process, especially with all the cutting, but nothing too hard.
Once the paint was dried, I ironed over the paint so it doesn't wash off/bleed.  I did cut another 16 1/2 by 26 1/2 piece of burlap to go behind the top piece with the 25 on it.  I just thought it was too see thru without the extra layer.

In general burlap was easy enough to sew, but it's very messy, and the fabric is rather shifty when you cutting and sewing.  Just be sure to use lots of pins and plan to use the vacuum when you are all done should you feel like you need a little burlap love in your home. 

I also brought back the Crate and Barrel knock-off Christmas tree pillow from last year.  It's super cute, but I kind of want to make a new one.  I don't really want to because it will take forever, but I know I can do some things differently if I had another go at it.  I have a feeling it won't ever happen, and probably that's A-okay!

 That's the new line-up for Christmas pillow this year.  My brown leather chairs are feeling empty.  I had a thought for one or two more pillows, but maybe I save them for next year??

I read a quote on Facebook the other day that said something like "we compare our behind the scenes with others highlight reels."  Sew, I thought I'd let you see that my highlight reel is just one big facade.  I moved tons of stuff to the other half of my living room/dining room combined space to take my pretty pictures today, and I even forbade my children from sitting on the couch before school.  We only have one couch, so that was probably a little mean.  But my pictures look pretty, right?!  My little ones will live.  Now hopefully my pillows will survive the torture they are about to be put through by 3 little ones using them as toys, rocks, hot lava, climbing blocks, etc.  

Sew on, sewing friends!


Annee said...

The new Christmas now pillow may have ended up being my favorite! But I love the patchwork ones too. It's all sew festive. Very inspiring!

Annee said...


You know. One handed iPhone typing while nursing. It's always risky.

Sarah Foreman McKellar said...

Hi Liz! What do you use for the pillow filler? Do you have an actual pillow that you use the cover for, or do you fill your pillows with a filler? I've tried the filler and mine are really lumpy. :) Merry Christmas!

Liz said...

Hi Sarah! I use pillow forms. I've used some inexpensive ones from JoAnn's which work fine, but my favorite ones are my Pottery Barn insert pillows. They are down and hold up nicely. I've been putting zippers in all of my pillow covers, but you could also do an envelope closure for the back and then slide a pillow form in your cover.

Filler is probably the least expensive route, but it's a nightmare to work with and not end up with lumps.

Merry Christmas to you too!

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