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Entries in Pillows (5)

Sunday
Apr202014

Corinne's Thread: Pillowcases for Every Bed

The first machine-sewing project I ever attempted was a pillowcase. The seams were a bit wonky and the hems were slightly uneven, but when I turned the whole thing right side out and slipped it on the pillow, you know what? It worked! Even with all its imperfections, it looked great, and so began my love affair with the humble pillowcase… and with sewing.
Since then, pillowcases have been my go-to project whenever I’m fond of a fabric, need a last minute gift (Mother’s Day!) or just want to spruce things up around the house. The seams are a bit straighter now and the hems are more precise, but no matter how many other projects I have under my belt, I come back to this simple and rewarding design time and time again. 
Sized for Standard, Queen, and King pillows, these really are Pillowcases for Every Bed. And although the pattern is so straight-forward that even a sewing novice can feel confident taking it on, the French seam details and envelope fold cuff add a challenge and polish that more experienced sewists will appreciate. 
With two styles (one plain, one with a contrast edging) and ten colorful fabrics, I had so much fun mixing and matching the cases for this giant pile of pillows. So, choose a few favorite fabrics and spend an hour to make a pair for yourself, or an afternoon to refit every bed in the house, or a weekend to make a set for everyone you know. I’m not kidding. They’re that easy and that addictive!
- Corinne

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Thursday
Jun202013

Corinne's Thread: Big Pinwheel Pillows

Every sewing project has an “aha” moment. Somewhere in the process of pinning, pressing, and seaming there comes a revelation when a useless piece of fabric transforms into something else, something to wear, to use or to simply admire. 

I was struck with several of these moments while piecing these Pinwheel Pillows. From the unexpected way triangles are created from squares to the efficient use of fabrics (only two prints for all three pillow tops!), this project has “aha” written all over it. 

To help make all this magic happen I enlisted some new favorites from Robert Kaufman’s Railroad Denim collection. Because these patterns are woven not printed, the front and reverse sides create a subtle but effective contrast. What a treat to get four prints for the price of two! The pillow backs are finished with the Micro Stripe fabric from the same collection, a soft chambray that seems miraculously at home with just about everything. You can pick up all three of these fabrics, along with the thread and pillow forms you’ll need to finish this project, with our Materials for Big Pinwheel Pillows kit

With all their unexpected twists, these pillows really were a delight to make. I may just surprise myself and whip up three more this weekend! - Corinne

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Sunday
Mar032013

Laura's Loop: Bobble Sheep Pillow

I guess it isn't surprising that a knitter has an affinity for sheep. Obviously, some sort of kinship must exist with the animal whose wool provides daily enjoyment (and employment!). So as predictable as it may be, I will say it anyway... I love sheep. They are a funny creature with a neurotic voice and a body perfect for graphic adaptation. 

I love their bulbous bellies and knobbly knees, their googly eyes and pointy ears. I love how they amble about in groups, looking like earth-bound clouds. And it goes without saying, but I love what they gift us... don't worry, I'm not about to type "mutton." I mean, of course, their wool!

A dear friend pointed out that it may be a bit snake-eating-its-own-tail, but anyway, I had to make one... I had to make a sheep, made out of sheep. 

With the softest, loftiest, creamiest yarn I could find and the most dramatic, nobbiest  texture I could create, I knit up this squishable, squeezable, nursery-rhyme version of every knitter's best pal. Bursting with bobbles, this sheep practically implores you to cuddle. 

Incredibly soft to the touch, Purl Soho's Super Soft Merino could not have been more appropriate for this project, right down to its color name, Heirloom White. Your own Bobble Sheep Pillow is sure to be loved by many generations to come!

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Thursday
Jun142012

Molly's Sketchbook: Quilted Throw Pillows

Kind of like a good hair cut, throw pillows can really transform a look. They add a unique and fresh something-new without a lot of fuss. Personally, I’ve had the same tired pillows on my bed for at least four years, and I was ready for a change!

These Quilted Throw Pillows, with their crisp, graphic simplicity, are really giving my bedroom the new life it needed.  Normally I don’t much like machine quilting, but for this project I decided to explore the more creative side to this usually tedious (for me at least!) process. With a creamy soft muslin as my canvas, I let the quilting itself be the point, creating grids of snappy red for a clean, breath-of-fresh-air look!

I discovered that I actually like machine quilting on a small scale. It makes the steps that I usually struggle with, like laying out the quilt sandwich and basting, no sweat! It’s also a real joy to start with such basic materials (muslin, cotton batting, thread) and to end with something so pretty. In fact the whole process turned out to be about transformations: of the materials, of my attitude about machine quilting, and of my bedroom! --Molly

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Tuesday
Dec132011

Molly's Sketchbook: Loop de Loop Pillows

I am a chronic doodler. My school notebooks always had more scribbles of flowers, geometric shapes, and animals than actual notes. To this day, my Purl Bee notes look more like mysterious outsider art than useful information. One of my recurring doodle themes is a loop de loop motif.  I love the hypnotic repetition of it.

With this penchant for doodling, it’s no wonder that I love embroidery so much. It’s basically drawing with thread. Once you master a couple of basic stitches your needle and thread become as versatile as a pencil, but unlike a tossed off pencil sketch, embroidery has an elegant and refined finish.

These Loop de Loop Pillows combine the simple, breezy feeling of a notebook jot with the beauty of embroidery.  I used soft, rustic Prairie Cloth in a gorgeous natural color as the base and accented it with sumptuous black silk embroidery thread. These pillows are very simple to make but end up looking so modern and sophisticated. 

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