Sunday, January 9, 2011

The flea market fancy pillow of my dreams and a New Year's sewing resolution

This is what I received from Amisha. By far this is my favorite holiday gift. All my favorite fabrics sewn together by hand and with all the white space, the fabrics just shine. Thanks so much Amisha, I LOVE IT!
Sometimes I think to push the envelope and really have fun, we all strive to come up with very elaborate pillows, quilts, etc. I marvel at the construction and work that go into all these fantastic pillows. They are works of art! Swaps have been a wonderful way to have a WOW piece come into the house. I am not sure I would take the time to make myself such a showcase piece like the Flea Market Fancy Cathedral Window Pillow Amisha made for me.
As I often struggle to come up with new ideas for gifts or when making something for us, I realized recently that a few simple pieces allow the few WOW pieces to really stand out! Simple allows me to actually make something, and when I get too crazy I tend not to finish what I start. (unless it is for a swap with a deadline!) The wonderful fabrics that I obsess over tend to stand out more when they are featured in a simple design.
So I have decided to embrace simple for a few months and actually make some things for us. Every time I finish a swap, Steve or the kids always ask why I rarely make things for us. That is going to change this year. I am going to set more realistic project goals for the items I make for home.
Yesterday I actually put this new approach into action. I cast some stitches around mid-day, quilted and felted during naptime and sewed it all together after everyone went to bed. It was a few hours worth of work in total.
I challenged myself to take a fabric I love and pair it with some texture. Varying the fabric for me adds depth and layers to a project, it gives it life. First I took out the knitting needles and created a striped square with a wool/mohair blend. Then I felted the wool and blocked the "fabric". I quilted the Echino bus fabric with two layers of batting in a simple line pattern with contracting thread. Cut the felted fabric and sewed the two pieces together. A little topstitching to hold the two together, a simple envelope backing, using the pattern of the fabric to make an interesting back.
And Viola, a new, fun pillow! I LOVE the combination of the felted wool and the canvas print.
I must admit I was feeling a bit homesick for Seattle last night as we watched the Seahawks beat the Saints. The game was fun to watch and the shots of the city, as predictable as they were . . . throwing fish at Pike's Place, a barista at the original Starbucks in the market, a shot across the water looking at downtown from West Seattle and then looking down on the city from the crest of Queen Anne. It looked like a great day and scenes of Seattle always make me miss home!
Ellie is still in the New Year's spirit. She loves the tiara my sister got her in NYC and has worn it for the last week straight. She is also still trying on new outfits with glee. This is a little number that Grandma Sue had under the tree for her, minus the sunglasses, tiara and hot pink shoes.
I am off to clean the pink nail polish off the floor, chair, etc from the pedicure Ellie gave Sam this am. I tried to take the polish off of Sam's toes (really his whole foot) but he insists on keeping it on!


Jenny said...

kirsten your pillow is amazing...well both are actually, but the one you made yourself is amazing!!! i love you thoughts on making it simple. and making things for your own family!

Megan said...

I must admit I didn't watch any of the game, but I'm happy for all my friends who care about football! It sounds like you're overdue for a trip out here to Seattle. Maybe next year? Hopefully you can bring the family out to the tasting room and have a glass of wine with me! Love that Echino pillow, especially with the felted wool, and who wouldn't be thrilled to get Amisha's? Glad you guys are all feeling better!

Becky said...

What awesome pillows! You lucky thing, one day I'll try that cathedral window technique, and i love youyr mix of textures!
So, which Blythe are you going to buy, tee hee!

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