Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Betsy Class and Hearts and Swags Pillow Update

I'd hoped to have my pillow completed by tonight but sadly it isn't.  Yet I did manage to get my trim attached.  This was a technique that Betsy Reed showed us in her class this past November and it was instant love at first sight. 

Below is a pattern Betsy offers.  Notice how she made it look so old with the primitive stitched trim around the perimeter of the rug?  And the unevenness of the sides?  Yeah, I'm sure some of you don't care for it but to me it was wonderfully primitive as if the rug (or pillow) was in need of repair and....'she used what she had and did the best she could'.  This is the first piece that caught my eye, mostly because of the trim.
Below is a photo of the left bottom side for a close up.  Betsy went to the trouble of make the wobbly uneven sides just for that antique look.
Yeah, I'm sure some of you don't care for the look but to me it was very primitive and something I wanted to do.  Okay, for my pillow didn't want the uneven sides but did like the trim vs. a fancy wool covered cord edge. 
Betsy said to cut (rip) black (or whatever color you want) cotton fabric in 2 - 2 1/2" wide strips.  First she said wash to remove sizing, bleeding and shrinking.  Then it is put into a bath of brown dye to tone it down and give it age.  Next the strips are tossed into the dryer , once dry then rolled into a ball.  Yup, you read it here.....remove the knotted cotton strips and they achieve their natural wrinkles all wrapped into the cotton ball to be used later as a binding edge.
I started at the bottom of the pillow and left a tail at the opening. It doesn't show it well but the bottom left corner is just above the 5th whipped stitch.  All four corners need to be stitched nicely to have a well shaped pillow.  OH, forgot to mention that thread I'm using is crochet cotton which I've coffee/black walnut dyed to give it age. 
Here is what the side of the pillow looks like and the flash is making the thread look lighter than it is.
I've still the pillow stuffing part to do, hopefully tomorrow.  So there is more to this pillow project.  If anyone has questions that I haven't addressed to this point, please write me at and I'll post next time. 
Have a great evening, try to stay warm and toasty!


  1. Love it! Mine Betsy horse is finished and waiting to made into a pillow!

  2. I'll say it are just too darned talented!
    Hugs :)

  3. while I don't make a lot of primitive items, I love them and have a few throughout my home.
    This pillow is lovely.
    Wonderful job Saundra.
    Your directions were great !

  4. Betsy's technique is perfectly simple & i love it!!!

  5. I've done a similar finish on punch needle and Wool applique pieces...but never on a hooked rug or pillow...the wheels are spinning...Thanks for sharing this...

  6. Looks So pretty !!!! What a neat idea !!!!

  7. I love the wonky edges it just makes it looks perfectly prim!


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