Sunday, January 5, 2014

Let the Pillow Begin

First I want to show you the front hooked part of the pillow.  This was a FUN and FAST project which was started in Betsy Reed's class this past November.  For those just joining me the design measures 20 x 20 (I also offer a 25 x 25 version for those who like larger).  I call it Hearts and Swags and it is an antique adaptation.

This was a hand torn project and the strip widths were between 1/2" to 1" and on occasion I used a leftover in #8.5 or whatever was available if the color was right.  I LOVE how the really wide strips curl.  A photo without a flash.
And photo with a flash.
Those who have been reading my blog for a while know I'm avid about securing the raw edges of backing to prevent any chance of raveling.  So I did the normal two rows of straight stitching, one row of zig zag, trimmed and THEN did a serged edge.  Even tho this will be made into a pillow and the edge tucked inside it still needs to be properly finished, IMHO.

I wanted to have the pillow back done in the 'patchwork' style that Betsy showed us in class.  Here are two hooked Hearts she did which shows that style.
And here is Betsy demonstrating how to do a pillow.  She has turned under her hooked linen backing down and has stay stitched it in place.  She didn't have a sewing machine in class so there are raw edges.  Betsy is using a quilting product known as Warm and Natural to baste her wool patches onto, pinning them along the way.  Notice that the Warm and Natural is cut smaller than the size of the pillow, which I also did (as you will see).
 Betsy then shows how she turns under the edges of the wool and that part will be hand stitched down using a sturdy button hole thread or other sturdy thread and securing close to the last row of hooked loops.
But I wanted to take it a step further.  While I did have some Warm and Natural instead I used a piece of fabric (not wool) and cut it just inside the dimensions of the design (as did Betsy). I wanted my pillow to slide in a little easier than perhaps the Warm and Natural would have allowed.
Next I started choosing wool.  Hey, I've kept wool that ended up being too thick to hook with but is perfect for purse backs and now this pillow back.  So those were the wools I sought out.  Don't throw anything away as it will be used for something one day.  I am pinning the wool to the plaid fabric and plan to completely make the pillow back before attaching.
There were a couple different designs I had in mind.  One had a donut shape in the center of the back similar to the one on the front.  And thought of doing a wool swag on a corner but it all seemed to 'fussy' so just went simple.

Oh yuck!  This picture is a flash and the colors are NOT like the one above; notice the plaid to the top right (above)?  That is really what the plaid to the top left looks like ~ but not in this picture below with the flash.  Anyway, I stitched all the pieces of wool directly onto the plaid piece of fabric.  THEN, did the primitive stitch over that.  Oops, guess you can see that I steamed the pillow back after stitching because I can still see the impression of the iron.  Oh well, this is a pillow for me and doesn't show up except in this flash photo.
What I've done now is put right sides together and pinned all the way around the hooked front.  I've straight pins where I will be hand stitching and THEN machine stitching over that.  Unlike Betsy's demonstration I wanted to do the two series of stitching all the way around; one by hand and one by machine.  Not that my way is better, I'm sure her way does the very same thing and works as well.  And.... in case you are wondering, yes, guess you could call me anal? 

At the bottom you will see safety pins.  That is to remind me to NOT stitch there because that is where I will turn the pillow inside out.  And that portion will be the only part which is just hand stitched down.
Since I've not pulled a loop on Santa and Deer all day think I'll do that this evening.  But stay tuned to see how this project turns out.



  1. very nice!
    and yes, Betsy's trick to finish is just awesome ~
    love your pillow, can't wait to see it finished up :)

  2. Looking forward to the finished pillow! I hope to start on my pattern at the Sauder hook-in in February.
    Stay warm and safe!
    Hugs :)

  3. *****when hooked correctly...wide strips should not curl up.

  4. Then I'm glad that it isn't hooked correctly as I like the look. I even went so far as to use my fingers and curl the strips that weren't curling.


  5. Thanks for sharing this method of making a pillow!
    Looking forward to seeing it finished, colors are beautiful!

  6. This is such a great project Saundra - both front AND back! Love all the step by step photos you shared - thanks so much!

  7. This is such a great project Saundra - both front AND back! Love all the step by step photos you shared - thanks so much!


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