If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Pillow Talk

Yesterday was my second attempt at creating simple, comfy pillows for my bay window seat.  I have always envisioned such a place as a retreat or a cozy niche for reading and relaxing and I got a start at creating such HERE.  In my mind I see:
relaxing rural scenery - got that
comfortable seat cushion - got that
perch for books, drink, snacks - got that
light-weight coverlet for snuggling - need that
a few pillows for leaning and reclining comfortably - now I've got that! 

A couple of days ago I worked on a different kind of pillow from anything I've ever made before.  I had seen the design in another blog and decided I would give it a whirl.  You can read about that HERE.  I was pleased with the way it turned out even though I thought I was putting a lot of work into it at the time I was working on pulling up the gathers.  Sometimes the detail makes up for the extra effort and this is really one of those times. 

I don't know whether I was inspired or whether I felt as if I was determined not to let the pillow project whip me.  I was a bit frustrated with the monogrammed pillow that I created the other day because my sewing machine pitched a little hissy fit and didn't sew the applique as smoothly as I desired.  In fact, if I had an abundance of supplies instead of just a few scraps, I would have thrown it out and started anew.  As it was, I just accepted that it wouldn't look perfect and figured that one of the grandchildren would probably get chocolate or something on it anyway and lived with the imperfections.  I guess there are times when something needs to bring us to the realization that imperfection is what makes everything unique.

When I was out shopping for fabric a few weeks back, I ran across a couple of beautiful linen prints that I thought would coordinate well with the seat cushion and draw in the other colors of the bedding, art, and needlework in the room. 

My two fabrics selected for my pillows.

The pattern on the fabric is quite large and busy, so I knew the pillow would have to be extremely simple. 

I searched through some blogs and sewing websites and came to the conclusion that I needed something simple with a fringed edge or maybe just a flanged edge.  I decided to go with a simple flanged pillow to take advantage of the print without any further fussing.  The fabric is a bit heavier weight anyway; so, I knew that it might get bulky in the seams if I wasn't careful. 

I hate that this photo makes the pillow look sort of limp and lumpy but I wanted to show how it looks alone with nothing to compete with the pattern.

This photo does it more justice and shows how it coordinates and contrasts with the window seat cushion.

I just love how it looks old and worn and as if it was handed down by your grandma or great aunt.  I have good bit of fabric left and I might make another one to go somewhere else in the house.  Hmmm...  Should it go in the back bedroom?  Should it go in the den?  Should it go downstairs in that bedroom?  Decisions.

While I was in the pillow making mode, I decided to tackle another pillow project.  I discovered an old vintage matelasse coverlet in the closet right after I moved into Mike's house.  It is a bit worn and has some places which I plan to patch somehow.  We kept it folded at the foot of the bed and used it all winter to pull up when the nights were especially chilly.  I do want to repair it, though, simply to preserve it and keep it from further deterioration.  It is oversized - probably for a king-sized bed and is a hefty weight.  So, it is warm without being too bundlesome like a comforter would be.  Recently, I found a bonus that went along with the coverlet - two matching matelasse pillow shams.  One of them has some stains that I couldn't get washed and soaked and treated out. 

Most of the sham looks beautiful, however.  So, I decided to repurpose the fabric into a smaller, 'leaning' sort-of pillow for the bay window seat.  At first I was going to cut it all up and add fringe or some sort of trim.  Then, I realized that I would be sacrificing the nice scalloped edge that already existed.  Since the stain was primarily on one end of the sham, I decided that I would just cut it down.  I accepted that I would have to have a seam if I was going to have a scalloped edge all the way round the perimeter and set to work figuring how I was going to make this work. 

Eventually, I decided to just cut the sham down to about fifteen inches in depth - leaving the nineteen inch width.  I cut the opposite end's scalloped edge off and opened up the stitching and sewed it all together.  Then, a little zig-zag stitching to prevent the scalloped edging from fraying and I had my new sham.  (Plus, I have a bit left for another project.  I'm thinking I could applique over the stain and have something wonderful.)

Looking really closely at the bottom edge, you can see the seam joining the new edges.

I just love the texture of the design in the sham and how it enhances the print of the window seat cushion!

Mike told me that he didn't want me to get too much up prettiness there on the window seat because he is afraid I will "pretty" him right out of the room!  I think these three pillows do make this niche one step closer to my relaxation haven pictured in my mind's eye.  Don't you?

Here is a shot with the blinds closed because the sunlight is bright today.

Doesn't it look inviting?

I had my breakfast there this morning. (I did open the blinds but at that time the sun was just too bright for my camera skills.)  Soft and inviting is how I see this little niche.  I think of it as something a little like this:

In reality, though, it will most likely look more like this on a regular basis.  Here it is complete with a pair of Mike's socks and my night shirt and lotions where we are scurrying around trying to get off to work!

Still, the invitation is there...