April 11, 2010

A Creative Solution = Lovely Pillows!



A couple years ago I made a relaxed roman for my kitchen window that I absolutely LOVE!

Of course If I had planned this post a little better I would have taken my photo of the kitchen window a little later in the day when the sun wasn’t so bright, making it next to impossible for my amateur self to capture a decent photo of the space! Geesh!!


Just to make things a little easier for you, I’m including a closer up photo so that you can see the beautiful brocade fabric that I made it from. More love!!!


When I was finished making this roman, I packed up the extra material and tucked it away. I find I always save my extra fabric… you too? I also almost always find that I keep DSC01864it for years and years and years… and usually the remaining fabric never again sees the light of day.

BUT… the day I put THIS lovely fabric away a little twinkling idea had sparked in my mind… I wanted to make matching pillows for the empty bench that also sits in my kitchen. How wonderful would that look? What a terrific way to pull the look around the room!

Well… it took 2 years for me to act on that idea and pull the fabric from my sewing box.

And here it is…


Can you see the problem I was immediately faced with?

The strip of fabric you see is about 8” wide and 45” long. I had 2 of them.

How the heck do you make pillows out of fabric that is 8” wide?! “What’s the problem?” asked my wonderful Brian. So I explained to him that to use this fabric I’d have to sew the 2 panels together… and that would leave an ugly seam down the centre of both sides of each pillow. Yuck!!

Picture1The cool thing about talking out loud about this kind of stuff with my husband is that – in the explaining – I often come up with a solution.

And what a solution!!

Have you ever seen Sarah Richardson’s signature pillows? Well… here are some…

Sarah LOVES buttons!

And she loves buttons on pillows.



Well… inspired by Sarah’s fantastic pillows, I would use buttons on my pillows too. What a great way to mask the seams!

I went to my favourite fabric store and purchased some pretty Celtic knot buttons!


I pulled all my materials and tools together…


I set up my sewing machine…



It’s kinda funny… I don’t have a designated sewing space… and I like to watch TV while I’m working… so Brian brought me a large piece of spare wood and created a temporary work table for me by placing it over our twin ottomans (shown above right – another project waiting for me [I want to reupholster them ‘cause they’re ugly!]). The make-shift table shook like crazy when the machine was sewing(!), and it was a little uncomfortable to lean over too while I was working, but it was all good in the end :-)



I had LOTS of help from my kitty Shelby who insisted on pressing the fabric. She did a wonderful job!!


Once the cases were sewn, I got to work sewing the buttons in place


When ever I do any hand sewing, I always use my Great Grandmother’s thimble… it’s antique sterling silver and originated in Norway, her birthplace. I love it!!!


And here they are… the finished pillows!!


And here are photos of the pillows in their new home… the bench in our kitchen!!




Project complete!!

Funky JunkI’m sharing the creating of these lovely little pillows with the readers from Funky Junk. Each weekend Donna hosts her the Saturday Night Special blog party and I’m participating! Be sure to make your way back to Funky Junk to check out the other party goer’s DIY projects!

How do you come up with creative solutions? Do you brainstorm like Brian and I often do? Do you seek inspiration from other sources like I did with these pillows? Do you sleep on your dilemma? Share!!



Laura Trevey said...

Okay, I am impressed!! Great post :)

Nancy@marcusdesign said...

Victoria, I love your pillows, they are awesome!! I too love Sarah's button pillows, a friend of mine made me a few (cause I can't sew!) with some gorgeous vintage buttons she found at a button store in Gastown. Very smart solution to your fabric dilemma!

Cheryl said...

I am a big fan of sarah richrdson and was recently squealing with delight that they are showing the farm house series of sarah's house here in the states.
I think you did a great job with your pillows. Way to go using your noodle and your fabric!

Kat said...

Wow Victoria, these came out beautifully. I love the idea to use the buttons, and I really love the buttons you chose. I don't sew for health reasons (I'm a major klutz and actually ran a sewing machine needle through my finger in home ec) but I would love to be able to make something like these. And I really like your choice of iron :) She's gorgeous. Kathy

Danica said...

Those turned out beautifully, Victoria! They really complete the bench. I really should learn how to sew one of these days. I still make my mom do all my sewing! :p

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

What perfect solution! I love your pillows and they look lovely sitting on your bench!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

These turned out great, Victoria! Great solution and I love the addition of the buttons. I definitely have lots of left-over fabric from my own projects but then I have little pieces from samples I ordered for clients.

qerat said...

Lovely as usual.
so you can make cushions too?? :)

Allison Shops said...

Love the pillows! Wish I could sew. :( Stopping by from BNOTP.

Barbara Matson said...

So Sarah Richardson! I love the pillows, the fabric looks familiar- I have the same print on my living room throw pillows but in onyx. I love paisley prints. I have also wanted to make pillows like Sarah's, I love her mix of pillow shapes, fabrics and use of buttons.
I laughed about your improvised sewing workspace- I too like to watch TV and clear off the kitchen table to do so!


Gayle said...

I love them! You did a fantastic job!

Susan said...

Good for you to get your pillows checked off the list :) You did an awesome job, I'm a fan of button pillows too!!! In truth I just love toss cushions and lots of them... I think it's a sickness :)

Beach House 27 said...

Wow - you had some leftover fabric and decided to whip up a few pillows?

And they came out fabulous, love the pillows, fabric and buttons -


Lisa said...

They are beautiful Victoria! What a great idea to disguise the fact that the remnants were only 8" wide. A great way to use up smaller scraps of fabric...

Erin said...

very adorable! great solution! I think I may copy this idea with some left over fabric I have from my curtains. Thanks for sharing!

Vanessa@decor happy said...

Love button pillows! They turned out beautifully Victoria.

Meg from Behind the Big Sunglasses said...

Your pillows are gorgeous...BUT I am in LOVE with what a beautiful job you did on the relaxed roman shade! Thanks so much for sharing, how inspiring!

Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

Your pillows turned out perfect! I love the buttons, it makes them look so..tailored?

And to answer your question, I too keep all scrap fabric. okay not the smallest pieces. I always find the use for it!

Erika Ward said...

these look professionally done! now can you make a few for me ;-)

mrsben said...

Love your relaxed Roman Shade and of course your new cushions. Great job on both accounts!

Re the cushions; if ever in the market for feathered filled ones you can always recycle old (bedding) pillows. I had quite a few that had seen better days so laundered them myself as Dry Cleaners charge $50.00 and up.

Washing -- As a few feathers may work thru the original casing, put entire pillow (with old casing) in a pillow protector or another safety-pinned case. If using a top loading machine, put TWO pillow in at a time to balance it. Use half the amount of a gentle detergent which you would generally use. (Woolite) Wash gentle cycle. Rinse 'n spin cycle twice.

Drying -- ONE at a time, transfer pillow (still with extra casing) to the dryer. Toss in three or four new Tennis Balls and dry on lowest setting. Fluff up periodically and resume til pillow is 'thoroughly' dryed. Clean lint trap on your dryer. Continue same process with remaining pillow(s).
**I recommend that you allow yourself ample time for the process as it does take awhile for them to dry."

Storage -- Remove 'all' casings and transfer feathers to individual sealed plastic bags. (As I had six pillows in total I kept them separate as one queen size pillow makes two reasonably sized toss cushions.)
**Supplies -- Check out your 'Dollar/Buck or Two StoreS' for cheap pillow protectors,
tennis balls and plastic bags.

I apologize Victoria for my very long winded comment, but hopefully you won't mind me sharing the above information as "recycling is a good thing". :) -Brenda-

P.S: FYI as you love Sarah as much as I do, are you aware there is currently a contest being sponsered by HGTV Canada, April 6th to May 4th for Canadian Residents Only. The prize includes a $15,000.00 Sears voucher and a free design consulation with Sarah.

amariaf2000 said...

Great idea!! you can also use trims and fringes and ribbons to help cover up seams and create interesting pieces!! Those are pretty!
I wished you lived closer. I am hosting a Craft Swap Meet in May at my house...for people just like us...who keep our extra crafties that usually never see the light of day again!

~angela @ peonypatch

Kathysue said...

Love the pillows great choice on adding the buttons! Man, I wish I could sew. If it can't be done with iron on tape it doesn't happen at my house. I would be in pillow heaven,Kathysue

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

Great solution and simple way to hide the seams. Great use of awkwardly shaped the eating area ...and the placement of your flatscreen!

Good stuff!

CK said...

That is so funny, I have the same fabric, made a roman shade (for a bathroom) and saved the leftover for pillows! It's been at least 3 years now, and I still haven't gotten my act together. Glad to see someone did! Good job!

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