Friday, February 17, 2012

Pillow Talk

The front sitting room in our home has been sitting furnitureless for the the entire first year plus a bit since moving in to our new-to-us house.  Until recently!  Hurray!  I was at the Salvation Army a few months ago and ran into a couch.  It didn't stink, and totally had some good make-over potential.  So I paid my $62.25 (half off cuz it had been on the showroom floor for two weeks!) and said hello to our new couch.

After a good wipe-down on the frame and hitting the dust off the cushions, we brought her in and quickly covered her with some blankets and pillows.  If you're really aching to see the upholstery cover on the cushions, just think early 80s doctor's office waiting room.  Now let's zoom out to get a little context.

We're titleing this sitting room our Second Hand Living Room.  Cuz you know the couch is second-hand, the piano and rocking chair came from my mom, the bookshelf left of the couch came from my sister (a high school woodshop project) and the checkerboard table to the right of the couch came from my dad (another woodshop project, from his college days).  The lamp on the checkerboard was a quick find at one of my favorite local thrift stores.  Just after we got the couch I put out the word that we needed furniture to surround it, and all this stuff landed almost at once in our little Second Hand Living Room!  Ta da!  

But let's be honest, this room is gasping for some color, and my stitch-happy fingers lead me to start with the throw pillows.  Not long ago I saw this scrap-happy pillow over on Cluck Cluck Sew.  Her tutorial is totally detailed and fabulous, so be sure to check it out if you're thinking of giving it a go.

I'm really fickle when it comes to decorating colors.  Which is why my basic plan is just to put out stuff that I like, rather than worry about a color scheme. But this particular week I was feeling lemony.  So I used Cluck Cluck Sew's basic directions, but swapped a few of the leaves for lemons. It's hard to really see until you look at the shapes closely.  All the yellow scraps are cut in a rounded lemony nipple-shape. (Yes, I just said nipple on my blog.  Blah!)

In case you were wondering, this is where the sewing action takes place.  My sewing cabinet is in the kiddos' play area where I blissfully stitch away as they angelically play on their own with their toys.  Ha ha!  Seriously, that's what I had in mind when we planned this room arrangement, but it really doesn't work that way.  But that's okay. I squeeze my time in during their sleep schedule.  So this little scene is during their afternoon nap.  As you can see, the ironing board is down low, next to the laptop so I can read along with the tutorial while ironing the interfacing to the back of the fabric scraps.

One little thing that I changed in my design from CCS's was the stitch around the leaves, lemon, and trunk.  I think it's called a blanket stitch (???).  Anyways, it's number 19 on my sewing machine, and here's a close-up of what it looks like in the stitch sample diagram.

Here's a real close-up after I stitched a few leaves with it.  Totally my faves for applique stuff.  Check out those cute little stitches!

Anyhow, this pillow was a three part process, as far as my time went.  The night before I cut the pillow front and back, and sewed the zipper on.  The next day, during the kiddos' nap, I cut out my tree scraps, fused them to the interfacing, and cut and pinned them into place.  Then that night after the bambinos were in bed was when I did my tree stitching, and stitched together the front and back of the pillow.  So we're talking about 3-4 hours all together.

But totally time well spent!  For the last 24 hours I've been doing a little detour on my walk-around-the-house route to catch a little glimpse of the lemon tree.

Earlier in the week I did this one.   Those ruffles worked me.  They can be horizontal.

Or vertical.

 Look, they're friends!  I'm detecting a yellow, green and blue theme.  Unless fickleness hits again.

But it's still just the tip of the iceberg in this very brown wood and neutral second hand living room.

I guess a start is always better than nothing at all.

Happy pillow stitching!

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