Today I get to preview a new book that I have been working on for the past 7 or 8 months. I had some help with this book, so I want to share a little bit about how the idea for this book came about. The idea came in the form of an e-mail, after a blog post I had done on redecorating my bedroom. I showed the shams I had made to go with my bed quilt, along with some before and afters of the room. The e-mail came from an aunt of a quilting friend, who I call “Aunt Betty”, even though she isn’t my aunt. The thing that struck me was when she said something to the effect of “We make all these beautiful quilts and then go to Target or somewhere to try to match a purchased pillow shame to our hand-made quilts. The result isn’t usually very successful”. I thought she made a very good point. Then I thought about my Mom, who has been making beautiful custom shams to match her quilts for years. We both agreed that there have to be many other quilters out there in the same predicament as “Aunt Betty” and we set out to design a collection of pillow shams together. We worked out the sketches together, Mom did much of the sewing, as she has lots of experience with home sewing, and I did some sewing along with the computer work and photography. It was a fun experience where we both got to make the best of our skills.
I have never been a big fan of the pillow tuck. I just think adding pillows looks so much more inviting. As we were sketching up the ideas, we knew we didn’t want just a pillow case. There are a few patterns on the market for pillow cases that are cute, but we wanted to design custom decorator pillows – something with an up-scale look and a quilting flair. Those thoughts translated into 3 basic pillows, each with many size and decorative accent options. The options are endless! We added 12 color pages of ideas to the book, but you can always use the info in the book to design your own. We really had fun making all the pillows, setting up the rooms, and putting together our ideas. Most of all, it was fun to do something fresh and different. In the past, I have mainly done quilt pattern designs. I quickly ran the numbers and it’s over 250 designs. After that many, I’ll be honest and say it can be hard to come up with something different and unique. Doing these pillows was different and a fun change of pace for me, but it is such a nice complement to our quilts. I think the pillows actually make our quilts look better! Our hope is that this book is something that will hit home with other quilters as well. Everybody probably feels that their home could use a little sprucing up, and this is an easy way to do it! Plus, it’s a great way to use up some stash (so you can buy new fabric ;-) )
So without further adieu- Here’s the front cover:
This picture shows a variation to the large pillow in the photo above. Just changing up the fabric and adding ric rac changes the look. Notice the chunky binding around the outside edge of the pillow. It’s soooo much easier than doing piping, which is why there is no piping in this entire book!
By the way, the photo above is the basic bound pillow, shown with the optional center decorative insert. This shot is taken in my sister and BIL’s master bedroom. They also have a beautiful room and I especially love that aqua blue on the walls!
The next pillow shows the basic flange pillow (the small accent pillows are variations on the basic bound pillow). The flange pillow is my personal favorite, so there are LOTS of options for this one! This show is taken in my parent’s master bedroom. They have great blue walls too!
This photo shows the basic flanged pillow with a contrasting fabric on the flange. The small accent pillow is another basic bound pillow with the optional applique.
(This photo makes me miss fall. We just got another 8 inches of snow they other day . . . This photo also brings back memories of the day we shot this photo. Just image me begging Joel to disassemble our bedroom and help me haul the bed outside. The light outside was so much better than in our bedroom!)
You could also scallop the flange – like this:
Or add one of four different decorative inserts to the basic flanged pillow:
The Sew and Flip – modeled by my niece Addilyn
The woven insert – shown in our bedroom, with the bed back in place and the mud cleaned off it’s feet!
The appliqued insert: Shown with the optional ric rac tucked in the seam.
The last pillow option in the book has these beautiful tie-closures.
The tie closures can go along the sides, as shown above, or along the top as shown below. You can also add some applique detail, if you want.
After making all these pillows for beds, we realized that there are other places to put pillows – like on a chair for a splash of color -
Lastly, I just want to say that these pillows are not as hard as they look. I have never been much of a home sewer, so I just assumed that they were challenging. Mom started showing me the methods that she had used to make her pillow shams, I knew this was something that the average quilter or sewer could make. The simple techniques are illustrated throughout the book and added details like ric rac and covered buttons add big style with minimal effort. We hope you will be willing to give it a try!
We also hope you have enjoyed this preview into what we have been doing the past 7 or so months. I always like to end the “preview” by giving away a few copies of whatever I am previewing. Many of you already know the drill – just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. I’ll pick some winners and announce them in my next post – so be sure to stop back.
(By the way – “Aunt Betty” you are the first winner of a copy. Just send me your shipping address . . . .)
Please note that this drawing is now closed. 2-16-2010