Friday, November 13, 2015

How To Make A Fringed Memory Pillow

When we lost my grandfather a couple years ago I asked grandma to keep his clothes for me so I could make a quilt, now what to do with all the leftovers?  I decided pillows were the perfect solution.  I have enough material to make lots of pillows vs. only one more quilt.  Pillows it is!

Here's my first design:

My pillow form is 14" square.  I always use a 1/2" seam allowance so my backer fabric needs to be 15" square.  I have a simple white sheet I use for this (lots of yardage for not a lot of money, I use sheets a lot for this type of project).  I had an idea of what I wanted to do so first things first, draw it out!  If I don't do this I forget a seam allowance, or some other silly thing and then I have to start again, really annoying.  So, I ALWAYS draw it out!

 Here are the shirt fabrics I chose, all cut into the strips I need.

 The next step is to attach them using straight pins to the backing fabric.

 Then, stitch them down the middle, attaching the strips to the backer fabric (I used a white sheet for the backer) removing straight pins as you go.  I did not mark this, just freehand, it won't be very noticeable if you're off a little bit for the final product.  I also used grey thread.  You could change it out every time to match the color of the strip but grey is a nice neutral and again, when all is said and done it won't be all that noticeable.

 Here is what it should look like when all the strips are sewn down.

 This is what the backer (on the back side) will look like as well.

 The front of your pillow is ready to be attached to the back now.  I thought about a zipper but wanted to finish it today, no zipper in the house, so I did a pocket instead.  Simply cut two pieces for the back that overlap by at least four inches or so, remember it needs to cover 15" square with an extra four inches overlap.  I also used a sheet for this.  I found a striped sheet that resembled men's shirting fabric so it is going on the back.  It also already has a finished seam at the overlap so that saves a step (you can see that if you look closely at the picture).

 Here it is with both pieces laid out.  You will put your front piece, finished side up with your back, finished side down, matching up your edges.  When you sew the seam and turn it inside out you'll have your finished sides showing (double-check before you sew.... its quite annoying to have to rip seams out and fix this, I've done it on multiple occasions.  Like I said, very annoying).

 Then, pin them together

 Sew a 1/2" seam allowance all the way around, making sure to backstitch a few stitches where you start/finish to tie it off.

Turn right side out.

This is what it should look like.  Now the fun begins.  Grab a pair of sharp scissors and start fringing.

Be careful  not to snip into your stitch line.  They don't have to be perfect, keep them as even as possible and cut away.

 For another dimension you could add a snazzier fabric as your base fabric.  You could also layer your strips so its fuller.

Here's the finished product. 

I am making a selection of pillows as gifts this Christmas.  Stay tuned for my second design.  I've got the top finished but haven't had a chance to get the back done.  Here's a sneak peek at what I've got so far.

  Now I'm brainstorming for #3.  I'm sure it'll have fringe as well.  Have you done any "memory" projects after the death of a loved one?  If so, please share, we'd love to see what you've done!

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