As of late, these initial pillows have been my free-time work, but I couldn't post any pictures of them until I had given them away: they were both gifts! The first is for my dear friends Bonnie and Richard Pruitt, and the son they've just adopted from Ethiopia, Jude. They decorated his nursery a long time before they even knew they would get him, and I made this pillow to match.
The second pillow is for one of the most adorable little girls in the world - Samantha. She is the daughter of David and Maria Haase, who are part of Collin's family, and this was for her fifth birthday.
Since both of these pillows were made for kids, I thought it'd be a good idea to make them out of soft cotton, organic when I could find a color that matched. Jude's pillow was made of finds from my local Hancock store - a beautiful soft blue damask pattern, and Kona cotton solids in Cocoa and Orange. I also didn't know whether Jude, a year old now, was past his "puking" stage... so I thought it was a good idea to sew the back with buttons so the pillowcase could be easily removed and washed. I washed both of these pillowcases at home first with an earth-friendly lavender detergent to make sure they were washer-safe (and to make sure they smelled nice!).
I went to Hancock again to pick out fabric for Sam's pillow, and I happened upon the most beautiful, whimsical, bird and flower print. I was oohing and aahing over it with my friend Allie, when I finally thought to look on the selvage to see who produced it! I laughed when I realized that it was obviously one of my favorite designers, Anna Griffin. Of course! I spent about an hour after that trying to find fabrics that matched, but it was such an unusual color palette that it took me a while. I found some organic cotton in Rose, and finally had to surrender to some regular broadcloth for the ruffle because it was the perfect shade of mossy green.
Anyway, both of the pillows were constructed the same way. First, I built the front face of the pillowcase with a square of one fabric and four strips of a border fabric. Once I attached them on the edges, I folded and sewed them back to make almost a frame-like corner.
From there, I appliquéd two layers of letters (either j or s), one thicker and one thinner. I used some fusible interfacing on the bottom layer, and then attached the thinner layer on top with Heat n' Bond. Once I appliquéd the whole piece to the front, I did a more decorative stitch to define the boundary between the thinner and thicker letters.
Then, I sewed two panels for the back of the pillowcase, putting buttonholes on one side and buttons on the other. I stitched these two together around the perimeter to make a square. Then, I layered the right sides together with the ruffle tube (facing inward) in the center, and sewed. Once I clipped the excess fabric from my stitches and reinforced them by overlocking, I turned the whole thing inside-out and had a pillowcase!
I meant to do a step-by-step "how to" with pictures, but the whole process of making the pillow and remembering to take pictures when I did something new was a little hard for me. I think I'll do instructions on something a little simpler first, then work up! Either way, both pillows turned out beautiful and cuddly, and I think both kids were happy to receive them!