Friday, December 16, 2016

When Good Ideas Fail - The Pillow

     I have been saving selvedges for a bit now, inspired by the uses that can be made of these long strips. Added with some long fabric strips, too narrow for string quilts, I sewed the strips together when I had some mindless free time to create two large balls of  fabric "yarn".   My intention was to try to make a rag rug using this tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts.    I really should have actually read the tutorial!

     However, I found myself at Joanne Fabrics with a coupon, and purchased a nice set of size 17 bamboo circular knitting needles, considerably smaller than recommended.  But, they actually worked okay.  
     I cast on 35 stitches, eyeballing the right width, and started knitting.  There was definitely some wrangling of the fabric from time to time, but it was a great project to do while watching what are apparently endless episodes of the Mindy Project on Hulu.   The width ended up being about 18 inches.
     Once I got to a certain point, when the piece was a square, I thought that it was so darn cute and scrappy looking that it shouldn't just be underfoot and getting dirty - but that I could show off this scrappy loveliness and make pillows from this piece.  So, I cast off, and made another similarly sized square.

     Earlier this year I experimented with canvas drop clothes and made a slipcover for an old couch that my son has in his apartment, and some grommet curtains for what was my daughter's room in my house.
This slipcover was made using only measurements from the couch and pictures.  Not great, but not bad considering that I didn't have the couch on site to make adjustments for a better fit.  
The grommet drapes (with lining)
        I thought I would use some of the left over scraps to make envelope backs for the pillows.   I have made plenty of pillow covers in my time, and so went about cutting the fabric for what would finish as a 16 inch square. Turns out, the pillow forms are 18 inches square, but down, so they smush! 
      I had a cream thread in my Bernina, and pinned the knit top to the backing.  Then I started sewing and realized that the top was pretty thick!  I carried on, until I  broke a needle.   Cleaned out the lint, rethreaded, replaced the needle, and started again.  Broke another needle, then another, and another and another.  Once I broke 6, I quit trying to sew this on my machine.  I actually thought about using my Tiara, but realized the knit top would not even begin to fit.     
     A quick finish was no longer possible.  I began to hand sew the knit piece to the backing, and finally finished one pillow.  It seems a bit lumpier than I had anticipated, and no longer seems so charming.  Not sure if that is because of the hand sewing, because the pillow form is too big, or because this was a ridiculous idea!  I will finish up the other one tonight (and may make a back to fit the 18 inch pillow, and see if a pair looks better than a single.   If not, I'll find some use for these pieces!  

       Have a wonderful holiday!  

Take care,


  1. I saw your name on Crazy Mom Quilts link up and of course I had to stop by. I used to collect selvages but got rid of them. I have enough someday projects. Blessings, Gretchen