So for a while now, I've been working with collage. We all know about the very elusive and secretive encaustic project I've been working on (and vow to be complete with in the next week! I promise!). And a few years ago, I made those photoshopped "fabric" collages for my nieces and nephew on my husband's side for Christmas. This year, I've been planning on continuing my vintage collage theme by creating fabric collaged pillows! So, I had a plan for these pillows to look very similar to my previous styles. However, as many of us know, art is (in my world) incredibly organic and always flexible to change.
|My Goddaughter (and niece), Reese, snuggling with |
her pillow after receiving it this Christmas.
I began my niece's (and goddaughter) pillow by spending some quality time at JoAnn Fabrics. Again... not a place you might want to hang out in during the holidays. I didn't even purchase any holiday items, but I came home covered in glitter and smelling of pine. Regardless, the cashiers at JoAnn's that I go to (on Logan and Elston) has the purchasing down to a fine science. Everytime I go in there, there is a significantly long line to the back of the store. BUT! You can make in through to the front of the store within 10-15 minutes! It's crazy.
A fantastic find!
|The beginning process.|
A long term investment?
As I was going through the checkout, I turned to Brian and said, "Well, I know we wanted to save money by making these gifts, but... " Just like any artwork, I hear the registers sing, "CA-CHING! CA-CHING!" And, like usual, I justify this larger purchase by saying to myself that I might be only using about $20 dollars worth of materials for this one project, but I know that I will have a ton of leftovers (on purpose) to make more in the future! In this, I remind myself that I am saving money later on as well as time and effort on one (or more) less trip to JoAnn's.
|The pillow in process with a second |
pillow in the back (in the making).
I begin my project with a little sketch of what I think this will look like. Based on that, I just start picking out different fabrics I want to use within the piece based on colors and patterns. I have also been very interested in making the pillow as tactile as possible (but also as durable as possible!). I wanted to include "loose" things, puffy things, various textures, etc. This is because it's for my niece who is 14 months old.
I started with the background, the tree, and the letters (and balloon). From there, I called my mother. "So, isn't there something that you can iron on the back of the fabric so that it doesn't fray? Or so that you can have fabric on both sides?" Indeed, there are TWO products. Mom to the rescue- she headed down to visit and brought with her some Stitch Witch and a large piece of iron on something-or-another. I ended up using the Stitch Witch to sandwich fabrics in order to create the little "loose" leaves on the tree! Thanks again to mom, Betta Duffy, for bringing her pinking shears with her- what a great idea for those fall leaves!!
Oh, you may also be wondering...
|The sewn pillow "case" with the back fabric.|
Filling and the finishing touches.
|Reenforcing the tree-to-pillow stitching.|
|Adding the nested button eyes.|
Once the front and back were stitched together (leaving about and inch and a half of the seam unstitched), I flipped the pillow case right side out and began stuffing the pillow. This is where I stopped. I took a good look at the front and decided that there were a few more additions needed, and a bit more reenforcing to certain parts of my stitching (like the puffy tree!!). After all, a one-year-old was receiving this present!
|Stuffing the pillow|
Lastly, I stuffed the pillow, and stitched up the side!
I added a diagonal yellow tag stitched from the bottom to the side that says, "Made with love: Aunt Janet. Christmas 2011"
Keep an eye out for more... I'm in the process!
|The finished product!|