Coral (scrap) Pillows!

Ok, are you tired of my pillows yet??? I hope not, because I have one more beachy batch of pillows left to share!

Seahorses, Sailboats and Coral, Oh My! So why am I calling them scrap pillows, you may be wondering… Well, back in the day I used to make a bunch of pillows and handbags and sell them around town at shops here in Seattle. I had a neighbor who worked for a very small company that did upholstery for boats. They would have bags and bags of scraps. Every couple of months I would go pick up a few bags to bring home and sort through. Based on the scraps, these boats they were sewing for are boats I will probably never ever spend time on unless I win the lottery! This fabric was in one of the bags! Just a pile of scraps…

My mom spotted the fabric and took it. When we were downsizing her house, I found it and took it back. I knew she wanted to do something with it, but probably never would. So I took it back and made her pillows.

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I made two square pillows. The unfortunate thing about this fabric, is that you could see the embroidery through the white fabric where is wasn’t behind the coral itself. So, to fix that, I lined the coral fabric with a dark grey fabric behind it. You can’t see any of the threads! For these I used my go to, middle lined with a thin line and then a wider border technique! Just like the seahorse and sailboat pillows!

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The border and back fabric is also fabulous scraps from my neighbor’s shop. It almost looks quilted, but it’s more like a sort of embossed fabric. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but it’s beautiful! The sand dollar just really pops!

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This is an early attempt at an invisible zipper. Not quite there, but it’s close!

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I also made two rectangular pillows. Same coral fabric, but these were longer pieces that I was able to capture these little corally, rose-ish swirls on the edges!

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For these I tried putting on a binding, just like I would a quilt. It turned out nicely. I don’t know if it’s the ‘correct’ way to do it or not, but it went together just fine. And I’ve used this technique again since I made these pillows.

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For these pillows I switched up the back and the zippers! I ran out of large enough pieces of the embossed fabric, so I went with this quilting cotton on the back. This was not scrap fabric, but it went perfectly with the colors of the coral so I couldn’t pass it up! And for the zipper, I did a lapped zipper rather than the invisible zipper. I had to change the zipper since I was doing the binding on the edge. That wuoldn’t have worked with an invisible zipper at the bottom.

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These were very well received by my mom! I hope she is still enjoying them. She did not like me taking the fabric back from her, but I think she made out on top in the end!

And I can’t believe summer is almost over and it’s already September!

 

Upcycled Sailboat Pillows

I first want to send love and thoughts to all those left in the wake of Hurricane Laura. The Gulf Coast is where I’m from and all my family and childhood friends are still there so I watch the storms with a heavy heart wherever they go once they hit the Gulf. I’m always leery about donating to national organizations, because I’m not sure where the money is really going. I found this article with some local organizations that are already working to clean up the aftermath and help those in the path.  Hopefully, there will be a group that stands out for you if you are looking for a way to help from a distance.

With all that said, my happy place is an old beach cabin on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. I love sewing on the porch when I go to visit. And sometimes I sew things for the house before I get there. Like these sailboat pillows.

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A few years ago, I found these sheets at Goodwill and I couldn’t walk away from them! They were sailboat sheets from Pottery Barn Kids and I just knew they would be a perfect fit for something at the beach house. We’re always doing little upgrades here and there and the ‘middle’ room as it’s called had just received a new grey paint job and needed fresh curtains. (There’s the end room, the middle room and the blue room, even when it hasn’t been painted blue, it’s still the blue room!) I backed the curtains with yellow lining and extended that just about a half inch for a little yellow accent.

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And of course, the fabric hoarder that I am, I just couldn’t through away the scraps from the curtains. But what to do with those scraps???

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Make pillows of course!

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The yellow is one of my staples, so I still had some of that and ‘outlined’ each boat with it.

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Like the seahorse pillow, these were made before my invisible zipper phase started! I didn’t even have enough scraps left to make the back sailboat fabric. I used almost every inch of that upcycled sheet set!

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I didn’t get to visit the beach house this year due to COVID and my son asked me this weekend if there had ever been a year that we hadn’t been. And no, I don’t think in all my 20 years (ha! it’s been a few more than that) on this planet, I have never spent a whole year away from the beach house. Definitely not a year missed since the kiddo’s been around and I can’t remember another year that I’ve missed it. Let’s keep wearing our masks so we can get back to our well loved traditions whatever they may be!