wrapped for winter

I went looking for examples of how decorative pillows can enliven a home, and then I found this site.  The pillows featured on this list weren’t quite the type I initially had in mind, but they’re hilarious, clever, and…a little disturbing.  Getting back to serious decorating, here’s something closer to what I set out to find.  The idea is that a few pillows can take any room from boring to bland, or incoherent to impressive.

In our second apartment we had room for a couch, and it sat awaiting personality for a long time.  Finally I saved enough decorating money to “splurge” on pillows.  I’ll be honest: it was tough for me to spend $15 a pop on new pillows.  I considered secondhand, but some things are just too grubby by the time they’re passed along, and in my town that was certainly the case for charitably-given throw pillows.  So to retail I turned and spent what to me was a lot of money making my couch look like this:

I also added two square pillows: one the same shade of orange as the one on the couch, and one green.  The reds were actually leftovers from dorm decor.  When we moved I decided I didn’t want so many colors in play so I put away some of the pillows and went with this look:

Are you thinking, “Hey; that’s still the same number of colors?”  Because you’re right.  I guess to me it seemed like fewer colors because the look is more subdued…?  And they all match this poster…?  Anyway, a pile of pillows-in-waiting has occupied various corners for months.

I knew I wanted to do something with them, but I wasn’t sure what.  Then I started to see photos in decor magazines and catalogs showing throw pillows and blankets with sweater textures.  That seemed perfectly cozy to me.  Solution?  Salvation Army/Goodwill run.  Between the two I came up with these:

The other night I got to work while watching a brainless movie called “Bridal Fever.”  The “plot” and “dialogue” left me plenty of attention to devote to my craft project.  First I laid a red pillow on top of an inside-out sweater.  I made sure one edge of the pillow lined up with an existing side seam of the sweater, then pushed in a row of straight pins along each of the other three sides.  The sweater’s width far exceeded the pillow’s, so I needed to mark an edge before I reached the other side seam.  The lighting’s terrible, but here’s a sort-of visual.
Those tiny red, red, yellow, and blue dots near the top are pinheads.  Anyway, between one existing seam and three rows of pins, I described a square on the sweater and proceeded to sew along its edges.  In fact I sewed with such enthusiasm that I sewed the darn thing shut with no pillow inside!  So I ripped out a bit of the stitching, turned the sweater pillowcase right side out, and crammed the pillow through the too-small hole I left.  Finally, I sewed shut that hole from the outside.  And this is what I made:
You’ve probably noticed so I’ll acknowledge: it’s crooked.  But the first thing my husband said when he noticed it was, “Ooh, it looks soft!”  He picked it up and stroked it like it was a kitten, and I smiled like I was a kid whose mom just hung a fingerpaint masterpiece on the fridge.  It’s not perfect around here; it’s home.  Happy sigh.

So…anyone like to do dorky little sewing projects?  Add bright accents to boring rooms?  Did you guys have any favorite looks from the HGTV pillow slideshow?  Except for the tacky sign over the bed, I really liked the Neon Scene bedroom, and I found myself strangely drawn to Chic Pink as well.  Maybe it’s because both schemes contained unabashedly bright yellow?  That’s probably it.

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1 Comment

  1. something up my sleeve « wellcrafted

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