Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Imperfectly Beautiful Pillow

I teased you with fringe. I teased you with fabric. Okay, enough suspense. Here's what I did with that fabric and fringe.

First, let me remind you where this fabric came from. If you remember in this post I told you that the fabric was from my old mattress that had been in my Grandparents' house. When I say old, I mean relatively speaking. I mean, it's as old as I am. In mattress years, that's ancient. In human years, not so much. But I digress. So I had this fabric from 1970 and I needed to find some fringe to match it. I thought I was going to have to go with a solid color, but a trip to Hobby Lobby changed my mind quickly. I couldn't believe how well this stuff matched my fabric. I was doing silent (okay, maybe not completely silent) "Woo Hoo!'s" down the aisles of the store. See how pretty this fringe is against that fabric? Anyway, I brought it home and started to work. Now, I thought about hot gluing everything together but I have two dogs who eat everything, so I thought if I didn't want my pillow eaten up for the hot glue hors d'oeuvre I'd better break out the old sewing machine for this project.

I have a love-hate relationship with my sewing machine. See, my college major was Home-Economics with an emphasis in Interior Design. Which means I sewed a lot for four years. You'd think I could remember some of it. Well, some of it I do. Most of it I don't. A lot of good my well-paid-for education did me. I think I fell out of love with it because I had a task-master for a teacher. Dr. Diamond (not her real name...I will spare her good name here...the ones who graduated with me or close to me know exactly who I'm talking about) was very strict on us Home Ec. majors. She would stand over me and my sewing machine and tell me, "That's not good enough, do it again!" I remember one jacket that was my pride and joy, a beautiful, deep amethyst cropped wool jacket that I thought I had sewn exceptionally well. Dr. Diamond had been gone while I finished it, and I had it hanging in her room for her inspection when she returned. Fully expecting an A, I walked in and she began her tirade about how this seam was wrong, and this corner was crooked, and blah, blah, blah. I was devastated. She gave me a B. But you know what? I wore that jacket with pride, because I had made it with my own two hands. It still hangs in my closet to remind me of what I am able to accomplish, but it also reminds me of how I was hardly ever good enough to earn Dr. Diamond's praise.

Fast forward to a few days ago. I was nervous to try sewing again, thinking I wouldn't do it "right." But I stuffed the fear down enough to start on my pillow, hoping I would remember enough to get by. I started by pinning the fringe on one side of the fabric, then sewing it on. I can't tell you how many times I stuck myself with those pins! Then I began to sew both pieces of fabric together. Because the fringe made one piece very bulky, it was extremely hard to keep the line straight. I kept hearing Dr. Diamond over my shoulder..."That's not good enough! That seam is so crooked! Tear it out and do it over!" And then I would hear The Nester's sweet voice (or what I imagine her voice to sound like) saying "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!" And that's what kept me from ripping it out and giving up. I finished it with a little hole in the side to squeeze the pillow form through, then hand stitched it shut. It was a little loose (meaning I had a little more room than I needed for the pillow form), but both my Sweet Husband and I thought it turned out beautiful.It's not perfect, by any means. But I just realized that no one else in the world has one like it and no one ever will. Even when I make one for my sister it will not be exactly like this one. It's a unique memento to remind me of time spent at my Grandparents' house.Now it sits in my house. I think it fits just fine.

19 comments:

Genny said...

That is gorgeous! I love the colors...so soft. You made me wish I could sew!

Susie Harris said...

Beatuiful!!! what makes it even better is the story behind it.... love it! Susie h~

The Nester said...

What a great tutorial of the sewing steps! oh, and the hot glue 'orderbs" as we say in the south, was too much!

love the fabric and the fringe!

Darlene said...

I absolutely LOVE your pillow and what a find on the fringe....it looks like it matches perfectly!! I think you did a FABULOUS job!!

Strawberry Blonde said...

Perfection! I love how it turned out. The fringe was made for your mattress fabric!

I can't sew. I wish I could, but I can't. Do you think getting a sewing machine would help?? Maybe I could sew if I had one of those thingys.

-- Brandi

CarlynB said...

Oooh Sister, I love the pillow. Hurry up and make mine!

BTW - I have a feeling that those mattresses were a lot older than you. I used to sleep on one of those beds when I was a wee tot before you were born, and I'm sure those beds were around before I was born - you know, during the Dark Ages, before color TV.

Regarding dear Dr. Diamond, I realize that the saying "A job worth doing is worth doing right" does contain wisdom, but so often we end up deciding if we can't do it "right" we don't need to attempt certain things at all.

Phooey.

G.K. Chesterton said that if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing wrong.

Love you,

Sister

Blissful Nikki said...

great job! I love pillows! they can totally make or break a room. Yours definatly MAKES it! :)

Sarah Mae said...

Wow - you did a beautiful job! I want to do this with my wedding dress - make a little pillow out of the back to sit on our bed.

dB Rocks said...

Again your talents shine! You ARE awesome. I wish everyone could have seen your face when you found the fringe. What joy fringe brings! :-)

Nick & Lisa said...

It's beautiful!! I have a sewing machine but can hardly sew a straight line, much less something complicated and with bulk. You did great!!

Katy Lin :) said...

i think it's absolutely wonderful! what a great idea, i'm sure you and your sister will treasure them! dr. diamond will never see it anyway, lol!

Strawberry Blonde said...

I'm sorry Heathahlee, if you've never watched 90210, we can no longer be friends.

Ok, I'm only kidding. BUT how could you have never watched 90210?? Sad, my friend. Sad.

I still love you, and the pillow.
-- B

Karen said...

I think it's beautiful! I wish I had that kind of talent. As sewing goes, I'm sooooooooo challenged!

Rachel's Journal Pages said...

I love the colours and definitely believe that it is worth an 'A' and a gold star and a pat on the head to boot!!

Christina said...

I think it's beautiful! You did a good job! A+!!

Susie Harris said...

Out of over 100 comments I could not have gotten a sweeter winner. Im so happy for you! Im doing a happy dance with ya! Just email your address and It's in the mail.. Thank you for playing and always being so kind. Susie h~

Darlene said...

I came over here to tell you CONGRATULATIONS on the win at Susie's. Man I wanted to win that giveaway....I know we musn't be jealous....please show us where you put Mr. Rooster. I bet you are doing a big happy dance!!!

Kitty Scraps said...

I stopped by too to say congratulations on winning Miz Susie's giveaway, lucky duck!

Love your pillow, I think you did a great job and LOVE your fringe!

At Home Redesigns said...

Looks great. You do nice work.