If you're happy and you know it... make a pillow. Pillows are one of the best things for a beginner to tackle; they're fast and fun projects for anyone and immediately brighten up your décor. Today's pillow in Jennifer Paganelli's Happy Land for FreeSpirit Fabrics is what I envision Little Miss Muffet's tuffet must look like. Even though you end up with a completely different look, today's pillow is constructed similarly to Monday's Happy Land bolster pillow. They both start as a tube. In this case, you gather the top and the bottom, cinching the fabric to create the cushion shape. You then conceal your gathering points with jumbo covered buttons.
Two recent self improvement books that took the best-seller lists by storm centered on how to be happier: The Happiness Projectby Gretchen Rubin and her follow-up, Happier at Home. Here at S4H, we believe one of the best ways to be happier is to surround yourself with home décor that makes you smile. Why are you smiling? Because you made it yourself! We knew one of our 10 Designers & 10 Collections had to be Happy Land by Jennifer Paganelli for FreeSpirit Fabrics. Even though it's been out for awhile (a Fall 2012 debut), it caught our eye back then, and we've been waiting for a chance to use it. In fact, the Happy Land collection made us so happy, we were inspired to make three different pillows. Today's is a mini bolster. It looks fancy with its ruched center panel, piping accents and candy wrapper ends, but it's easier than you might think... because easy makes us happy!
Today in our 10 Designers & 10 Collections series, we are taking a walk on the wild side with our good friend, Anna Maria Horner. We've created three incredible throw pillows in Anna's Field Study collection. Anna is always ahead of the curve when it comes to producing collections in a fun variety of substrates. Field Study is available now in quilting cotton, laminate, velveteen and voile, and will be coming soon in a linen. For our pillows, we chose amazing animal print velveteens paired with lush quilting cottons. Each pillow is framed with a gorgeous brush fringe. By using the same fringe on each along with one matching print (the animal print velveteen) in multiple colorways, all three pillows coordinate beautifully, yet all three are different.
I did quite a bit of searching to find out where/how prairie points got their name. In doing this, I discovered quite a bit about prairie dogs, the ecosystems of Kansas prairies, and even Prairie vodka. However, the history of these cute little triangles in the world of sewing and quilting seems a bit vague. There was one posting about their possible start as a trim on undergarments in the mid-1800s. If you are a prairie point historian, leave us a comment and let us know the real scoop. While we're waiting, let's make a few prairie points to adorn a pretty pillow done in Marmalade by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics. There are 32 points around the edge; including clever mitered corners, which we show you how to make, plus three along the back as buttonhole accents. And, in case you were wondering, prairie dogs are considered to have one of the most sophisticated communication systems in the animal kingdom.
Charm squares are just that: charming little chunks of fabric, 5" x 5" squares from all the patterns and colorways within a given fabric collection. Moda's standard charm pack comes with 42 pre-cut 5" x 5" squares. They're a real time-saver and can make patchworking projects a delight. We used a Charm Pack of Bonnie & Camille's Marmalade collection for Moda Fabrics in a unique way for this very quick and easy pillow. The pillow front and back is made with just three simple yardage cuts (though you could use fat quarters). Then, we stitched charm squares end-to-end to create the ruffle strip. Fast, fun, and with a fantastically colorful result.
Just a little fancy cutting and a bit of clever seaming, and you can turn a simple fabric border design into an elegant frame with a center medallion. It's a great way to give an ordinary square pillow a trendy designer look. And when you have a collection with the depth and drama of Amy Butler's Alchemy for Rowan Fabrics, it's easy to find motifs that cry out to be fussy cut. During this busy time of year, a classic pillow executed in gorgeous fabrics is perfect for holiday giving and decorating, but also has the beauty staying power to last year 'round.
When we talk with our friends in the industry about how to entice new people into the world of sewing, everyone seems to agree a pillow is the best way to start on your sewing adventure. If you've been sewing for years, a pillow is also one of the best and easiest ways to update the look of your décor, adding a dash of fresh excitement to a sofa, bench or bed. What makes it even more special is when you work with a wonderful collection like Amy's Butler's Alchemy for Rowan Fabrics. The fabric does the heavy-lifting. It's so beautiful, all you really need are two fussy cut panels. We added contrasting piping, covered buttons and tassels to give our pillow some extra holiday elegance. Turnaround a new pillow and a new look in just a few hours.
We love sewing by machine! It's fast, it's easy, and when you have great machines like the Janome models in our S4H studios, it's almost effortless. But it doesn't mean you can't whip out the hand needle and thread now and then. A few well-placed hand-stitched accents adds a unique decorative touch. Today's lovely lumbar pillow features rows of simple running stitches in three coordinating colors of embroidery floss. By adding a bit of batting behind the fabric, the finished look has a sweet hand-quilted feel. Against the rich cottons of Amy Butler's Alchemy collection, it's the perfect understated embellishment. Not so much that it distracts from the beautiful fabric, just a small, special element that takes only a few minutes to include.
One square foot of fun! At just 12" x 12", these plump little pillows pack a design wallop twice their size. This project shows you how much fun it is to mix and match colors, patterns and collections to really rock a brand new holiday look. That's what our Re-imagine & Renovate series is all about. We pull out a classic fave tutorial and give it a whole new spin with fresh fabrics, trims and notions. Today, we show you how to light up the season with a holiday punch of three amazing collections from FreeSpirit fabrics: Super Fly from Jennifer Paganelli, Kumari Garden Holiday from Dena Designs and Star Flakes and Glitter from Tina Givens.
Some pillows are elegant, some are functional, and some are just pure entertainment. Our chubby little peppermint candy of a pillow, in fabrics from Verna Mosquera's new Pirouette collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics, is just that: jolly good fun! We spun alternating wedges of fabric into a darling pinwheel pattern ringed with poms... because you simply can't look at bouncy pom poms without smiling. This is a pillow that will brighten any surface it lands on. Today's our last day working with the vintage loveliness of Verna's new Pirouette - her ninth collection for FreeSpirit, which will begin appearing next month, December 2012, at participating online and in-store retailers.