Pillows and more pillows!

Pillows are not my usual sewing project, though I do love making beautiful pillows from time to time. Embroidering a monogram or letter on them makes them even more special. Silk pillows are just exquisite! Here are some of my favorite pillows that I’ve made.

These were made for my daughter’s living room couch.  Beautiful silk and I was able to find the perfect ribbon fringe to match.


I saw a pillow similar to this on Pinterest and had to make one for myself.  I used 2 different colored gold silks and pleated the silk that had the metallic threads in it.  Again, I love the way this one turned out.


And then there is the beautiful linen heirloom pillow that I will be teaching at the SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) Convention in September.  This was a fun pillow to make.  It looks beautiful on our guest bed.


Now that we’ve established that I love pillows, let’s talk sleeping pillows because this has been my sewing adventure this week. I like sleeping on down pillows.   However, I haven’t found a down pillow that lasts very long. It doesn’t seem to matter if you purchase it at a discount store for $40 or at a retail store for well over $100 – after a few months, those fluffy down pillows have gone flat and are no longer suitable for sleeping on. I’ve replaced countless pillows and always have the same results. So, after recently changing bed sizes to a king size bed, I decided that perhaps a down alternative (gasp!) may be a better choice and so I bought a couple of those. It’s been a couple months, and those are flat as well. Grrrr!!!!

I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I had a closet full of discarded, flat, down pillows. When they get resigned to the closet, they are first washed and dried (takes multiple cycles in the dryer) and tucked away. My thought had been to use the down in them to make new couch pillows or such. However, drastic measures were needed to resolve the sleeping pillow situation. So, I perused the fabric stash and chose some white fabric, made a casing for the down and then proceeded with caution. Carefully cutting open one end of the down pillow, I gingerly stuffed that end into the open end of the casing and shook like crazy to transfer the down from one pillow to the other. It worked pretty well, with minimal feather loss decorating the sewing room. I emptied 2 standard size pillows of down into the king sized casing, then pinned it shut and sewed it up. Whew! Pretty easy, right? Wrong!

The first 3 of the 4 pillows emptied without much difficulty, but the 4th pillow was much more of a challenge. Those feathers were stuck like glue to the original pillow and shaking alone didn’t release them. There was some sort of stitching inside, so I think they were somehow contained. After much work, and many feathers flying around the room, pillow #4 was emptied as well, though the sewing room looked like I’d had a pillow fight in it (which I had!). We have slept on the newly created super fluffy pillows for a couple of nights now. They are delightful! Now, if these last for more than a few months, I will consider it a huge success!!!

I did consider taking a picture of this pillow, but it is pretty boring and not much to show other than a super fluffy pillow.

I’m not really one for re-purposing fabrics and such. I actually am not a fan of that sort of thing at all. I prefer to support the economy and buy new! LOL! This was an unusual situation, so it required me doing something out of the ordinary. I was unable to find anywhere to purchase down, so this seemed like a reasonable solution.   I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will be a better experience.

So, while this is not my preferred or normal type of sewing, it is necessity sewing and only took about 1 hour of my time and 2 yards of fabric and a lot of chasing down stray feathers with the vacuum cleaner. Just goes to show that sewing skills come in handy for more than beautiful clothing!

Now, to move on to some pretty sewing again……keep watching – I hope to have an updated bishop style to show in the next week.


2 thoughts on “Pillows and more pillows!

  1. Linda S. in Illinois

    Kathy, I’m excited about your new blog!!! What a treat to be able to see what you’ve been up to in your sewing room : ).

    I had to giggle reading about your down pillow, and it reminded me of my bright idea to make pillows out of an old down feather tick. That was when I learned that down doesn’t like to “pour”, and especially not at 100 degree, humid heat in my garage! I thought I’d just “pour” the feathers into pillow casing…silly me lol! Sweating like crazy, the stray down feathers stuck to me and I emerged looking like a chicken ; ).

    Oh…and I’m always having to fluff or make new pillows too. Recently I found one can put a (dry) pillow in the dryer with a tennis ball or two, and that does a pretty good job of re-fluffing.


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