Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm in a pillow making mood again. I've always wanted some wool pillows to use in the living room during the winter . Last year, I made one pillow from a wool Ralph Lauren skirt that I found at Goodwill (click here to read about that, if you wish). That was as far as my wool pillow project went last winter. This year, I'm determined to get an earlier start. (Is it too early to think about winter???)

Always on a budget, I checked out Goodwill for more suitable wool and found several pieces of new fabric from some one's fabric stash. It was $4 for as much as I could stuff in a plastic bag. I ended up with several different wools for a total of over 5 yards of wide fabric.

I decided on a monogram pillow, so I thought how hard could that be now that I had all of this luscious wool. At first I was thinking I could hand embroider the monogram like my grandmothers always did, but I decided that was too much work for these arthritic fingers. Since I have had some success with the satin stitch on my sewing machine, I thought that would be the answer. But as I was doing a sample run, my 41 year-old sewing machine decided it was tired of doing the zig-zag, and the lever broke. No replacement parts could be found by anyone for my trusty, old machine. It still sews a nice straight stitch, however. So, now on to plan C - applique. I decided to cut out my monogram from felt and sew it on. Did you know that you can buy felt made from recyclable plastic that washes and dries wonderfully?
In anything that I make, washability is important to me. I always prewash and dry all of my fabrics before making a project. I washed all of my Goodwill wools in Woolite in the machine, then dried them in the dryer on low. They came out great.

I used osnaburg (sometimes called hop sacking) for the background of the monogram. It's cheap - $2.99 per yard - and has a nice texture after laundering.

All in all, the pillow cover cost me under $2.00. The most expensive thing was the zipper for the closure and I had a 40% off coupon for that.

Just call me frugal --- but then I'm not even going to talk about what a new sewing machine is going to cost me!

I'm linking up to the following parties. Be sure to check them out for lots of fun posts.

Cindy at My Romantic Home
for her Friday Show and Tell.

Donna at Funky Junk Interiors
for her Saturday Night Special party.


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh I love your pillow. The monogram looks fabulous and the wool and hopsacking is just gorgeous together. What a beautiful and creative idea. Hugs, Marty

Marilyn said...

Beautiful pillow with fancy letters! My sewing machine needs some repair, too. So, Sarah has one she's letting me use. Only, I never seem to get around to using it! Maybe in 6 more days I'll have time. ♥♫

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Sally no one can sew like you do girl...Love your pillows...I use to buy dresses and made clothes for my kids out of them...Hope all is well in your world my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Shelia said...

Oh, Sally, you are a fantastic seamtress! Your pillow would rival any store bought one around! I love your monograms and love how you did it! The wool looks awesome and the piping just finished it off. I see you even mitered the corners. Oh, I bow down to you, Most Marvelous Sewing One! ;)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Sue said...

Hi Sally....I love this pillow made from wool and I remember last years project from the Ralph Lauren skirt...Adding the monogram was a great touch...when daughter got married I made a red velvet pillow for the ring bearer to carry....she wanted it monogramed and not having a fancy sewing machine...and even if I did I probably wouldn't read the directions on how to monogram....I also used iron on letters but then using them as a guide I hand embroidered over looked I really knew what I was doing!!

xinex said...

I love your pillow with the gorgeous monogramming, Sally! You are really good!...Christine

Anonymous said...

Sally your sewing is just awesome- everything always looks so professional!!Promise not to look at my creations carefully!! I sew for effect!

Yes we are still on for the hospice meeting there! Bill gets dinner at his meeting-maybe we can hook up for dinner. I would love to come out earlier and do some Antiquing just not real sure of how our time will be- we start a camp on Saturday and have a guest coming the day camp ends so things are going to be a bit crazy!!

bee blessed

Tootsie said...

that monogram pillow is gorgeous...wish I was gifted like that...haha

Manuela@TPOH said...

I love that you went to Goodwill to get some wool! The monogram came out so great!


Sue said...

I don't think I would ever have thought of using old wool for making a pillow. How very fun and unique. Yours turned out simply fabulous. I love the monogram and the way you matched the patterns in the mitered corners.
I think I need to get to the thrift shop to look for some wool clothing items! Great inspiration, Sally.
:-) Sue

Chatelaine said...

Wow, a customized pillow for very little money. You did a great job.

A pillow like that would have been quite expensive I imagine.

Have a great weekend. And thanks for all your sweet comments on my blog.

Stephanie Lynn said...

This is simply fabulous! Love the RL material - it doesn't get any better than that! The monogram is gorgeous - love the idea! Great job! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! ~ Stephanie Lynn

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Sally, what a great looking pillow! You are so talented. laurie