i caved.

i succumbed to the kilim pillow.

for the LIFE of me, i do not understand the appeal of a kilim pillow.

when i think pillow, i think comfy.  non-itchy.

kilim does not equate comfy in my mind.

and yet there it was at the thrift store, looking all vintage-y and all broken-in boho and all of $3 so i bought it.


yup, the internet pressures of must-have decor grabbed me, gripped me and now i’ve jumped on the kilim pillow train of discomfort. 

kilim pillow softness quotient:


itchiest, roughest thing i’ve ever felt in my life.

that said, if you wear several layers of clothing (and a parka) and lean against it, you don’t notice. 

just prior to finding this i spotted a half-price kilim vest in goodwill and bought it figuring i’d cut her up and sew ‘er into said pillow.  i was riding the planetary aligned kilim wave that week.  (rug and god’s eye were ebay purchases.  i’ve been cheating on my thrift stores with ebay.)

no need now.  i only need one itchy pillow in my pillow repertoire.

more roundness

given the choice between working and not working, work vs. unemployment, i fall on the side of preferring unemployment.  i just had more fun.

man, i’ve been busy at work. and not a fun busy.  a stressed out busy.   i’m tired, i’m sore, i’m cranky, i’m no fun. 

complain complain complain.  i work with a bunch of complainers.  complainers will suck you dry.  so i try my best not to complain while i’m at work.  i save my complaining for you lucky people.    

so enough of that. 

i managed to complete another round pillow on my day off.  i finished the pillowtop itself months ago, yet didn’t have the proper fabric to back it.   a quick trip to a thrift store a couple weeks ago netted me a vintage fabric remnant that would work so i had no excuses.  i had to finish it. 


i’m not even sure this is my style anymore.   good lord, i’m fickle. 

these colors are more springy and rumor has it spring is around the corner. 

not only are my style tastes fickle, the weather has been fickle.  when the weather folks call for a half foot of snow, we get ZERO.  when they call for a wintry mix with mostly rain, we get 5″ of snow.  the weather dudes are having an off season, i tell ya. 

and i guess if i’m talking round, i’ll throw in this 70s pop art takahashi tray thrifted a couple weeks ago. 

so, the academy awards are tomorrow night and i’ve seen a fair amount of the contenders and i’m just not excited.  all i know is bridesmaids better win for something.  it was seriously the most fun i had at the theater this year and there may have been one scene in particular i related to that had me spitting laughing.  and also because of jill clayburgh.  i was always a jill clayburgh fan and i think this was her last film role and when i went to see the movie i wasn’t aware she was cast in it.  it was a good surprise. 

i expect to be konked out solid by the time the oscars air.   too much massage too many days in a row is like a 1-2 body punch for me these days.  TKO.  i am down for the count.


have you been wondering what ever happened to that felt skier i appliqued onto some grey wool fabric?


yah, i kinda forgot about him, too.

since “round” seems to be my theme for fall 2011, i made him into a round pillow.

with a little blanket stitching around the edge.

so, let’s look at the timeline on that project.  i started making it when i had my old job.  probably 2 years ago.  yes, 2 years ago exactly i’d say.  how do you crafters out there make a living at this?

and with the scrap pieces of wool fabric i made another candle ornament.

actually, if i put a loop on the skier pillow, it could be a gigantic xmas ornament.  i could put it on the tree at rockefeller center.


i’ve expanded my pillow repertoire.

i made a round pillow.

with a covered button even.

with TWO covered buttons.

i’m not a fan of buttons on pillows.

i like a pillow accoutrement-free.

who wants to lie on a pillow and get a button mark on your face?

not me.

but in this case it was necessary.

this will not be a pillow to snooze on.

it shall be a pillow to admire from afar.

especially when you’re drowsy.


made with all vintage fabrics.

i tried to make it “fall-ish.”

it turned out a tad granny-ish.

i could like the back better than the front.  it’s an ombre marimekko fabric.  the name on the selvedge is “selänne.”


(oh, and what’s that i mentioned about snow when i got my new computer?  yup, we got snow.  snow in october.  snow of historic proportions. thankfully my section of the state was spared from the most damage and most accumulation.  we only got a dusting.)

but still.

if this is any, ANY indication of what’s to come….


have you guys been noticing all the cool spindle back chairs allasudden?

seems all the cool homes have cool spindle back chairs.

via canadian house and home

via sköna hem

via remodelista

via desire to inspire

via desire to inspire

well, count me in as a cool spindle back chair owner.  (plus i already have that other mobler chair.)

i just need the cool house to put it in now.  that’s all.

spindle back rope chair.

no price on it at the thrift store.

when i asked to get a price, the guy said, “$20.”  i was all, “$20????  for this little chair????”

“ok then, $10.”

i said, “ok, ten.”

(and i NEVER barter.)

there were no markings and it was oak rather than teak, but it definitely had a danish “feel.”

turns out it’s a jørgen bækmark, designed in 1959 for mobler.

for $10!

and then i made a pillow for it.

because i am in pillow-mode.

vintage gulls.

but i only had a small scrap of this fabric, so she’s a tiny pillow, 13″.  scale looks odd with this chair.  i’ll have to make a different, slightly bigger pillow.

no problemo since i’m in PILLOW-MODE!

anyway, i love my chair.

haven’t seen any of these little enamel ladles in quite some time, but happened upon a little red one in good condition for a quarter so i bought it, too.

red, white, blue and cheap.  my kinda patriotic late july day.

not brown

another floor pillow in vintage flowery corduroy fabric from the stash.

a little yin to balance out the yang of yesterday’s masculine post.

new sheets

ok, well, old sheets. 

part of me is grossed out by buying used sheets to use on my bed when they’re not new in the package.  it’s just kinda weird.  but then i think about sleeping in hotels and hotels don’t use a new set of sheets every time they make the bed, so i just washed ’em as soon as i got home and make pretend i’m always sleeping hotel-style.  and just pray lice and bed bugs can’t survive the wash, rinse, spin-cycle, followed by the dryer at high heat.

a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and a set of pillowcases.  none of ’em match.  and yet they all kinda go together. 


but you came here today to see a little more patchwork pillow magic, right?

more vintage fabrics.  kinda ugly.  but kinda totally beautiful IMO.

see, when something becomes easyish and uncomplicated for me, i stick with it.  relationships, jobs, pillows, you name it.  as soon as it gets a little tricky (or boring,) i’m done.  i give up.  so here again, you have the same square patchwork.  a few pieces of vintage trim and rick-rack thrown in to shake things up.  expect to see this exact same pillow for the next 17 years. 


this version with neon pink quilting. 

now if i could only  e x p a n d  this by a couple dozen squares and knock out a baby quilt, obviously in more subtle colors as the poor baby would start out life with night terrors from these jarring prints.

oh, that’s good.

my talents run deep.

i finished another very complicated (translate:  very easy) pillow, this time with less swearing.

i’m IN LOVE with neon thread.

will i look back on this neon quilting in a couple years and think, “ewww?” 

of course i will.  we’re cyclical beings, right?  ya love something now, ya hate it next year.

but for now, in this moment, in this ZEN moment of mine, I LOVE IT.  and with that i give you my patchtacular, all vintage fabrics, neon orange quilted 16″ square of awesomeness.

oh wait, did i build it up too much?

you mean you’ve seen square patchwork pillows before?  a zillion times over?  i don’t care.  this one went so much more smoothly for me and i never felt like throwing my sewing machine through the kitchen window.  i confess there was a near tragedy.  have you ever been sewing in the kitchen, taken a little break, picked up a bottle of balsamic vinegar and then dropped it on the floor accidentally without the top on?  you have?  so, you know.  it makes for one awful mess, but clearly luck was on my side and nary a pillow top, nary a piece of fabric, nary a newly recovered tulip seat cushion, nary a tablecloth was harmed in the splattering of balsamic vinegar.  just a little aggravation from having to get down on my hands and knees and scrub the kitchen floor.       

i embroidered a patch in there to put pressure on myself to make this pillow beautiful, make it an exquisite piece of patchwork art.  in a foreign language (spanish) i wrote “oh, that’s good.”  apparently there’s no “oh” translation in spanish, so it’s a combination of english and spanish, which i like.  and i think “bien” is also french, so really it could be a triple language threat – english, spanish and french.  i like stuff written in foreign languages – it makes life mysterious.  well, mysterious for me since i don’t speak a foreign language, despite taking 5 years of french in high school.  well, jr. high and high school.  i wasn’t in high school 5 years.  that would make me dumb.  but 5 years of french – oui, that’s right, cinq years.  no speaky de french très well. 


but damn i can sew. 


i really put “oh, that’s good” on it so if you were a guest of mine and you sat against this pillow in one of my chairs, you would just be so taken with the cozy way it feels, your first thought would be, “oh, that’s good.”  and without realizing it, you would probably be thinking this thought in spanish for some unknown reason. 

ooooh, snazzy neon orange.  OLÉ.

and yes, there are more pillows to come. keep your dial tuned in if you know what’s good for you.

adiós, hombres.

pillow is done.

sue ann nivens i am not.

i am not a happy homemaker.

or should i say, pillow maker. 

i swore a lot making this pillow. a LOT.   

and it’s only a PILLOW. 


i’ve got to try an easier version of a pillow next time.  or maybe go back to sewing potholders to ease back into this sewing thing. 

i quilted it with a spool of pink thread i had laying around, along with a matching pink bobbin i also had laying around.  what i thought was a pretty full spool of thread and a full bobbin. 


was nearly finished quilting and ran out of thread.  and bobbin.  so i ripped it out. 

actually, i was glad i ran out of thread.  ‘cuz at the store i bought NEON PINK thread – i’m so trendy – and was much happier with that color.  but my stitching was all over the place.  i used to be able to stitch a straight line.  now i can’t quite get my act together.  i’m all over the place.  and no, i haven’t been tipping back any cocktails while at my machine. 

so i washed the pillow top to make it all crinkly and hoped to make the uneven stitching less noticeable. 

and i suppose it IS less noticeable.  and does anybody really care?  i suppose when you put it out there for the world to see, some people will point and laugh and mock my crooked stitches, but when you get right down to it, is anyone gonna come over to the house, plop down in a chair and say, “my gawd, i can’t sit against this pillow with its uneven stitches!  i won’t have it.” 

no.  no-one’s gonna say that.

and if they do, i will tell them it’s deliberate.  i meant to do it that way.  don’t you know anything about style and design???  keep up.  read a magazine.  crooked stitches are IN. 

i’m also hoping my awesome vintage thonet bentwood chair will distract from the stitching.

it’s OK.  i like it. 

from a distance.

without glasses. 

don’t even get me going on the swearing i did on the back.  this is the back.

used up the last of some marimekko scrap fabric i had and, just like in my last patchwork pillow i made, there was a teeny hole in the fabric i didn’t see upon assembly.  so had to put a nametag label over it.  (and incidentally, that nametag label IS NOT crooked, it’s just the photo, just so we’re clear here.  well, not the photo so much as my pillow tucking skills.)


this pillow was fraught with drama.  i don’t get it.  it’s 4 sides.  4 straight lines.  zip.  zip.  zip.  zip.  i don’t get how people sew and sew and sew and produce beautiful things that are far more complicated than a PILLOW.  in far less time.  i suppose it’s like anything.  practice practice practice.  get back on that sewing machine horse. 

but first –

a drink.

i deserve one.  this pillow OWES me one. 

(oh, and btw, original pillow was seen here.  directions on how to make one are found here.)

some progress, but not done

um, i’m not even sure i like sewing.

i think i like the idea of sewing.

just not the execution.  not the actual act of sewing.

i like finding vintage fabrics. 

i want so desperately to be one of those women who can crank out quilts like nobody’s business.  it’s a trait and skill to be admired.  i am so  S  L  O  W.   i never would’ve been employee-of-the-month in a third world country sweat shop.   

that said, those 148 little fabric squares of hell are cut out and pieced together for a pillow.  found and admired this gorgeous pillow here, which led me to the tutorial here, which led me to think i could do this no prob.  i’ve still got a back ache from cutting out all those dinky pieces of fabric.

i need to put this one away for awhile before i finish it.  some projects you just need to take a break from before you hate them. 

which reminds me, this was also supposed to be a pillow, but i ended up needing to walk away from it as well.  no idea how to finish it. 


i took the pattern from a vintage drinking glass.


is it any wonder i can’t commit to a human being?  i can’t even stand to be around fabric for any length of time.