Hack It!

>> Thursday, May 31, 2012

A confession: pillow covers escaped my repertoire until a couple of weeks ago. They pop up all over the place, the perfect "easy" way to redecorate one's living room or bedroom. I suppose they take less time than painting the walls, but painting the walls always seemed much easier to me. After all, I've done my fair share of painting. I pick my favorite saturated color of the moment, get some painter's tape, collect the drop cloths, and start painting. Pillow covers, in contrast, require design. It's best, therefore, to start simple, right? Or to hack some templates.

Fresh off my successful foray into piecing curves, I decided to forego practicing more basics and dive into the next challenge: a big circle outline. There are lots of ways to achieve this, and I could have gone with Dale Fleming's Six-Minute Circle method. But the point was to practice my new curve-by-curve skillz. I had some New York Beauty templates, but of course I had printed the super-advanced kind, the ones with many many spikes and layers. To limit the crazy-making, I wanted 2 curves, not 5. And I wanted a particular width that existed in my head, but not on the template. Obviously the solution here is to hack the templates. I drew a line where I wanted the curve to be, adjusted both the inner quarter-circle and the outer edges and held my breath. Well, not really. I just cut out the templates, cut out some fabric, sewed some pieces, and hoped it worked. For the most part, it did. With a little trimming, I got just the circle I wanted.

Then I set about making the pillowcase. In theory I knew how to do this, but I did check a few blog tutorials just to make sure. In an ode to simplicity, I decided against fiddling with zippers and opted for an envelope closure. This also let me use the small, not quite fat quarter, of a Tula Pink Parisville print that brought together all the colors I was using. The colors being lavender, mint, and gray, all chosen to match my roommate's room decor. Because this pillow cover made its way back to Michigan to celebrate Marie rocking her prelims. [For the non-graduate-school-immersed, prelims (or comps or orals or name-your-test-word) are the big exams between coursework and the dissertation.] Anyhow, since I was unavailable for the in-town celebratory drinks, I sent a present instead. Whether a fine adult beverage or a classy modern pillow cover is a better way to celebrate is a decision I leave to others.


Esch House Quilts May 31, 2012 at 6:29 PM  

I like it a lot! Maybe you can try the adult beverage part when you get back :)

Rachel at Stitched in Color June 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM  

Quite the successful hack. Your circle looks great! You know, I've never done an envelope closure? I definitely need to try it.

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