Swap it to me

There is nothing I like more than a swap. The primary reason is because it's free.  Also, it's super fun.

I think I would have excelled in the old days where you had to trade your wares with others.  You know, I'll trade you my sheep for your cart of vegetables.... or something like that.

Anyway I recently got back in touch with an old high school friend via Facebook over our love of blogs.  Turns out she reads my little blog and she was inspired to write her own.

We go WAY back.  To when we were both cheerleaders.  When we wore boxer shorts to cheer camp.  That was a mistake.

She was actually there when Chris and I met. She is actually the one who started talking to his friend and made us all meet.  Thanks.  I think I owe her big time for that one.

On top of our shared love of blogs, we re-bonded over our love of vintage items and garage sales... and that her dad likes to help her with projects, as does mine.

She made a really amazing home-made vintage umbrella light fixture.  You have to check it out. Ah-Maze-Ing.  I'm secretly hoping that she (and her dad) will make me one too.  We won't tell Chris about it, it will be a surprise...he LOVES surprises.

Anyway.  We got to talking over blog stuff and I gushed over her vintage stamped tea towels that she makes.  I may or may not have asked her to make me some.  Then, to make it less awkward, I offered to make her a replica of a pillow she wanted.  

This reminds me of an owl...is that weird?
Sounds like a fair trade right?

We agreed to make the pillow and towels and meet over some garage sales and make the swap.  That was weeks ago.  I got so caught up in the stay-cation and other miscellaneous projects that I forgot to make the pillow.  Well, I didn't forget, I actually just kept putting it off.

Then she told me that my towels were done, and I had to get to work!

So I ran out to the fabric store, armed with a whole bunch of coupons and started purchasing fabric and beads and pretty much everything I liked.

I got very excited and went straight home to sew it.  In case you love it as much as I do, you can follow along and make one for yourself.

1. Buy a pillow insert.  I like Ikea's inserts.  Mainly because they are $3.  Don't forget that I am cheap.
I sewed this one down a bit  to make it fluffier2.
2. Measure the fabric over the pillow and cut it down to fit just around it, and leave about an inch for the seams.

3.  Hem the ends on both ends

4. Then you want to lay the fabric out and overlap it to fully cover the pillow.  Make sure your have the fabric "inside out"

5. Make sure to overlap the ends to create a closure and a pocket to stuff the pillow into

6. Then sew down the sides to create the pillow.  I like to sew 2 seams, just in case 1 rips while washing or using.  Make sure the fabric is inside out, you want the seams to be on the inside once you flip it inside out.

7.  Flip it inside out and stuff the pillow inside of it

8. To make this guy a but more snazzy, you can add fabric flowers, buttons, beads etc.  Pretty much anything you can imagine. I decided to create circles like the inspiration pillow, but wanted to do it with a variety of fabrics.  I happened to have on hand: linen, burlap and felt.

I started cutting random sized circles out of the various fabrics to see what combination I liked.  I tried to stencil circles on the fabric, but that didn't turn out great, so I free handed the circles, which I liked much better.
Tracing circles was too much work, the free hand look was actually more pleasing
 9. Layer the fabric into a varied pattern to make it interesting.
I started with sets of 3, but added sets of 2 as well
 10.  I played around with a variety of vintage buttons that my grandmother gave me.
Green, mother-of-pearl & onyx buttons
 11. Then I added little black beads on top of the mother-of-pearl buttons to give a little bit more dimension.  I was careful to choose flat buttons and beads with smooth edges so that if someone laid against this pillow it wouldn't be uncomfortable.

Voila!  Pillow project complete.