Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Pillow made of Vintage Bits

I am a collector of lace bits, its part of my 6 step program. 
1. Move to France.
2. Realize there are lots of vintage linen lace things to be had.
3. Find the best places to buy said linen and lace items.
4. Collect lace bits
5. Pet lace bits
6. Betray lace bits by cutting them up into littler pieces and using them.
You get the idea. The 4 months back in France continued to feed my addiction to collecting lovely lace bits.

You can't just collect them, well, OK you can, BUT whats the fun of that? Yes, you can pull things out, pet them and then panic over the idea of cutting them. Oh not me. And, yes it is hard to cut things sometimes. 

Whole linens like these are off limits:

But Lace bits and broken linens are fair game:
As I have been collecting lace, I have been collecting inspiration in a folder called Pillows on Pinterest. I actually need a couple pillows for the house. 

Here is my first one:
You can see the leftovers from the sachets down the center. The bottom left and right were corners on a pillowcase that was badly stained by some sort of hair treatment. Talking to older women they tell me that it was usually the man's pillow not the woman's that had the staining. Some sort of product men applied to slick the hair back in the 1930-1960s. I have noticed lately that it is being used again. You can see the discoloration on the top right hand side of the photo below:
The yellowing got much worse in the center of the pillow. I have learned over time which stains will come out and which will not. This one I know from experience will never come out. Too bad as it had a mate which was in perfect condition. Stained mean permission to cut up.

Also on the pillow I was able to include a couple of initial embroideries I found this year. It is common to find these as people tended to save them after everything else wears out. Its like they might use them, re-purpose if you will, someday. But they never do.  One of them which was part of a damaged pillowcase had the initials HC. I decided to use it for this pillow even though it was darned. See bottom left of photo:
I have to learn how to darn like that someday. I think it would be a fun addition to some of my sewing, even if it really does not need to be there. A good quality light weight stabilizer was ironed to the wrong side of this piece to strengthen it as it is a fine cotton. Most of the rest of the pillow is bed weight linen.

Continuing the tour of the  pillow is the really pretty bird motif:
The lace on either side of the top corners were hand sewn down using some of the small lace pieces I found this year in France.

For the back I got lazy. The back of the stain damaged pillowcase was in perfect condition so why not use it too? It had to be resized smaller.

I may replace the the buttons with something less worn later, but for now they get to stay.

I am thinking of adding a motif to the top left:
I have not done that yet due to lack of time. Of course the pillow and I would need to be on the same continent, which we are not right now.  I think it needs it.

So here it is stuffed. 
I made a tiny mistake and that is I made it 20 inches square and it really needs to be 18 inches to match the pillow sham I had at the house. Oh well. Sometime later this year I hope to have the time to make another "matching" one out of my stash. I will also have to invest in a couple of larger pillow forms as well.


  1. Love your pillow case and all your lace bits!

  2. Lovely! I am not a sewer - or knitter, or crocheter - but I admire those who can!

  3. beautiful! I"m a collector of linens also. Following you pillow board on pinterest.