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29 April, 2012
DIY French Poetry Pillow...and...Envelope Closure Tutorial
Of course, we can’t talk about pillows without the help of our own pillow princess…the lovely Miss Kitty…who loves to pose among them! Here she is lounging with my Pottery Barn inspired frenchy pillow in the background…her favorite pillow ever, she says.
It was easy and almost free since I already had everything I needed! I started with a scrap of leftover drop cloth and two fabric markers. Of course, you could use any two colors, but I chose black and brown for a more vintage look. Next, I printed my favorite poem La Lune Blanche by Paul Verlaine in a fun frenchy script called Amandine and used it as a guide. You could, of course, use your favorite poem! Next, I simply hand-copied the poem on to the fabric. Just take your time and remember it’s OK if it’s not perfect. It’s supposed to be handwriting! My pillow form (a $3.00 down insert from Goodwill) was 19 x 19 inches, so I filled up a 20 x 20 inch piece of fabric with lines from the poem, alternating colors as I went.
I decided to use burlap for the pillow back, so first I cut my fabric. Do you know this trick for cutting straight on burlap? Just measure, find a thread at the correct spot and pull it all the way through. You will have the perfect guide to follow while cutting!
Some of you have asked where I store all my pillows…in the attic! And it’s getting waaaay too crowded up there! So I decided I will make envelope closures from now on so I can just take the covers off and reuse the forms. It really doesn’t take any longer. Here’s what I did…
1. After I made the front, I cut two pieces of fabric to form the back…one 3/4 of the length of my front fabric and one 1/2 of the length. My pillow front fabric was 20 x 20 inches, so I cut a piece 15 x 20 inches and another 10 x 20 inches.
2. On one of the 20 inch sides of each of the back pieces, I folded the fabric under 1/2 inch or so and then folded it again, then pressed and stitched to create a finished edge.
3. Next, with right sides together, I put the longer piece down first on top of the poetry fabric, lining it up, then added the shorter piece next, making sure all of the edges met. Be sure your opening runs from side to side and not top to bottom. Then I stitched it all the way around.
4. Finally, I trimmed the corners at a diagonal, turned it inside out through the opening…making sure the corners were completely turned out…and pressed it.
Here’s the finished back…very neat and easy to do! No more piles of pillows in the attic for me! I’ll just store the covers in a drawer! Now just pop in the pillow form…
…and voilà! I love it! This pillow is special to me, not only because I designed the fabric, but because it’s my favorite French poem…the one I used to make my students memorize! (Uh oh…here comes the French teacher in me! ) I love its musical quality! In fact, Paul Verlaine’s works are so musical, that they have been converted to songs! This one has several video versions…this one with works of art in the background and this one with a haunting melody and a mesmerizing drive through rainy European streets at night. And finally, here's another version with music dating from la Belle Époque which includes the translation.
And while I am on the subject of pillows…let me show you this beauty that has come to live at my house! I was the lucky winner of the giveaway at the Bunny Blog Hop from the ladies at At The Picket Fence, French Country Cottage, DIY By Design, and On Sutton Place! Ann at On Sutton Place very generously supplied the prize! Don’t you love it? And it looks right at home on my patio! Thank you so much, sweet ladies!
And here’s a final peek. Hmmm…now I’m thinking…maybe a fable from La Fontaine next? Or a few lines from a favorite French play? Or…nursery rhymes for my grandbabies! The possibilities are endless!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my frenchy pillow! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays
Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring
Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday
Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
See you next time! A la prochaine!