Rip It! Great Pillow tops from Torn Fabric and Decorator Samples

Rough and smooth, large and small–contrast works.   Learned that in my former day-job as a TV producer and video editor.    Use it every day in my rewind designs, like this new series of pillows– 

Fruit and flowers

Really big flowers–

All came from discontinued decorator sample books, bought for just a few bucks from the wonderful Scrap Exchange in Durham, NC. 

All are very high-end.  Example–The  big rose on the 18 inch pillow  came from  ” Connoisseur Embroideries” and sold for (get this) $390 dollars a yard. 

But at  just 10 by 10 inches and backed with paper labels (that are almost impossible to remove, this pricey piece of embroidery created challenges–  

The solution:  Contrast.  I paired it with something unexpected like a  humble vintage mattress ticking. 

First:  I stitched the sample  to the center of my ticking  pillow top.

Next step:  I covered the sample’s raw edges with strips of torn fabric.  Why torn?  The contrast.  Tearing fabrics creates a tiny fringe  which plays off the upscale embroidery nicely. 

Tearing fabrics is also much faster than cutting and hemming lots of  strips.  I could never make them as perfect as the stitching in my sample, so I didn’t try for a finished look.  I went for contrast.

Look for more Rip it! pillows in my Esty store–

  Here’s one I’m about to list made with a pricey sample and torn fabric on faded blue burlap.  Love the contrast!

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