Mom’s Blouses become Remembrance Pillows

I wasn’t thinking of valentine pillows.  In fact, I was hardly able to think at all after we lost my little sister to cancer.   Still, I did have the presence of mind to ask for some of her blouses.   There had to be was a sewing project in there somewhere.    I just didn’t know that project would take so long .  Her shirts hung in my studio for over two years. 

But 2019 brought new energy.  Here are three big-hearted pillows for my sister’s adult children–all made with fabrics she loved and wore and inspired by Valentine’s Day. 

My sister adored polka dots!  I used the front bands, and original buttons of her blouse.  Extra buttons and hand stitching in red add a little more color.   Can you see the subtle arrow ?
The pillow for my niece has brighter colors and metallic gold thread which I used for a machine and hand stitches.   Again, extra buttons from my collection add a lot of style to the original shirt band.   The pleated remnant is a sample from the Scrap Exchange in Durham and came that way–already pleated.  My neice says she remembers her mom wearing this blouse. Nice.

This pillow design uses three blouses, plus three vintage fabrics from my collection.  It’s much more playful and relaxed.  I  used  found words from tee shirts, “Remember” and  “love”, plus xxo kisses.      All the layers are quilted and appliqued into one sturdy pillow top that can be washed. 

Please don’t forget to label your work, especially special gifts like these.  Here’s my label for the heart of gold pillow.  It’s sewn into place so the significance of the piece won’t get lost. 

Finally, here’s a smaller valentine gift stitched for my elderly aunt.  The heart is layered with several fabrics (including one of her mom’s hankies).  There’s batting in the center and a fabric backing.  Rows of  stitches quilt it all together and I zig-zaged the raw edges several times before topping them with lace.   

A strap for hanging in a window or on a door.

Here’s to love and sewing and those times when you can bring the two together.  Hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day. 

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