The mention of shoddy in my previous post, reminded me of a pillow I rescued from the bin when sorting out things at my parents’ house last summer.
I think it originally came from our grandparents’ home, and I remember sleeping with that pillow when I was a little girl. It was very lumpy back then, and even worse now. Nobody else wanted it, and my first thought was to toss it, but then I rather liked the two fabrics it was made of, and since it would also be good for supporting the breakables during our drive back home, it went into the car instead of the bin.
Back home I opened it up and emptied the filling into a plastic bag. This is what shoddy looks like after it has been inside a pillow that has been used for more than 60 years. Very lumpy indeed.
Shoddy is made from old woolen garments, like the socks in my previous post, which have been shredded and carved into fibers, and then carded and made into fillings for pillows and duvets. Close up, one can see some of the original threads and many different coloured fibers.
I washed the fabric and put it away in a plastic bin.
Then we bought a new sofa, and I needed a couple of new pillows. I had seen one in a recent quilting magazine which gave me some ideas, and when looking through my stash for some background fabric, the old pillow came to mind.
I brought it out, and decided to use both fabrics, and I could even keep the old seam. I cut it one ruler width from the seam on both sides, and then cut the length into two parts, one for each pillow.
Then I added strips of a blue cotton damask fabric, which I had dyed myself many years ago. The two backgrounds are a bit different in size as the inner pillows I had available were of two different sizes. I also turned the stripes horizontally on one, and vertically on the other.
Then both backgrounds were layered and quilted with a wavy, on point, grid.
Next, I drew lots of circles in three different sizes on paper backed fusible web. They were ironed on to the back side of many different yellow, orange, red, and some purple scraps.
Then I placed my “flowers” on the green and blue background. I moved them around till I was satisfied with their placement, then ironed them down.
I sewed around each circle using the satin stitch on my machine. Since the background was layered and quilted, there was no need for a stabilizer.
I drew some stems with chalk, and then sewed them using a wider satin stitch.
In order to make some leaves, I ironed strips of different greens onto fusible web. Then I drew some leaf shapes in different sizes, and made some templates which I used to draw on the paper side of the fusible web already ironed to the strips. I cut out lots of leaves so I would have some to choose from when distributing them on the background.
When I was satisfied with the placement, I ironed and sewed around all the leaves using the satin stitch.
Then I only had to make backings for the pillows. Since I did not have zippers available, I made the envelope style backing. I use that a lot.
And onto the sofa they went.