This spring, I’m taking a weekly seminar that ostensibly focuses on the history of textiles, but usually devolves into a two-hour textiles project lab. (No complaints here — being taught how to dye and spin wool by a professor of medieval economic history is just about the definition of heaven for me.)
Since some people taking the class hadn’t used a sewing machine before, our first project was making a simple flange pillow. I picked out a very striking dragon-print fabric from the class stash for the front of the pillow, along with a simple red patterned fabric for the back. The other students went for a penguins-and-snowflakes theme and a mottled red print with a border of a music notes print. (What’s black and white and red all over? This pillow…and the sheet music for Moonlight Sonata.) I was impressed with how well they ended up coordinating.
We made very simple pillowcases that were about two inches oversized for the pillow forms, then clipped the corners, stuffed the pillowcases right-side-out, and sewed a half-inch border on each side to create the flange. I’d never made this style of pillow before, but love how crisp and polished the edges look compared to a standard knife-edge pillow. And given how much blue, grey, and red my room has right now, this pillow fits right in.
We get to do a “semester project” in the seminar, and I’m thinking I’m going to try to take raw wool and go through all of the steps to turn it into a woven scarf. Or I might just make an enormous pile of pillows, because I’m pretty sure everyone in class has caught pillow fever at this point.