Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Am I the Only Person...

...who dreams up a project from scratch, dives in with no specific directions but a clear vision of the end goal, fully achieves that masterpiece of a project, and then steps back to look at it and thinks, "huh. Is it just me, or is that kind of ugly?" Because that's how I feel about this project, and it's kind of sad.

(This is your official warning that the following post is super-long and wordy. You're all getting a glimpse of what a conversation with me is like.)

It all started June 24, 2009 (I know because that's the date I emailed myself the link) with this project.

I looked at that bag, and the woven ribbon reminded me of happier, simpler times, when a fun project was to be had by all using only construction paper. For instance, I had a woven construction-paper basket with origami daisies in it in my room for YEARS. (In High School, no less, which I probably shouldn't tell people but just did.) But I digress. The point is the weaving. I loved it. So the idea of using this ribbon weaving in a purse or a throw-pillow has been in the back of my mind ever since (what's the connection between a purse and a throw-pillow, you ask? Just me, I think).

So then one short month ago on February 25, 2010 (remember, I email myself links to projects I like), I came across this post, and fell in love with this pillow.

But all throw-pillow projects had been on hold until we got a couch (that's a tale for another day), so when we finally got one 2 1/2 weeks ago, I could not wait to put my plan into action. I almost immediately drove to Hobby Lobby, where there was some floral material I'd had my eye on and a (different) decorator print my husband and I had agreed could work. Well, the one I'd been eyeing had a lot more pink than I remembered, but the decorator fabric my husband and I had agreed on was $30/YARD, so I decided he could live with the pink. It's kind of salmon-y anyway. I found another print that had the perfect shade of blue I wanted (which isn't in this post) which just happened to match accents of blue in my floral print. Success! I picked up some cream, brown, and blue ribbon which perfectly matched my vision for the bevy of throw-pillows I would whip up, some basic cottons as well (including some green and red which matched the floral), and took off.

(Side note - me liking florals is foreign and weird to me. But lately I've wanted a really loud, big, bright floral-print chair. I figured I'd start small.)

Back to my entirely-too-long tale. I had to find a stopping point on my felt house, too, but then I dove right in. I even started to take pictures for a tutorial, so I'll throw some of those in to break up this wordy post.

I began with my ribbon collection. I was pretty sure I had a pink that might work. I found a green as well, which was close to the same width, and it seemed as though the stars had aligned. I selected them as my vertical ribbons, and taped them to my cutting mat like so:

I then cut shorter strips of the brown, blue, and cream and taped them on for the horizontal strips:

And then the weaving began:

And continued, taping as I went:

When I finished, I followed the vaguely-remembered instructions involving Heat'nBond:

Trimmed the edges, and then sewed a zigzag stitch 1/4" in all around for a nice edge to work with:

Here's where the picture-taking ended because I called it a night. I needed some time to ponder the transition between the woven ribbon and the floral. My inspiration pic used ric-rac, but I've never used it before. Anyway, when I picked it up the next night, I decided to just try it and see how it looked (because I just happened to have some green ric-rac? I don't think so; I think it was kismet). Anyway, no pics for that (right sides together with the ric-rac in between and a 1/4" seam, then press toward the ribbon). And finally finished my pillow front! (Note how great the ric-rac turned out. Especially for a first attempt.)

I sewed two quick seams for an envelope closure on the back (I picked up pillow forms at IKEA; if you would like more info on my cryptic reference to the back closure, let me know), et Voila! My masterpiece!

(The colors aren't exactly true in the pic. The pink ribbon really is more salmon-y, and the blue is a little more steel-y.) So what's my beef with it? It looks JUST how I imagined. Except maybe the dimensions? Should I have gone with the square pillow form instead? Or am I just too critical of my work? This is where it might seam (ha! no pun intended) as though I want genuine constructive criticism, but I don't. I want only to be reassured that my problem is that it's dwarfed by the new couch and when I finish the other wonders in my mind's eye it will be a dream come true. Because the cover is done. I'm not changing it. And I really don't want to hate it. Thoughts?

I'll most likely link to the parties on the left. It depends on how harsh the initial feedback is though. ;)


  1. Fabulous Kelli! I Love it!
    I've officially added you to my "Crafty Blog Roll".

  2. I think it looks wonderful and will looks super with other pillows of the same colors but different designs! It makes me want to try my own!

  3. Aww, thanks, Girls! I really needed the positive feedback!
    Erynne, if you do make your own, please share the link!

  4. I LOVE that fabric! And I am impressed - that's a lot of work for one pillow!

  5. It looks really pretty. I'm a fan.

    And... if there was no pun intended, you would have spelled it "seem," n'est pas? I'm on to you... ;)

  6. It was a Freudian slip of the fingers, actually. ;)
    And thanks. :)

  7. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [01 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  8. Wow, I love those pillows, so cute! Thanks for joining the party!!! Don't forget to stop by and enter this week's giveaways if you havn't already!

  9. I am in love with that pink pillow! How creative and awesome! Stopping by from New Friend Friday! I love you blog!

  10. Whoa, that is so pretty! I LOVE the woven ribbon.

    Thank you for linking this to A Little Craft Therapy with Life in the Pitts.

  11. absolutely delightful! great tutorial, too! I hopped over from New Friend Friday and am so happy that I did. I am a new follower and invite you back to my place to do the same. Have a delightful weekend! until later...

  12. I'm featuring this today is the creative therapy round up!

  13. Wow!! Absolutely beautiful!!

    Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!!

  14. I love that pillow! I am a new follower from FF. SOrry so late! Hope to see you over at my place sometime. COme by to say hi and become a follower.

  15. I love your pillow! It turned out so cute. Your pillow would look great on my couch! I can send you my address.LOL Seriously, great job.

    Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday. Please join me next week for another wonderful party!!

    Please stop by next week I am having guest over each day and I would love for you to tell them HI!

  16. I featured this if you would like to stop by and grab the I was featured button please do!

  17. This looks so beautiful!!! You did a wonderful job and this is a great tutorial!! Thanks for linking up!

  18. I love the pillow. I ma thinking how I can dup it for my bedroom. Thanks for sharing...

  19. That is awesome!! What a great idea!

  20. Kelli, it's nice! I think the pillow just looks a bit lonely, and would look great paired with a few other pillows possibly in solid colors to match the ribbons. Also some brightly colored tassels (green!) at the corners would bring the whole look together. Thanks for linking up on Craft Schooling Sunday, great to have you as always!

  21. This is so great! I love the tutorial and especially the pillow. :)

    So, I was wondering if you would mind if we featured it on our Fun Friday. We love that you saw something we featured and then made it your own.

    Let us know!

    Sew It To Me

  22. I LOVE it. the weaving is such a fun idea and i can't wait to try it!


  23. I really like this!! I think you should show it off girl!

  24. This turned out so cute! Thanks for linking up to this week's Super Crafty Saturday!

  25. You did awesome girl!!!! Thanks so much for planting your creative seed! Come back and plant again Friday!

    Punkin Seed Productions

  26. This is sooo GREAT thank you for sharing!

  27. I love your pillow! It's fantastic! Visiting from New Friend Friday! :)

  28. That is just amazing...!!!!!

  29. i love this! thanks so much for sharing!