Sunday, April 29, 2012

Birds on the brain...

This is my entry in the Feather Your Nest contest, put on by the folks at Stumbles & Stitches blog.  I committed to making something about two and a half weeks ago, but I wasn't sure what I'd make.  The first requirement is that the entry be something for myself, for my own home -- since I don't make much for myself, I thought the contest would be a good motivator for that.  Secondly, it must be made with stitches -- easy peasy (at least for me)!  And third, it must use repurposed or upcycled materials -- even though I generally use a lot of upcycled materials, this part was harder than I thought!

I thought and thought about what I would make.  I considered a throw pillow of felted sweaters as I've made in the past, but that seemed to "Winter-y" to me.  I also had an idea for a wool pillow covered in red felted sweater hearts (something I've sketched in the past), but that, too, didn't seem to fit the season.  I wanted this pillow to be about now -- about Spring!  I bought an inexpensive ($1.99!) tea towel with birds and flowers on it that called out "Spring" to me (see below), but I just wasn't sure how I'd use it for this project... so I kept thinking.

Then yesterday, it hit me.  I have two pairs of white wool trousers that once belonged to my grandmother, and I've been wanting to repurpose them.  Then I came across some of the Joel Dewberry wood grain fabric in my stash (I love that fabric!), and had the idea to use it for a branch.  The idea of using my sweater stash for a bird and leaves came next.  After all, my daughter's been talking about birds in preschool all week and the contest is titled "Feather Your Nest." The bird's shape was inspired by the birds on the tea towel.  I even found a slightly-coming-apart pillow form in the basement that just needed a bit of reconstructive stitching.  So, yesterday I applied the fusible backing to the applique fabrics and cut everything out.  I was so proud of myself -- all I had to do was stitch it up the next day.

This morning I woke up and all of a sudden, Duh!, it hit me.  Hadn't I seen a similar image before?!  I went back to the Stumbles & Stitches blog and found the image they're using as an icon for the contest and coordinating stitch-along.  See for yourself.  Here it is:

Yeah, I know.  Pretty similar!  I now realize that the image was subliminally in my head all along as I designed my pillow yesterday.  Still, it is not exactly the same (my son pointed out that mine doesn't have a nest... or a feather!), and I did really like my design... so I stitched it up anyway and am entering it in the contest.  I'll definitely use it in my house, even if the base color is an impractical white.  I like the Spring-like feeling it evokes and the fact that it repurposes so many materials.

Here's to Spring!


  1. Subliminal or not, I love your design!

  2. Yes, your pillow is fabulous, I love your choice of materials and colors. Great job!

    1. Thanks so much, Jenny! I had fun with it!