Tuesday, January 6, 2009

i've made a lot of pillows...whew!

above: pillow made with a 19th century european paisley shawl
fragment, framed with black velvet; piping made from border of shawl

see some of the other pillows i have made over the years - just a sampling!

i found myself in a very interesting place, learning about restoring antique furniture and more importantly learning about fabrics. because my uncle's wife was french (they have been divorced for about 12 years now), the focus of the business was french antiques and textiles. buying trips to france were very educational, traveling across the countryside and going to smaller flea markets and shops off the beaten path. in all of this i gained an education in many kinds of fabrics--silks, embroideries, linens, brocades, trims--mostly from the 19th century. there were smaller pieces and fragments of larger damaged pieces, and these i incorporated in my early pillows for the business. i taught myself how to frame a smaller piece with a solid or a stripe to make a larger pillow front, how to back a piece that had the potential to tear or unravel. because a growing number of clients were custom ordering pillows, i had to learn much more in a short amount of time, simply because i had to. the pressure was on, and often it's amidst the pressure that moments of creative force appear. it was during this time i also learned something very valuable, something i would have to learn to better myself at: making a buttonhole.

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