Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pillow Talk

Do any of you remember this old movie? It can be seen sometimes on an old movie channel on a quiet afternoon or it might show up late at night when few folks are even watching TV. Just a sweet little movie of yesteryear. I am not going to write a post about the movie "Pillow Talk" even if it does star Doris Day and Rock Hudson. I must tell you, Dear Ones, this movie was made the year I was born and since it's has 'pillow' in the title I thought I could poke this cute graphic in to go with my post about a pillow.

Am I a silly? You betcha! Okay, now that I've totally confused you let me explain. I have been doing needlework all my life. Well, not exactly all my life, I waited until I could walk and talk and not punch my eyes out with a needle before I started. Do you see the little fabric piece with the little lady holding up a flower? Well, when I was around 13 years old I embroidered this. Actually it was a set of pillowcases and a friend of the family told me if I would finish the pillow cases, she would crochet a trim around the edges. You see, she didn't think I would ever finish. But I fooled her and did it!
I was going through some things I had put away and found these pillow cases. So sad...the fabric was beginning to fall apart and one pillow case was beyond saving. But what was I to do?! I didn't want to get rid of this masterpiece from my early years of wonderful needleworkness. So I cut out as much of the good fabric from the pillow case that I could, embroidered my name and the year I made these (this was Mr. Precious' idea!). Then I ironed on some Wonder Under to another piece of white fabric to give my oldie some strength. I was really on to something! Did I tell you I was very creative? ;) I was going to turn my teenaged masterpiece into a pillow. I had some very sweet vintage looking fabric to use as my pillow and I was set.

Now this pillow was definitely going to have to have a ruffle around the edges. If you sew, you may already know about this little trick to help you make gathering a littler easier. After you've cut your fabric for your ruffle, folded it in half and ironed it, get ready for an easy way to pull up your gathers. I use crochet thread and just lay the thread on top of the edge of the raw cut strip and use a wide zig zag stitch to sew right over the thread.
See? This is how the edge of the ruffle will look.
Just leave long strands of thread on each end so you'll have plenty of thread to pull up your gathers without loosing any. I have failed to leave enough thread at the ends before and pulled the thread right through and lost my ruffles. I've done this a few times and I was not very happy with my wonderfulness! I do mess up from time to time!

Now just fold your ruffle strip four times evenly and place a pin at each point. The pinned points will then be pinned to the four corners of the fabric square. Begin to gather your ruffle by pulling the crochet thread between corner to corner. Distribute the ruffles evenly and then you're ready to sew the ruffle to the pillow fabric.

Look, there is the beautiful ruffle sewn onto the pillow fabric. This is the back side of the pillow. Cool, huh? I then laid the two fabric squares - front to back - with the right sides of the fabric facing each other, pinned them together, sewed, and turned it and ... is the pillow case ready to be stuffed! You can see I had topstitched the vintage rescued pillow case section to the top side of the new pillow front. I even was able to keep the old crocheted edging. Did I tell you how clever I am?

I made sure the pillow case was the right size for a ready made pillow form. Sometimes, I have to make my own, but this was not one of those times.
Here is my finished project - a new pillow with a little old memory stitched right on the front.
I can remember sitting in our rocking chair watching TV as I embroidered. Wonder what I was thinking about? School was out and it was a hot summer? How I was going to fix my hair for tomorrow? My boyfriend, yep, I had one at 13, but please don't tell Mr. Preicous! What was Mother going to fix for supper? I have a good memory, but I just can't say for sure what was going on in my little head that summer. But I'm so glad to have a little something that triggers my memory and draws me back to that sweet little time of my life. Oh, if only my little pillow could just talk!!
I'll leave you with a little Note Song ~
If My Pillow Could Talk
If my pillow could talk
If my pillow could talk
It would tell you 'bout
My sleepless nights
Tell you 'bout the rivers I cried
Ever since you said goodbye
If my pillow could talk to you
If my pillow could talk to you....
~ sung by Connie Francis


  1. OK...Mrs CREATIVE!! LOL!!

    I LOVE the pillow...and the old piece of embroidery done by you on it, just adds sooooooo much!!!


    ps...Tom and I always chuckle at your's so cute in all its' wonderfulness!!

  2. Oh, I am so going to use your trick for gathering! Your sweet pillow turned out great. I have so many pillow cases with embroidery or crocheted edging and I hate to use them even though I know it is silly just to keep them in a drawer where I can't see them.

    My high school class performed "Pillow Talk" for our class play. The couple who played the leads got married four years later.

  3. You certainly are creative! It makes me very sad to think of all the things I have made in my life that are gone! I wish I had kept them to have the same memories as you.

    Your pillow is just lovely as can be! It looks beautiful! You did a wonderful job creating a new masterpiece out of your embroidery.

    And yes, I remember the movie Pillow Talk :)

    take care,

  4. So you've pretty much been talented all of your life! Wow, what cool treasures and memories to have! Oh and I love the ruffled pillow too!!
    Have a good one Shelia! : )

  5. We absolutely know you are creative...and the pillow is fabulous!!! It is just the sweetest pillow because you made the whole thing starting when you were 13 it!!

  6. Sheila
    What a wonderfulness idea you had to finish your embroidery work as you did. It looks absolutely lovely like that. What a shame to have kept it tucked away any longer. I am going to try your gathering idea.
    When I saw your PillowTalk picture I pictured it as you and Mr. Precious....
    Have a simply lovely day.

  7. You are such a smart little booger ! I don't even like to sew but this made me want to make a pillow ! Wonderful ideal ! I love it !

  8. Whoa! Two things:
    1. I'm super super super impressed with your sewing skills! That pillow is gorgeous.
    2.That's one of my favorite movies EVER! :)

  9. I sew buy I must admit I've never heard of gathering this way with crochet thread and zig zag stitching! I love how your recycled that cute little pillow case into a vintage pillow also. What a great idea to preserve it!

  10. I love the pillow. What a wonderful memory. And you just gave me an idea. I have an other cross stitch of a dolphin that I did in Jr. High or High School. The first one I ever really did from a pattern, and not a kit. I found it two days ago while looking for something else and thought, "Why do I still have this, I haven't even framed it or anything?" Now I think I could make a pillow and somehow fit it into my Light house inspired great room. Hey they're both ocean related right?

  11. I just love your pillow. It is crazy how we have to finish some projects later when we actually make time to get to them.

  12. Oh, Sheila, that's adorable and EXACTLY what I would have done and actually HAVE done. I rarely throw away anything I can "repurpose", sweet chick! But I've never seen a ruffle done that way; I use a "ruffler" attachment and it has saved my fingers much stress!! Check the remodel update if you have time, sweetpea!! Lookin' good!

  13. Not only are you so very FUNNY, and you are so very TALENTED! ...and it looks like you began at any early age! :) Cute pillow!

    ~Hugs, Rhonda

  14. I"m envious of your ability to sew such beautiful things! ;-) And I've not heard of that movie...hmmm. :)

  15. Hi Shiela
    You make sewing look so easy...I know better. hehehe This is a great idea for those pretty pillow cases that have seen better days. I might have to dig my sewing machine out and give it a try. thanks for coming by to visit the other day. Your sweet Chloe Dawn hads the same floppy ear that Yada does.You might be right...they could be cousins.

  16. Hi Shiela
    You make sewing look so easy...I know better. hehehe This is a great idea for those pretty pillow cases that have seen better days. I might have to dig my sewing machine out and give it a try. thanks for coming by to visit the other day. Your sweet Chloe Dawn hads the same floppy ear that Yada does.You might be right...they could be cousins.

  17. What a wonderful pillow with such wonderful memories. Like you I started doing needlework at a very young age. I think it is kind of becoming a lost art. I can't see todays kids doing much of it. I have seen Pillow Talk more times than I can remember. I enjoy it every time I see it. It is also one of my daugher's favorite all time movies.

  18. Im in love with that pillow... How dear! I love Doris Day too! I like that movie where they thought she had died but didnt... She then came back and saw her two little girls and her husband was about to remarry... Good movies! Susie h~

  19. Hi Sheila,

    Wow, what a great idea. I love the fact that you stitched it at 13.

    What would your pillow say if it could talk-lol?


  20. What a great project! You have inspired me to get out some of my treasures and make them useful again.

  21. I always love the Doris Day movies! Pillow talk was the perfect followup to your lovely dinner with Mr. Precious! : )

  22. I can't remember something I did last year, much less when I was that age! I have a terrible memory. It's worse lately with my asthma acting up. I think maybe the oxygen isn't getting to my brain. Originally thought it was menopause. Perhaps it is both! Love anything with embroidery!

  23. Hey Pickle! That is the sweetest thing and girl you sure can sew pretty...I have a new sewing machine in the closet...(yes I am a closet sewer) I don't even know where my zigzag stitch button thingy is on there! lol How bout I just send you the fabric and a few chocolate bars and you make the pillow for me!!! lol lol have a great night sweetie...I think it is wonderful that you have a piece of your childhood to remember things by.

  24. hey can find that recipe for the fried green tomatoes @ love this recipe for them and you dip them in alittle bit of ranch dressing ...oh my word!!!!!!

  25. Shelia What a sweet memory you have in the sweet looking pillow. At 13 you did a great job, and she is so pretty. Oh and why did you not tell us you were creative..... You make me laugh. Just love the story.


  26. First, I have to say I really admire anyone who can sew - much less make ruffles! And then to recreate a pillow from your vintage piece is the icing on the cake! Love it!!

  27. Darnit! I just wrote out a whole comment and then lost my internet connection! I'm going to make this one short and sweet. AMAZING WORK, GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Justine :o )

  28. Shelia, I just love this pillow. I think a pillow is one of the best ways to showcase old needlework. I learned something about adding a ruffle too, thanks for the tutorial, it looks alot easier than the way I usually make ruffles:>)

  29. Shelia, I just love this pillow. I think a pillow is one of the best ways to showcase old needlework. I learned something about adding a ruffle too, thanks for the tutorial, it looks alot easier than the way I usually make ruffles:>)

  30. My dearest Shelia,
    I am very very grateful to you for this ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL EXPLANATION OF HOW TO MAKE A RUFFLE AND ADD IT TO A PILLOW...I CANNOT WAIT TO TRY THIS. Ruffles have always given me a bit of a fit. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You are a DARLING. My husband loves anything with Doris Day in it...I also love the little girl at the piano. Everything about your blog is SPECTACULAR.
    Love and hugs,

  31. ooH My Dear Sheila,
    Just one question when you measure the fabric much fabric do you use 1 1/2 times the pillow size? 2 times the pillow size? 3 times the pillow size. I know it is more then the actual pillow but I do not know how much. Please advise.
    Thank you for the help.

  32. Good Morning Sheila :),

    Not only are you a sweet person but you are also talented! I don't believe I've kept anything from my teenage years, probably a good thing ;). What a wonderful tutorial and your pillow is precious with your stitch work! Amazing!

    Have a Fantastic Friday!
    Kathi :)

  33. So cute and such a wonderful way to preserve a memory. Your pillow turned out so nice. You've inspired me to take a couple of my childhood attempts at embroidery and turn them into something special.

  34. I love the movie Pillow Talk. Your needlework is beautiful.

  35. I LOVE it..come over and see what I just got at a yard sale.....


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