December 26, 2014

In a Mid-Century Mode + How To

 Mid-Mod is back and I am embracing it with pillows to throw around on your Herman Millers, Eames and Knolls.

With the help of this book, I came up with authentic
 looking shapes evocative of the era.  Mid-Century
Modern Patterns is a coloring book for grownups by
artist and designer Jenn Ski. Look for her HERE and HERE

I do not try to duplicate the pages but choose elements that I like and a general arrangement which I draw out pretty roughly on Kraft paper the size I want the pillow to be.

 I then cut more accurate paper patterns for each element and number them with an identifying number and how many total of that number to cut.

 The most time consuming part of this whole thing is deciding the colors and prints of the fabrics to use. I have great heaps of fabrics in all manner of bits and pieces and I always seem to need another to complete my projects.  I had to go out and buy brown background fabric for these and brought home a completely wrong shade BUT JoAnn's let me return it for another shade. I have NEVER returned fabric before.

The next step was to trace all my pattern pieces onto a sheet of HeatnBond. I love this stuff. You can draw on one side then cut out the pieces and iron them onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut the shape neatly from the fabric and the HeatnBond gives it a nice body. You then peel away the paper backing and it leaves a plasticky surface that can iron your pieces nicely onto the background and holds them in place to do very nice machine appliqué.

Before applying the appliqués I made decorative line stitching to go behind some of the shapes. I chalked out the lines to follow.

  The post-it hangs near my machine with the quick remainder for this old brain as to how to set up the various stitches I use.  You can see that I have a pice of fusible batting behind the fabric which I LATER line with a thin fabric so the batting is hidden. I line the reverse side but do not use batting.

                     Here are my appliqués all iron down and ready for the machine.

I have added echo stitching around
some shapes, too.
 That tear drop shape is cut from a little sample of faux suede. I also used it for some other shapes.

                                                            Here is the end result
And here is the reverse. I hide a zipper under that print fabric in the center and a bit of stitching so that back is usable, too.

                                                       The smaller 12 x 16 rectangle

 I experimented with a diagonal zipper in this one. It made getting the insert in it REALLY easy.

So are you into this old but new decorating or are you "been there, done that".


  1. Those are great, Cheryl. We love the mid-century-inspired pillows you made us -- gorgeous!

  2. Beautiful! And thank you for showing your process in such good detail.