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Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Pillow

The idea came to me on Thursday, I started it Friday evening, finished it Saturday night, wrapped it and gave it to my mom on Sunday. Yes, it's the last minute Mother's Day gift. Which did happen to be a big success with my mom.

Since the end of last year, I've already lost track of the number of pillows I've made. A few Christmas gifts with a giant Christmas ornament applique, a cat pillow, a tulip pillow, the crazy quilt gift and my crazy quilt pillow. I seem to have pillow on the brain. So when I just finished my own crazy quilt pillow and needed to think of a Mother's Day gift, what would come to mind besides a pillow?

After my aunt gave me the pillow with my mom's photo on it, I started thinking about doing a pillow with photos. So for Mother's Day, I decided to use some of my son's senior pictures from last year, a couple other pictures of him and one of him and my mom at graduation.

I had never printed photos on fabric before and it did not go as well as I had hoped. I bought a package of three 8.5 X 11 sheets of fabric with a backing that would enable it to go through a printer. The directions said to set my printer for normal paper. I had arranged four photos per sheet and printed a sample on regular paper but when the first sheet of fabric paper went through the printer, it started printing the bottom half of my 8.5 X 11 sheet of photos. The two photos that printed were very nice, but I wanted four photos, not two.

I had put together a second sheet of four photos, the fifth one for the pillow and three extra ones that I was going to use for myself. Well, that sheet did not print correctly either. It printed about the bottom 2/3 of my photo sheet. I did get my fifth photo, but the extras that I was going to use for myself were not usable. I still needed the top two photos from the first sheet so I reformatted a sheet of photos with those two on the bottom half. Sent that through the printer and it worked.

I don't know why I could not print an entire sheet of photos. I'm sure it has something to do with the thickness of the paper and my particular printer, but it was very frustrating. If I decide to try this again, I will need to do very careful research for my printer to determine how to make this work. But I did finally get five usable photos for my pillow.

I decided to make four 4-inch square quilt blocks in neutral colors to separate the photos. I didn't want bright colors to distract from the photos. I had all the scraps for my quilt blocks and bought a yard of fabric for the ruffle and pillow back. I liked the wider ruffle on my crazy quilt pillow but wanted wider lace to go with the wider ruffle, so I found this lace to use for the ruffle at JoAnn's. I bought a light colored braid to use for the "frames" around my photos, but it was a braided trim that would be hard to keep the edges from uravelling, so I scrapped that idea. I decided to use this gold trim that I have a ton of, sew it down and miter the corners.

And here is my finished pillow. I was very pleased with how it turned out. And my mom really liked it. Mother's Day photo pillow

And here is a closeup of the center photo with its gold "frame". Joe and my mom at graduation last year

One thing I learned while doing this pillow...Although I tried to allow for plenty of fullness at the corners when gathering the ruffle, because of this wider lace, which was pre-gathered, I should have allowed for a little extra lace at each corner. Doesn't look awful, but another lesson learned. A little more fullness would have been better.

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