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Ipock-a-Lips – The elusive perfect pillow

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013

  • Updated Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:54 am

In light of the ever popular trend to refinish, recycle and reconfigure – which seems to be stronger than ever – I have been trying to make a specific pillow for our living room sofa. It all began when I bought a second sofa and tried to “marry” the two pieces of furniture, a solid ivory sofa and a solid red sofa. It's not looking bad, but it could be better. So, I keep picturing this long, comfy, overstuffed pillow – possibly even a bolster style – in a bright, colorful print, to bring it all together visually.  

I went to an estate sale three weeks ago that was chock full of international items as the residents had been world travelers. Almost calling out to me, “Hello! Ann! Yoo hoo! Over here! Buy me!” was a fabulous thin vintage bedspread with a wide array of colors: red, blue, yellow and black on a pale yellow background in an almost hieroglyphic print. Picture World Market shaking hands with Pottery Barn. I LOVED it! And I knew I had to have it. Could I make this into a pillow, I wondered.

My friend, Carol, who had driven us there said, “What are you going to do with that?” I told her my plans and she nodded. Carol is an expert in antiques and anything vintage. In her awesome way of being helpful, she suggested I spread out the folded piece and make sure there were no tears or stains. Sure enough, it was just fine as wine.

Then she said, “Are you really going to sew a pillow?” She also knows me well. I often make big plans, but don't follow through. Plus, I'm using my mother's 1950s cast-iron Singer sewing machine and it's not exactly humming along. Each time I use it I hold my breath, thinking, is this the very last time the old gal is going to work? Recent problems involve thread breaking, bobbin tangling and stitches too tight or too loose. I want to sew. I should be able to sew. I will not give up.

So I bought the fabric and brought it home. But I started dreading the thought of cutting it. I mean, it's perfect now, so why mess up a good thing? Then again, I can't have a pillow in this pattern if I dont cut it. But what if I do cut it and it doesn't turn out right? I will have ruined a perfectly good vintage cloth.

Then, about a week ago we were on vacation with Carol and her husband, Frank, in Destin, Florida. Our husbands were in a golf tournament and we shopped. One place we ran into was this uber cool furniture store, where I found three amazing matching pillows. They had humongous velvet circles in the same colors I mentioned earlier. So I snatched 'em up – what a bargain, and got all smug, thinking heh, heh, I wouldn't have to embarrass myself with my non-sewing talents.

But I got home and they were way too busy. They also didn't go with my muted Karastan rug and in fact, they totally clashed. Bad choice.

So I looked at the vintage fabric once more and now I'm really attached to it. I simply can't cut it now.

Next I drove to Stein Mart since they were having a great sale on Suzani-type printed pillows. But I got there late and nothing worked, with one exception: there was one huge colorful pillow, in a massive bin, with several other huge pillows. I picked it up and admired the construction, the material and the abundance of stuffing. Did I mention it was huge? Oh, no! It turned out to be a pillow for a pet. What the??? Dang!

I think I'll just put this subject to rest for a while longer 'cause I know the elusive perfect pillow must be out there somewhere, right? Yeah, that's what I say. Frankly I'm beginning to wonder.

Ann Ipock “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” amipock@ec.rr.com www.annipock.com.

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