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If These Walls Could Talk

Pillow Talk

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09/01/2010 - Eighteen year old Lydia was impressed with the beautiful handmade textiles she saw when visiting Thailand. I asked her to bring a few of the patchwork cushion covers home to me.

That was before the tsunami hit.

I'm glad Lydia was an athlete because in the course of her escape, she ran from the wall of water, scaled a few cliffs, and traversed a jungle that even the locals were afraid to enter. I'm glad Lydia was a Wyoming girl because she used the cowboy stomp and lift method to make an opening through a barbwire fence and help the mob of panicked villagers pass. I'm glad Lydia was a young woman of faith because she wasn't alone as she spent a tearful vigil in the night praying for the brother she was separated from.

That said, please don't judge me too harshly when I add that I'm glad Lydia was a person of her word and has an artistic eye, because when she arrived home she carried three handmade cushion covers in her duffle bag. The covers were purchased during the panicked chaotic few hours before her plane took off for home. There should be a shoppers' hall of fame. Lydia's shopping conquest beats any Black Friday pre-Christmas shopping tale that will ever be told.

The cushions are extraordinary--- crafted from precious bits of interesting fabric and embroidered. They rest in a pile on an old black rocking chair. These cushions, like all decorative pillows, seem to invite one to pick them up and examine them,

Cushions and pillows in all their forms are one of the most comforting and inviting finishing touches one can add to a room. They seldom get hard use and can therefore be made from fragile and exotic fabrics. Because of their small size, they can be crafted in elegant ways that would be too labor intensive for a larger project.

Pillows and cushions are perfect do-it-yourself projects. Each one is a work of art. They are a great way to showcase interesting textiles. Heirloom lace or doilies can be stitched to a pillow front. A collection of beads or drilled seashells can be added as trim or fringe. A few beautiful buttons can be used both functionally and decoratively.

When making pillows, back fragile fabrics with a sturdier lining. Use an expensive or exotic fabric for the front, but use a plainer, tougher fabric for the back. Dressmaker details like cording, fringe, buttons, ties, and other accents are perfect for a pillow.

Pillows and cushions are natural accents in living rooms, sitting rooms, and bedrooms. They're also a nice touch on a porch swing, or bay window seat. Use one alone as an accent or pile them high in a kaleidoscope of color.

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