April 22, 2010

A Family Heirloom is Born?

Posted in DIY Projects at 5:41 pm by Elizabeth Nixon

I’m Ron Burgundy? Sorry for the question mark headline, you’ll see why in a minute…I must also apologize if my posting is light this week, as I’m up in Norcal at “wedding central” doing 8 hours of gardening a day for nine days…

I got some respite from the manual labor and squeezed in some sewing, since it recently dawned on me that I was still a ring pillow-less bride! Oh nos! And since Professor Paisley just asked our little nephew to be our ring bearer, I needed to get serious about a little cushion for our shiny bands o’ gold.

This morning my mom wrote a note before leaving for work saying the ring pillow I made last night was beautiful and had “family heirloom potential?”

Which made my day, of course, but I’ll have you know that question mark is key, because personally, I don’t think this ring pillow will last many generations…

Because it’s made out 150-year-old napkins that were a wedding present to my mom and dad in 1971:

They came from my grandmother’s friend’s antique store.

I just LOVE the shimmering fabric embossed with a leaf design and that gorgeous celestial blue thread. It looks almost Colonial, although I’d be majorly impressed if they were THAT old. I should have one of my PhD scientist-y friends do some carbon dating on the thing. Or something.

Take a look-see at the finished product:

As you can maybe sorta tell from the picture above, I didn’t sew it PERFECTLY. Whatever. Nobody’s going to look at it that closely.

How did I do it? I pinned the two napkins together and sewed two rows right on top of each other (for extra strength) on each of the four sides, leaving a hole on one side for stuffing the pillow. I was originally going to flip it inside out to hide the fringe, but I decided I liked the fringe so left it as-is, being sure to cut the threads close to the fabric so the sewing looked neater.

I stuffed it full of natural wool that I carded. Haha. Reading that now, that sentence looks ridiculous. But it’s true. I went to Waldorf schools growing up, which if you know anything about Waldorf, you’ll know that those schools are all about the natural arts and crafts, including shearing sheep, carding, spinning yarn and knitting socks from said yarn. You know. The usual. 😉 So I had some old wool lying around from my Waldorfian days, and I put it to good use.

I just have to insert here that Mama Paisley was concerned my pillow would smell weird because I used natural wool. Ahahaha. Mama P, you crack me up.

I had to restuff my pillow once, because the first time was stuffing FAIL. Altogether too lumpy. After round two of stuffing and prodding and pulling (until one of my seams was rather distressed, sniff, sniff) I sewed up the hole and got to picking out a button to put in the center. Later on, I’ll get some skinny blue ribbon to secure the rings to the pillow. I haven’t figured out how to attach the ribbon to the button yet. Maybe sew it directly onto the button…

Anyway, the button. Can I just say how excited I am about this button?

I had a lot of contenders in Mama Paisley’s button box. Isn’t that heart box darling? (Sarcasm.)

I had them all laid out when my mom pointed out the pretty ivory fabric button with hand-embroidered eyelet, and said “Oh, your grandma made that button! It was for an eyelet bathrobe she made for me when I was expecting…”

Sold! On the grandma-pregnancy-robe-button! Which is the name I gave my button. All the while Mama P looked on, shaking her head at me.

It’s rad that it’s eyelet. If you read my posts diligently, 😉 you’ll know eyelet is sorta my thing for this wedding. If my wedding had a “theme” it might be eyelet. It’s sweet and country. I’ve got the eyelet lace wrapped candles, the eyelet paper, eyelet ribbon tying my invitations together.

Now I’ve got an eyelet button, too.

Sigh. Some things are just meant to be! Isn’t it nice when something like that happens, and a project just falls into place so quickly and easily? ESPECIALLY when everything else seems to be extra complicated (read: that gardening I referenced earlier. Let’s just say “gardening” is the nicest euphemism I’ve heard since I was told my coworkers had “mutually agreed to rationalization” when they’d actually just been canned.) Anyway, more on what is more appropriately called “Extreme Grandma’s House’s Effed-Up Yard Makeover” later.

Have you ever had materials for a DIY project serendipitously appear that suited your wedding to the tee? Or have you made your own ring pillow? If so, share pictures, please!


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