for the birds

In spite of the two inches of snow we got yesterday afternoon and last night, it's 40 degrees today and the snow is quickly melting off. In my studio it's already looking very much like spring. I didn't set out to do a bird theme for my spring pillow line but, as I was going through my linen stash, birds kept popping up. I think they were trying to tell me something so, OK, it's not a bad idea :)

I have quite a lot of things that still need to be embroidered—I'll get to them next—but, for now, I'm concentrating on using up pieces that are already ready to go. I finished four pillows yesterday, two with bird themes. And I have several more tops done! Will finish the backs later today.

This little guy is from a pillowcase I bought last spring at a flea market for $3. It had a very stubborn yellow stain running across the front right above the bird so I had to cut it a bit closer than I would have liked. Sometimes you have to work with what you've got.


bird pillow

Likewise for this one. I used this piece for a pillow a couple of years ago but I was never happy with the result. And, when I photographed it, I noticed a yellow stain that I hadn't seen while I was making it (note to self—always check linens outside in natural light). I threw the whole thing in my reject pile (yep, I've got one of those). Yesterday I revisited it, took the whole thing apart, then cut off the stain and ended up with a narrow piece.


And this is what I ended up with (still need to do the back). Much better the second go-round!

bird pillow

Which just goes to show that there's no right way to design something. And that's also why I don't design multiples. It would be easier, sure, just because anything done in production-line fashion takes less time. But I'd rather take matching motifs and create something completely different with them. Like this pillow that uses half of an embroidered vintage runner.

two birds

The other end is exactly the same, but I'll do a different design with it. Not sure what yet but there are some pretty blues and purples in the birds and I might go in that direction.


All of the pillows I'm working on now will be listed in a few weeks. It's been a while since I've done new pillow designs and the older ones are still on sale at my website. If they don't sell soon, I'll be taking them apart for reworking. It's hard to know why something doesn't sell. Poor design? Not connecting with the right customer? Bad economy? Who knows? But, judging from my recent redesigns, whatever they become next will probably be better than they were before!


Sheri said...

Lovely pillows! What a great idea to reuse older linens that have spots or blemishes. (Thanks for that one!) I'm guessing it's the economy right now, because your work is lovely!
Sheri~~Prim Rose Hill Studio

Carolr said...

Love these bird designs. Bet you won't have any leftovers with these motifs.

smalltownmom said...

I've been trying not to buy much lately...but darn it, Stitchin' Kitty was too cute! That's me who just bought it.

Vicki W said...

These are beautiful!

Shirley said...

I have read some blogs about old linen and the stains (yellow or rust) they like them and leave them as it shows that they are truely vintage. Lovely designs !

Brook said...

I love all of them!!!!

ingrid said...

Oh wow, so much sweet birdy goodness!
The little bluebird is devine.

Peggy. said...

Very pretty. I have a stack of old linens that I need to make into pillows. Your pillows have been an inspiration...you are very talented.

Susan from The T-Cozy said...

Hi Janet,
Your pillows, as usual, are extraordinary! You put together such beautiful combinations of fabric patterns, embroidery, trim and buttons. Simply perfect!
Warmest regards,

Julie said...

I get such inspiration from how you combine embroidered pieces with different fabrics.

sumea said...

I just founf your blog through browsing.
I love the birds embroidery, very much like your blog :o)
Hope you have a lovely weekend