I made this doily pillow for my midwife, Lori, as a way to say THANK YOU for being more fabulous than I imagined throughout my pregnancy and delivery. We had our last well baby visit earlier today and I managed to get this thing finished with time to spare! I started on it two days ago and left it out on my work bench so that I could steal a moment here and there to stitch those doilies together. Here's how it went down.
Gather some doilies you picked up at your local flea market, on eBay, JoAnns, or your grandma's and arrange them like so. You'll also need two pieces of fabric 1/2" larger on both sides than your pillow form, a needle, embroidery thread, sewing machine, and scissors. I used a 14" square pillow form so I knew I needed to cover at least that much territory with my doilies. I made sure I didn't have many gaps in between by overlapping edges. Once I was happy with my layout...
I spent about an hour and a half total stitching my doilies together by hand. I later realized I could've saved some time and just pinned them down to the fabric underneath and sewn them directly onto the fabric with my machine. However, I tend to do things the hard way the first time. To fill in one of the large gaps in between doilies, I cut up a smaller piece and patched it from behind.
Make sure your doilies cover the top piece of fabric and pin down.
It should look like this on the back. Wrinkles won't matter so much once the case is on your pillow so don't spend too much time getting things too smooth. Once your doilies are pinned, trim off the excess doilies. Yes, I cut a doily. A means to an end, folks. Loosely stitch (baste) around the edges of your pillow to keep things in place.
Decide if you have enough doilies to cover the back of your pillow. You can repeat this process on the back or find a large enough doily to cover most of it. OR, just stitch a single doily onto the fabric so that it looks nice.
Pin your front and back sides together with right sides facing each other. Starting a little in from the bottom right corner, stitch along the edge until you're a little in from the bottom left corner. This will give your bottom corners and easy time of things when you turn it right side out. See image below.
This is the large doily I found and used to mostly cover the back of the pillow. It has a lovely peacock feather design.
Carefully insert your pillow form (or substitute form with poly-fil stuffing) and hand-stitch the bottom shut.
I attached my doily front at an angle to give it more visual interest and used doilies that were different shades of cream to draw attention to the various patterns involved. I chose yellow for the backing because it allowed the cream to show up nicely but wasn't stealing the show.
The doily pillow wanted to stay at my house but I told her she was needed elsewhere.
I'd love to see someone make one with colored doilies! If you make one, colored or not, please send me a picture! If you have a similar love affair with doilies, you may want to check out what this girl did with hers in her kitchen. Oh, and be warned that there is a darling little baby involved. Scroll down to the end of the post to see it in the background.
p.s. I think she loved it.