Making hooked pieces into pillows is a wonderful way to expand your hooking repertoire!
A hooked pillow sitting on your couch or chair is a ready invitation to come and sit a bit.
Often times when I hook a pillow, I finish it by sewing on a wool backing then stuffing the pillow with batting; or I will make an envelope-type closure to fit over a pillow form. I know some rug hookers save their wool snippet, (cut ends from their strips) for stuffing pillows.
This pillow, Abby Cat, was hooked as a gift for a friend who's 16 year old cat passed away earlier this spring. Abby, was a small white cat with two different colored eyes and loads of personality. She would not be denied the chance to sit on your lap when you came to visit. Also, she loved to eat flowers, so my friend had to keep the vases of flowers on high shelves where Abby could not reach them.
In designing this rug, I wanted it to convey a happy light-hearted feeling. A design that would evoke sweet memories of a dearly loved pet. My friend adores the flowers, Lilly of the Valley, so putting those in the design was a nice balance to the white cat motif. I knew Abby needed to be surrounded by flowers, since in life, she seemed to have a "thing" for them! The arching leaves above the cat give motion to the piece, and lead your eye back to the cat, as you take in the other motifs and lettering.
I thought the pillow needed some sort of fringe around the edge. I love the look of a proddy fringe, but was concerned it would be too "heavy" for the feel of this pillow. I have used a wide strip of wool, tacked in random fashion as an edging for a small pumpkin pillow of mine. I like how it added a little bit of fancy feel to the pillow. So that's how the idea to do something similar, a crocheted loop edging, for this pillow was born.
I had some lovely hand-dyed wool yarn that perfectly matched the background of the pillow. The idea was originally to use a single chain stitch, but I found that I wanted more substance to the crocheted loop edging. What finally worked is a chain stitch that is approximately 2 times longer than the perimeter of the pillow (plus about 8" to allow for loops at corners), that is turned and single crocheted back across the chain. (Big thanks to my crafting friend Trish, she rescued me as I tried to figure out this technique. She sweetly ended up making me the edging.)
I tacked the crocheted loop edging to the pillow edge, between the hooking and the wool back fabric, with the same yarn that was used to make the crocheted loop edging. I did this in random fashion because I like how that adds character, and frankly, I'm too impatient to try to measure everything just so.
The Abby Cat pattern can be ordered from my ETSY shop. It can be personalized for your cat, or the name space above "CAT" can be left as a blank background.
Tomorrow this pillow with the crocheted loop edging, goes to live with my friend Kim.
Abby Cat will sit on the couch, chair, or just maybe... snuggle on a lap.