Friday, February 19, 2021

Henlo Fren Pillow / Beauties Pageant 117

My Henlo Fren pillow hack

If youve been following my blog for any length of time, youve likely clued into the dog obsession here at From Bolt to Beauty world headquarters. We currently have one furry family member, a five-year-old Golden named Rose whose big personality demands that the rest of the household revolves around her. 

This obsession has only grown worse over the past year. My husband and I, in an effort to keep our wits about us during the monotony of the pandemic, have started following dog accounts on Instagram and TikTok. And let me tell you, there are dog lovers, and then there are dog lovers on social media.

In fact, that second group speaks its own language. Those people talk not of dogs and puppies but doggos and puppers, and greet each other with “henlo fren” instead of “hello friend.” Those hoomans feed their canine companions treatos and brush their doggos’ floof. And sometimes, when their pets are being extra naughty (see Rose in the pic above with my sock!), they just have to shrug and concede that’s just doggos being doggos.

Hello Friend Pillow Pattern Hack

The time spent on canine-friendly social media instigated a pillow pattern hack. Using the Hello Friend pattern Happy Sew Lucky released at the beginning of the pandemic, I made my own Henlo Fren pillow. All the letters I needed for “henlo fren” appear in the phrase “hello friend,” so there was little actual hacking to do; the only sacrifice I made for my version is forgoing the originals cool letter spacing. 

My quilted Henlo Fren pillow

My husband was pretty excited to receive this as a Christmas gift. Actually, I think it’s the most excited he’s gotten about any project I’ve made in the nearly 20 years I’ve been sewing!

A Past Pillow Debacle

It had been a few years since my last foray into pillow making. Pillows are supposed to be fun, satisfying sews, and a 2019 pillow project ended badly. I took some much-loved bits of Alison Glass fabrics and sewed them into this lumpy mess ...

Quilted Alison Glass pillow

What went wrong? Well, I quilted the pillow cover too densely, which affected its drape (or lack thereof). I couldnt remedy the stiff cover, but I did try to get it to fit the pillow form properly. Multiple attempts to trim excess fabric were ineffective, and after banishing the pillow cover to a dark corner of my closet for a year, I chopped it up and resurrected it as two pretty awesome See-It-All Pouches. Nice, right? (I wrote more about this pouch pattern, from Aneela Hoey, and sewing with vinyl here.)

Two See-It-All Pouches

The Merits of a Zipper Enclosure

I knew I didnt want to make the same mistakes with this pillow, so I swiped the quilting design directly from Happy Sew Lucky’s pattern: I started with a line of quilting along the perimeter of the word bubble and then echoed that shape every half-inch. Its simple and elegant, and adequately attaches the pillow cover to the fleece lining.

The pattern provides instructions for both an envelope enclosure and a hidden-zipper enclosure. (For that matter, it also offers two options for sewing the words: traditional piecing or paper piecing. I paper-pieced my words.) Although I usually opt out of installing zippers whenever I can, Ive sewn plenty of them (see more zipper projects here) and chose to follow the pattern’s zipper instructions, which created a clean finish. I did make my cover an inch smaller horizontally and vertically, just so there was a little more poof and a little less extra room once I inserted the 20-inch form. Together, the zipper enclosure and slightly smaller cover resulted in a pillow whose plumpness is evenly distributed and lump free. 

Zipper enclosure on my pillow

Words of Pillow-Making Wisdom, Perhaps?

Everyone has his or her own preferences when it comes to making pillows. Happy Sew Lucky has me sold on zippers. What are your words of wisdom for the pillow-making masses?

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  1. Awww, cute pup and pillow. And so adorable that your hubby was so excited about his gift! I too am sold on zippered pillow closures!

  2. Very cute pillow! Here's my pillow-making wisdom: Make the pillow cover a half-inch to an inch smaller than the pillow form so it will fit snugly. Pillow forms squish, so you can make it fit. No wrinkles! Have a warm and safe weekend.

  3. What a cute pillow (and you are so right that there is a difference between dog lovers and social media dog lovers), and it's awesome that your husband was so excited to receive the pillow!

  4. Cute pillow. Glad your husband approved. LOL

  5. Well, no doggos in this house, but I love the pillow, just the same. It makes me chuckle a bit.

  6. There are always lessons to learn, aren't there? Even when we have oodles of experience. Pillows are meant to be easy makes, right? I most often use an envelope backing because it seems my pillows are more decorative than actually used. Though I've made several zipper-backed pillows, I seldom wash the pillow, so I don't bother with them anymore.


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