May Island Batik Challenge

I'm very happy--I finally got my May Island Batik challenge done!

The May challenge for us Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a pillow using batiks. Since I already had a shop sample that fit that exact description on my To-Do list, I thought I'd use my monthly challenge to finally get the sample done.

The pattern for the pillows is called Haute Dog, and it's by Bella Nonna. The pattern offers two versions---one long pillow or two matching pillows. I chose the two pillow option.

I've actually made these pillows before, as a gift to my niece who loves dachshunds. If you'd like to see that version, click here.

To make the dog and the sweaters for this version, I used the City Culture 2 collection by Island Batik.

For the background of the pillows, I chose this print from the Island Batik Surf and Sand collection. It's called Seed Circles, and the color is Lagoon. This collection is retired, but you can still get some of its fabrics from Always in Stitches (the shop where I work) if you want. (No, I don't work on commission there. <grin> I just love the shop!)

To make the pillows special, the pattern calls for you to add decorative stitches to the dog's sweater. This part was real fun as I got to use a lot of the stitches on my machine. I don't know about you, but it seems like I never get to use those extra stitches for anything, so I was really pumped to play!

The pattern also calls for you to add zippers to the pillows so you can remove the pillow inserts for cleaning. I was once afraid of zippers, but not anymore. You can read about my zipper triumphs here and here and here.

When it came down to it however, I thought putting zippers in the pillows was a whole lot of fuss so I used an envelope finish instead.

If you do add a zipper though, you can also add cute zipper pulls (engraved dog tags) just like the pattern shows.

The dog's nose is "scribble stitched" by simply free-motion stitching around in a circle to draw the nose with thread. I have to confess that I love "drawing" with thread. It's fun! You just lower your feed-dogs and move the fabric around. Relaxing!

Here are the details:

"Haute Dog" by Bella Nonna
12" x 16" each
Fabrics: Island Batik City Culture collection
Pillow forms: Soft Stuff by Hobby Lobby, 100% polyester fiber filling
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #5011 (Rope Beige)
Applique Thread:  Aurifil 80 wt. #2468 (Deep Wine), Sulky 40 wt #1019 (Peach) and #1190 (Medium Burgundy), Guterman 50 wt #8780 (Olive Drab)
Pieced and appliqued by Jennifer Fulton

If you like my pillows, you can purchase the pattern in person or online at Always in Stitches (the store where I work). You can probably purchase it elsewhere, but again, I love the store where I work.

Disclosure: The products featured here were provided to me free of charge by Island Batik.

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Tell me..how do you like to finish your pillows--with a zipper, velcro, envelope finish or something else?

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!