The “California Here We Come!” Pillow (tutorial)

by ilene on July 21, 2011 · 23 comments

in jeff, sewing, tutorial

California here I come, right back where I started from,
Where Bowers of flowers bloom in the sun.

I haven’t been posting much this week because we are in California!! We flew down to LA after Chicago to visit my family and attend a beautiful wedding.  Now we are up north in the bay area because WE ARE MOVING TO SAN FRANCISCO!!! It’s our big news of the year!  We are switching coasts next month and moving cross-country to San Francisco!! We are moving because Jeff’s new job is in the Bay Area.  Although we are so sad to leave our friends and beloved church behind in Boston after 7 wonderful years, we are excited to be moving back to my home state, closer to my family and to another great city.   These past few months have been a whirlwind!  Jeff graduated, we’ve sold our home (by ourselves without an agent!), I’ve left my wonderful job of 5+ years, started saying good bye to some dear friends and started packing up our first home together.  This week we are in San Francisco looking for a new apartment!  We’ve been pounding the pavement, looking at over 19 apartments over the past 3 days.  Renting an apartment in SF is super competitive not to mention way more expensive than Boston, which we thought was already overpriced!  Wish us luck as we hopefully find a new home soon!

In honor of our big cross-country move, I made us a new pillow!! I call it the “California Here We Come!” pillow, after the song that all us native Californians have to learn in 5th grade.  (I think its the unofficial state song of CA.)

I got the idea straight from Kiki Create’s The US Map Pillow.  (See her full tutorial here).  The moment I saw it on her site, I knew I wanted to make one for myself!

First, I printed out a map of the US and cut it out as a template:

Then I traced it onto white wool felt with disappearing ink and cut it out (this particular map that I copied got the Michigan/Wisconsin area all wrong! so I had to freehand cut those parts out):

I cut out a felt heart where our new home will be:

I decided to make the pillow cover out of a beige sparkly linen (same material as the Anthropologie knock off scarf I made a few months ago).  I love this linen fabric, you can see the glimmer from the sparkles in the picture below.   Pin all the pieces in place, then I stitched all around the US outline and the heart with a metallic thread. You can never have too much sparkly bling!

I made the pillow with an envelope back so that I can easily take it off and switch the cover when I get bored of it.  I tend to do this a lot, I’m so indecisive when it comes to my pillows!!  Last week, when I tore off the felt flower pillow cover and modified it into a circular pillow, I was then left with the old rectangular pillow form so I decided to re-cover it.

This pillow will mark the start of our new life in San Francisco!  Hello summer fog, Golden Gate bridge, cable cars and steep hills! I hope after this week, we will have a lease signed. Then it’s on to finding myself a new job!

Open up that Golden Gate,  California here I come! 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gina @ temporary nest July 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

Yay!! Congrats! That’s so exciting!! Have fun in sf! And what an adorable pillow! Good luck house hunting!

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2 Donna July 22, 2011 at 2:36 am

love the pillow and congrats on the move! I love SF :)

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3 61degreesnorth July 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I just love your state-themed crafts!

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4 elisa beth July 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

i love this one! < 3
you're just purely creative.

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5 californiamomma July 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Can you make me one?! And the T-shirt too! :) Love.

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6 whollykao July 26, 2011 at 11:14 pm

good luck in cali! thats’ super exciting for y’all!

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7 electronic cigarettes July 27, 2011 at 7:47 am

so lovely and fully I really like to sleep when I get a pillow like that. I cures my migraines and headaches after hours of sleep.

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8 roomagoo July 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

this is great! I will have to make one!

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9 Kristen July 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Love this pillow!! What a great idea!

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10 Dobriy July 28, 2011 at 5:45 am

You are a creative person:))

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11 Blondy Magee February 11, 2012 at 9:11 am

I love this. My family and I are moving to the bay area next week. When I unpack my sewing machine I am going to make this. Maybe I’ll make a Colorado one too.

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12 Paige A February 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I love your story! My family just moved back to the Bay area after living in Los Angeles, Boston, Missouri and now here. I hope you are settled in now. We love it here! And, I will be making this pillow so thanks for passing the idea on from the previous blog!

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