Black Cat Pillow

Frank Black pillow in red chair

I wanted to make a pillow/soft sculpture and decided an homage to our dearly departed Frank Black was the perfect subject.  I added his scar from his compulsive self-mutilating and captured him in his goofy, relaxed state--with tongue out. 

Lessons to be learned from winging the creation of a pillow creature:

  • The sewing machine does not register speed.  You are allowed to sew slowly and precisely.  In fact, going slowly and accurately is recommended.  
  • They are called seam allowances. Remember that.
  • If you sew wicked fast with no seam allowances drawn on, you will definitely end up with a different shape than you planned.  Totally.
  • Making a pattern requires more planning than just doing a sketch.  No super sharp curves or angles, add room for seam allowance, etc.  You have to draw and translate into an executable pattern.  
  • Do not wad all the stuffing in there speedily or you will have a lumpy blob of a creature. Small puffs of stuffing, if you please!
  • But, it is all good if you ultimately capture the vibe you were shooting for.  This pillow makes me go, "Aww" so it worked out OK.

Now, I have not looked online.  Something tells me that there is an awesome cat pattern PDF out there.  But, I like making it up as I go along.  And I learned a lot.  I would compare it to my driving philosophy.  I am always telling Dagwood, as he uses his imaginary brakes, that I have to drive like I feel it.  So you feel the joy of it, whipping around curves, going really fast downhill.  I would say this rule is even more critical when you are making things.  Do it. Find the joy. Make mistakes, learn, and get better and better at it. And, enjoy the ride.

Frank Black pillow against wall


yes, and yes. But I love the pillow. It makes me go "Aww" as well. And he looks so good on red. I was almost wondering if you were making his cone.

Thought: with tongue appliqued on, you could applique on nose too. Creates/evens out a more 3d section for the face. Love the buttons.


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