Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Zebra Pillow

Back in November when I was at the Houston Quilt Festival, I bought a random piece of smooth furred fabric printed with a photographic image of a zebra. It was tactilely so inviting; it felt like you were petting a puppy dog's tummy. I originally planned to buy a solid cream colored piece of velour or velvet as a backing and make it into a shaped pillow. The zebra is not stark white and black as you can see from the difference against the pure white background

Then I got this revolutionary idea (ha, ha). Why not make the backing with some fabric from my stash? I stock almost no solids and certainly not velvet or velour, but surely I would have a selection of black and white prints. I dug into my cuts of half-yards and here are some options I considered but rejected. 

The one far most on the left I had used to cover a lampshade (April 18, 2014 post) shown in the following left photo and also as a backing on a bunny pillow for my son (December 25, 2016 post) shown in progress in the middle photo. The chevrons in the right photo went into a quilt block submitted for a college commemorative reunion (November 12, 2013 post). I considered a classic pinstripe and entertained the possibility of a cheetah print that maybe-sorta-kinda would go with a zebra theme. In all of these options, the stark white was too strong.

Then I spotted a creme and black polka dot. "Why not?" I thought. I had a yard of it but only needed about a fat quarter's worth. On the wise advice of the vendor from show from whom I purchased the zebra cutout, I first put it up against my window in the daytime and using the window glass like a light table, drew the outline edge of the zebra on the back side so I would see more clearly where it was when I stitched. I then laid the zebra face down on the face up polka dots and cut crudely and roughly around the zebra panel, mainly just lopping off the pointed extensions.

I chose not to remove the white from between the zebras legs because I wanted the shape usable as a pillow and because I thought three long stuffed legs would bend and not hold up well. I stitched a quarter inch outside the drawn line outlining the zebra. Doing so would leave a thin white outline on the pillow when I turned it right side out. This method allows more of the zebra contour to show, not being curved over into the seam allowance. Ta-da!

I did like my selection of cream and black polka dots. They are kind of a surprise on the back. 

Now this zebra can join the ones on my Christmas rug and Christmas pillow.

Zebras reminded me of an old legend. Whenever you go on safari through a jungle you will most likely run into Tarzan painting black stripes on white zebras, white stripes on black zebras, and black and white stripes on invisible zebras. Why? Because 

  🎶🇺🇸  Tarzan Stripes Forever  🇺🇸🎶 

Ba-ba-boom, ching! On that off-key note I will link up with Let'sBee Social #206.


  1. Amazing - you certainly put a lot of thought into making your zebra cushion!!! It looks wonderful.

  2. Cute! That Zebra pillow definitely pops against the red-and green chair, and coordinates with your Christmas rug (which I don't think you mentioned when we were in Houston). Well don,e and I hope you get good use out of it!