Monday, April 29, 2013

Odd Fellow Pillow Collection

You can make a custom, one of a kind pillow
 from just about anything.  
It only takes a fragment...
At the turn of the century there was a 
fraternal organization called
The Oddfellows
I had never heard of them.
They are like the Shriners with
religious overtones and devotion 
to their community.
There are still chapters active today.
Check out their ceremonial garb...

(With all the crazy costumes and
swords and items that were incorporated
into their ceremonies these folks
in the farmlands were having
some fun too!)

I found a batch of these costumes in Indiana
years ago and thought all
the embellishments would make
great pillow details.
It became an obsession.
These costumes were usually trimmed in high
end French metallic bullion and
embroideries to die for.
  If you can find the real stuff today 
it prices out
at about $12 a yard!
You cannibalize each piece
and fit them together like a puzzle.
It's like my ex husband used to say...
"Parts is parts."
These costumes were in very good condition
 so they were easily cut and 
pieced to make
the overall design.
Every scrap counts.

Many times you have to use a
stabilizer to keep the fabric preserved
and give it strength, but any piece
is worth saving.
You just iron it on the back
of the fragment.
 This can be found at 
any fabric store.
This collection I even included furniture
pieces and I still live with one of
my favorites today.
Start looking at items in a different way
and you will see the world is
filled with embellishments for
one-of-a-kind pillows
 and other projects!


  1. Jane, I am enthralled with this collection! Did you come across the costumes at auction. So Stunning!

    PS How do you embed the Pin Button in each image?

    PSS I am having a Paris Book Giveaway!
    All the Best

    1. To tell you the truth Karen, I don't know how the Pinterest showed up. I was working on it a while ago and this is the first time it has appeared. The mystery of the internet. I bought all of the costumes from a dealer who had a warehouse full of them. You can still find them in places. I lost all of my blog images working with Google+....4 years of work GONE. I took to my bed for a week. Just doing pillow posts from now on...

  2. Thanks Meg a once in a lifetime inspiration for me I think.

  3. Awesome…as always. You're ahead of your time…oh those Sagittarius folk.

  4. Awesome of course. Those Sagittarius folk...always ahead of their time.

  5. Yes, there are still Oddfellows around. I have even met Cuban gentlemen who were members there before the Revolution, and now members in this country. It is nice to see re-purposing of the wonderful fabrics and trims.

    1. Fascinating group. I had so much fun putting this grouping together. (I had to start all over due to Google+ eliminating all of my blog images over the past 4 years...I was wiped out. Took a while to begin again.)
      Good hearing from you.

  6. I am an active member of Odd fellows in Finland and the fraternity is doing well in Europe especially in Northern Europe. I have mixed feelings looking those nice pillows. On the other hand they look great but on the other hand a piece of history was destroyed as now they are no longer in the form of historical costumes. Luckily there are still pictures of them.

    1. I totally agree. Here is how I see it...they were found in a barn in Illinois rotting. The owner of the property had called for a dumpster and they barn was being swept clean the following week.I worked around the clock to, what I feel, save them. The worst ones we carefully designed to cut away the rot and use every piece. Many of the uniforms were mounted or framed and left in tack. The fellow I worked on these with was the Restoration Curator at the MFArt Houston. We even made small purses to use up the smaller fragments. To this day, and I did the collection in 1999 I am still using the metallic gimp and fringe on many of my other historical textile pillows I design.

      The Odd Fellows rule in my book and I have a favorite badge that I wear often to remind me what an delight it was to bring the flair of the Odd Fellows to the attention of those who don't know their background.

      I wish I could have saved all of them, but I appreciate your concern.

      Happy New Year

      Friendship, Love & Truth


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