April 7, 2016

Violet's Tiny Embroidered Buckwheat Hull Pillow

She has had this project going for a couple years now, but recently wrapped it up.

First she embroidered the muslin with a design to please her american girl doll Ruthie, which she received from grandma Mary some time ago. She is almost done with a dress she designed and made for Ruthie, but perhaps more on that later.

After the embroidery was done, she sewed it up with the Singer 99, leaving an opening to put in filling.

While we were in Maine last fall for cider 11, we milled some buckwheat Ben had grown on his small orchard up there using a bike powered Country Living grain mill. The first step was to run the grain through at a wide burr spacing to crack off the hulls.

I think I had told Violet that I had once spent a very pleasant night in a ryokan in Kyoto sleeping on a pillow stuffed with buckwheat hulls. So she asked if we could save some hulls to use in a pillow, and Dave obligingly swept up a shopping sack full for us to take home.

The bag of hulls sat on the shelf in the basement for a few months. We pulled it out and devised a scheme for cutting down on the extraneous material in the hull filling. First we riddled the hulls through a coarse mesh to take out leaves, sticks, and straw. For this step the hulls pass through the mesh, but bigger stuff stays behind.

Next we tossed in a sieve for a few minutes, the idea being that the hulls would stay above the seive, but smaller bits and dirt would fall through. Lastly we hand picked out a few remaining bits of debris.

We filled the pillow using the cleaned up hulls through a funnel.

Violet hand stitched the opening up.

Nice doll pillow!

I wonder if we should take enough hulls next year to make a person sized pillow? Not sure if Ben is growing buckwheat this year again or not.


mssewcrazy said...

The little pillow is nicely done, Violet. I have a couple of u shaped neck pillows that have been through probably 4 recovers. The last one I seemed to have lost a bit of the hulls so added in some rice. Maybe she'd like to make that at some point. They are imho wonderful pillows and I take one in the car or on trips. Don't overstuff if she uses rice as I think I overdid it a bit but it is still wonderful. On one reincarnation I used a cotton heavy weight shirt as I only use all cotton to cover them as our summers are hot. I got my pattern from the first one I owned when it was beyond hope though I saved the contents.

SunGold said...

Violet will get years of pleasure from that beautiful pillow! What a great job. Please congratulate her on this beautiful work. And, apropos of nothing, your kids are really lucky to be so engaged in all these projects.