See dems Euro Shams on my bed? They started out as this quilt…
Or kantha quilt. Most kanthas are about 60″ x 90″ in size, and are handstitched ditties made from old saris. I see a LOT of ‘em around, but it’s a crapshoot – the good ones are hard to find. Then, I saw THIS bad boy at Solo on Cedros… (a glorious haven we’ve rapped about many-a-times that has – among other things – the most beautiful kanthas and Bolivian blankets/rugs, ever – thanks to Ruby, who handpicks each one. And who Gus accosted last time we were there).
Anyhoo. As soon as I saw this one, I (literally) hurled my whole self on top of it to call dibs. THIS kantha – in all its lilac, coral and perfectly faded charcoal glory – was a diamond in the rough. So I snagged it… I think for about $100 bones.
Though the thought of taking a pair of sharps to that gorgeous thing made me wince, I knew I wanted to make euro shams out of it – either for the sofa, or for my bedroom. I wanted my new place in Cali to have a kind of an effortless, beachy Bohemian feel, and this was a good place to start. Plus they would be so cozy as pillows (!!!) and just get softer and more lovingly worn with time. So first, I laid the kantha out on the kitchen floor to see if I could get 3 big sections of the prettiest part for the face (front) of each sham. And I used a super scientific measuring technique called “trace around the sham you already have.” I definitely wanted to use more of the lilac parts than the orange:
PS, the opposite side of my kantha looked like this… yeah – like Woodstock. Probably best left in the 70’s and therefore best suited for the inside of the shams:
I wanted to make 3 Euro shams, so once the 6 sections were cut, I pinned ‘em (faces together) and started sewing. There’s a much better sewing tutorial than I could muster here. The only thing I’ll tell you is that I ALWAYS double-stitch the seams, and always double stitch at the zipper. Also – I would use a zipper that’s just a few inches shy of the pillow width (Euros are 26″ x 26″, so try a 22″ zipper if you can). Cuz you don’t wanna be fighting the sham every time you wash it and then try to shove the insert in there, like you’re trying to shove a hot air balloon through something the size of a lemon. OMG, that sounds like child birth. #passthedrugs #cantwait
And there you have it! Speaking of wee ones, I think a few of these could also be precious in a nursery or a kids room. You could also reupholster a bench or ottoman in them… whatever tickles your pickle. Check out my Etsy faves to see some of the ones I picked out to use for projects like this. I probably spent about $60 on each pillow – including the insert – which is a STEAL if you’re willing to get crafty. Otherwise, you can hit the el-easy button and shop over at Chairish this Sunday from 9am-11am EST!