"I Dream of Old School Surfing" Pillow

Had a fun afternoon yesterday since we finally had some waves again. Afterwards, I decided to relax and make a post-surfing craft. One person that every surfer and paddleboarder should pay homage to is Tom Blake. He was a contemporary of the great Duke Kahanamoku (the original ambassador of surfing). Blake was inspired by this surfing lifestyle and came up with many innovations, including the hollow chambered paddleboard, windsurfer, and the skeg/fin on a surfboard. I wanted to make a craft to keep me mindful of these early days and to be thankful to the innovators.

Tom Blake

Like the craft I posted yesterday using printable fabric, I downloaded some neat images of Tom Blake’s patent application, the image of the original advertisement for the “water sled”, Tom Blake with his boards, and a favorite photograph of two paddlers getting ready to paddle the Everglades in the 1920’s/1930’s. I had 4 sheets left of the printable fabric, so I made each image full size on each sheet.

Printable fabric, can be used in an ink jet printer
Start of my layout on some navy blue material backing

After making all four images and backing them with light one sided fusible interfacing (not the double sided stuff I posted yesterday), I pieced the four together by machine like they were quilt pieces (I hate quilting, but this is worth it). I only used a 1/4″ seam allowance to maximize the images. I ended up laying them out a piecing them together so no mater how the pillow is turned, you’ll see an upright image.

Pinned and ready to sew
All four pieces pieced together.

To add a little detail, I went down each cross seam with a triple step stitch, which is typically used in sail making.

Sail making stitch down each seam on outside

I cut the navy blue backing to the size of the four panels, and took the backing and front RIGHT sides together and stitched them together around the perimeter with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving an opening to turn the whole thing right side out and to stuff the pillow with poly stuffing. Don’t forget to clip the corners before turning the pillow right side out or the corners won’t be sharp:

Clip corners!!

I used over two full 12 ounce bags to stuff this pillow- it may seem like overkill, but stuffing will settle like chips in a bag of Lay’s. Make sure you get stuffing all the way to the corners and stuff evenly.
Here’s the finished product on my couch:

Actually interesting to read a pillow….

It’s nice to know that I can lay on the couch pillow and know Tom Blake’s got my back……

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