Vampires. Nosferatu. Dracula. Blood suckers. Whatever name you want to give to them, I’m not sure in what capacity they can really be considered a part of the Halloween tradition. Nevertheless, they have certainly become part of the imagery and celebration of the spooky season. So, I’ve included my own version in the form of my coffin pillow……with a bloody touch!
I did this pillow a little differently than the others in that there are several pieces to it rather than a front and back sewn together. I made a pattern for the front and back, as well as the top and bottom and two separate pieces for each side. As always, I lost a bit of the straight-edged appearance when I turned it inside out, so it’s not exactly coffin-like but it is a pillow so think soft with round edges! It also looks a bit too poofy, but it’s a decently-sized piece so you have to fill it enough so it feels like a pillow.
There was quite a bit of sewing with this one given all the different pieces to have to attach to each other. Plus, I made stitches along all but the back to try and paint the picture of wood. I didn’t worry too much about making that black thread stay even down the length of each piece, given the fact that wood grain is rarely uniform.
My original idea was to have the coffin lid up a little and a hand coming out, but it would have taken more work than I was prepared to do in the amount of time I had. So instead, I just went with the hand out of the coffin and along one side of it. Shawn came up with the idea of a pool of blood beneath it, and I thought that would make a very nice touch. You can kind of surmise that the vampire has just returned from feeding, the coffin lid has closed and all you see is one hand with blood dripping beneath it as it slowly recedes into the dark sleeping chamber! That whole piece came out pretty well, and the white against red stands out against the brown of the coffin. We had also talked about putting bloody handprints on the lid, but I can’t remember if I decided against that, just didn’t do it, or forgot.
At any rate, once I was finally done I was basically happy with the result but it felt so empty somehow. The small hand on the side of the coffin seemed to get lost in the large surface area of the brown coffin, almost as an afterthought rather than a highlight. I wasn’t sure what to do about it given the fact that I had already stuffed the pillow and sewn it up completely. Shawn and I talked about it, and we both agreed it needed something. I had considered doing some sort of decoration on the coffin lid when I began this project, so I figured I’d go that route and thought it wouldn’t be too hard to sew on to an already stuffed pillow. We came up with the idea of doing the initials for Vlad Tepes, and I sketched out a couple ways to go. Shawn came up with one that I liked better. I intended to put it inside a crest, but when I finished with the pattern for the initials I decided I liked the look of them alone more. I think it helps the overall appearance of the pillow by filling up that empty space. Shawn and I also talked about doing hinges on the one side of the coffin, but I forgot about that too once I added the felt initials to the lid.
I do think I like this pillow overall. I can definitely see problems and I think the hinges might have been a good way to go, but it’s kind of a fun one if simple.