Showing posts with label pom pom pillow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pom pom pillow. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weaving Pillow Tops in Cupids

Yesterday I was invited out to Cupids to instruct a pillow top workshop. Dale came along and we had a great time at The Cupids Legacy Centre teaching a lovely group how to weave this interesting textile. 

Pillow tops are square-shaped textiles woven from wool using a wooden frame, made by Newfoundland women and men. Women would make these in various sizes and used them around the house as pillow covers, table toppers, and backs for chairs. Pillow tops were also made by men working in the lumber camps. Cutting and collecting lumber was arduous work and the only day the men in the camps had off was Sunday. To pass the time some men would make pillow tops to give to girlfriends, wives and mothers.

For more information on pillow tops check out the Intangible Cultural Heritage Pillow Top Collection on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative. 

And here's some of the finished pillow tops. One thing I love about these is they all look different, I've yet to see two pillow tops that look the same. 

For more information on the tradition of Newfoundland lumber camp workers weaving pillow tops, check out this issue of the ICH newsletter

If you're interested in making your own pillow top frame, check out this blog entry which includes instructions and lots of pictures.

And if you'd like to have us out to your community to teach a pillow top workshop, you can reach Nicole Penney at 1-888-739-1892 ex.6 or via email at

Happy Weaving! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How to Make a Pillow Top Frame

A few days ago in the ICH Office we tried our hands at making a small pillow top frame. The plan is to use the smaller frames in workshops, particularly with younger kids. It currently takes about 4 hours to complete a pillow top on the large frame. Using the small frame, the pillow top can be completed in about 2.5 hours, making this activity much more accessible. 

Our small frame turned out well and the end result is a cute little pillow top, with very fluffy pom poms, that can be used as a trivet or table topper. Several of these mini pillow tops could be sewn together to make a blanket.  

After receiving a few requests, I decided to put together this step-by-step guide for making your very own pillow top frame.


  • 8 pieces of wood measuring 8" long, 1-1/4" wide and 3/4" thick
  • wood glue
  • clamps
  • 24 x 2" nails 
  • 12 x 1-1/4" wood screws 
  • power drill
  • hammer
  • ruler
  • pencil

Step One: 

Take four pieces of wood and arrange to form a square. Add a layer of  wood glue and  place the other four pieces on top.

Step Two: 

Using the drill, insert screws into the end of each piece of wood, as seen in the picture below. Before this step you may need to clamp the pieces together and put aside while the glue sets. 


Step Three:

Using a ruler and pencil, draw a line down the middle of each side of the frame, lengthwise. Then along this line, mark off, in even spaces, where you will hammer in your nails. Space the nails about 1 inch apart. 

Step Four: 

Drill holes in each of these markers to make it easier to hammer in the nails. Hammer 6 nails into each side. Make sure they are even. Leave about half the nail sticking out of the frame. 

Once all the nails are all hammered in you can start weaving!

Here's the finished product! : )

If you have any questions about how to make your frame or are interested in having us put off a pillow top workshop in your community, feel free to get in touch with Nicole at (709) 739-1892 ex. 6 or via email at