Many of you sent amazing questions and messages about the Tuesday Made pillow collection I create with my grandmother. I figured this topic warranted a blog post of its own, because it’s really special to me! I’m extremely lucky to have my grandma, Sherry, in my life and it has been the biggest joy working together these past 6 months. We started designing and creating our pillow collection long before Tuesday Made even launched (in the thick of quarantine in 2020), and it felt like a much-needed passion project for the both of us. If you’re interested to learn more about my grandma, our collection, and how we work together… click through!
Before we dive in, I’m going to tell you right now- Sherry doesn’t like having her photo taken (I wonder where I get that from, ha!), so this post doesn’t contain too many images.
My grandmother is the type of woman who never stops or never has idle hands- our family has always said she can outwork anyone we know and somehow has double the energy I have. She’s always on the go, always tackling a project, working around her house, loves being out & about, and as you might imagine- being confined to her home, alone during quarantine wasn’t easy for her. At that time, I was in the process of sourcing products and finding artists & makers to work with to fill our shop. After chatting with my grandma on the phone one day, she said something that was the heartbreaking truth, “I don’t have many years left in this lifetime, and I feel like I’m loosing a year of my life… just staying at home, not seeing my grandkids, not working or doing things I love.” She’s generally a very upbeat, positive, optimist, who never complains, but this was everyone’s reality months ago. I knew in that moment that we could do something fun and meaningful together that would boost her spirits and give her something to look forward to… insert our pillow collection.
Since launching our shop last November, the pillow collection is one of the things I’m most proud to offer and share with everyone. We make them in small batches (we usually do 3-6 pillows in each pattern), they’re all handmade with love by Sherry, and they’re really specific to my preferred aesthetic. I’ve tried to select classic, timeless, and unique patterns, in sizes that are easy to style. We’re both really proud of the collection and it’s constantly changing! Ok- let’s dive into the Q&A portion of this post…
Does she live close to you?
She does not… I’m in Utah and she’s in Indiana. The last time we were together in person was in March of 2019- she came to visit us right after we moved into our current home. She loves traveling!
What does your pillow collaboration process look like?
First, we brainstormed the shape & sizes we wanted to carry. Once we had established that, we moved onto production. I source all of our designer fabrics, zippers, thread, and tassels and mail them to Sherry. She created patterns and cuts everything to size first, then starts sewing. Once she has all of the pillow covers finished, she sends them back to me. Then, I’ll spend a day stuffing our down inserts into them (pictured below), fluffing, and stocking our shelves at the office. We usually hop on the phone once a week to chat through any design or fabric concerns. I also include printouts of what the finished pillows will look like. She learned how to FaceTime and video chat this year, so that has also been a great tool for us- and a fun way to keep in touch!
Has she been a seamstress her entire life?
She has been sewing her entire life, but is actually a retired nurse. She used to do home healthcare.
Does she get paid?
Of course! I’m a firm believer that if you’re putting in work or creativity, you should be compensated. Emmett, who happens to be our accountant, mails her a check for each production run we tackle. Initially she was NOT into this idea and wanted to help for free because she loves me (hah!), but I told her it was non negotiable. So yes- she gets paid for each pillow.
What is Sherry working on now, in terms of pillows?
Ok, ok… we’ll give you a sneak peek! She just texted me our latest fabric and tassel pairings. She’s working on long lumbar cushions with charming tassel corners. Those should be available in the shop in early April.
So, do your pillows come with an insert?
Yes! I’m picky about inserts and our lumbar pillows are odd sizes. Therefore, rather than tasking you with the job of finding an odd sized insert- all of our pillows include a premium down insert that fits perfectly. No need to worry about stuffing, sourcing the correct size, or trying to find a good one.
What is your favorite pillow and Sherry’s favorite?
Who taught her to sew?
She learned to sew in home ec class, which is now called something entirely different. Her mother, my great grandmother, worked as a seamstress in a factory sewing mens workwear… so she always had access to a sewing machine. After school, she kept at it and is self taught. Sewing is definitely her passion, and a skill she has relied on over the years. When her kids were young, she worked as a seamstress for a clothing store, she used to sell the things she made, and has made items for everyone in our family. Clothing is actually her favorite thing to make! She used to make her kids clothing when they were young, she has altered and made prom & formal dresses for all of us granddaughters, and she still makes dresses for the great granddaughters who love playing dress up. She just likes making things for us– sweaters, curtains, pillows, whatever it is that someone in our family needs at any given time.
How did you land on the long lumbar size?
It’s the perfect size for styling on a queen bed, king bed, bench, or sofa. It’s just really a versatile size and shape that lends itself to work well in many vignettes. You can find all of our lumbars here.
What are some other projects the two of you have made together?
The last time she was here in Utah visiting, we upholstered four vintage dining chairs together. Furniture projects are probably what we most enjoy together. When I was in art school, she helped me make a coat for a textiles class I was taking (FYI- she says coats are her LEAST favorite thing to sew). It’s definitely fun that we’re working together now, because back in high school I started an Etsy shop and sold iPod cases we used to sew together. Things have definitely come full circle. Haha!
Does Sherry have other creative hobbies?
She does! I think that’s probably where a lot of my creativity comes from (her). She enjoys cooking, baking, gardening, thrifting (yard sales are her favorite), restoring furniture, paint projects, and crafts (she makes really cool holiday decor and ornaments).
Where does Sherry sew?
She always (for as long as I can remember) sews at her dining table. Although, since jumping into our Tuesday Made collection, she has since set up folding tables in her guest room and attached garage. Fabric, zippers, and material have kind of taken over part of those spaces, but she says she prefers it that way.
Will old patterns or fabrics that have sold out come back in stock?
Occasionally, but more often than not, the answer is no. Some of our past designer fabrics have been discontinued by the manufacturer, and we both like to mix it up and keep things interesting. I also think that’s part of the fun… having pillows that are unique! We make anywhere from 3-6 pillows from a specific pattern or fabric, and it’s kind of special knowing only you and a few other people have that custom pillow. Therefore, if you see one you can’t live without, know that we have limited, small batch quantities that are prone to selling out.
I know this is getting long, so I’ll wrap it up. Let us know if you have any additional questions in the comment section below, and thank you so much for all of the amazing ones you submitted on IG for this post! You can shop or browse all of our pillows here. Sherry follows along on Instagram and the blog, so I know she’ll be reading the comment section. She loves hearing and seeing where her pillows end up, and if people are liking them! This has been a really fun collection that we’re planning to continue.