Creativity Hungary

The life of Pi(llow)

I do feel sorry that I have to bother you, adventurists. This is really a post about my creative experiments while touring and camping (and being at home sweet home).

The movie I saw on an airplane after the book I red in India. I liked both. My husband did not. But my imagination is big and I love to escape in my own world, so it fitted me. The same with this pillow, this little write up is about the life of this Pi(llow).

Yeah, booooooring. I do hear you murmur that. Well, as it turns out: it was not for me. It was about camp fires, erecting my Hilleberg in the snow and out-waiting the cold for summery temperatures at several lovely Hungarian camp spots. Also, it was an old-fashioned caught in the act of playfulness, because I was really not intending on selfie’ing but it turned out to be fun in the backyard. Just click away when you are not into handiwork and photos loaded with embroidered fabric. Next time it is about a tour.

I wanted to make this embroidered piece of hand-dyed cotton into a pillow, filled with dried cleaver and top stitched. Top stitch means that a thread will be pulled through to keep the cleaver from moving. I made a pillow before but without top stitch and the dried grass moves in humps, according to where my bum sit most.

I did not opt for messing up the design either. A style originating from Japan, called kogin, but it turned out that with a top stitch it would. Also, the dried pieces of cleaver would jut out and pinch the butt.

So I changed the original purpose of the piece of fabric and turned it into a zipper pouch. That turned out to be even more disorderly; now the pattern was not strong and bold and beautiful anymore. I tore it apart and left it as it was. Meanwhile I needed a break and went on a tour.

On a kickbike tour for 10 days an idea came. Layers. Layers like in the natural, where leaves stick to other leaves. Several thin layers upon each other would make a pillow too. I would keep to the top stitch but not the actual embroidered fabric. Beautiful as it had become, the with black walnut dyed background and pleasant blue and green yarn.

Another piece of hand-dyed fabric working on in camp is finished too.

The embroidered top layer is now fully on display, without any disturbance that it must do without (including jabbing particles). Additionally, each stitch longer than a centimeter is tacked with a thread to prevent forming a hook. The piece of kogin handwork, which was not quick nor simple, is also detachable and can be washed, or not, separately.

The actual layer filled with dried cleaver is top stitched and ought not to be washed. I was inspired by the mattresses I sometimes slept on while traveling, in countries like India, Bangladesh, Sudan, Yemen and Ethiopia, and never receiving a wash, those mattresses only become more characteristic.

This is a superb example of how even a piece of fabric has it own life. It has become not what I wanted but instead, led me to this particular design.

It was a project where patience was needed and surely the notion of ‘would it sell?’ had to be discarded. I especially liked working on this pillow in all these different settings.

A (low) price can not be attached to it, but memories do: from dying the cotton with black walnut – a stable as my atelier which transformed into a better working space overtime – camp spots in winter where I warmed myself by fires – a small cat who appeared at the doorstep of my atelier – inspiration at a creek – to winding down after many working hours in my big vegetable garden – to stitching the layers.

This is the Life of Pi(llow).

€ 45 — (unfortunately) price does not include shipping The pillow will be shipped to the USA. YIPPEE! This Life of Pi(llow) goes oversees in my story as well. BIG THANK YOU to you, A.

By Cindy

Years of traveling brought me many different insights, philosophies and countries I needed to be (over 90 in total). I lived in Pakistan, went over 15 times to India and when I stopped cycling the world, that was after 50.000 kilometer through 45 countries, I met Geo. Together we now try to be more self-sustainable, grow our own food and live off-grid. I now juggle with the logistics of being an old-fashioned housewife, cook and creative artist loving the outdoors. The pouches I create are for sale on

5 replies on “The life of Pi(llow)”

Ah Cindy. This is perfect.
It will be place in an adventurous place that continues to create memories. Each use will be remembered by the way it was made, for whom it came from and the place it rests. An heirloom to the future. Loved and appreciated. Like you…

Thank you for making it memorable.

Liked by 1 person

Hi Alan, it’s remarkable, the second pillow that I made ánd that went out is also meant to travel. Both pillows are traveling. That it may gather many beautiful, tranquil and and exciting places, but most of all this goes, of course, for you and your beloved. That the road may be efforts and the places and circumstances unknown.

Warm greetings Cindy and Geo


Don't just stop here, I appreciate your thoughts too : )

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