Thursday, February 13, 2014

Embracing the karate chop

So sometimes I fight things just because they are trendy, or because everybody is doing it. Sometimes it’s goofy, trivial things…like the pillow karate chop. You know the one – where you hi-yahhhh the middle of a pillow and it make each side poke up?

I was anti-chop until I discovered my love of the feather pillow. Then it was all over. Now I replace every insert with a feather one. I found some new pillows for the family room at HomeGoods (on our girls weekend in Chicago) and knew I wanted to replace the regular insert with a feather one.

If the pillow doesn’t have a zipper I just do what I do to make my placemat pillows – just open up a bit of the seam with a seam ripper:

Placemat pillow

And then you can stuff the new insert in and hand sew it up. It takes about five minutes.

I was all ready with my seam ripper to do the same to the new pillows until I turned it over and saw the buttons. Duh:

Honestly doing this is a bit of a splurge when you take all the pillows in the house into account – I mean I’m taking a completely fine pillow and changing it up. But I have found these inserts for pretty darn cheap at IKEA – only $6.99 each. I haven’t found them even close to that price anywhere else.

My feather insert obsession started about two years ago so I grabbed a bunch of inserts on one trip to IKEA back then and still have a couple left. They just give the pillow a little fluff:

feather inserts versus regular

Normal insert on the left, feather on the right. Tiny karate chop.

I’ve also found many of the pillows at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx have feather inserts, so you can find clearanced out pillows for pretty cheap and use the insert. :)

I think picking out pillows is hard. I like to mix patterns but it takes me forever to end up with a combo I love. This one I love:

blue family room

It kind of feels springy to me too – I have hope it will arrive!! I will now have these pillows for the next five years so I don’t have to change them again. Stress.

I don’t do a full out chop – just a small one. And most of the time they don’t look like this, pretty much only when I take photos for the blog. The chop does help when the dog hops around on the pillows and back of the couch – he does it for me. :)

blue yellow pillows

It’s just a little thing that makes pillows look really full and lush. They aren’t as comfy to lay your head on though – you’ll need two or three for every one with a regular insert. Your husband will remind you of this every. single. time.

There you go. I’ve embraced the chop, a little bit at least. Do you use feather inserts? Could you care less? It’s a little thing but I love the look of them!

36 comments:

  1. I just converted to the feather insert since I found I can get them for so cheap at Ikea. The Ikea ones don't have that funny smell either, and I am VERY sensitive to that! Who wants to smell stinky feathers in your beautifully styled room?
    There's something very satisfying about 'fluffing up' your pillows too. I don't know, it reminds me of old fashioned books where they tidy up and polish furniture and beat rugs and air out rooms: you just want to cozy up in there afterwards don't you?

    Jenn @JennsCraftyWorld

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  2. Love the feather and yes I do chop. Your pillows look wonderful. Hugs, marty

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  3. To be honest I hate pillows on my couches. They end up on the floor or the kids throw them around and make a mess of them. One of our couches, the back is all pillows, it's part of the couch, and I hate it so much. The dogs get on them and behind them and they get all mishapen and end up on the floor. I will never buy couches with pillows for the back again and I am over decorative pillows (except on my bed, love those). So I don't chop...and I LOVE your pillows..I just can't have them here.

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    1. Melissa ours are on the floor all the time too, gah. I continue to put them on there just because I like having them around me when I sit. Someday they may stay! :)

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  4. Thanks for the tip on the IKEA pillows. I've been looking for down inserts! Love your pattern combo by the way. :)

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  5. I love Ikea's down inserts, such a a great price!! I like a soft karate chop too :)

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  6. Always use feather/down inserts. And yes, I have been known to "chop" a pillow or two! Another place you can find inserts cheap is Tuesday Morning if you have one in your area.

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  7. You have convinced me to go get some feather inserts! Your pillows look so soft and squishy and LOVELY (sorry to your hubs for needing more, but it's a small price to pay for pretty pillows).

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  8. Ohh, I just love those new pillows you found a Home Goods! I hope I can find them at my local store - they'd coordinate perfectly on our couch! And thanks for the tip on Ikea inserts - I bet the price is much better than the Crate & Barrel ones I was going to pick up!

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  9. Too funny! Love the chop. I hadn't really noticed the difference but you've opened my eyes! I do have two that I am pretty sure are feather and they are much easier to reshape so I think you are really onto something! Thanks for the Ikea insert tip ;)

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  10. I'm not sure whether or not I love the "chop". My dog has done a number on my furniture by sitting on the back of it for over 10 years and the cushions on my sofa and two chairs have an extreme "chop" that I want to get rid of when I have the pieces reupholstered. I'm going to need some new throw pillows and I probably will not replace the inserts with feathers. But I do love the way your pillows look!!
    Bertie DeWane

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    1. Yes, I'm familiar with that look too! Luckily our cushions go "back" pretty easily but most days they are chopped too. :)

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  11. I love all the blues together! Looks beautiful! Hi Ya!

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  12. I love the IKEA feather inserts and have them EVERYWHERE (much to my husband's chagrin). I do have a friend who says that the feathers poke her a bit...so maybe you need quite a thick pillow cover over it? I've never had an issue with them and the price is right!

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    1. Our pillows do it that occasionally -- our sofa does too!

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  13. For those sad few like myself with a feather allergy, feather pillows are an absolute no-no. This helpfully exempts me from having to do the karate chop daily!

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  14. I want to put some pillows on my new couch so I can feel like an adult, but with two kids I just don't see it happening. Our old couch's pillows were always all over the house and I don't know if I want to go chasing pillows again. And I can't use feather pillows because my dog is allergic. Silly, right?

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  15. I have the original feather pillow inserts that came with our ca. 1950 couch from my MIL. I don't chop. I like the look of the clean edge. They are big cushions, made to lean against. And they are sooo comfy!

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  16. Looks like the chalkboard snow is still there :)

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    1. Yes, I think I'm taking it down this weekend because I'm hoping we'll be done with real snow by then too!

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  17. I also replace my pillow inserts w/feathers. No one else I know does. My sister's pillows are from 1970 and have little gross balls of filler in them..I tried to convince her to get new ones and she did, but kept the old two. Really Gross. She says she and hubby only like them. I also give a little chop, because if you don't, they have little creases on the sides..so, embrace the chop!

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  18. I do like that little chop I must say! But usually it only happens on the bed pillows. I have been toying with the idea of buying some feather inserts for the ones on the back of the couch, as the originals (probably 9/10 yrs old now) are getting a bit flat...... yup! I'm going to have a look for some.

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  19. I love karate-chopped pillows! I don't care if they're trendy or whatevs, that is how I like 'em. Also, feather pillows that are chopped practically stand up on their own! I converted two summers ago and have never looked back. The kids love them because you can shape them into any comfortable position and I love them because they always bounce back nicely.

    Love your pillow covers! Cheers.

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  20. A lot of people don't know this, but feather pillows will stay upright on a leather sofa or chair. Poly filled ones slide down and won't sit up. I love my leather furniture, and pillows help jazz it up. Mine are always on the floor too:(

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  21. I'm not a fan of the chop. It looks like the pillow has ears, especially in the extreme form. I have been known to imply a small dent in my pillows though. Just enough so it doesn't have "ears".

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  22. Sarah, you crack me up. I'd never heard it called that before. I love your new Homegoods pillows! I love how the shapes read modern and the dreamy blue color reads traditional--a perfect combo! I'm hoping for better weather too! I'm in (sn)Ohio so I totally feel your pain!

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  23. Oh no, the chop is back! Run, run, as fast as you can... I only buy feather pillows to begin with. (The other ones offgass, and i do not buy them, ever.) so much easier to make beautiful cases from fabric for feather inserts, and yes, Ikea is cheap:-) but no to the chop:-) it just reminds me too much of the over the top eighties rooms in chintzy peach and green... Horror! With the matching cushions everywhere. Our cushions stay on the sofa, they are super comfy to read or watch tv, and we have two larger ones and a small. Works for us. Oh, and i choose washable fabrics for them, since wine/chocolate/something does end up on them.

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  24. I've noticed your 'chopped' pillows in your posts since a while back and I've always loved the way they look! I am slowly changing mine over to feather pillows as well - although I'm just replacing some of the older ones with new ones as I find them - they aren't nearly as pretty as yours and therefore not worthwhile making over. I love love love the chopped look.. my fiancé? Not so much, for the same reasons as your hubby. He's getting used to it :)

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  25. Oh, and your reluctance to follow 'trends' or what everyone else might be doing - I'm the very same! Crossfit? Hate it. Chevron? Hate it. When grey and yellow was the go-to colour combo? Hated it. Ombre? Can't stand it!! No matter how small of a detail it is.. I agree.. if it's 'in' I don't like it. But I'm weird like that.

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  26. I, too, love the feather pillows and the chop! Just a couple days ago, something was on (don't think we were even watching, I can not for the life of me remember who or what it was, though I'll spend the rest of the day trying to!), a room was being redone, pillows were added, and the host (or whoever it was) says, "And I remembered the "chop"!", to which the "designer" says, "No! The chop is so 80"s! It's over!" That's where my attention was caught - I'm like, "Eighties! EIGHTIES!!! Where you even alive in the 80's? Cuz I was, and the pillows I grew up with and around were rock hard, covered in either horrible cheap lace or appliqued with some vague shape of a farm animal! No chopping those lovelies!" I do absolutely love your pillow colors!

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  27. I don't know why, but the karate chop in the pillows is seriously making my brain go buggy! I had no idea this was something that bothered me. I just want to fluff the heck out of the karate chop in those pictures! Gaaaarrrrgh! Thanks for introducing me to a new pet peeve :D

    Karate Chop craziness aside, I really like your pillow covers! The patterns and textures go so well together and with your couch. And they look so light and fluffy! Very nice!

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  28. Embrace your inner ninja and karate chop the pillows! :) A designer friend taught me that years ago and I still do it - every day. Love the feather inserts, too. Also love your pillow combination. I think I need to go shopping...for pillows.

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  29. I'm not a fan of the chop and if you research how those little feathers make it in the pillows you might think twice. Imagine each one ripped out while alive only so you can grow more and endure pain and cruelty for your entire existence. I refuse to participate in that cruelty by buying down.

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    1. Down products made in the US are not made with feathers ripped out of live chickens, it was outlawed years ago. IKEA has also banned any feather insert purchases from companies who use this practice.

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  30. In my opinion the 'chop' just looks silly, I really prefer the regular shape!

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  31. I had no idea what the heck you were talking about at first with the "karate chop"....haha. I had no idea that's what it was! ha ;) Yes, I do the karate chop too!

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