Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You have my heart

As we close the month of October, I have mixed feelings. Maybe it is the changing weather, shorter days, or maybe it is the fact it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Awareness regarding Breast Cancer, as you already know,became front and center of our world this year. I was blessed, mine was caught early. My heart goes out to those families that are dealing with higher stages, chemo, and long recoveries. I can not even imagine what they must be going through. My prayer is that someday there will be a cure. The pink ribbons flying everywhere this month will only be needed for announcing a baby girl's birth and not a woman's misfortune.

As I sit and compose this blog post, 2 women I know are having surgery today. One locally for reconstruction after lumpectomy and radiation. The other in California a bilateral mastectomy. My thoughts and prayers are with each of them.

I promised to share the Breast cancer comfort pillow with you a while ago. It was not my original idea, but I thought it was a great one. I have seen it all over the Internet with different versions. Heart shaped and rectangles. This is my design and I personally used it after my surgery. The heart has wings that comfort the arms when the lymph nodes are removed. The U shape in the center of the heart fits around the breast, when the heart is turned sideways, and the rest pads the car seat belt from the surgical site. I also found the U shape fit around the back of my neck like a travel pillow.

Here is the tutorial:

You will need a large piece of paper to create your pattern.
1/2 yard of fabric for each heart-washed in dye and fragrance free mild detergent
thread that matches
straight pins
fiber fill stuffing
sewing machine.
Optional for decoration:

To create a pattern fold a large piece of paper in have. Create a heart shape with the center of the heart being on the fold. Just cut it out like you did for Valentine's Day in grade school. The most important part is that the heart shape must have a U shape in the middle instead of a V shape to accommodate the breast.

My heart measures 10 3/4 inches in the center. From the bottom tip to the top of the top curve is approximately 16 inches diagonally.

Place your pattern on your choice of fabric with the center line running with the grain of the fabric (Your cut fabric edges should be on the top and bottom of the fabric)

Cut out the pattern using scissors or rotary cutter.

Pin around the edge of the heart leaving about a four inch opening to turn out to the right side after it is sewn. The little clothes pins mark my opening.

Sew round the heart right sides together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Remember to leave an opening to turn and then stuff the heart through.

Use pinking shears or clip the seam allowances around the curve of the heart before turning.

Turn right sides out and Iron. Stuff with fiber fill and slip stitch the opening closed.

Package two for a Bilateral mastectomy and one for a single or lumpectomy.
The blue /green pillows are for someone who loves the ocean.
The other for a woman who loves pink.

Paper pinwheels (something I learned from my dear friend Constance at Rochambeau-she sent the most gorgeous presents to me after my surgery.) and ribbon adorn each heart.

I add a card and a message.

I have emailed a couple of corporations with the idea of making this a bigger project. I have not heard back yet. My hope is they will provide a free pattern to groups, such as Girl Scouts, churches, etc. so theycould make them for donation to hospitals and Breast cancer centers. It remains to be seen, but until then I will continue to send these out one at a time for now.
Take care.


  1. So lovely!! Thanks for the tutorial Debra. :-)

  2. It is no doubt comforting to have such lovely aids when faced with breast cancer. I'm praying a cure will be found soon for that dreadful disease! ---"Love"

  3. Hi Debra,

    Yes, wouldn't that be wonderful if they could come up with a cure for breast cancer.
    Many thanks for sharing this tutorial, this is such a great idea and will have to make some.

    Have a happy weekend

  4. Your comfort pillows are so pretty! Such a thoughtful idea.

  5. The pillows are such a wonderful idea. I, too, hope that soon there will be a cure.

  6. Those pillows are beautiful, and what a thoughtful gift for someone going through this.

  7. As my mom as struggled with breast cancer for the last month or so, I've discovered that she absolutely treasures these type of gifts -- those that come directly from the heart, so to speak. She has been amazed by the outpouring of love from others involved in the same struggle. God's blessings to you, my new friend!

  8. Hey, there's my pillows!!!! Yes they are wonderful and I use them everyday as part of my recovery. I tuck them under my wings. I use them to protect against the seat belt. I use them to prop myself up on the couch, and as a barrier against an overanxious poodle who wants to jump on me and love me. They are so practical and pretty too! Thank you Creative Lady! You are a doll, and your website and decorating ideas make me drool. You should have included a hankie for that! love, wgd


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