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Portland, Oregon–based ceramic artist Martina Thornhill isn’t just coming up with simple projects to keep her own mind off the COVID-19 outbreak as she hunkers down at home—she’s also thinking about her toddler son, Dodge. “I’ve definitely noticed how much of this stress my own child has picked up on,” she says. So on day two of social distancing, she crafted a source of comfort in the form of a tiny cushion filled with dried lavender.

Dodge was actually the one who gave Thornhill the idea, as he’d been carrying around a pouch of florals he found in her dresser drawer and smelling it often. “The sachet had a drawstring and the potpourri mix kept falling out, so sewing a little pillow for it just seemed natural,” says Thornhill. The aromatic token has seemed to calm him—plus it gave her something to do with her hands. 

The Supplies

  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Fabric 
  • Embroidery hoop 
  • Needle 
  • Filler of your choice

The How-To

Thornhill embroidered her design on a scrap piece of fabric before cutting the material into a small rectangle. It only needed to measure 2-by-3 inches—just big enough to fit in a pocket or a child’s hand. Next, she folded the fabric over so the outside edges faced each other and hand-stitched everything closed except for one corner. Then she flipped the pillow inside out and filled it with lavender before sewing it shut. (Psst: Peppermint and sage would work well for this, too.) I think it’s so important to spread simple ways to stay occupied and calm amid all the stress of this pandemic,” says Thornhill. The artist has already set her sights on the next DIY that will bring peace of mind.

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