Friday, December 30, 2011

Who will I give it to???

 I've been working on this for a few weeks now.  I had actually started to learn how to tat, so I could add the tatting to this little daygown.  Unfortunately, I'm one of those who has to have hands on instruction rather than learning from written.  I'm starting to get the hang of it now, but I'm not proficient enough to add it to any of my heirlooms just yet.  I refuse to give up though.  Anyway, I just have to add buttons and button holes, and this one if finished.  I just have to determine who will get it!  I've never done this pattern before and just wanted to try it.  I thought I might get it finished in time for Christmas for one of my great-nephews, but that did not happen.  This pattern is Jeannie Baumeister's from Old Fashioned Baby.  I ordered little pearl buttons today, so once they arrive, this one will be finished!  Make sure you check out Jeannie's blog.  She has some really great tutes and some beautiful stuff.

This is also the very first garment I've done with a hand stitched hem.  This little running stitch is just precious.  I think it just adds a little something, and I can't explain it.  I know a machine stitch is straighter and probably more professional.  But I just prefer this one for this particular gown.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sewing Room Delayed

I have been searching and searching for kitchen cabinets for my sewing room cutting table and am having no luck.  So my search continues.  If I don't find them, I think I can use a big table and modify it to do what I need.  So I'm looking for one of those just in case.  I'm also on the hunt for a desk for my sewing table.  This is one of those times I wished I lived in a bigger city.

In the meantime, I have several projects in the works; I just haven't completed any of them.  I also can't upload any pictures until I get to my office.  I've been off all week since my little one is home from school.

I am working on a modified version of this bench. I'm toying with the idea of using spindle legs.  It is my first real wood project, and I'm really excited to see how it turns out.  I already have some of the wood, and Britt picked up the fabric yesterday to cover it.  I'm going today to pick up the rest of the wood and furniture nails.  I had Gabby with me yesterday, so I couldn't get it.  I could see me going into the hardware store with my dog and trying to carry her and the boards out! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Sewing Room!

 Okay, so this is just half my sewing room.  It is currently the home for my Christmas tree.  And it takes up half the room.  There is nothing else in that room except a few pictures on the floor that would have someday had a home on a table on that back wall.  It's actually our study, but I was going to turn it into a formal living room.  But all that has changed.  It is now my future sewing room.

I will be working on my new sewing room now that my Christmas projects are finished.  In between, I'll be making some other stuff that Britt and Austin have for me.  I love when they ask me to make them things.  I feel needed even though my oldest baby is now 21!  haha.

Anyway, I've been designing and researching for weeks.  Since my study will be my new sewing room, and my formal dining room is just across from it, I'll have to make sure that the room and the furniture are a little more formal than typical.  And everything will have to have a place to be stored out of sight.

So what I've decided to do is make it look more like a study.  I'm going to the Restore in Bluffton sometime this week to look for kitchen cabinets.  I'll have an island for my cutting/pressing table with lots of storage and maybe some cabinets for my sewing table or simply find a pretty desk.  At some point in the future, I'll have a tall armoire for storage.

My cutting table will have some long shallow drawers for my rolls of tissue and tracing paper and for stabilizers.  I'll also have some long deep drawers for my fabric.  I'll use these and these to roll them on.  I'll have one cabinet with vertical slots (like for cookie sheets) for storing my long rulers.  The shorter rulers with other cutting supplies will go in another drawer.  I'll have cabinets too for storing batting.  I will also have either cubbies for baskets or drawers for fabrics scraps.  I really love this idea for storing scraps. Then I could slide the baskets right into little cubbies. 

I think (but haven't decided yet) that I would like the top of my table to look like this.  That way when I'm not using it, the black will blend with the cabinets and not stick out like a sore thumb.  I initially wanted the pressing board on hinges with my cutting board underneath (stationary).  Then I could just move it out of the way easily.  My ingenious, carpenter brother thought it would be better to do that in sections though.  He said the table would be too wide forcing me to bend way over the table (even with a strap) to lower it.  Plus the table will be 37" tall so it may hit the floor.  With sections, I wouldn't have to keep moving it around while I was working.  You know sometimes you need both cutting and pressing tables.  I could flip one section out of the way when I needed the cutting part whilst still having one small pressing section.  I like that idea a lot.

My sewing table will house my threads and bobbins for both my sewing machine and serger and at some future point, embroidery threads and bobbins.  I really like this idea, but I'm not sure I can pull it off.  I wonder if these would work the same way.  I thought I'd use those plastic jewelry organizers for my presser feet so they would be within easy reach.  I wish I could design little slots like I have in my sewing machine so they are easily visible.  I'm still working on that.  This is a great idea for Bernina feet, but it won't work with my Viking feet.

I thought this cutting/sewing table was ingenious, but it won't work in my room.  I thought I'd share it though in case any of you would like to try it.

I like this idea for smaller things like buttons, snaps, hooks, extra empty bobbins, small needles, metal hair bow thingies an such.  It would fit into my future armoire.  I think this idea is fabulous for ribbons.  I would probably put it in one of my smaller open cabinets on my cutting table though, because I don't have a huge stash of ribbons.

Have I analyzed this enough???  I just feel as though I'm forgetting something.  But it will just be a work in progress.  I am excited though to have a designated sewing room.  My dh is excited too.  He is tired of my sewing stuff all over the kitchen.

I would love any feedback or suggestions.  So please feel free to comment or email. me.


P.S.  I love this sewing room! And this one!  And some of these are great too!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pretty Polka Dots

I found this cute polka dot fabric at Joannes and thought it was perfect for scarves for my nieces for Christmas.  I finished these up this week and got them off in the mail just in time.  These are the same Amy Butler pattern I've used before.  I finished the pillow cases yesterday, thank goodness, and that completes all of my sewing projects until after Christmas.  Britt and Robbie both have a number of projects for me to do.   So not to worry, I'll still have something to post on going into the new year.  Britt will be home this weekend and next week we will tackle a wood project.  I'll be borrowing a friend's power tools - wish me luck.  I hope I don't cut something I'm not supposed to.  You know like an arm or finger!  I'm excited though.  If that works out well, I'll tackle a few other wood projects.  My dh will be soooooo happy! You did detect that bit of sarcasm, no?  Not only have I taken over the kitchen, but now I'll be taking over the garage.  lol


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pillows for Grandma

Finally finished these pillows.  I personally am not fond of the rope trim, but grandma is terribly traditional.  I didn't think she would like the tassel type trim that I liked.  And since these will be her pillows, I thought they should reflect her style and not mine.  And as I suspected, I did a much better job at joining the rope at the bottom.  Still not perfect but better than the first.  At least I'm getting the hang of it.  I think I should have used a bit darker gold floss for my vase on pillow to the left, but the picture doesn't do it justice anyway.  They look much better in real life.  I'll be working on my lighting situation after the holidays.  I attempted to build a light box a couple of weeks ago and cut too much off the box.  So I'll start over when I have a bit more time.

And here is a little peak at the pillow cases I'm working on.  You know the one that nearly drove me into the nut house last week?  I changed my direction, and this is what it looks like.  I nixed the embroidery in favor of something a little less stressful.

All I have left to do is add a little stitching to my birds to keep them in place.  I think they turned out pretty cute considering.  I'll post on these a little later when I get them completed.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Little Troublemaker!

I've had these ornament appliques for a very, very long time.  I kept them thinking I would do something with them eventually.  I had this great night shirt pattern and thought it would be perfect.  I was having a hard time though with the placement and thought it looked kind of plain with just the ornaments.  So it has been sitting for about 6 weeks.  The little troublemaker.  Anyway, when Britt was home for Thanksgiving, she suggested adding a pocket.  Emma thought that was a good idea too.  So when Emma was over this past weekend, we played around with it a bit.  We didn't like just a plain pocket.  Then I ran a rolled hemmed on 3 sides with the ric rac at the top, but it was still missing something.  We decided to applique a small candy cane out of some old red and white striped fabric I had on hand.  Then we just attached a little bow.  We were very pleased with the end result.  This is for my friend, Gracie, for Christmas.

I made a little night shirt like this for Britt when she was little, but I used Christmas trees instead.  It was so cute and one of her favorites.  There was a small star on the left tree and some little red balls for ornaments.  They have long been gone.  But one day when she has one of her own, we'll fix that, so it can be loved again.

I have one more gift left to make......the stupid pillow cases.  Remember the fiasco with the last one. Yikes!  Because I'm running out of time,  and Joannes doesn't have anymore of the white linen I need, and I'm terrified that any red will bleed again, I've decided to use the white linen I have and attach an applique and a band of color at the opening.  I should have these finished tomorrow and will post about them later in the week.  I'll attempt the embroidered pillow cases again one day, but I think it best to wait until after the holidays.  Otherwise, I'll be terribly cranky, and no one will want to be around me at Christmas.  And when mama is unhappy, everyone is unhappy. LOL

I did manage to finish the pillows for Rob's grandmother yesterday, and they are all stuffed with pillows.  I'll post on them tomorrow.  My camera battery was dead last night, so I had to charge it this morning.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Burp Cloths

These are the burp cloths we made for my great-nephew.  That's my little friend, Emma.  She actually cut most of them out herself, stitched 2 together and clipped the edges.  It took us less than an hour with us both working on them.  I found the pattern here.  It's really simple.  Cut out the shape, sandwich the batting, stitch around the edge, cut away the batting, clip the edges, and wash/dry to ravel the sides.  That's it!  Voila!  You have baby burp cloths.  I love the shape, since they fit so nicely on the shoulder.  Incidentally, we used flannel for both the front and the back. They are so soft!

This is a close up before we washed them.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Down to the wire!!

This is one of the pillows for Rob's grandmother.  I finally found the right trim and got it finished over the weekend.  I found this cording at Joannes.  I must say there were others that I preferred, but Rob's grandmother is VERY traditional.  I just didn't think she would be happy with something a little funkier like I had in mind.  AND she would be very vocal about whether she liked it or not!  I even stopped some strange, but very kind, woman in the store to get her opinion.  She agreed that given grandma's disposition, traditional would be the way to go.  No sense in pulling my hair out by the roots.  I have very little anyway!  I think I'd like to keep what I have.

I had never worked with twisted cording like this before, and it was a little bugger to get joined at the ends.  I managed to find this fantastic tutorial though, and I was finished in no time.  I was still not entirely happy with the end result, but for my first time, it wasn't too bad.  I'm sure the second one will be much better now that I know what to do.  I was afraid to rip it out, since the cording is temperamental.  I was afraid it would unravel beyond workability.  Besides, once I get the pillow form inside and it's on the bed, you'll never see that.

And here is a sneak peak of the other pillow.  I finished the embroidery but have not yet finished assembling it.

You can get the embroidery patterns here.  I have done a number of Kim's patterns now, and I've loved every one.

I also finished the nightshirt for my friend Gracie and the burp cloths for my great-niece all with the help of my little friend Emma which I will post this week.  I still cannot get used to saying great-niece.  Isn't there another name I could use?  I wonder if that's worse than grandma or granny.  Oh my, I'm definitely not ready for that!!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time for a Change!

I found this adorable changing pad pattern on Bernina's website.  I thought it would make a great Christmas gift for my great-nephew.  Did I just say great??  Boy that feels old!  Anyway, it took me all of 2 hours, and that was with several interruptions and distractions.  The one thing I did not like was the pony tail band for the closure.  I'll do something different the next time I make this.

Here is a picture of it when it's open.

There is a pouch at the bottom to store wipes and a few diapers, then simply fold it up and toss it in the diaper bag.  Very easy.  I made my own double fold bias tape for the first time ever.  It wasn't that bad, but it was not that easy either.  Perhaps it's time to invest in one of the many bias tape makers on the market.

The pattern called for chenille or some other soft fabric for the lining.  I opted out of the chenille, since I know from experience that it sheds.  I also wasn't sure how it would hold up with repeated washings.  I chose a simple cotton.  I wanted flannel, but they had nothing to match my focus fabric.  All in all though, I think it will make a great gift.  I'll throw some wipes in with it.   One more gift down.  And at last count, I had only 4 more, and only 2 of those are home made.  Yay!

And here is a sneak peak at some burp cloths I'm making for my other great-nephew.  Yeah, I said great again.  I should have these completed this weekend.  This is a project that my little friend, Emma, is helping with.  She cut most of the pieces herself.  She's coming for the weekend, and we'll finish them up then.  I have to get them sent off next week if they are to arrive before Christmas.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A lesson in faith out of the mouth of a babe!

I was having a discussion with my friend, Donna, yesterday about some baby burp cloths I was making, and her daughter, Emma, was helping me with.  That brought up a story about a teacher at our school who is expecting a baby any day, and Donna and her girls were trying to think of a really cool gift to give her.  Since this pattern is soooooo easy, it would be something the girls themselves could do.

Anyway, this teacher had a really tough time getting pregnant with her first child who is now 6.  He recently asked his mom why he didn't have a baby brother or sister.  She tried to explain why, but he's 6, so the explanation had to be simplistic.  And in his simplistic thinking, he told her she couldn't give up.  Why wasn't she praying about it??  So he told her he would pray for a baby, and did he ever.  She didn't want to discourage him, but she didn't want him to get his hopes up either.  He prayed day and night - at bedtime, at dinner, at every meal, anytime he could.  And about a month later, are you ready????  She found out she was pregnant!!

So that little boy not only taught his mom a lesson in faith, he taught me one too.  We give up too easily.  Even if the prayers aren't answered, and they really are.  It just might not be the answer we wanted.  We still must be steadfast in our prayers.

Lesson learned!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Boxers Galore!

Three more gifts under my belt.  Don't you think those Hawaiian themed ones are a hoot?! I can't wait to see their faces.  What guy doesn't want to prance around in floral boxers?  Lol.  I have another pair of Camo boxers that I finished yesterday that aren't pictured here.  Of course, once Robbie saw the Camo fabric he had to have a pair too.  In fact, he had all sorts of projects for me to do with the left overs.  I finally had to tell him NO, NO, NO - NO MORE PROJECTS.  I simply don't have time for him to continue to add projects to my plate when I'm in a time crunch to finish all my gifts.  I told him anything else he wanted me to do would have to wait until after Christmas - including his new UGA themed bedroom.  He just will not let up.  He gets something on his mind and he hangs on like a pit bull.  He should be a lawyer when he grows up or a car salesman or any salesman for that matter.  Sheesh!  I give in to him a lot just to silence him.  I know, I know - bad idea!  But sometimes I just need peace - just a little peace......  I told you I created a monster.  I never should have done that lion costume for him.  Now he thinks I'm talented.  hahahaha


Monday, December 5, 2011

Laptop Case

This is a 13" Laptop sleeve I made for my daughter.  I made another for one of her best friends.  I found the pattern here.  It was really very simple to put together.  Although, I made it slightly more difficult by adding ric rac around the flap.  If I make another, I'll know a little better how to get it in there straight.  It was challenging because it was sandwiched between the outside fabric and the lining, so you really can't see it.  I knew where my stitch line would be, so I moved it in just a smidge inside to be sure that it would catch just the outside edge.  I had to rip it out in spots and reattach once I turned the case right side out.  I'm still trying to determine a better way to add trim.  I'm thinking that rather than stitch the flap with the body of the case and then turning, I would simply turn in both the lining and outside fabric by 3/8" after turning, then slide the trim in between the layers then top stitch closed.  I top stitched around the whole flap anyway, so I don't think it would matter much.  I may try that next time.  I was very pleased with the result.

This is a close-up of the ric rac.

This is what it looks like open.  I slid a big jar of body butter inside to keep it open.

And this one is with both of them side by side.  I think it looks so much cuter with the ric rac, don't you think?

Two more Christmas gifts done!  I think at last count I had 6 left, and not all of those are sewing projects.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nothing to do with sewing!

I went shopping for one of those Hot Wheels Stealth Riders - the Batman one- and was having a hard time locating one.  Or should I say, locating one that was less than $50.  These originally sold at Wal-Mart, Target or Toys R Us for $15 - $25.  I know, because I bought one early on.  Then I guess they became so popular, people started price gouging.  I was undeterred though and found one reasonably priced right here.   Not only did they have them in stock and priced at $22, but the shipping was fantastic.  I received my order in 2 days.  I was very excited and wanted to share my experience.  So if you are looking for one of these, and they are extremely popular, try  They have lots of other stuff too. I didn't check pricing on the other stuff, but I would imagine they are equally reasonable.  Shipping is free over $49, but I actually paid $4.99.   So for $27, I found just what I wanted and didn't break the bank.  Give them a try.  I have no stock in them.  I just like to pass along good information to others who may benefit.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stupid Pillow Case

I snapped this picture right before I threw the now infamous pillow case into the wash.  I had already tried twice to dampen the case with water to remove the blue marks.  They just kept coming back.  Anyway, I have 3 pintucks in red and then stitched the folded seam in red thread.  I really wanted the pop effect.  Those didn't bleed!   I realized, however, that pintucks are much easier and prettier in white thread.  It is really hard to keep the fabric moving straight under the presser foot with those tiny little tucks.  The white thread isn't too noticeable if you don't have a perfectly straight stitch.  I can't say the same about the red.  I was going to rip out the seam because I didn't like how crooked it looked.  Of course, that was before the bleeding fiasco this weekend.  I still may rip it out and just redo the embroidery part and simply re-attach it.  Luckily for me (did I say luckily?), the red only bled on that part.  The rest of the case is salvageable.  And you may also have noticed that I uploaded a picture which means I have a USB cable.  Yay!  I found it late yesterday following my little tantrum.  I did feel better though afterward.  I guess we all need those at times - even us adults.  Although, I wasn't really acting like one after I washed the pillow case.  lol.  I think I may try Pearl Cotton this time in lieu of the silk.  I will definitely test it first in the wash with the same fabric BEFORE I put one stitch in the new pillow case.  We don't want a repeat, because I'm afraid my tantrum next time will be full blown! 


Monday, November 28, 2011


These pillow cases are kicking my rear!!  I finished the embroidery on one over the weekend, and it turned out really pretty.  Except......I had the design upside down.  Surprisingly, I didn't say any ugly words - not a single one.  I simply removed the stitches and thought I'd start over.  Then I realized that pencil marks DO NOT come out of white linen.  Still no ugly words - I was thinking one but didn't say it.  I applied a little bleach with a toothbrush, and the marks were so faint, they were barely noticeable.  I washed it so the bleach wouldn't cause a problem later with the floss.  Apparently, I used too much bleach, because it washed out the red thread I had used for my pins tucks.  One little ugly word - I was thinking a lot more but only said the one.  But I was NOT going to let this pillow case beat me.  I would beat it or die!!  Now it was a test of wills.  I ran another line of stitching right over the bleached ones.  Wasn't exactly perfect, but at this point, I just didn't care.  I got the design where I wanted and this time in the correct position.  It was really pretty.....again.  And this time I used my blue tracing pen I bought from Joannes a few weeks ago in lieu of the pencil since we know how that turned out last time.  I loved that the blue really popped, unlike the pencil, and made the embroidery much easier on my old eyes.  I used a little water to get the blue marks off after, but that didn't work.  So I used a little more water just with my fingers.  Still didn't work.  So I just popped it in the machine again for a quick wash.  Then it was off to Joannes again for more linen fabric since when I originally bought it, the girl cut it 2 inches too short.  I tried to make it work; all I needed was a few inches.  I should have taken it back right then.  But I'm a glutton for punishment, plus I wanted needed to get these done.  So I started on one case thinking I'd go back for more fabric for the other.  That never works out well, and this time was no different.  I get home with the fabric, and the color is off - just slightly but enough to notice.  Another ugly word - still thinking many more but again only said one.  Then it was time to check on the first pillow.  I pulled it out of the washer, and that's when I wanted to cry.  The red floss bled all over the white linen fabricI was heart broken.  The pillow case had won!  I should have used vinegar in the wash to set the color, but I wasn't thinking.  I had never had floss bleed on any fabric before - never.  Stupid floss.  Stupid pillow case.  Stupid girl at Joannes.  Stupid bleach.  Stupid washer.  Stupid everything!  Stupid me!

Then my husband decided I could just use his camera so we wouldn't have to buy another.  I was okay with that.  It wasn't the ideal camera, but it had to be better than mine.  So I took plenty of pictures over the weekend of all my projects I was working on - mostly the stupid pillow case.  I had to wait to get the USB cable from the office this morning so I could upload the pics.  I was uber excited to see how well the camera worked.  Are you ready??  There was no USB cable in the box.  It's nowhere to be found.  The USB cable for my old camera won't work nor will the one for my phone.  So I guess I'll have to make a trip to Wal-Mart for another.  Any bets on how easy that will be given my current track record?

And that's only part of my weekend full of bloopers.  I had more this morning with my 17 year irresponsible son, but that would take too many words, and I'm super tired after having had to pick him up from work at 11:30 last night when I'm usually in bed by 10 because I have to get up at 5:45 every morning.  I won't even go into why I had to pick him up from work in the first place.  I also won't mention having to drive 15 miles to pick up car keys that I asked him to leave at home.  A waste of an hour this morning.  But my 7 year old informed me this morning, "It's not like you have a lot to do anyway" when he insisted that I take him to school this morning rather than him carpool with my gracious neighbors.  I nearly blew a gasket!  I'm thinking more ugly words though.  I love my children, I love my children, I love my children.  God, give me grace - not patience. PLEASE don't give me patience.

Anyway, once I have a cable for my camera (stupid camera), I'll post some pictures of my beautiful pillow case before the washing machine fiasco.  In the meantime, the little tantrum pic above pretty much sums up how I feel right now.  Stupid pillow case.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baby Pillow Tutorial

First, determine how large you want your pillow.  I chose my size based on the embroidery design.  I made my pillow 7" x 10".  My cut dimensions are 8" x 11".  Find your center and mark it for placement of your design.  I simply fold my fabric in half vertically then horizontally to find the center.  I've also cut the fabric large enough, then embroidered my design, then cut to size. 

Because I used muslin as my main fabric, I chose to line it with a piece of white broadcloth.  Cut it to the same dimension and baste together after you've embroidered your design.  Also, I used a blue broadcloth for the back of the pillow.    Cut one the same size as the other two.  So now you should have one main piece, one lining piece, and one backing piece all 8"x11".  Now for just a short side note on squaring your fabric.  If you have good quality fabric, you can tear your pieces rather than cutting them to get a true square piece.  I did not tear my muslin, because it doesn't tear well.  I tore both the lining and backing pieces though. Below is my already torn piece for the width.  Simply lay your top piece on top of your backing and/or lining right on the selvage edge, and snip on the selvage edge right where you would normally cut.  You can do both sides.  But always tear across the selvage not down vertically.  I've torn both sides here and have left the length just to compare.  My selvage edge is to the right.
Now all you have to do is use your ruler to cut off the other side.  Now your pieces should be square.

This is a close up of the torn edge. Nice and straight, but I should have pressed before snapping the pic.

Now you are ready to assemble your pieces.

Because I made my own whipped piping, I wanted to be certain I really secured the stitches.  So I stitched my piping to the top piece first, then stitched to my lining, then added the back piece so I'd have 3 layers of stitching.  Start at the bottom of the backing piece right sides together and pin all the way around leaving a 2 inch overlap at the bottom.  I'll show you a neat trick to piecing these together without overlapping.  It makes a nice seamless piece.
Stitch the piping to the top piece using the same stitch line used to enclose the cording on the piping.  Leave an opening at the bottom where the two pieces meet. I would say 2 inches will suffice.  Be sure to clip the piping at the corners to help ease it around, but be careful not to cut into the stitching on the piping.

Now take the long piece and remove the floss from the piping but DO NOT cut it.  Now use your seam ripper to remove the stitching from your piping.  You want to expose the cording inside, because you are going to cut it.

Cut your cording so the ends just meet.  You have two choices on joining them together.  1. You can stitch the ends together with a needle and thread. You would definitely choose this option on large cording just to keep it in place.  2. You can leave the ends alone and simply slide one end of the piping into the other end. It's really hard to see in this pick, because the flash was way too bright.  But on the right side, open the piping flat and fold the end in 3/8" and press.  Keep the piping flat, and lay the left side of the piping inside the right side.  Then fold the right back together enclosing the left side.

I'm a little ahead in this next shot, but my camera just wasn't cooperating. I tried to zoom and darken the photo.  You can just see the hem at the bottom.  Now pin the two ends together but do not pin it to the pillow yet.  Take your tail of your floss and restitch it to the piping.  When you get to the end and on your last stitch.  In this photo, it's the one right at the seam, bring your thread up at the last mark or right at the bottom of the next stitch and bring it to the bottom as shown.

Stitch this section to your top piece.  And this is what it should look like.

Now you want to attach your ribbon to the top if you want it to hang from a door.  You could omit this step if you just want a pillow.  I used a 20" long piece of ribbon.  Measure the top piece to find the center.  Place your ribbon 5 inches apart from outside edge to outside edge as shown.  Make sure the ribbon is straight and will hang the way you want.  Pin it to test it if needed.  Baste the ribbon in place.

Now place your backing piece to the top piece right sides together making sure your ribbon is out of the way.  You may want to pin this to the middle of your pillow to keep it out of the way.  Start at the bottom and stitch all the way around the pillow on the same piping stitch line leaving a 3 inch opening at the bottom for turning.  Clip your corners to remove the bulk being careful not to clip the stitches.  Turn right side out, and use something pointy like your scissors to push out the corners.  Stuff your pillow to the desired thickness using polyfil and pin the bottom closed.

Whip stitch the opening closed.  And you are finished.  I used DMC floss color 519 for the embroidery and on the piping.

I'm so sorry for the photos.  I'm hoping to have a new camera at Christmas.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Whipped Piping Tutorial

This is my version of whipped piping.  I saw this particular piping used on a back pack in an issue of Sew Beautiful Magazine.  I loved it.  I knew I could buy it, but I had a special project I was working on, and I needed it a bit more custom.  I used cotton batiste for the bias and DMC floss for the whipped part. And I used a Chenille needle to sew the floss to the piping.

First, start with your bias binding.  You can buy it or make it.  Just make sure if you are using it to go around corners, you cut it on the bias.  The first picture shows my binding after cutting and pressing.  The second picture is with the cording already inside the piping.  If you need more information on this process, please shoot me an email.

Next, you'll want to mark your binding every 1/2" just below the stitching.  This marks the placement of your floss.

Then thread your needle with your floss.  DO NOT KNOT THE FLOSS.  Leave a tail on the end of your floss.  This eliminates the bulk in the bias when you stitch it to your project.  You don't want your machine needle hitting the knot.  Once you sew it to your project, the machine will stitch it in place.  You want your floss long enough to run the length of your bias.  If the piping is super long, you can do it in sections.  My piping was only 24" long, so I used only one piece of 6 strand floss.  Bring your needle up on one end of the piping at the first marked dot as shown below.

Notice that my marks are well below the stitch line. Once you press these marks, they become permanent.  I wanted them hidden.  So I brought my needle up on the stitch line just above the mark.  Take your needle to the opposite side and bring it up just above the next mark right on the stitch line as shown.  You are basically just wrapping your piping with your floss.  Continue until you reach the end of your piping.  Go very slow if you are working with a long piece of floss.  It will get tangled very quickly otherwise.  Stop a few times and allow your needle to unwind to keep your floss as smooth as possible.

This is what it should look like once you've sewn on your floss.

DO NOT TIE OFF AT THE END.  Again, you do not want that knot in your piping.  If you need to secure, place a piece of tape on the ends to secure until you are ready to attach to your project.  Once you sew this onto your project, the stitching will catch the floss to secure it.

This is my project.  I'll have the tutorial on that tomorrow with a way to join the piping without overlapping, so it looks seamless.

The embroidery is from Kim's Shhh......Baby's Sleeping Pattern Packet over at bigB.  You can find it here.

My first attempt at whipped piping was with this same pillow.  It did not turn out the way I wanted.  It looks more shell like than whipped.  But I do like it and will use again.  Here is the pic.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

These were almost too easy!

These are the Amy Butler scarves I made yesterday.  You can find the pattern here.  Scroll all the way to the bottom.  It's free.  There is another smaller scarf pattern too, but I liked this one the most.  Basically, you cut a piece of fabric 17x90, and cut the fringe to 17.  You baste the fringe to the scarf end right sides together folding the ends of the fringe in about 1/2" to remove the bulk in the corners.  Then turn the scarf right sides together and stitch around all 3 side leaving a 6" opening for turning (1/2" seam allowance).  Press flat and whip the opening closed.  That's it.  It's really, really easy.  This is a great pattern for a beginner. 

I bought 2.5 yards of fabric and 1 yard of fringe.  (You can actually get 2 scarves out of the 2.5 yards.) I spent a total of $10 for each with my Joannes coupons.  If I had gotten another yard of fringe, I would have 2 scarves for roughly $13. These took right at an hour to complete from cutting the material to sewing.  Of course I was interrupted many times by Gabby and Robbie.  But Robbie was a huge help.  He modeled the orange one for me to get a good picture.  I guess he was trying to look manly while modeling a girl's scarf.  He's so funny.  These will come in handy when he's 16 and dating.  hahaha.  He just doesn't know it yet.

I will be shopping on Black Friday for a new camera.  I don't know what I'm thinking battling those crowds.  I must be absolutely nuts.  But I really need a new one.  I just haven't determined which one I want yet.  Suggestions would be most appreciated.  I like the Nikon brand.  I have the coolpix 4300 now.  We bought it the year Robbie was born.  So it's had a good 7+ years.  I'm looking at the L120, S9100, or the S8200.  I'd like one with a wide angle, but most important will be the optical zoom.  I'm not tech savvy, so I have no idea which one would be better for the pics I'm posting on my blog.  Help!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Sneak peak!

I bought this fabric Saturday.  The two on the left will be scarves, the two in the middle will be more boxers and the white linen on the right will be embroidered pillow cases.  I have a really great idea to incorporate red work with pin tucks and a ferrell (spelling?) seam.  I'll have a tutorial on these in a week or so.  I'll be snapping pics as I go.  I cut most of the pieces yesterday but then discovered that the person who cut the fabric, cut it 2 inches too short!  I was so aggravated.  So I thought rather than having one long piece that I just fold back to be the outer lip like a cuff, I would just sew a piece to the end then fold it back on the seam to hide it.  I thought it would be easier to embroider that way too.  But I only had enough for one piece.  And then, like an idiot, I forgot that it needed to be cut on the fold and lopped it off instead.  *&^%!  I hate it when I do that.  So, I'll go back today and get enough for those outer lips.  That's what I get for getting in a hurry. The left over scraps will not go to waste though.  I will be making hankies with those.  I am learning how to tat, so I'll be able to add a tatted edging.  I'll also finish up my day gown with the tatting.  That one isn't a Christmas gift anyway, so it can wait a while.  There is the cutest pattern for a hanky bonnet in one of the tatting books I just got.  You make the hanky into a bonnet for baby, then when baby gets married, you snip the threads and turn it back into a hanky for her wedding day!  That is a fabulous idea and can't wait to make one.

These two will be scarves using an Amy Butler pattern.  I'll probably have these done this week.  It's a very easy pattern.  The bright orange will be for a friend of Britt's who is also an Auburn Tiger.  I thought it would be precious for a ball game.

The two fabrics on top will be boxers for my nephews.  I hope they have a sense of humor.  The girl cutting the fabric thought it was a gag gift, but I am dead serious. No one else will have a pair like them!  They are boxers for crying out loud.  Aren't they supposed to be fun?!