Showing posts with label pillows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pillows. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Enticing Spring

Have you even had the feeling that you aren't really in control of your life, because there are so many external factors that are? Well that's how I feel right now...and when I start to feel that way, I start to find ways to 'change' things that I can control, like decorating. Plus this winter just seems to be dragging when I was in JoAnn's the other day to pick up that ONE zipper and nothing else, I saw that home dec fabric was 50% off and I had a 15% off total purchase coupon. I found myself being drawn to these bright and sunny patterns/colors. I picked up $25 worth of fabric and made my living room "look like Spring", according to my daughter.
I just took the fabric that I had picked up (guessing really how much I would need when I bought it, but ended up with 1 yard each of the 2 florals and 1/2 a yard each of the yellow geometric and blue/green used for the pillow in the middle) and managed to get 7 slip covered pillows and one little curtain. The big pillow on the right is one I already had and it kind of matches.
 And now I have a reason to smile when I walk in my living room.
 I think I'm going to paint the walls a pale blue next. My dream would be to recover that ugly but with oh so great lines sofa (we inherited it when we bought our house) in a dove grey. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Go Check Out My Latest Guest Post--It's a little Spooky

I'm over at GYCT to share my spooky literary tribute/addition to our couch and my thoughts on literature appropriate for the up coming holiday.  So on over!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sowing While You Sew--Week 4

Daisy Chain Creations

Pillow Case
Here is a printable copy of the sewing instructions: Sowing While You Sew Week 4

1. Practice sewing a straight line.
2. Become familiar with sewing with different types of fabric.
3. Practice sewing multiple layers together by pinning and then removing the pins while sewing.
4. Realize that sewing is something that can benefit others by making something to give to a charity.
(For the sizes, I just measured a pillow case that we had and fit our pillows—you might need to adjust if you have bigger than a standard pillow)
-25”x 40” piece of fabric for the main part of the pillow case
-12”x 40” piece of second fabric for cuff
-2”x 40” piece of fabric for the trim in between the two layers—if desired
Here's the how to:
1.  Pin the two pieces together with right sides together on the 40” side.  Sew and press seam towards cuff side. (If you desire to put in a contrasting trim, now is the time.  Place it in between the two layers.)
2. Fold in half long ways with right sides together and pin the bottom and side.  Sew and finish seams all the way up to the edge of the cuff.
3. Fold and press 1” at the top of the cuff towards the right side.
4. Working from the inside, fold the cuff in half so that the ironed under edge covers the stitching. Baste in place.
6. Turn the pillow case right side out. Stitch the cuff in place.  
7. Iron the final seam and trim threads.
And here is the finished ones, one to keep and one to give

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sowing while you Sew--Week 4 Giving Back

One of the things that sewing is great for, is for making useful things.  These useful things also make great gifts, but they also make great things to give to someone that could really use them.  That is one thing I wanted to pass on to my daughter as I taught her how to sew, that sewing can be done for the good of those around you as well...just like any other gift or talent we are given.
This is the fabric that Sophia picked out to make 2 pillow cases out of. The little floral is actually a really soft flannel.
When I picked the projects, I picked a couple with those thoughts in mind.  They are ones that I have either done personally and donated or that I know are in need.
The pillow case is one of those things that is easy to make and easy to donate.
Here is a link for a kind of one stop place to find where to donate, but you can look locally as well.
(That site also has some fun patterns if you want to get fancy)
And here are some more specific ones:
ConKerr Cancer--These go to kids that are in the hospital for cancer treatments
The Patriotic Pillowcase Project--this is for VA Hospital donations
I know the children's hospital here takes donations of pillow cases, so that is where we are planning on giving ours to.  Really you just have to think of a place where someone might need a little comfort and I bet they would accept your donation.  I hope this helps a little to head you in the right direction.  Pick something that you believe in or that is related to you personally to make it have more of an impact on your child.

Sowing While You Sew--Week 4 Guest Post

I am so excited to have my first ever guest post today and I am glad it's Gina from Party of Eight Our Story.  She always has the nicest comments and when I first checked out her blog a while back, I was impressed with how much she can accomplish with a houseful of kids.  While I'm impressed with her sewing skills, I'm doubly impressed by her amazing quilts.  You should check them out!

One thing I wanted to focus on as we teach our children to sew is that sewing is a skill that can be used to benefit others.  The pillow case is the perfect thing to start with.  Gina mentioned where they will be donating theirs and tomorrow I'll be giving you some more ideas to get you headed in the right direction.

So without further ado, I present Gina and her adorable, productive daughter, the finished products and the amazing work her daughter did!  The fabric they chose is so much fun.

Hi! I am Gina and I blog at Party of Eight Our Story. I am so happy to be here at Daisy Chain Creations and to be a part of  "Sowing While You Sew". I was very excited about the series when Sally first introduced it as I would love to pass the love of sewing to my four girls. Two of my girls are interested in sewing right now and two are too young. Many days last summer when my kids were out of school they would work on their projects at the kitchen table while I sewed. My then 7 year old twins were always interested in what I was making and they are at an age where they want to be like mom ( I am going to hold on to that for as long as I can because we all know that might disappear as the teen years get closer). One of my girls practiced stitching straight lines using my sewing machine and they both did a couple of simple embroidery projects. I wanted to capitalize on the girls' interest in sewing so we got them a simple sewing machine for Christmas. Nicole had stitched together some purses by herself but I had not guided her through a project to teach her the correct technique. Sally's series gave us the perfect opportunity!

Our project began at the fabric store where we usually spend an hour and a half and go through the store aisle by aisle. My girls are attracted to pretty colors and soft to the touch texture. The color grabs our attention first but then it has to pass the touch test to see if it is soft. We have a fun time looking at all the fabrics and it usually takes a while to narrow our selections down. Nicole chose fabric for a girl pillowcase. Since we will be donating the pillowcase to our local Children and Family Services I wanted to make a pillowcase for a boy too.
It is basketball season at our house so we had to make our pillowcases in 2 sittings due to lack of time. This might be a good option for kids with shorter attention spans. We used a pillowcase we had on hand as a pattern. I did the cutting and Nicole did the pinning. She did a good job and learned she needed to get the wrinkles out and worked on keeping the raw edge even with raw edge. We worked with flannel which I think helped make this process easier. 
She learned to use the back stitch lever at the beginning and end of her stitches. We put a small piece of contrast fabric between the pillow case cuff and the main body of the case so she got to learn a basting stitch, too. There were times her stitch was off course a bit but I am very proud of her good effort. 

This was Nicole's first time using an iron. I am a firm believer in pressing stitches after they are sewn. She was very excited to iron and I was a little nervous. She did a great job and was cautious.

Nicole felt the whole experience was very fun and was so excited to make something for another kid to use. I have a serger so the inside seams were serged. Nicole got to learn some sewing fundamentals and it was a boost to her self esteem to know she could sew something like mom. She is already planning out her next project and I have a stack of flannel for her to turn into pillow cases for her brothers and sisters.

Thank you Sally so much for this fun learning opportunity and for encouraging others to sow seeds for the love of sewing!!

Daisy Chain Creations

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sowing While You Sew--Week 2 Results

Daisy Chain Creations
(If you are following this little series, I would love it if you grabbed a button and pass it on. I would also love to see any projects that you've made!)

Today we had fun sewing with a friend.  My daughter and her friend have known each other since they were less than a year old.  You see their older brothers played on the same soccer team when they were in kindergarten and they are now 14 years old.  There is also another set of brothers that are 12. It's been nice to have friends (we've remained really good friends with them through the years) where there is someone to pair up with...except for poor Clara, who feels like the 3rd wheel a lot when we get together.
Anyway, these 2 girls have been wanting me to teach them how to sew, so this series is a perfect time to get the 2 together.
They worked hard, helping me cut out the fabric, picking out their thread and then got busy sewing their lines.

 If your machine has a speed control setting I really recommend using it.  It makes a big difference when they know that the machine won't go zipping out of control on them.  When it came to threading the machine, I helped them each time, making sure the thread was really where it should be.  Other than that, they did it all themselves.  They did great at taking the pins out before they sewed over them.  Their lines got better as they did more.  They learned how to pivot at the corners as they sewed it together.  They even had the chance to learn how to fill the bobbin.  I think the thing they had the most difficulty with was pinning the front and the backs together.  It was hard for them to not shift the fabrics as they put the pins in.
Most importantly, they are happy with the results and pretty proud of what they made.
 Here's a view of the back.  They picked something a little more colorful to go on the back.  For the friend, we took advantage of the selvage (she had brought some great feed sack material, so it had a very pretty selvage)  and didn't make the hem on the back two pieces.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sowing While You Sew Week 2--Throw Pillow Cover--Envelope Style

Daisy Chain Creations

Throw Pillow Cover—Envelope Style

Here's a printable copy of the instructions for week 2--Sowing While You Sew Week 2

1. Learn how to thread a sewing machine.
2. Learn how to sew a straight line.
3. Be able to sew a folded over hem.
4. Learn how to sew multiple layers together by pinning and then removing the pins while sewing. 
-Pillow Form—this will determine the size of fabric needed
-One piece of solid colored fabric cut to the size of the pillow form + seam allowances (Mine was 16x16 so I cut it out 17x17 for a seam allowance of ½ an inch on each side)
-2 pieces of fabric cut in a rectangle so that 2 sides are the size of the first piece and the other 2 sides are ¾ the length of the first piece.  These can be in any fabric, because they will make up the back.
-Several different colored spools of thread
-Marking pen or sharp pencil
-Ruler or straight edge

Here's the how to:
First, you need to collect your supplies.  The front of the pillow is going to be a solid color so that the straight lines of stitching in multiple colors of thread will show.  Pick about 5-6 contrasting threads to the fabric chosen.  The bobbin thread doesn't really matter, because it’s not going to be seen.  For the back, you can pick a complimentary print to the color theme or just use the same fabric as the front.
1. Cut out the 3 pieces of fabric.  Follow the details in the supplies list.  It all depends on the size of the pillow form.  My pillow was 16x16, so I had one piece that was 17x17 and 2 pieces that were 17x12.
2. On the front piece of fabric, with a marking pen and ruler/straight edge, make several straight lines going various directions.  They should run off the edge so that it makes the starting and stopping easier for beginner sewers.  I had 5 colors so I did 10 lines, just to make it easy to decide how many of each color to do.
This is a picture of the finished product, but should give you an idea.
3. Now it’s time to learn to thread a sewing machine.  This part you will have to sit down and teach them.  Since all machines are a little different, you’ll just have to follow your manual.   Start with the first color and help them make the thread go where it is supposed to go to get it threaded.
4.  Sew a couple of the lines, making sure to mix it up as to which direction you go.  As they are sewing, you might want to set your machine on the slowest setting, if it has one.  You also want to remind them about machine safety and to keep their fingers away from the needle.  Remind them to go slow and follow the lines, making sure the lines line up with the center of the presser foot.
5. Change the color of thread and repeat #4.
6. Repeat with each color until you have finished your lines
7. Once the lines are all done, snip loose threads and set front aside.
8. For the back 2 pieces, iron 1 inch under on one of the long sides on each piece.  This is the hem for the envelope part.  Again, know your child and how much you trust them to be using an iron.  Instruct them on the safety and how to of using an iron and supervise them.
9.  Now iron under a ½ inch of the 1 inch already ironed under on each piece.  This will give you the finished hem.
10.  Pin the hem down and carefully sew along the inside edge (1/2 an inch in).  Repeat for other piece.
11. Lay out front piece, front side up and the 2 back pieces, inside hem pieces up—these will overlap.  Pin all the way around.

12.  Carefully sew all the way around, teaching them how to watch for the seam allowance on your machine.  To begin, teach them how to back stitch a little. Have them stop before they come to a pin and then remove the pin. As they come to the corners, you will have to teach them to pivot and continue down the other side.  One thing that might be helpful is to set the needle to end in the downward position.
13. Once all the way around, back stitch a little and snip strings.
14. Trim corners and edges if needed.
15. Turn right side out and iron seams if needed.
16. Insert pillow form.

Ideas to make it a little more challenging for someone that's a little older or might have some experience:
--Make the lines zigzags or curves
--Sew on things like ribbons or rickrack 
Again, sorry for the crummy pictures.  My camera is on the fritz and any picture requiring a flash is not coming out.  They are all blurry to some degree, no matter what I do.  I will take some better pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

December Crafting

I did a fair amount of crafting in December. Actually, I was pretty proud of myself. Because we had visitors coming, I had resolved to have all of my crafting done before they got here (no separate craft room=planning ahead). This resulted in not having any last minute, stay up late on Christmas Eve projects to do. It was nice. I should do it more often. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at taking pictures. Here's what I have.

Gifts for teachers, friends, etc were these. I got the idea here and it was a fun project. I used an old German hymn book (Phil couldn't believe I would use that, but we had 3 of the old ones laying around collecting dust, so I figured why not). I also made them even smaller by cutting the size she used in half once more. I also learned that the messier the tear, the neater it looked so I didn't make very defined creases when I made the rectangles. One other ornament project, that I have no pictures of that I did is this.

Sadly, I don't have any pictures of a finished ornament. This is as close as it gets. I did free hand the letter on and I used silver glitter instead. I just liked the way it looked with the black and white of the music.

The project that was the biggest hit this year was this Angry Birds pillow. Clara had seen one in a grocery store and wanted one really bad. I'm not one to buy into trends so put my foot down. The kids each make a present for their siblings and Ethan came up with this idea. I had a round pillow form laying around and all of the fabric as well. He drew it out the face and feathery things/tail (you can't see those in the picture, but there are little black fleece "feathers" stuck into the seam for the head feathers and tail feathers). I used his drawing as a pattern, cut out the pieces and zig zagged them on in black to make them stand out. She loves the pillows.
Other things made: 2 ultra cuddly fleece blankets for the girls, 2 big ultra cuddly fleece pillows for the boys and pajamas for the girls. I think that is about it. Kind of a low key crafting Christmas.

Monday, October 19, 2009


My house and decor are somewhat lacking in the style department. I like to blame the lack of funding in that part of the budget, but it's also my own personal lack of style. I've personally acknowledged that I will never have a home worthy of a spread in a style magazine. It's just not me or dare I say, my style. My house will always be a little cluttered, because I like those "treasures" that make a house a home. I will never have a perfectly pulled together room, because I have a hard time forking out money to pull it all together (I know some of you will say you can do it on a budget, but even that takes money) and also my refusal to get rid of things that don't go with the room, but really have no other place to go either. There will always be pieces that are mismatched and things I keep even though they don't go with the decor. That being said, I've been feeling like our living room was a little more college apartment style than I liked. I've been slowly gathering fabric to go with the colors I've had in mind for a long time and I have 2 chairs that I'm refinishing to actually match, but haven't done much else. This past week I had had enough and wanted to do something with my lack of continuity in the room and made pillows to go on all of the chairs that match. JoAnns had their pillows on sale, by one get one free. Some of the fabric was from dish towels I had picked up somewhere, just because they were the colors I liked. Some more of the fabrics were remnants I'd pick up here and there. The one dotted brown I picked up at Hobby Lobby on sale last week. I went and got some trim as well, just to make them a little more interesting. All said, I think I spent $50 total. Now I just need to make a slip cover for the ugly, but oh so comfortable worn out orange chair and I think I can live with the room until we can afford the chocolate brown leather couch I've had my eye on.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Zippers and Pillows

Zippers have always scared me, but I really wanted to do the trade that Sara B. was offering for her photography skills, so I said yes to making 4 pillows with hidden zippers. She picked out the great fabric and asked to have piping as well. I wasn't sure if a zipper would work right up next to the piping, but it did. And I learned that hidden zippers are surprisingly easy and I would chose them over the regular kind any day. The trick is using a zipper bigger than what you need so that you can finish it off before you get to the actual end. It made for a nicer looking finish and a zipper that stayed hidden. The bolster was a lot easier than expected and stretched my geometry skills (or lack there of).
I think the fabric was called Storybook, but I can't remember the designer.
(Edit: I was wrong, it is Wonderland by Momo for Moda Fabrics--Thanks, Val!)
This fabric really grew on me. At first I thought it rather busy, but it made lovely pillows. There are a couple of color variations of the print, this one, a bright one with black and a pastel one. Even the boys really liked it. I think they liked the birds the most. Ethan was asking for pillows too. There were 2 covers made from this, each a little different. I should have taken a picture of both, but I didn't.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...