Make & Mingle has these fun “emporium of craft” boxes in their Etsy shop now! Even though I’m loving spring and looking forward to summer, I decided to go with the box of autumn colors. It will be so much fun to come up with projects for all these fabulous materials! I also ordered a little packet of “felt bon bon roses,” which will go on some accessories I have planned.
You can check out Make and Mingle’s blog here, Etsy shop here, and FB page here . . . or find them anytime from my Shop Love! page above. ♥
How cute is this pillow??? I won it in Jill’s giveaway at Nice Piece of Work and it *flew* all the way from South Africa to Kansas, USA! I just love the colors and the touches of crochet, and I even found this beautiful crocheted heart tucked in its wing! Jill has more owl cushion covers (including one just like mine!) in her Jam Tarts SA Etsy shop, as well as several other cushions, crocheted slippers, a gorgeous needlepoint vest (aka waistcoat), and some fun embroidery kits. Please give her store a visit from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Jill!
P.S. My owl cushion will look PERFECT in the guest room with my David Bromstad Owl Print! I just checked, and the free printable version is still available here. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the word “click” to get the pdf.)
Not long ago, I had a brave moment and decided to try crocheting. I got pictures to look at and lots of tips from family and friends. I already had some beautiful reddish yarn and a crochet hook. I made the chain and then dug in. I did it! Yay! I got to the end of the first row and added another row . . . and another . . . and another. “This isn’t so hard,” I congratulated myself.
Then I spread it all out and looked at what I’d made so far. Instead of a rectangle, it was an arch! Oops! I guess I added a stitch or two on every new row! But since it was my first try, AND I love the yarn, AND it looked pretty even in its wonkiness, AND it reminded me of the red soil on the farm where I grew up, I decided to make something out of it.
The picture slowly grew in my mind: a red hill covered in grass and wildflowers with a bright blue sky and bright yellow sun. So I dug through my remnants and . . .
- found some blue canvas duck for the pillow squares
- handstitched my piece of crochet at the bottom of the pillow front,
- found some yellow canvas duck and appliqued/embroidered the sun,
- embroidered some lime-green grass on top of the hill,
- chose some vintage buttons that complemented the colors I’d already used and stitched them at the top of green embroidered stems for flowers,
- sewed a zipper in the center of the pillow back and opened it,
- stitched the front and back right sides together,
- trimmed the seams,
- turned the pillow right-side out through the zipper opening, and
- inserted a 12-inch pillow form.
That’s my lucky save, all ready to jump-start my spring decor! And today is your lucky day, too, because you get to read some amazing posts on the “Lucky” theme from eleven other bloggers (including one on how to REALLY crochet!) in this month’s Collectively Creative. Enjoy! ♥
March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday! When I taught first grade, we always celebrated by wearing Dr. Seuss T-shirts, cooking green eggs and ham in the classroom, and reading all the kids’ favorite DS books. But now that I’ve moved on to a different career, I decided to use this well-loved T-shirt for my next “What can you make with a . . .” refashion.
- First, I used the bottom of the shirt for the no-sew spaghetti t-shirt scarf that I shared last month.
- Next, I used the “Sam’s Ham” graphic and back for a pillow (which is now on its way to some sweet little guys in Florida along with a copy of the matching book). I love that the T-shirt had a Dr. Seuss label that I could stitch into the side seam of the pillow!
- The fabric from the shoulders became a travel neck pillow with “Ahh . . .” embroidered for a-la-mode. (You’ll find a fabulous tutorial at The Cottage Home!)
- The rest of the scraps were stitched together into a rectangle and paired with a colorful remnant to make a little mat to put under a centerpiece or plant.
- Oh, and did you know that a t-shirt neckband makes a perfect no-sew headband for around the house or working out??? Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! ♥
I recently received a bag of vintage sweaters for pillow making, and I just fell in love with this fun print. I used everything from the armholes down, leaving the zipper in the middle for a-la-mode, stitched, and stuffed. It still has the side-seam pockets, too! I think I’ll give it as a birthday or Christmas present and tuck a gift card in the pocket. Then the recipient can use the pockets for . . . hmmm . . . the TV remote? Earphones? Tissues for a sad movie? Or . . . M&M’s??? (OK, I’m still thinking about chocolate after that last post!) ♥
Remember the little hearts I sewed on my recent travels—upcycled from a sleeve of a cozy old red sweater?
I used two of them for little-girl barrettes with pink button a-la-mode and all but four for my heart-to-heart garland.
Then I looked at the sweater again and decided that the body had to become a BIG red Valentine pillow, like this:
- Fold the sweater in half lengthwise and, starting at the fold, cut a large half-valentine from the front and back. Unfold.
- Pin and stitch strips of the sweater’s hem and sleeve binding across the pillow front for a-la-mode.
- Pin and stitch the pillow front to the pillow back, right sides together, leaving about three inches unsewn.
- Trim the seam, then turn the pillow rightside-out, stuff, and handstitch the opening.
It’s the softest pillow ever! ♥
P.S. The drawing in my office is a print of I’m Into Art by Elizabeth “Grandma” Layton of Wellsville, Kansas. You can read a biographical sketch of Mrs. Layton’s life and see close-ups of her drawings here. She’s one AMAZING lady!
Welcome to the Collectively Creative Lovey-Dovey edition, hosted by Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! My project this month is felt conversation heart mini-pillows. They were so much fun to make! Here’s how:
(1) Buy a bag of candy conversation hearts for . . . um . . . er . . . research.
(2) Create a pattern with a free-hand drawing or googling a heart template—or do like I did and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
(3) Trace around your pattern on two pieces each of white and various pastel felt.
(4) Lightly pencil a candy saying on a heart of each color, then embroider all the sayings in red.
(5) Put the hearts of the same color back to back and attach the edges with a blanket stitch using a coordinating color of embroidery floss. Stop a couple of inches before you’re done to add a bit of fiberfill stuffing, then close them up.
(6) Use your hearts for valentines, brooches, magnets, hair accessories, sachets, mobiles, or gift-wrap, wreath, or pillow a-la-mode; display them in a pretty bowl or shadow box; or . . . make GARLAND! I added in some of my red-sweater hearts as well for the perfect Valentine mantle decor.
Before you get started on YOUR mini-pillow hearts, be sure to visit all the amazing Lovey-Dovey blog posts below. Enjoy! ♥
Ooohhh . . . MORE cards with reproductions of original art! And they’ll be PERFECT for invitations for a big birthday party I’m throwing this summer for the head cowboy in our family, thanks to my blogging friend Beverly of Beverly Dyer Fine Art and Stationery, who also sells her beautiful creations in many stores in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area. She even added this beautiful memo pad to my order! Click here for Beverly’s web site, here for her blog, and here for her Etsy shop featuring painted art prints, cards, pendants, and pillows, or find her links anytime in my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Beverly! ♥
I can never take down ALL the Christmas decorations on December 31, can you? Instead, I like to “tweak” some of them for the winter. Here are some of this year’s gentle changes:
(1) Keep the giant winter wreath and snowflake garland, but trade the nativity on the mantel for family photos.
(2) Keep the Christmas cards nearby to enjoy again and again, but add a free New Year’s printable in a frame.
(3) Put a fun snowman on top of the kitchen cabinet by the antique milk bottles.
(4) Change out Santa for a snowman in the fabric forest and add a “Baby It’s Cold Outside” free printable in a frame.
(5) Get out the softest, squishiest, coziest sweater pillow I’ve ever made for winter napping. ♥
Here is a photo of my new favorite pillow that I finished last night! It just sort of evolved . . . here’s how.
(1) When I recently organized my crafty corner, these two fabrics ended up side by side on a shelf and made me think of Christmas. The red cotton is from a thrifted tablecloth, and the lime green felt is from the citrus coasters I made last summer. Then I saw an argyle sweater in an ad, and a lightbulb went on!
(2) I used a shape pattern from Google images to cut these diamonds from the felt. Then I pinned them in rows and pondered how to attach them. I decided that having the corners loose would give the pillow a more interesting texture, so I embroidered an “X” across the middle of each diamond . . . sort of a “free-form argyle.”
(3) When I stitched the pillow front and back together (the back is another piece of the red tablecloth, unadorned), I stitched through the middle of each outer diamond, which gave the edges a sort of rick-rack pattern. Finally, I stuffed the pillow and hand-stitched the opening. I may never make another one, but it sure makes me smile! ♥
In late summer I started on my Christmas mini-pillow ornaments, and I finally decided to stop . . . for this year! (They’re addictive!) All they take are little bits of fabric and ribbon, plus buttons, bells, lace, and embroidery . . . oh, and your imagination! P.S. Please check out these links for some more ornaments to try! ♥
After the big Thanksgiving dinner at our house, the kids and grown-ups visit, snack, watch football, snack, nap, snack, and . . . make things! (Check out these Play-Doh sculptures from Thanksgivings past! ) This year I’ll still have the usual supplies, but I thought it would also be fun to have a project that the kids can take home and/or guests can make to donate to a local nonprofit for Christmas gifts for children in need. The minute I decided on no-sew fleece pillows, I got an email from Hancock Fabrics with all their fleece for half price PLUS free shipping, so I knew it had to be! To keep it simple, I went ahead and did all the cutting, rolled and tied each matching pillow top and bottom together, and put the right amount of stuffing in individual bags so everyone can just choose a fabric, grab a bag, and find a comfy spot to craft and chat. I’ll try to post a photo of all the kids with the pillows we make after the holiday! ♥
P.S. Since the instructions call for cutting out the corners from each piece, I now I have about a bazillion colorful 4 x 4 inch fleece squares to use for other projects. Any ideas???
P.P.S. Click here for a kids’ Thanksgiving story and lots of wonderful last-minute holiday recipes and crafts from Collectively Creative. Blessings to all!
Awhile back I wrote a post about my blogging friend Laura of As Time Goes . . . Buy and how she inspired me to do the Good Neighbor Award project and refashion for my one year blog anniversary. Laura has been traveling, and I’ve been sewing, but she’s home, and I’m finished . . . so today is the reveal! Laura, your coat is now on my “What Can You Make With A . . .” page, and your package is in the mail! I was able to make:
- A pillow . . . of course!
- A fabric flower with beads from a vintage earring in the center
- A coffee cup cozy
- A tissue cozy (Thank you, Little Bit Funky!)
- Two jacket-sleeve notecard pouches
- A Chanel pouch makeover
- An embroidery-hoop wall hanging with Laura’s blog name
- A framed fabric-under-glass for writing notes, menus, or welcome messages for guests
- A garment dust jacket for one of Laura’s lovely outfits (Thank you, Schlosser Designs!)
- A tote bag with a jacket pocket on each side and a braided leather belt handle
- And, last but not least, all the leftover bits made into mini-bunting! ♥
Here are the tags for this year’s donations to the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at my church. It’s such a worthy cause . . . all the money goes to a local daycare center for families in need. Click here to see how to make the Christmas wreath pillow and here to see the Americana pillows. P.S. Below are my gift baskets from markets past, each based on . . . you guessed it . . . a pillow! ♥
Welcome to the Pillows A-La-Mode contribution to Collectively Creative! For my project, I made two pillows (what a surprise, right? ) for some Halloween-lovin’ sweeties I know. ♥
(1) The large pillow has a jack-o-lantern print on the “Trick . . .” side (a gift from a friend!) and *sparkly* cupcake and candy print from Jo-Ann on the “or treat!” side. The letters are orange felt handstitched with black embroidery floss.
(2) The small pillow has the cupcake/candy print on the front and “BOO” fabric (also a gift from a friend) on the back. For a-la-mode, I marked the center of the front and back (after stitching and stuffing), double-threaded a L-O-N-G needle with orange floss, stacked three buttons, went down through the left buttonholes to the back and up through the right buttonholes, pulled the floss tight to create a valley, and tied. (Click on photo for a larger view).
Oh, and before I go on . . . you MUST click here and here for two more fab Halloween pillows from Punky Purls and here for a fun burlap version from House of 34. I love them all!
NOW . . . DRUM ROLL . . . here are EIGHT . . . yes EIGHT!!! . . . more Collectively Creative posts with amazing Halloween tricks n’ treats for you to try. Please take a moment to visit each one . . . you’ll be glad you did! ♥
Here are the pillows I’m ready to pack up for the silent auction at the PumpkinFest at my church. All the proceeds will go to the youth groups’ summer mission trips, so I hope lots of pillow lovers come! ♥
A common recent lunch-with-friends topic is how to know when it’s time to make a change—any kind of change. Most of us comment that we’re extra content with our lives right now, but we remember some of the big, sometimes scary changes we’ve made in the past and know that we may have to make new ones someday, too. Although a big part of the conversation is about prayer, we also marvel at the way inspiring quotes or words from songs and poems—whether funny or serious—often come our way just when we need them. I love this “chic chick” question (it’s on a pillow!), and another friend shared a “chapter” quote she keeps on her bulletin board. Here they are . . . just in case this is a bit of the inspiration YOU need today. ♥
For my one year blog anniversary, I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world whom you would like to have as next-door neighbors . . . and to tell why. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came in from all around the world! The blogger with the MOST nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some fun treasures (a-la “What can you make with a flannel shirt?,” “What can you make with a lace tank?,” and “What can you make with a polo shirt?“) and return. The winner was Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! Kelly said, “After the shock wore off I ran to my closet to decide what I was going to send. I chose a little sundress that has a lot of happy memories attached to it, but now that I’m a mama seems a little, well…SHORT. I know that I will never wear it again, so I am very excited to send it off!” So . . .today is the big reveal! In addition, this project will have a permanent home on the “What Can You Make With A . . .” page on my header.
- I couldn’t resist using the bottom of the sundress with its lacy underskirt for another dress . . . this time for Kelly’s adorable daughter Annabelle! A bright pink T-shirt from Target made the perfect top. (Click here and here for more little girl’s T-shirt dress ideas.)
- The zippered back of the sundress was perfect for the back of a pillow cover, and I added the pretty label and butterfly that I snipped from the inside neckline. The pillow front is a combination of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, a vintage hanky, pale pink lace, and lime-green embroidery.
- The bodice of the sundress is now a jewelry pouch! The ribbons form the casings, and the dress straps are the strings. The lining of the pouch is made from the dress lining for a soft, shiny finish.
- With seven circles of fabric, three stacked buttons, and a bit more of the lace from the bottom of the sundress, I made a fabric flower to pin onto a jacket, hat, or headband.
- A small rectangle of dress fabric and T-shirt fabric along with a bit of green dotted fabric and some buttons and ribbon were just the right ingredients for a Christmas mini-pillow ornament.
- While pondering Kelly’s blog name, I thought of embroidering three C’s onto a bit of fabric and framing it. Suddenly I thought, “Hmm . . . if the Scrabble letter C is worth 3 points, I could use that instead.” I ran to look it up, and . . . it is! I KNOW Kelly didn’t choose “Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons” based on this fact . . . but I was excited! After several experiments, I ended up with a collage of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, lace, scrapbook paper, and a paper Scrabble tile in a hot pink frame. (The back of the frame is also magnetized for a frig or file cabinet.)
- Finally, I was down to a small pile of random scraps. Not ready to give up quite yet, I decoupaged them onto a plastic bangle bracelet.
Done! Kelly . . . your package is in the mail! ♥
Thank you to all my blogging friends for the lovely mantle inspiration the past few weeks! Besides the bunting from my last post, I especially loved the concept of using books with seasonally-colored covers (Daisey Jayne) and mini pumpkins on candlesticks (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons). I also added some dried polished gourds, a painted wood “Count Your Blessings” knick-knack I found at a craft show, and my Scrabble tile pillows to emphasize the idea of snuggling in at home as the weather cools. Now. . . bring on the autumn houseguests! ♥
I LOVE this fabric from Jo-Ann! I used some strips for my fabric-tie fall wreath, a small piece for a mat for my upcycled fan cover tray, and a big piece for this autumn pillow. For a-la-mode, I marked the center of the front and back (after stitching and stuffing), double-threaded a L-O-N-G needle with orange floss, stacked three buttons, went down through the left buttonholes to the back and up through the right buttonholes, pulled the floss tight to create a valley, and tied. I love using this technique on pillows to add an extra bit of visual interest and texture! (Click photo for larger view.) The finished pillow is 18 x 18 inches and will go to the silent auction at the Pumpkinfest at my church later this month. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy seeing it on the wooden rocker in my living room. ♥
When I saw these black cat pillows on the Women’s Day website, I knew someone in my family who would LOVE them! I already had black fabric in my stash, as well as buttons and white embroidery floss. They’re quick and easy and cute, too! Have fun! ♥
It’s not QUITE September 22, but I couldn’t wait! First of all, THANK YOU for the amazing outpouring of emails following my previous post! The bloggers listed below were nominated as friends their faithful readers would like to have as next-door neighbors in real life. Can you think of a nicer compliment??? Here are the comments that came with the nominations, in no particular order:
- She would be the perfect neighbor because she is so generous. In addition to taking wonderful care of her family, she is there for her real-world and blogger-world friends. The recipes she shares are so helpful. I especially enjoyed the post about her housewarming basket with the reasons given for why to include each gift.
- She gardens to provide food for her family. She overgrows some foods and gladly gives her surplus away.
- She inspires me to work on my goal of downsizing and to be happy with what I have.
- I think her blog is lovely and cool . . . and we’re both mothers to sweet little redheads.
- I love the voice she writes in. It’s smart and funny with just a touch of self-deprecation. I think she’d be fun to sit down and chat with.
- We’re both organizing-loving-mamas. She has a lot of creative ideas and I think we would have fun cleaning out somebody’s closet together!
- I would like to look at her doily collection, paint with her, and I think we could laugh a lot together, too!
- She’s devoted to her family, health, and passions. I think she would be a great inspiration to me, and our kids could play together!
- I love her blog, her ideas are cute, her themes are interesting and her writing style is great. As a fellow organizer, I think she and I would have a lot in common.
- My home looks so much prettier because of the things I read in her blog. Imagine how it would look if she lived next door!
- I would pick her as a neighbor because I know we could have some really good discussions about life and what it really means to live and be happy. She is upbeat, looks for the best in herself and others, and just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I wait for her blog every day. It brings a smile to my face without fail.
- She can do it all! Maybe if she lived next door, she would rub off on me!
- She shares her life with us on a regular basis. She is a loving mother and talented cook who takes pride in gardening and making it last until next growing season. I have learned a lot about canning and comfort food from her!
- She is very talented and loves to shop at Goodwill, like me, and turn her finds into treasures. I enjoy her posts about projects as well as redoing rooms in her house.
- I want to craft with her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- I’m hooked on reading all her yummy recipes!
- I’ve learned how to refashion . . . or at least try to! If she lived next door, I could get good advice on my projects every day. And I love her photos!
- She has taught me that age doesn’t matter, location doesn’t matter . . . what matters is that we’re all women and in it together.
- She’s a long, long way from home, but she’s making a home where she is.
- Her home! Her clothes! Her recipes! Her humor!
- She weaves her faith in God into her everyday life. That inspires me!
- She is SO gracious and SO talented . . . and her craft room is to die for!
- I’d learn how to dress like a million dollars on my small budget if she lived next door.
- How could anyone not want a neighbor with such a quirky sense of humor!
- She can do everything! Inside and out! And she’s fun and funny. I’d love to be able to run next door and see what she’s up to.
- She has a fine-tuned sense of taste. I posted a project I had worked on and how I struggled with it, and she shared a post that she had written about creating the same project. She shares her faith in her blog, which I admire, and how it keeps her going even when her health makes it hard to blog.
- I know I’m going to laugh . . . AND be inspired . . . when I see one of her posts in the WordPress reader.
- She is a true blue humanitarian. I want to be like her.
- Her recipes . . . crafts . . . kids’ party ideas . . . need I say more???
- Her blog helps promote her business . . . but in a very non-in-your-face kind of way. Readers feel welcome to try her ideas whether they’re customers or not.
- This blogger makes me feel like I really can make my dream of becoming a published author come true.
- Have you seen the awesome style this designer has? Her place is gorgeous! I want her to live next door so that we can decorate together, go hunting for bargains and great finds together, and so our fur-babies can be best friends!
- She was one of my very first visitors and has remained a frequent visitor and commenter. That’s special! Add to that the wonderful creativity and humanity she embodies, as well as humor and humility . . . I could learn a lot from such an inspiring woman.
- She makes such beautiful crafts! And she encourages me in my projects, too.
- I could run next door and get recipes, good advice, and encouragement any time I needed it if this lovely blogger lived next door.
- She cracks me up!!! And I get so many ideas for fun activities to do with my kids. Who needs Pinterest with this blogger around?
- She is always there to encourage me by her comments on my blog . . . she lives 3,000 miles away and I feel like we have been neighbors for a long time. I would love to have coffee with her and chat!
Please pick up your button above to display on your blog (if you wish) or pass along (if you wish). Nothing else is required . . . I just want you to know that you’ve made a big impression on someone (or many someones!) and that we’re all grateful you’re taking time out of your busy days to share your life with us. And I hope all readers will check out any blogs that you’re not already following . . . you just might make a new friend!
And before I forget . . . the blog with the MOST nominations was Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! Click here to read about your prize, Kelly, and if you choose to accept it, please email me and I’ll send you my mailing address to get the ball rolling. CONGRATULATIONS!
The GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARDS (in alphabetical order) go to . . .
Since I finished my fall wreath, my new “kitchen project”–as in leaving the materials out on the kitchen island to work on in spare moments–is to make enough mini-pillow ornaments to decorate a small Christmas tree. I started on these last fall but only ended up finishing five. First, I cut all my Christmas remnants into 4-inch squares to mix and match for fronts and backs. I always add a bit of embroidery a-la-mode to the front, along with buttons or jingle bells here and there. Then I stitch and stuff just as I would a regular pillow but add a ribbon for hanging before sewing. I love how festive they look, and they make a great road-trip project, too. I’ll post my decorated tree when they’re all done! ♥
We’re off to meet the newest member of our family . . . precious baby Katy! Here’s a project from the September issue of Woman’s Day that I hope to try when I come back home. Click here for directions and here for free templates. Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend! ♥
The bit of fabric left over from my latest memo board is now a pillow (surprise! surprise!). I also had a little bag of heart buttons in coordinating colors in my stash, so I stitched them over some of the polka-dots on the front for a-la-mode. I think it will be a nice gift for a little girl whose favorite color keeps changing! ♥
This is my third “What Can You Make With A . . .?” blog post, so maybe I’ve inadvertently started a new series! The first remake was a flannel shirt and the second was a lace tank. This time, my sweet husband Dave donated an old polo shirt that he no longer loves, and as usual, I went a little crazy with it! I’ve already blogged about the scrabble tile pillows, which required four 8-inch squares from the front and back. Here’s what I did with the rest of the shirt:
(1) The sleeves are now fabric bins for my embroidery floss. After cutting them off the shirt, I simply evened up the sides and bottom, stitched, and made triangle corners at the bottom so they will stand up. (If you’re not sure how to do these corners, you can read about them on this tote or bracelet purse tutorial.) I previously had my floss in a large, pretty bowl, but I’ve been wanting to use the bowl elsewhere so this worked out perfectly!
(2) The ribbed collar and top-stitched hem are now a scissors pocket necklace to wear when I’m sewing or crafting, since I move from the sewing room to the dining table to the kitchen island and my scissors are always in the wrong place. (Does anyone else do that???) First, I cut the collar into thirds and used the parts with the finished ends for the bag and the other part for a flower. Then I used red buttons for the flower center and to attach the shirt-hem strap on both sides of the stitched-and-turned bag. I love it!
(3) Two random remnants are now a coffee cup cozy to take when I meet my friends for coffee or lunch. I used the cafe’s cardboard version as a pattern, cutting the fabric big enough to allow for seams, padded it with some soft quilt batting, and sewed in a red hairband at one end. After turning and pressing, I top-stitched in red and added a vintage red button. I can’t wait to try it out!
(4) One more random remnant became this pyramid bag I’ve been wanting to try from Craftser. The tutorial says it takes fifteen minutes. It does, and it’s super-cute, too!
Someday I’ll embroider over the frayed spots on the placket and pocket and reuse them along with the other small scraps I have left. When I do, I’ll be sure to share. ♥
When I saw some scrabble tile pillows in a photo on Get In My Home, I knew I just had to try making some! Here’s how:
(1) Find some khaki colored fabric. (Lucky me, my husband had just handed me an old polo shirt in just this color that he no longer wanted!) Cut out two squares for each letter of the word you want to make. I started with 8-inch squares because I just wanted to make some small pillows to put on a shelf, but you could go much larger or smaller.
(2) Go to Fuzzimo, scroll down to where it says “Download Wooden Scrabble Letter Tiles Image,” and download the photo.
(3) Go to PicMonkey and use their tools to crop and enlarge the desired tiles.
(4) Print the tiles, cut out the letters and numbers, and tape them onto a piece of black felt.
(5) Cut out the letters and numbers, pin them on the pillow fronts, and glue or sew them into place. (I machine-sewed mine using the zig-zag stitch.)
(6) Sew each pillow front to a pillow back, right sides together, leaving an opening at the bottom for stuffing.
(7) Trim the seams, turn, and stuff, then pin and handstitch the opening. ♥
One of my recent road trip embroidery projects is now paired with a fun music print to make a pillow! The credit for this idea goes to Darilyn at TheHighNoteDotNet who graciously shared this lovely quote by author Bertold Auerbach. And, if embroidery isn’t your medium of choice, she will email you an iron-on transfer to use on a pillow, T-shirt, or other fabric craft . . . how sweet is that!!! P.S. The red one is from my flower pillow collection, and here’s a link to another music pillow from my very first month of blogging! ♥
Here are my latest pillowcases, embroidered with a simple graphic and floral design. I do love to embroider . . . it’s relaxing, portable, and the perfect way to add a bit of a-la-mode to sewing and crafting projects. I learned my first stitches from my grandma when I was ten years old . . . I hope I get to pass them on to my granddaughters someday! ♥
My pile of giftable pillows was getting quite tall, so I was really happy to discover an opportunity to donate a dozen or so to a fundraiser craft show that’s coming up in August! I hope their new owners love them as much I as I loved making them! Then, silly me, I spotted a remnant in my stash that I knew would look pretty with our loveseat and the plant beside it and just had to take a few minutes to stitch up a new one. No a-la-mode needed this time . . . but it provides a nice splash of scenery and is cushy enough for a nap. And about that tomato . . . well, it’s the first (and maybe only!) one this summer. It’s tiny but mighty, having overcome a hail storm, high winds, and the ongoing Kansas drought to appear and redden on our plants. You’ve got to admire that kind of persistence! P.S. I’ll bet it makes the best mini-BLT ever! ♥
Here are the nursery pillows we made with fabric from an IKEA veggie print receiving blanket, coordinating fabrics from Jo-Ann, and some fun a-la-mode! ♥
When I made the tablecloth + napkin curtains for the bedroom, they replaced two valences which are now pillows! To make the necktie flower a-la-mode:
- Cut off the fat part of the tie.
- Unstitch the rest of the tie and remove any interfacing and lining.
- Fold and press the tie in half (the long way!) and baste the open sides together, pulling gently to gather it as you go.
- Curl the gathered tie around until it forms a flower shape and tack it together underneath.
- Stitch a pretty button or earring to the center, then stitch the flower where you want it and finish making your pillow.
I’d like to thank . . . in training for the inspiration and for suggesting that I try using neckties for flowers! ♥
A few years ago I found this beautiful lined stretch-lace tank for $5 on a sale rack at JJill! But . . . it turned out that the color made my already-pale skin looked even more washed out . . . and it got several snags from a clothes-eating teacher’s desk . . . so I decided to get out my trusty scissors to rescue it from its lonely existence at the back of the closet. Here’s what I made:
- A headband
- A flower pin and hair bow (each with a vintage earring in the center)
- A mini origami lotus bag (paired with a bit of coral velvet from a robe my mom-in-law made and some thin gold cord)
- A bracelet purse (paired with a cotton remnant in the same color family for lining)
- A luggage tag (lace back paired with the same remnant and some burlap ribbon)
- A contrast-corner pillow (lace back paired with the same remnant and the lace from the tank’s neckline across the corners)
Loved it . . . hated it . . . now love it again! ♥
This was a perfectly nice flannel shirt . . . soft fabric, pretty colors. But it didn’t fit quite right, and I didn’t like the roll-tab sleeves, and even with the ribbon belt that came with it I felt more lumberjack than feminine when I wore it. So, rather than sticking it in the back of my closet, I took my scissors to it!
Vest: Remove the collar, button and buttonhole plackets, pockets, and sleeves. Roll under the raw edges (using lace seam binding for the armholes to help with the curve) and topstitch. Sew pretty buttons into the buttonholes on the pocket flaps. Cut the ribbon belt in half and stitch the pieces to the top fronts of the vest for a tie . . . great with a white T-shirt and button necklace!
Placket Pillow: Stitch the button placket to one piece of coordinating fabric and the buttonhole placket to another. Button the two pieces together to form the pillow front. Cut a piece from one of the shirt sleeves for the back. Sew right sides together, turn, and stuff.
Pocket Pillow: Sew the tabs from the sleeves to a piece of coordinating fabric, then stitch the pockets under them so that the buttonholes on the tabs fasten to the buttons on the pockets. Fold right sides together, sew, turn, and stuff.
Fabric Flower: Cut out seven circles from the sleeves and form them into a flower. Add a pretty button in the middle and a pin on the back.
Fabric Gift Bag: Gather the bottom of the collar and wrap it into a flower shape. Add buttons in the middle for a-la-mode. Then stitch up a simple bag with a handle from the shirt sleeve fabric and sew the flower on the front.
Mini Origami Lotus Bag: Add a square of coordinating fabric to a square of sleeve fabric plus a complementary color of craft string for pull cords . . . just like the larger version, but a perfect size for a tiny gift or piece of jewelry. ♥
Here are the rest of the pillows I made from my Americana-stamped fabric. What a lovely gift that was!
Since the cloth is loosely woven, I backed the words with a light iron-on interfacing before zig-zagging them to the pillow fabric. Other than that, I simply cut, stitched, and stuffed for a nice pop of red, white, and blue for the holiday.
Have a safe, fun, and happy 4th of July! ♥
Several years ago a family member gave me a piece of linen-like fabric with all kinds of Americana printed on it—-stars, stripes, apples, “God Bless America,” “Home Sweet Home,” and that sort of thing. I’d never decided what to do with it until now . . . use different bits to make different pillows! Here’s the first one! And I also want to thank Oh Sew Rosy who gifted me with a Cushion Cover PDF Pattern that includes a tutorial on how to insert a zipper as she did with these lovely pillows. Easy and fun! ♥
I was in the mood for some new curtains for two skinny bedroom windows, and I had some fabric that would work perfectly . . . a tablecloth and napkins!
- Cut the tablecloth in half to make two curtains.
- Cut a strip off the bottom of each piece.
- Cut two of the napkins into fourths and sew the strips together to make long, narrow borders.
- Sew the napkin borders to the tablecloth fabrics.
- Hem all the unfinished edges.
- Turn the tops under and stitch to make casings for the curtain rods.
- Hem all the way around the two extra strips and use them for tie-backs.
- Make a matching pillow with the other two napkins.
I love the new look! ♥
This is a fun week! I just posted about the great vintage apron I received from Moosewood Vintage, and now I am the lucky recipient of ANOTHER blogging give-away . . . this gorgeous Persian Plum quilt block kit from Books Quilts and Sewing! And, Michael (the quilter) added a $5 gift card to Michaels (the store) to the package . . . what a lovely surprise! Truthfully, I’d never pieced a quilt block before, but I knew it would be perfect for a pillow so I eagerly dove in. It was sort of like putting a puzzle together . . . and I soon learned that when the directions say to press, DO IT! Here’s my beautiful new pillow, featured in a back porch photo shoot. Oh, and Michael has ANOTHER give-away going on right now . . . you have until July 7 to enter. Click here for information, and plan to stay a bit to browse his blog. Thanks, Michael!
I got these sweet stars and hearts wooden buttons for my birthday and was waiting for just the right project for them. When I found this remnant at JoAnn with stars the same size and color as my buttons, I knew just what to do. Here is my finished 18 x 18 inch pillow, all ready for the 4th of July! ♥
After using the skinny ends of some ties for necktie onesies and the fat ends for necktie wristlets, I still had the middle parts left . . . so what better way to use them than pillow ruffles! ♥
I’ve missed making pillows, so after church and lunch out with Dave on Sunday I spent a happy afternoon at my sewing machine. And, since my creative blogging friends suggested using some of my road trip flowers as pillow adornment, I did just that . . . adding in one sweater flower as well. All of the fabrics are remnants or upcycled curtains, and all of the pillows are 14 x 14 inches. I can’t wait to start giving them to my family and friends! ♥
Here’s another girly tooth fairy pillow I made! They’re easy and fun, and the sky is the limit on size, shape, fabric, and a-la-mode.
Click here for a tooth fairy pillow made from a pink hoodie and here for a monster tooth fairy pillow. ♥
This was a quick and easy T-shirt-to-pillow upcycle, but it was extra fun because the person who gave up the T-shirt (my mother-in-law!) thought that one of her favorite items of clothing was heading for the rag bag due to some spots and tears (luckily not on the parts I wanted to use!) and was SO surprised (and happy!) to see it return in its new form. This pretty design, a combination of applique and embroidery, appeared on the front of the T-shirt. A smaller version appeared on one sleeve, which I cut off and stitched to the corner. Oh, and at the last minute I decided to a-la-mode it a bit with some different sizes and shapes of pastel buttons in the centers of the flowers. Now Vida has a little garden blooming on her sofa! ♥
As you can tell by the name, this blog started out featuring pillows . . . I’ve wandered a bit, haven’t I? But I still love to make pillows, so I made one this weekend with a small remnant I found in my stash. I added ruffle a-la-mode by cutting strips, stitching the ends together, turning under and stitching the sides so they won’t ravel, “scrunching” the strip as I sewed down the middle, and then stitching it down the middle again as I attached it to the pillow front. Finally, I added a vintage coat button, sewed the front and back together, and stuffed. The finished pillow is 10 x 20 inches. ♥
A good way to preserve a favorite item of clothing from a child’s preschool years is to upcycle it into a pillow. For example, with just a bit of embroidery, snipping, stuffing, and stitching, this hoodie turned into something new to cuddle and treasure. ♥
While organizing my remnants, I found just enough left from a favorite old blue sweater to make one last pillow. It’s long and skinny (8 x 22 inches) and super-soft. I’ll definitely keep this one since the sweater belonged to someone special! ♥
As you know, I love to upcycle old clothing, which is why this “sweater with issues” is now a cushy 10 x 15 inch pillow. Although the built-in smocking added a nice bit of texture, I decided to up the a-la-mode by making a flower out of the same fabric. With the gold floss and button in the center, it even harmonizes with my sunflower paintings . . . a surprise bonus! ♥
Since my all-time favorite remnants were getting pretty slim after making the unsuccessful and then successful pink bracelet purses, I decided to finish them off by making one last “What’s not to love about pink and brown?” pillow. I added a hot pink fabric flower from my notions stash for a little a-la-mode, and the finished pillow is 9 x 22 inches.
No, I’m not depressed! I’m just using the words of my favorite slow-dancing song from eighth grade to describe my latest project . . . actually, my first “commission” for a group of decorative pillows to set atop a young family’s new subtly-striped blue bedspread. We decided that the pillows should all be soft enough to plop down on for an impromptu nap or lean against to read books with the children, so I didn’t add any button a-la-mode. We also decided to go green with our blue by only using remnants and upcycled clothing (like a pair of old flannel PJ pants and an old sweater) and curtains (like a tie-dyed valance that no one seems to remember owning!) for the fabrics. Oh, and the man of the house also requested that I go easy on the flower prints.♥ Here are the finished pillows posed on my guest bed for a photo shoot before heading to their new home.