Friday, 6 March 2015

A new pillow and a little tutorial for zippered closure

I made this pillow cover as gift for a friend.

He has two hobbies: photography and sport.

I made a few designs and after a long pondering I decided  that this one is the winner. 

I tried to make the pillow closer using the fastest method I knew. But necessarily with  zipper.

I liked how the things went, so I wrote this 

Short illustrated tutorial  for zippered pillow closure

Place a fabric strip (wider with at least 2" than the zipper) onto the pillow back, right sides together. Pin them into position.
Decide the length of the pillow opening and draw a rectangle as long and 0.5" width. Draw also a central line like in photo above.

Stitch only along the rectangle line and cut along the entire length of the central line through both layer of fabrics. Also cut along the V-shapes. Avoid cutting into stitching of the outer rectangle.

Pull the strip fabric through the rectangular hole to the wrong side of the pillow back.

 Press the strip flat and stitch the zip.

 If you used a longer zipper, cut the excess( see the blue dotted line).


To prevent unrevaling you might add a simple zig-zag stitch on the strip edges before use it.

All is well when ends well, right?

Have a beautiful day, my dears!

Monday, 2 March 2015

A graceful little bag for a graceful season

 Searching one word describing the season we welcome these days, the first one that came in my mind was "graceful".
Therefore I chose this fabric for the bag opening the warm season of this year.

I am working at this bag pattern and I need to make a few more little bags in order to organize its steps.
It measures about 8" x 8" and it can be done pretty fast.

This one belongs already to one of my friends.
I'm trying now to match some fabrics for the next ones.

See you soon!

Have a beautiful Spring, my dears!

Friday, 27 February 2015

New Kid in town

Here is the guy from my previous post.

Another collaboration with Romanian artist Lenus Dragulelei
He says: 
Good bye Winter! Welcome Spring! 

A cheerful pillow perfect for lifting the spirit, isn't it? 


Have a beautiful Spring, my dears!

Monday, 23 February 2015

New Kid in town - work in progress

I am busy. Very busy. Making all kind of textile things for a lot of anniversaries. And the most of them - for men. Tough job, isn't it?

But I managed to sneak someone among them. Someone who will not be a present. At least for now.

Slowly but surely he comes to life.

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

In between

After finishing a project I can't start the next one without reorganizing things around me. And above all in my head. Almost always between two projects one of my favorite method to clear my mind is a short session of quilting. Trying new shapes, new patterns. Looking to match different colors of threads with different colors and patterns of fabrics.

This time my quilting pause has one more finality: I brought together a few scraps of good and cheap fabrics I had on hand and I made two different tops for two 16" x 16" pillow covers for our bed.

I like quilting but I'm not good at it. I don't have patience to stitch over and over again the same design  following strictly the same paths. Above all I can't stitch perfect rounded or geometrical shapes. I'm not the kind of person looking and loving to do this.

I'm attracted by the free hand quilting designs. Even when I stitch repeated circles or spirals, I'm not looking to get the same shape or size. Nor perfectly straight lines, or equal distances between them...

All I want is that my quilting design to compliment the background.
And this is not easy. Not easy at all.

But I keep trying to think the final object I make, even if it is a humble simple one, as a whole composition, regarding both his aspect and usefulness and to treat quilting as one of its elements not an end in itself. And when I don't forget to think like this I find easier the answer at the well known question " How I will quilt this?"

So, let's practice some quilting!

Have a beautiful day, my dears!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Love Thoughts - Valentine Embroidered Patchwork Pillow - Free Pattern

It's the end of January and I have spent about half of it pondering, drawing and sewing for this Valentine themed project. It came out one Heart Quilt Block and two Embroidery Designs: one for Her and one for Him.

 Trying to suggest rather than explicitly show, I decorated "his" heart with straight lines and "her" heart with curved lines. My favorite source of inspiration - as always, Romanian needlepoint stitches.

An important mention: it is a quick project. It takes just a few hours to sew it, including the embroidered heart.
I equally thought about embroiderers and quilters: I made the two designs applicable both for embroideries and quilting designs. As you will see bellow, they are forgiving designs.They don't require perfection.

If you want to add a fresh look to your 2015 Valentine gifts, give it a try!

Please respect my work - Note that this pattern and designs are for individual use only. Not for resale. If you show them on your blog, site, Pinterest, Flickr..., don't forget to add the link back here, on my blog.

Love Thoughts - Embroidered Patchwork Pillow - Free Pattern

Finished size: 14" x 14"
All seam allowances are ¼".
Press the seam allowances toward the dark fabric unless otherwise stated.
Read through all instructions before you begin. 

Materials requirements

For the pillow front:
-Fabric A (mine is gingham): ¼ yard
-Fabric B (mine is solid): 1/4 yard
-Batting: 15" x 15"
-Cutaway or Tear-away stabilizer : 9" x 9" (for embroidery)

For the pillow back:
-Fabric for 14 1/2" square, buttons or zipper, according to your preferences.

Cutting Instructions
 Fabric A

Cut one piece of each:

 Fabric B
Cut one piece of each:

Sewing Instructions

Use illustrations bellow as a layout guide:

8) Add the border

9) Print the embroidery design

For each of the two designs follow the same steps:
Right click on the image. Select "Save as..." and save it on your computer. Print it in the original size. Measure the 1" square to verify if the scale is correct. The drawing fits in a single page. It doesn't matter if the print is a bit smaller or bigger as long the heart outline fits to the background heart pieced block.

"His" Embroidery design
"Hers" Embroidery design

10) Transfer the design onto the pillow front using a water soluble pen.

11) Add the embroidery  - optional step!
To prepare to embroider spray  a piece of stabilizer with temporary adhesive on the wrong side of the pillow front and smooth the fabric on top. You don't need a hoop.

For "His"design I used the applique foot that gave me a large field of visibility.
I chose two standard stitches of the sewing machine: satin stitch for the outline and straight stitch for the inside design.

For "Hers" design I used the applique foot for the outline and the free motion foot for the inside design.

Once the design is finished trim away the excess stabilizer on the back.

12) Quilting the pillow front

If you stitched the embroidery - Center the pillow front with its wrong side on the piece of batting. You don't need backing. Quilt the rest of the pillow front as desire.

If you did not embroidered  - stitch through both layers quilting first the traced heart pattern. Quilt the rest of the pillow front as desire.

Wash the pillow front to get rid of pen traces.
While it dries prepare the pillow back.
Join the front and the back together.

Enjoy my pattern and designs!
I would be very happy to see they are useful.

Short note for my newsletter subscribers
As I promised at the beginning of 2015, I will send you a monthly illustrated calendar to use it by printing or save it on your computer.
In the next newsletter (which you will receive in a few hours) I will send you the February free calendar. I hope it will bring a bit of joy in these grey winter days!  

Have a beautiful day, my dears!

I am linking to Finish it up Friday!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Small and Large

I have a small sewing machine and I work in a small sewing space. My actual sewing table was my son's desk. He don't need it anymore but I do.
My sewing machine works only with small spools of thread.
Some time ago I bought a cone of a thick thread because I liked it but when it came time to use it, I couldn't. Where and how to place it?
Of course, I asked Google a little help and I picked some ideas to make a thread stand.
But any of them would have required time to gather the parts. I needed the stand right there - even then!
So I placed the thread cone in a cup and I pulled the thread through the thread guide of the sewing machine. I started to sew. The thread was too tensed. Conclusion: I needed an extra hook.

 But when I wanted to go to look for a wire, I saw right before me the drawers handles. I pulled the thread first through the closest handle and then through the thread guide of the sewing machine. Surprise: it worked!

I'm so happy that it proved that my small space has advantages not just disadvantages.
Now I can use large thread spools at my small sewing machine on my small work space. 

Have a beautiful week, my dears!