I grew up watching my mom quilt, who made it look easy. Her skills improved rapidly, as did the complexities of her completed projects. I have a left-hand brain. I am left handed and when looking at something spacial, I often have to turn around and literally look at it upside down to have it make sense. Sewing has been an extra challenge; sewing, like many, many other hobbies, is set up for the right handed world. The sewing machine, for example, would be much easier for me if it was turned the opposite direction. (It doesn’t work well that way; I’ve tried.) As are good sewing scissors. Thankfully, cutting mats and rotary cutters don’t discriminate.
So, I make a LOT of simple, silly mistakes in how I see something coming together, rather than how it does come together.
Any other lefties out there feel my pain?
I was thinking of this a lot yesterday when piecing together this scrappy pillow. That and how great it is to have You Tube sewing tutorials. When in a pinch these days, I immediately turn to the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s channel. It is very likely they have the answer to my question, and another simple inspiring idea for me to try.
The next project I’m trying is a scrappy pillow quilted out of triangles. Not flying geese, but smaller right angle triangles. But first, I’ve got to quilt this one and get it stuffed! Who doesn’t love/want a scrappy quilted pillow full of crazy color and love for their living room? Something both righties and lefties can agree on.
Let’s say you see a pillow in one of your favorite catalogs and you think, “Come on. I could make that. Right? I mean. I think I can make that. Well, let’s ride this train until it crashes and proves us otherwise.”
You have these sorts of conversations, right? Right.
Take a pillow from your favorite thrift store.
Cut that sucker open. Be surprised when it is filled not with an enclosed pillow, but filling. Press on.
Use that gross, former pillow case as a pattern. Dig through your bin of remnants and find a piece that will work. Cut to size.
Get out a ruler and stamps and some dark ink. Pick your message. And go!
And sew. Leave one end open so you can stuff that sucker again.
*Image totally swiped from Instagram. Lovely and NOT mine
Hey! Remember when I said I’d give a pencil pouch to a random commenter? Well, good news. If you commented, you get one. I’ll be reaching out for details this weekend.
Because one of the only little joys in life sweeter than new school supplies is great mail.
One of the best parts of going back to school? New school supplies. I often find myself wandering the school supply aisles even now, some ten years since leaving graduate school.
(I am the same kid who saved my babysitting money to hit the Sanrio store in southern California each summer on family vacation. I wanted Hello Kitty everything.)
As such — a few charmed zippered pencil pouches. How great is this pattern? It provided the perfect chance to use a few random earrings I’d saved, sadly having given up on finding the pair. Voila: a trio of sunny pencil pouches ready for the new school year.
Interested in having one? Leave a comment telling your favorite back-to-school story and I’ll pick one comment randomly to win a pouch. I may just send along some Hello Kitty stationery too.
*Comments now closed. Thank you, all!
Great flavor, but too runny. Salsa makers — what am I doing wrong?
I love vintage linens — especially pillow cases. The older cotton pillow cases were made of such a higher quality than the typical ones you’d find today. And, you can usually find a stack of these at any thrift store for less than $1.
Washed, with a small incision and addition of bias tape and voila — a garment bag to cover summer dresses during the winter, and coats during the summer. (Less dust, plus the pillow cases all lined up in the closet look rather pretty.)
This weekend allowed for time to sew both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I was in heaven. I rummaged through a giant box of fabric I’ve hauled around for several years to find a patchwork project I’d started in New Jersey, when my machine broke. Thankfully, there is a great repair shop in Chandler and my sewing machine is back in order. (By “great” repair shop, I mean they do good work. Their repair dude knows his way around a sewing machine and I have had machines repaired there a couple times over the years. Otherwise, this is the typical crabby old lady fabric and sewing shop that makes me want to scream. They aren’t kind. They aren’t even polite. The antitheses of, say, Fancy Tiger.)
Stepping off my Yelp soapbox for a moment: the weekend was the perfect time to finish up those patchwork purses:
Also, I bought some of this vegetable fabric at Ikea a while back. I also, coincidentally, gave their vegetable book to my favorite 4 year old for Christmas. I figured she may need a vegetable pillow case to go with that book, especially one trimmed with “peas:”
Love that munchkin. And, of course, the not-so-subtle promotion of public health messages, like, “eat your veggies!”
Sew on, friends,
Pattern found here. Dog: one of a kind.
My friend Tony is always busting my chops online for being a “crunchy granola hippie.” This is so far from the truth, it is laughable. Don’t get me wrong — I’d like my life was a bit crunchier. I wish I was less drawn to Tory Burch handbags and overpriced designer mascara. I also never met a $14 glass of Chilean chardonnay I didn’t like. I’m a fair combination of environmentalista-frugalista-material girlista. (What? It’s a thing.)
When my friend Amanda placed these bowls out at a recent garage sale, I didn’t think twice in scooping them up. Of course we don’t need more bowls, but they were handmade, and each has a signature on the bottom. Their colorful glazes would make a bowl of anything more delicious — or better yet, a great way to display jewelry on a bureau. I love folk art. Quilts, beaded jewelry, baskets, canned goods, woodworking and pottery — sign me up.
I’m excited to now be living so close to work. I’ll begin commuting via Olive ASAP. We’ll see how it goes; my friend JT has long bike commuted, logging 1000-plus miles a year doing so. I’ve admired his commitment and willingness to suck it up and cycle.
I have no lofty goals of doing it every day to be posted. I would like to ride when possible to both save gas and spend my morning commute doing anything other than sitting on the freeway. Some days will require heels and a fancy dress. Others I can get away with slacks and flats.
So, Tony — call me crunchy all you like. I am who I am, and this tanned skin, containing all my crazy interests and desires, is feeling more comfortable than ever.
I’m working through my current stash of fabric in an attempt to use what I have.
I’ll be moving again sometime in the next few months — as it goes with renting — and I do not need to pack and haul all of these craft supplies. Yarn, fabric and books — they seem to multiply at my house. Some are even paired with patterns or sticky notes for the project I thought would be perfect.
How quaint, five years later.
This is the first pattern I’ve sewn out of Fresh Fabric Treats, and I like it. I skipped the gathering on some pieces and am glad. It is my first table runner and I wanted to keep the lines simple.
Perhaps I’ll graduate to one of the quilts featured; they are gorgeous.
Come to find out, step 1 of any new quilting endeavor should be: buy a new rotary blade. Makes a world of difference when your tools are sharp. New needle in the machine. Iron steaming. Piles of fabric and ideas ready.
Now, to stay focused.