Don't you just love when your computer decides to go on the fritz when you're right in the middle of a blog post? Yeah, me neither. After about 24 hours of my screen going fuzzy every time I try to turn it on/reboot it, I'm back in the game.
A bit frustrating, but lesson learned, now I'll be sure to try and get my posts written a bit ahead of time. I can hopefully also have a few spare posts tucked away for emergencies so that I can just hop online and post them in a pinch without having to type up everything on my phone or fiddle with pictures and links on an unfamiliar format.
Finally, it's time to reveal the long-awaited pillow! My sweetie loved his Valentine's day present and I was thrilled with mine in return, which means I get to show you all the pillow I've been hinting at for about a week!
|...and the back|
Now, for the process, and let me tell you, it was pretty significant considering what it could/should have been. First we make a pattern for our shape.
|I actually made this out of newspaper originally, but transferred it to white craft paper to be able to work with something a bit more stable.|
Next I cut out two pieces of plain white cotton from a pillowcase that I had. I decided to do an inner pillow and a decorative pillow case for various reasons, so this is just for the pillow itself.
Make sure that you stuff your pillow really well, as it will be very likely to become more deflated than you want after a while if you only put enough stuffing to get it "firm enough" when it's brand new.
This picture shows the cluster stuffing and about the amount I used (2/3-3/4 of a 16 oz. bag)
|Here's my pillow fully stuffed with the hole still open.|
The last thing to do is finish off the seam with the stitch of your choice. I used a simple, quick and dirty blanket stitch for mine because it's going to be on the inside, and I didn't want to fiddle with the tension of the stuffing while trying to work my first invisible seam hand stitching.
|Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.|
After that I used a tip that I found on a pillow case tutorial that suggests you make the pillow case just a bit smaller (an inch or less depending on the size of the pillow) to help keep it looking "fluffy" and firm. After my experiences here, I'd say that, if you've made your own inner pillow and stuffed it really well like I did, then don't do this. If, however, you're using a store bought pillow, this would be very helpful. Doing both is part of what caused some of my troubles later on.
|I trimmed off a quarter of an inch all the way around because my pillow wasn't huge, I didn't think I needed a whole inch.|
I decided to use more of the plain white cotton to make that back pieces, but didn't want just plain white, so I grabbed a permanent marker and started doodling. After a failed attempt at chevrons and diamonds, this is what I came up with.
|Simple, easy, and personal.|
My back is going to be envelope style, with two overlapping panels like on the back of a decorative sham in a bed comforter set.In the picture earlier of the completed back, you can see how this design was a bit flawed because my crosswords got lost and/or jumbled by the split.
For my front, I had a pile of blue and tan sweaters that I had bought with the intent of turning into a felted sweater quilt. Unfortunately no one told me that in order to felt a fabric, it has to be an animal fiber (wool, alpaca, etc.) or at least mostly one of these. All of the thrift store sweaters I had bought were mostly or completely cotton. Live and learn, then find a different project to use your color pallet on!
|My stack of materials, they're folded so you can't see that I had already cut off all seams, cuffs, and collars for the felting process.|
I had intended to do a more intentional design of these, but everything I sketched up wasn't doing it for me, and I didn't want to go to the extent of using a full out quilt design (stretchy fabric plus my first quilting attempt didn't sound like the greatest idea). Instead I grabbed two piece, sewed them together, added another piece of a different sweater at an odd angle and attached that, trimming the excess as I went. I guess it was sort of "freestyle quilting"and this was the result of my experiment.
|Not bad, I liked it well enough, but maybe next time simple stripes would work.|
I pinned down my pattern (minus the 1/4 inch I trimmed off) and cut my front piece. Then I cut out another piece of my white cotton at the same size to attach to the back in an attempt to discourage pulling and stretching when I put the front and back together.
|A plus sign of baste stitches helped segment the shape in case any gathering or pulling occurred, only rip out a quarter of the seams!|
I ended up with a few puckers and loose spots, so I simply added a few pleats to take up the extra fabric.
|The arrow points to my pins, to the left of the yellow line is the pleat.|
To finish it all off, I squeezed the pillow into the pillow case and found the back kept wanting to spread open a bit (remember the either or thing about firm stuffing and the smaller pillow case than pillow?) By now I was ready to be done, and it was coming down to the wire (Wednesday, the day of the exchange to be exact), so I took the easy way out by pinning it in place and adding three very small single stitches along the top back piece's edge to hold it in place.
|This is my needle underneath one of the stitches so that it would show up in the picture, white on white and all.|
To add a little icing to the cake, I drew myself the words "You Are Here" on one of the sections in fine point marker and stitched over it, because it's our first Valentine's Day together, so there isn't any such thing as too mushy ;-D
That's it! My first full on, beginning to end, sewing project. Somewhere a Home Ec. teacher is cringing and shaking their heads, but it was a fun learning experience and helped me a lot when it comes to breaking in my new machine!
Since I haven't posted for a few days, here a few other treats. I geeky bouquet of a dozen "Rose"s with a candy filled vase (on sale at Michael's in Jan for $3!!!) for my sweetie. I surprised him by having it delivered to him at work on Thursday (our gift exchange was the night before since that's when we both had off of work).
|"Rose Tyler" is a character on the TV show "Dr. Who", Dave and I are both huge fans, so this saved a bit of money while also being really personal, unique, and a almost an inside joke.|
Lastly, a picture of me and my date on the Thursday night, Suzie Q., a friend from the health club here in Grand Forks. We're the color coordinated ones, the other couple are Dusty and Caleb Miller, the club owners. We all went to a Valentine's dinner and show at the Masonic Lodge in town, what a blast!
|Fun fact, this jacket is part of tomorrow's post!|
Well everyone, I know it was a lot at once, but that's the last of it. I hope everyone had a fun, happy, and safe Valentine's. Now onto my jacket full time!!!
"Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life." - Leo Buscaglia