Happy Thanksgiving to everyone whether you are in the U.S. or some place that doesn't really do the whole turkey thing. Enjoy your day, eat well, spend time with family, remember your many blessings. Do that and you've had Thanksgiving. A few pins to show you what I am thankful for.
If you are anything like me, you'll be so very tired of holidays in just a few days. But the problem is that once they are gone, we have to waitan entire year before they return. So we try to push ourselves to do it all and do it perfectly.
Do you ever feel that way? Like a child worrying that the holidays will come and go so quickly that you'll miss them? Do you ever get tired of the decorating, company, food, noise and everything else that comes with the holidays? I feel both--I love the holidays and want to enjoy every moment, and I get tired of everything happening at once. This is partly, I'm sure, because of my bipolar depression, but also because we seem to go from holiday to holiday without even a pause between.
I need that pause. In fact, I need to make a full stop. Period. An empty blank wall. I just can't roll with those people who start Christmas before Thanksgiving. I do not want to shop for gifts before we've finished eating the Halloween candy, or the Thanksgiving turkey, for that matter. I don't want to be so tired that I am cross or snappy with the people I love, so I make sure to get some quiet moments each day. I've also learned to let go of the perfectionism that made me miserable. Family is more important than a perfect table or piles of gifts that won't mean anything a few weeks after they are opened.
I recommend that you find a way to do the same. Schedule a few minutes to sit quietly and let your mind rest. Fight the need for perfection. Be kind to yourself so you can truly appreciate the ones you love. For now, let's have some holiday fun by giving thanks for all of the good in our lives.
One way to wind down is to wrap up in one of your quilts and take a nap. Or you can simply enjoy these...
Yesterday I promised to write a tutorial on how to create pillow corners so that the corners look square. They really aren't, but you'll see that in a moment. I'll assume that you've already sandwiched and quilted the front panel of your pillow cover and are ready to make the back and sew everything together. Cutting the back panels First determine the size you will need for the envelope backing. Let's say you are making a 14" square pillow cover. Your back will need to be 14" in length. To determine the width, take that number (14") and divide by two (now you have 7") then add four inches (for a total of 11"). Cut two pieces of fabric 11" X 14". Let's do another one just for fun using 18" for the square pillow. 18 / 2 = 9 add the 4" overlap 9 + 4 = 13 so your backing panels will be 13" X 18". Tip: You can use the same equation for any size pillow--just substitute the very first number (18 in this case). Tip: I find that adding four inches works well, but you can make adjustments if you want more or less overlap. Keep in mind that more overlap makes getting the pillow form into the cover difficult. Less overlap will distort your pillow. Hem the panels Fold and press one long side to form a small ¼ inch hem, then fold and press again so the raw edge is completely enclosed. Sew your hem and repeat on the other 11" X 14" panel. In this next picture you can see how the panels are hemmed (blue arrow) and then placed on the pillow top.
Layer the pieces (RST) You're ready to layer the pieces. Start with the quilted front of the pillow cover. Lay it down on your work surface, right side up. Place your back pieces so that the finished sides of seams are facing down and are in the center of the panel. In the picture above you can see how the sewn edges overlap each other in the center of the pillow cover. Mark the corners Before you sew, you'll need to mark the pieces so that you can cut off a bit of each corner. A better way to explain this is to show you the outcome.
Notice how the purple and gold pillow has "bat ears" sticking out? The other pillow looks square. That's because I trimmed the corners to give it the illusion that it's square.
The way to achieve this look is actually quite easy. Begin at one corner of the pillow and measure ½ inch from the corner. Using a fabric pen, make a small dot. Now draw a line from the dot to about ¼ of the way toward the center edge like in the drawing. Draw lines on all four corners. Look at the photo below (yes, it's the same as above). You can see the drawn lines on each corner. Notice that I didn't draw lines all the way around the pillow. That's because I will use my normal seam allowance and don't really need lines. (Or maybe because I'm lazy.)
Sew Sew all the way around the pillow cover, using the drawn lines as necessary in the corners. Just keep a ¼ inch allowance where you don't have lines. Easy peasy! Tip: If you are using your home sewing machine, you should zigzag close to the straight seam to prevent raveling. Trim Once the seam is complete, trim the seam allowance to¼ inch in the corners to make turning easier. Tip: Be careful that you don't cut the zigzag stitches.
Turn and Press All that's left is to turn the pillow cover right side out through the overlapped back. Be sure to push the corners out to get a nice, sharp point. A good steam pressing should do the trick to keep the seams nice and crisp. Extra Tips! When pressing the seams, try not to push down on the center of the pillow so the quilting will stay nice and puffy. This method also works for pincushions. Just be careful to adjust how much of the corner to trim down. Small corners mean less to cut off! I sometimes sew and cut the corners just a hair more than ½ inch. It will bring the corners down and make them more square. Be careful, though, too much will give the corners a rounded look. This purple and gold one is a good example of that.
Now it's your turn! Tell me about this tutorial. Is it detailed enough? Did you understand each part or is something about it confusing? Seriously, let me know if you would use it when making pillow covers. I've been thinking of writing a few more tutorials now that I have a little more time, so your feedback is important.
I spent most of this afternoon quilting up a couple of pillows for a customer who plans to give them as Christmas gifts. Fun quilting! I mean really fun! My customer requested that I quilt the two new pillows like I quilted the cream part of this tricolor one.
I put the original pillow near the long-arm so I could easily refer to it when I needed inspiration. Of course, I added some new motifs. One of them was a mistake. lol So I made the mistake a couple more times. Plus, I had a few ideas that I decided to try out. They worked out quite well, so I've taken lots of close-up photographs. It's an easy way to remember what I did this time. Since the pillows will be gone in a two or three days, I won't have them as reference points.
The overall idea was simple: fill up the space with small, repetitive motifs. I used leaves, circles, flowers, tear-drops, feathers, scrolls, tiny stippling, and some things that I don't even have a name for.
If I had any sense, I'd try to draw them out in a notebook, but I haven't exhibited any attempts or sense. Maybe after I get the last of my Christmas sewing done.
I plan to write a tutorial on how I sewed the pillows together. I especially want to explain how to get square, decorator corners, instead of pokey, pointy ones. Come back tomorrow or Sunday for that tutorial.
Happy Pin It Weekly. Have you begun your countdown to Thanksgiving? What about your countdown to Christmas? I've started preparing for Thanksgiving because the entire Marcotte clan will be here for lunch. Our boys and their wives and children. The in-laws and their other son. Perhaps even a nephew and his family.
In other words I'll be prepping and cooking for a couple of days. Oh, did I mention that my oven doesn't work? It doesn't. It doesn't turn on. Or heat up. Or cook. Or anything else, except store things. It might work as a place to hide Christmas gifts. Just kidding. We don't need the fire hazard. So I will cook creatively. Using two electric ovens that sit on the countertop. They are very much like the one in this photo. Mine can easily hold a turkey. I have no idea what the borrowed oven can do. I'll figure that out when it arrives. A former student MacKenzie has a sweet little board with ideas for a gallery wall. I really need to think about putting something on our walls. We painted two years ago and I have not hung even one item yet. My husband has a phobia of nail holes, I guess. He absolutely insists on these bare gray walls. It's time for an intervention.
So this is what a few of us have been pinning. I love the idea of incorporating different elements into a wall of portraits, but I am also insistent that those elements have meaning. Sure the items in places like Hobby Lobby or Kirklands are interesting and beautiful, but they are not a part of my family's story. And so rather than put something--anything--on the wall, I've put nothing.
It's beginning to bug me that I'm giving a different impression: that my family doesn't have a story. Wow! The idea is so far from real life that I've decided it's going to be our intervention theme. It might scare Richard enough to drive the nails (stick the Command hooks) himself.