Flowers from scrap fabric

I hate to throw away fabric.  I donate most of my scrap pieces of fabric to the local elementary school art department.  But this week, when my Robert Allen representive pulled a fabric book from my library and told me it was discontinued, I couldn't part with it.  (I know, it really is a sicknesss!)

Anway, I decided to pull the book apart and use the pieces for fabric flowers appliques.  I found a flower template on the internet and used my copier to enlarge the template and shrink the template.  I had the kids cut out the different sized paper templates and we transferred them to stock paper.  We cut the stock paper out and transferred those to the fabric.  Once the fabric was cut, we layered the petals and secured them together with a french knot in the center.  We decided to put them on pillows, but really you could use them for, bags, blankets, towels.  So many possibilities and such a fun project!

Creative Minds Are Rarely...

TIDY!!! Maybe that explains how this....

has turned into this...

Just a dose of real life folks!  I'm a little tired of seeing perfectly decorated rooms on blogs!  Yes, we may strive for order, but lets be realistic.  Isn't this how most of us with kids REALLY live?

What a great way to send a card

I love to get cards from people. However, I must admit I think they are a waste of money. When I receive a birthday card for example, I feel obligated to find a spot for it somewhere in the house. Often, it ends up on the mantel. But as soon as someone turns on the ceiling fan, all those damn cards go flying all over the family room and I have to pick them up and put them back on the mantel. (Even though I secretly want to throw them away I don't feel I've given them their due "display time".) So they sit there until I can't stand it anymore and either pitch them in the trash OR if someone has written something extra special, I have a box, in a closet where I store them. (Even though I never open the darn box and it is just collecting dust.) 

I recently received an invitation to Homecoming from my high school (seems like I was there decades
ago...well I guess it has been 20 years).  Anyway, the invitation came through email from a company called Paperless Post.  I'd never heard of it before, but when I opened the email, there was a picture of an envelope.  I clicked on the envelope and it opened like a card.  The card that appeared out of the envelope was just as nice as some of the fine stationary you can purchase.  This was the nicest card I've received through email so I made one for one of my recent clients.  You can check it out here: Sample Letter.  The company is still in beta stages, but I love this concept and I hope they are successful.

I still believe people like to receive hand written notes and what I love about Paperless Post is that the cards look so much like real stationary.  AND you don't have the guilt of throwing them away!  I'm sure there is controversy over the etiquette of email notes versus snail mail notes and I'm also sure that my family and friends who have taken time to pick out the perfect card for me over the years will have a thing or 2 to say about this subject.  Okay, let the comments begin.....

How to put a zipper in a pillow

For all you do-it-your-selfers out there....I was once just like you. Fortunately for me, there are thousands of helpful people around the world willing to share their knowledge.  My friends at the Window Coverings Association of America have become extended family and I'm so grateful to know them.  (Ok, I'll get off the teary-eyed soap box and get to the point)  Since they were so willing to share their secrets with me, I am passing them on to you.  And before you beat me to the punch, let me just say this.....I am sure there are MANY ways to put a zipper into a pillow, this is just one that I like to use.  If you have a better way, I'd love you to share it on this blog.  Happy sewing!
Begin with 2 pillow sides serged

Both sides are serged and cording is added on one side

Cut a pillow flap the length of the pillow and 1 3/4" wide.  Use a see through ruler to make it quick and easy.

This is the cut strip for my pillow flap.

Fold the strip in half and use your finger to press it down along the edge.

Cut the zipper the same length as the pillow.  Place folded edge of zipper flap about 1 1/4" above the zipper when sewing.

Zipper is 1 1/4" below pillow flap.  Using a zipper foot, sew as close to zipper as possible.

When you get to the end, there will be more zipper than flap. 

Pull the zipper apart about 1.5" above zipper flap.

Cut the flap side of the zipper off

Continue sewing to the end and cut off left side of zipper to be even with zippper flap.

Place zipper pull on long side first and then short side.  Holding both ends together, pull zipper up.  (This can be a little tricky hahhahaha)  Seriously, it takes a little getting used to this part as it feels like you could use an extra set of hands!

Fold over 3/4" seam allowance on NON-CORDED pillow.

Line up zipper flap with edge of pillow.  The pillow edge should be lined up with the stitching on the flap.

After lining up the edge of pillow with the stitching, start sewing as close to zipper as possible. 

About 1.5" from where you started stitching, take a few stitches across for zipper stops.

Continue sewing down length of pillow.

Before you get to the end take a few stitches back and forth again.

Here is 1 side of the pillow attached to the zipper flap.  (I got a little too far from the zipper on the far left side....yes, we ALL make mistakes)

Line up corded side of pillow with edge of pillow flap.

Flap and corded side are aligned.

Place zipper side on bottom and corded side on top.  Using a cording foot, stitch just inside the previos stitching line.  Here, I'm stitching just inside the blue thread.

Don't forget to open your zipper before you start stitching.

Stitch the entire way around your pillow.

Here is the finished pillow with the zipper and cording.