Archives for April 2013

Throw Pillow Throw Down Day 2

 Today we have 3 exciting pillow tutorials!
#1 – Pieced Chevron Throw Pillow from Shannon at Sewing Barefoot.  Shannon is a full time interior designer who loves being crafty and creative.  She has inspiring tutorials from painting to sewing to quilting. Check out her blog!  She also hosts a linky party every Sunday.  Click HERE for her Chevron Pillow tutorial.

#2 Sewing an Invisible zipper
I know there are lots of tutorials out there for how to do this, but sometimes it helps to see many different versions of the process before you tackle one yourself.  This is my version 🙂  Click HERE

#3 – Strippy Quilted Monogram pillow
My pillow tutorial is being featured over at the Therm O Web Blog.  I LOVE their products and I would be completely lost with out their Heat N Bond Lite!!  Click HERE for the tutorial


Sewing an Invisible Zipper {tutorial}

I love finishing my pillows with invisible zippers!  Once you try it you will love it too!

I cut my pillow squares the exact size as my pillow inserts (I try to always use 20″ pillow forms)

Zipper – I like to buy my zippers longer than I need so I can cut off the extra and not worry about how it will fit, at least 22″
This instruction will show you how to sew the zipper in the bottom seam of your pillow.



Make sure to start and stop at the 2 1/2″ mark.  Now, pin the other side of the zipper to your other square of fabric.

This next step can seem tricky.  You are going to put on your zipper foot  and sew a seam that will close up that 2 1/2″ space on both sides of the zipper.  Below I have shown exactly where your seam should be and where it should start.  Notice it starts about 1/2 inch from where the first seam ends.  It is ok that the seams don’t meet up.  When you press the pieces, it will lay really flat.  In fact, the closer you get to the first seam, the more pucker-y it will be.


To finish the pillow, place right sides together and pin all the way around.  MAKE SURE THE ZIPPER IS PARTIALLY OPEN.  Sew 1/4″ all the way around the pillow, starting and stoping at the zipper.  Turn right side out.



Pieced Chevron Pillow from Sewing Barefoot

Hi all! My name is Shannon and I blog over at Sewing Barefoot, a blog filled with diy tutorials, design ideas and fun projects to tackle in your free time.  I’m a full time interior designer who loves anything crafty and creative. My husband and I can usually be found with a can of spray paint in hand or searching for our next project in a local antique store. We love bringing new life to items that seem to have been forgotten and enjoy filling our home with one-of-a-kind “treasures.” We are currently working on restoring a mid-century modern dining table and chairs.
I am thrilled to be sharing my chevron pillow tutorial with you today… I hope you enjoy it!

I’m a “small project” kind of girl. I like to start something and finish it within a reasonable amount of time. When I stumbled on this Chevron Quilt tutorial I was so amazed that I knew I had to try it. For me, a quilt was too big of an undertaking. I decided that a pillow would be a great way to test it out without the commitment to a large project. I have large project commitment issues. If you’d like to make a chevron pillow, follow along 🙂
Here is what you’ll need:
2 fat quarters (complimentary fabrics) for the front
enough fabric for the back panel of the pillow (mine was 17″ x 17″)
straight pins
rotary cutter & mat
sewing machine
pillow form
zipper (optional)
*** NOTE: I had a bunch of old pillows on hand, so I made my cover to fit a 16″ pillow form ***
[1] I really didn’t know what would be the best size block to make, so I decided that a 3″ block sounded good. To get a 3″ block (using 1/4″ seam allowance) I cut 1 3/4″ strips of both fabrics. I then sewed the 2 fabrics together to get long strips. I then pressed my seems flat.

[2] Once I had about 7 or 8 strips sewed, I started cutting them into the 3″ blocks. As I cut them, I laid them out into my chevron pattern. I did this by turning each square about a quarter turn from the ones adjacent to it.

[3] Once I had enough squares, I started sewing them together. I started by sewing the squares in each diagonal row together end on end. Once all of my rows were sewn together, I started sewing the long rows together. I worked block by block until everything was connected. It helped to have all of my blocks laid out in the correct pattern – that way, I could just pick up the next one in line. It helped to cut out any confusion.

[4] Once everything was sewn together, ironed everything nice and flat and cut off the extra points on all sides of my fabric to get nice straight edges. You want to end with a piece of fabric that is 1″ bigger than your pillow form. In my case, my chevron front was about 17″ (for a 16″ finished pillow).

[5] After the front was assembled, the rest was a piece of cake. I sewed my zipped pillow cover (using a full piece of my grey fabric for the back) and admired my new pillow:


Throw Pillow Throw Down Begins Today!

 I am so excited for this week!  I have been working on lots of fun pillows and working with lots of fun people to get this throw down started!  This will not be a “Throw Down” in the sense that there are winners and looser, I hate to see people cry 🙂  Just fun tutorials every day.  “Who can’t use a few more pillows around the house”….(said no husband ever!)

Here are today’s three features – its all about fast & easy and sewing with kitchen linens: napkins, placemats, and towels!

 Napkin Pillow Tutorial

 Placemat Pillow


Napkin Pillow

 This is a fast, easy way to make a throw pillow.  Google “napkin pillow” and you will see lots of ideas.  There are different ways to construct this pillow, here is how I made mine:

You will need 2 cloth napkins.  I bought these bird ones at Kohls.

Keep in mind we are working with cloth napkins.  Have you ever folded cloth napkins before?  They never match up.  Don’t freak out if your napkins are not perfectly square.  Press the wrinkles out of the napkins.  Choose 2 that match up the best.
Find a pillow that best fits the size of the napkin.  The pillow & the napkin should be very close to the same size.
 With wrong sides together, pin around the border of your napkin.  Of course, you can sew right sides together and turn the pillow;  I wanted a little border on the edge of my pillow.

I sewed a seam along the very edge of the napkins, then a second seam along the hem of the napkin.  This created a little border.  Make sure to leave most of the bottom open so you can insert your pillow.

 Insert your pillow.  The way I am making this pillow does not allow for easy washing of the pillow covering.  I am OK with that.   If I really need to wash it, I can rip out the seam.  I would have put a zipper, but there was too much bulk with all the hems of the napkin.

 Pin the opening closed.  Sew a double seam on the sewing machine.  It was a little tricky holding the pillow and maneuvering the sewing at the same time – it can be done!

Here you can see the 2 seams.

 I loved my pillow so much, I sewed a second one.  The fabric is soft and they feel so comfortable!


Placemat Pillow

This is the easiest way to make a pillow – EVER!  You can time it – it’s about 10 minutes.  There are lots of examples all over the internet – just Google “Placemat Pillow.”  I love this turquoise one from A Pumpkin and a Princess.  The rosette added to the pillow is darling.

Here is how you make your own.  Get a placemat.  I bought this one at Kohls.  They have a pretty good selection of placemats.  I always see random placemats for sale and now I know what to do with them!  Snatch them up as you find them!

 Get your seem ripper and rip about a 4″ section of the seam – enough to get your hand in.

 Using your favorite fiber-fill, stuff the opening until it is the desired fluffiness.

 Pin the opening closed and sew along the edge of the pillow.  My placemat had a double seam, so I sewed 2 seams.

 Done!  This placemat was kind of a stiff-durable fabric.  Not the kind of pillow I would want to watch TV with, but perfect for my bench on my porch!


Feed My Sheep

I am working on a lesson for Relief Society and I created this printable.  Thought I would share it.  Did I mention I love sheep?  Click HERE for pdf 🙂


Stand in Holy Places Chicken Wire Frame

I bought this rather large frame at a garage sale for a few dollars.  I wanted to make it into some kind of collage/bulletin board.  I love chicken wire and this was the perfect frame for it.  All I did was snip the chicken wire with wire cutters the size of the frame.  Then I used a staple gun to secure the wire to the back of the frame.  Took about 5 minutes!!

For the past 19 years where ever we have traveled we have made it a point to visit the nearest LDS Temple.  I printed out photos from every temple we’ve been too….from Hawaii to New York!  Since this year’s mutual theme is “Stand ye in Holy Places”, I thought it would be fun to gather all the photos and create a memory board.

I found this graphic for free at Hang a Ribbon on The Moon.   I used silver binder clips to attach everything to the chicken wire.  The nice thing about this is it is so easy to switch out. The possibilities are endless!

 I have noticed friends who visit my home enjoy looking at all the different temples and where they are located….friends of our faith and friends of other faiths.  Having this hanging in our home serves a reminder of what is important in our family and what we should be focusing on.


More about the Chalk Paint Piano

I have had so many sweet comments about this fun chalk paint piano.  Several people have wondered where to purchase real Chalk Paint.  So, here is a little info about Chalk Paint: 

 Chalk Paint is actually a registered trademark of the paint Annie Sloan created in 1990.  The term seems to be used more loosely now as people have ways to make your own and I believe other stores carry similar products.

What is Chalk Paint?  It is called Chalk Paint because of it’s velvety smooth matte texture.  It is NOT chalkboard paint 🙂

Chalk Paint goes on amazingly well and covers great.  It’s really hard to explain how fabulous it is unless you just try it.  (no I am not getting paid to say this!)

Where to buy?  In my town, one of the antique booths at my antique mall sells the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint products.  If you feel you don’t have access to the paint, you can go to their website and order it.  Go to THIS website and click to find a retailer near you.

After I painted the piano, we used Annie Sloan’s Soft Wax with wax brush.  This is similar to a finishing wax.  It makes the piece of furniture feel amazing!  The piano feels like it has looked like this for 100 years!


Gallery Wall Start to Finish

I love putting together gallery walls.  This is the last project I did for my friend’s home in Virginia.  Here is a step by step tutorial for creating one from laying out the frames to how to properly hang the frames. (The wall paint is Home Depot’s Behr Paint in Dolphin Fin)
Step #1 Gather your frames and play around with the layout on the floor.  
For this gallery wall I wanted different sizes, different shapes and different texture frames.  The trick to getting a good layout is to either have it perfectly symmetrical and all frames matching and squared up, or in this case, having none of the frames align.  I was careful not to have the frames line up ant the top, bottom, or in the center.  This picture is not the final layout!  Once you get your layout how you want it – take a picture of it so you can remember!

Step #2 Create Footprints
Get out your old wrapping paper and trace each frame to make a footprint to be arranged on the wall first.

Step #3 Paint
I get all my frames at garage sales and thrift shops.  For this bathroom, I had specific colors in mind to paint the frames: orange, green, navy, and yellow. I always use spray primer first.  It totally helps your paint go farther and cover better!

 Step #4 Attach Wire for Hanging
I took a picture framing class 14 years ago from a gal who framed art for the Smithsonian.  I have never forgot what I learned in that class!

It is best not to use this kind of hanger – it is too hard to get the picture to hang level.

Instead, measure about 2.5″ to 3″ down (depending on the size of your frame) on both sides of frame.  Attach eye screws.  If it is hard to get the eye screws started, hammer a little nail hole first.

Cut a piece of picture hanging wire and loop it through both the eye screws, winding the excess around itself.
It’s ready to hang now!  What is nice about using wire is you can make adjustments to the height of your picture if you don’t get the nail in the right place and it will always hang level.

If your frame has a stand on the back, you must remove it or it will also hang funny because of an uneven weight distribution.  Take your pliers and rip the thing off!!

Step #5
Clean the glass of each frame and place your art or photo in the frame.  For this gallery wall we choose some fun, retro bathroom prints.

This one is three Waldorf Toilet Paper Advertisements.

This one is a retro bathroom with a child brushing her teeth.

I found this retro Kleenex advertisement and it was in the colors of the bathroom!
Step #6 Tape the footprints to the wall with painters tape
This is important because you get a good feel of how it is going to look.  I actually ended up changing a few frames around from my original design.
Step #7 Use picture hanger nails
I hammered my picture hangers into the wall through the paper so I knew it would be perfect.
Step #8 – Hang your frames & admire!
You’re done!  I love how this one turned out!!