Paper-piecing pillow – WIP

I am at them again, these addicting hexagons! I can only do a little at a time, but this project is coming along. I am using a flower Boy’s grandmother had sewn, and decided to make it a pillow for my craft room. I think… I mean, I haven’t bought a pillow form just yet but my little couch needs something cheery.

First, I am using this handy template again. I love it because you can make your own custom size, which was important since I am matching a piece already sewn.  Her methods were not as precise as mine, so the edge sizes varied from ¾ of an inch to just over 1 inch. I split the difference and made my hexies ⅞. You’ll see in a photo below that there is slight puckering, but I have a plan!

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I know, that looks really tedious. I suppose it is, but it is super relaxing for me, and I have been rewatching Star Trek : The Next Generation through Netflix. It is a wonderful way to sew away the stress. (How does one still experience so much of that when one is currently unemployed? I do wonder about the choices I continue to make in my life, ha! (It’s all good.))

This is how far I am currently. I have not taken the basting stitches and paper out just yet. I think I will try to keep the flower in the corner a little, rather than center it. And I have found that sewing two hexies together gives me just the right amount of perimeter to sew with one go of a threaded needle. (That probably doesn’t make any sense, but what I mean is I sew two hexies together, knot it, and cut the thread. Then I start at one edge of the hexies to attach them to more hexies, and my threaded needle can usually easily get me to attach the next pair of hexies – I make the thread about as long as my arm.)

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Here you can see that Grandmother’s technique is quite different than my own. I have explained this process to several people and this is a great piece to illustrate the variances. She didn’t use paper, nor did she make baste stitches. I want more practice before I dive in with freehand like that (and the paper comes right out, once you cut out the baste stitch – which is just one snip with the scissors for each hexie – if you look long enough, you can see where I did this for one hexie to demonstrate to a friend).  She cut the fabric into perfect hexagons; I’d rather rely on a paper template. She used a running stitch; I am using a whip stitch. No matter your choice, these suckers are great for packing along wherever you go for whenever the time comes to craft a little. It is a *great* travel project.

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In the closeup below, you can see that the original fabric is a little puckered here and there. My plan is that I will also quilt this piece on to some batting, see if I can get the flower to puff up some. That should help remove the puckered look, and make a really neat detail.

Remember, the plain fabric currently sports basting stitches, but these will be removed (as will the paper). And it will get a nice visit from the iron too.

You can also see here how I store the thread between sessions. I read somewhere once about how to keep headphones from getting tangled in your bag – it’s the same process. Just make a figure 8 (over your index finger and thumb) and secure your needle over the center! Works like a charm, I tell you what. No knots!

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I have a plan for the back of this pillow too (if, indeed, it becomes one). The hexies will be bigger (to save time!) and I want to quilt them also, although I am going to pick just a few here and there and use the colors from the floral fabric to make the seams pop. That will add a bit of a modern touch to it, I think. You know, jazz it up a little.

things in the kitchen

Our kitchen and dining room are not finished, but here are some little peeks:

I am looking after my grandmother’s trinkets for her (she had to move to an assisted living situation due to Alzheimer’s). I added a few of my own in there – a koopa troopa, a hei teki ornament, a three legged pig, a silver acorn, and a Snork, just to name a few.

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Here is a better look at the curtains. My ceiling is a sad 7’9″ tall, so these really added height to the room when hung just at the ceiling line.

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I stumbled through altering them for my kitchen window. Not professionally done, by any means, but works for us!

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Found this lying around too. It is a Cabo liquor bottle. I appreciated the shape and wooden cork, so one day I peeled off the label and wrapped it with twine.

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It looks good next to a bottle of Viking Blood liquor, also peeled and sporting a wood cap. My sister-in-law found a cheese wheel and a little iron mouse. It makes a nice little set in an otherwise boring corner of the kitchen.

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Monogram Wreath: the letter J

Another wedding, another letter for a monogram wreath! My friend Ashley loves aqua and her bridal shower was naturals and bird-themed, which is how I chose the design. I did not have the exact color of felt I wanted, but in the end I am very happy with how it turned out! I began with an off white yarn, using the same technique employed for the letter P. It was slightly trickier because the hanging ribbon needed to be in the same place, but I figured it out. Then I used a stick pin to keep it out of my way while I wrapped the letter.

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After wrapping it in the off white, I wanted to give it a little character so I added some brown twine to it for that natural feel.

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I used the same felt flower technique, this time pinning them with white pins. I used another one of those weird champagne colored plant baubles for the large flower.  I was even able to sew the little eggs into the nest (they were soft plastic, and I happen to own a curved needle which made it very simple). I pinned the nest in with two pins that were tied together with thread (so that they wouldn’t just slip between the little twigs).

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I would have stopped here, but Boy convinced me to add some ribbon around the top of the J. It was a great idea and I love that I had some scraps that happened to match!

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And the final touch, some embossed felt on the back just to make it have higher quality. Ta-da! I love this monogram wreath!

monogram wreath: cardboard_letter_j_wreath