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Friday, January 29, 2016

The Finishing

I had an idea!  Why not blog about finishing a piece of needlework into a pillow. 

 What could possibly go wrong?

This is MY IRON. 

 It will be featured prominently in this post.  If you get as excited as I do when you see an iron, sit down and grab a paper sack.

When you are about to embark on The Finishing I suggest putting on some soothing music.

Ahhh, my happy place.

Make sure you have a clean workspace with everything you will need handy.  

See that towel? 

You will shortly understand why it is there.

This is the project. Tiny Acorns. 

It is my newest design and you are going to get to see me finish it into a pillow!

Let's go!

First of all you have to choose your fabric.  Hmm, that looks good!

Iron your needlework from the back and make sure it is not warping all over the place.

Iron your fabric too!

I like to iron on lightweight interfacing onto the back of my needlework to give it some body.

I am a quilter.  I use my rulers and rotary cutter to straighten the side of the fabric before cutting my strips.

Put your small ruler right on the fold and put your longer ruler right up against it. 

Remove the small ruler without moving the longer one.

Cut the uneven strip away! BYE BYE!

Now you have a nice clean straight edge! YAY!

I now cut my design piece. Put the ruler up to your piece on the top and bottom lining it up with your stitches according to how much you want to trim off.  I have a border on this one so it was easy. If you do not have a border pick out the widest part of your design.

All trimmed up.

I am now cutting the strips of fabric to sew onto my piece. I wanted them kinda wide this time.

I use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  This is my 1/4 inch presser foot that I use to get a perfect seam allowance.  Use whatever seam allowance you desire but make sure to figure that into your measurements when cutting your strips and design linen.  For example you want your finished strip to be one inch and you are using a 1/4 seam allowance. Cut your strip 1 1/2 inches wide, after you sew two 1/4 inch seams you will have one inch of your fabric showing!

Math can be your friend!

Two strips sewn on.  Hmm, something doesn't seem right.

I sewed the strips onto the back of the fabric instead of the front!!

A Seam Ripper is your friend. I have gotten to know mine quite well over the years.

I am sad.

This song was playing when I realized what I had done. NO LIE.

"Was all this real or just some kind of hell!"

I took a break and made some tea. 

Some tears and whiskey tea later I got them sewed on the correct way.

Trim the ends of the strips.

 Press the seam allowance towards the strips and not the linen, it will lay smoother that way.

Square up the front of the pillow. I put my ruler on the two inch mark and trimmed the excess off.

All ready for the backing fabric!

RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER!  I made doubly sure I got it right this time!

Pin and trim the back the same size as the front. I use the front of the pillow as a pattern. Be careful not to cut the front during this!

"There, there, you can do it fabric, don't get all weird on me."

My machine sometimes bunches up the top of the fabric while sewing.  I use my finger and massage the fabric upwards to compensate for my machine being a jerk.

Before turning your pillow inside out trim the corners like this. Be careful to not cut into your stitching!

It was close, but I didn't cut my stitching line!

Lift your fabric away from the front piece and cut a slit into the back for turning and stuffing.

Ready to turn!

While turning it inside out I use a chopstick to poke out the corners.

Iron your seams.

YAY! Ready for stuffing.

I use pine bedding for gerbils and lizard litter from a pet store. Now, this is the first time I have used both of these at the same time. Usually it is one or the other.  I threw in some tobacco leaves called Poe's Mix because they smell good.

I put all of this into a plastic tote a little bigger than shoebox size to contain the mess.

Mix up the stuff really well.

Stuff your pillow through the slit in the back.

Containing the stuffing.

Use a chopstick to make sure the corners are firmly stuffed!

There will be a little bit of overflow.

All stuffed and ready to be sewn shut.

 But Wait!

 There is a ton of bits everywhere!

  Meet the sticky roller, soon to be your best friend.

See? All clean.

Thread your needle with thread and whip stitch the slit shut.

 Whip it good.

This is primitive stitchery going on right here!

The front of your piece will look like this.

No worries, your roller friend is here.


After stitching the back shut and making sure everything is evenly packed in there I mash it down with my iron. Full Steam Ahead!!

This isn't a very exciting picture but cleanup after this process is important.  I pour all the unused stuff back into the bag and use a microfiber cloth to wipe down everything and make sure there isn't bits  that can ruin my rotary cutter later. There is also dust everywhere!

All Done!!

You can buy this pattern in my etsy store.


There is also a huge link at the top of this blog!

P.S.  I won't mix litter and pine shaving together again.  I like using them separately.

 Live and Learn People!