Monday, April 11, 2016

Pillow Talk


So now you know about my new obsession - my Janome 500e embroidery machine. A logical question might be what do I intend to do with the amazing embroideries I'm stitching? If you've been a reader for a while you already know that I love to use embroidery in my quilting and have made many quilts and wall hangings featuring machine embroidery like this baby quilt
or these sweet red work birds.
I wanted to try out the built-in Flourish alphabet on my new machine and had a pillow band embellishment in mind. Here's how it went:
First the stitch out
A capital letter D. Isn't this super fancy? The stitching went perfect. A few tips - starch your fabric really well. Two layers of stabilizer, in this case medium weight tear away, hoop fabric and one layer of stabilizer and float the second layer of stabilizer underneath. Use a thread stand behind and to the right of your machine to relax the thread before it gets to the tension disks. I never use the thread spindle on the machine.
Beautiful stitch out.
Gently tear away the first layer of stabilizer. No heavy pulling that will distort your fabric. You can see here that this layer was floated and is much smaller than the hooped layer. I usually dab some glue stick lightly on the four corners to be sure they don't flip up during sewing.
Tearing away the second layer of stabilizer. Needle nose tweezers come in very handy here. I won't be taking out the stabilizer in those leaf points, too fiddly.
I measured the circumference of my pillow plus added 1/2" for a seam allowance. As you can see I want it to be snug so I pulled the measuring tape a little tight. That's because I didn't want to use ribbons or buttons as closures. This will be a slip on pillow sleeve.
Using my new found skills learned when I made infinity scarves I sewed a tube of focus fabric on one side and bleached muslin on the other. (Here's the post where we learned how to make infinity scarves.) I didn't have enough length in my pretty fabric so I had to sew a seam to stretch it. It really doesn't show but next time I'll plan better in advance.
Press those tube seams flat and finish just like an infinity scarf.
The finished sleeve with no visible closure and nice snug fit slides right on the pillow with no slippage. The length and width of the sleeve will depend on the size of your pillow and the size of your design. This band is 8" wide on a 14" pillow.
I love how it looks in my living room!
Let me know if you try it.

It's Design Wall Monday!











Until next time,

12 comments:

  1. I don't have an embroidery machine to embellish with, but I can sure use the pillow band idea. Thank you! My sofa pillows need a makeover!

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    1. I could see this idea working with a pieced quilt block as well as with a nice applique. It sure changes the look of the pillow.

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  2. Wow! I love it, Patrica. The pillow is just gorgeous. That is a beautiful font and how fortunate that it is a built-in option. I would love to give this a try. I'm going to have to review the infinity scarf tutorial first.

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    1. I like the way that the band appears seamless by using this method plus it really was easy to do.

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  3. Nice idea on the pillow band. I love how you did the baby quilt. Most of us would have made the quilt with every other block plain. Your design is much more interesting. Nice job.

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    1. Thanks Bonnie, sometimes I just want to change it up and a baby really doesn't care about the "rules". My granddaughter Eve has this quilt in her bed and uses it each and every day - now that's a reward!

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  4. Shut the front door!!! I love that quilt! And I love the beautifully stitched D!!! Question? Why the extra layer of stabilizer floated on back? What do you mean with not using the spindles for the thread?
    xo Kris

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    1. I have found that the extra stabilizer gives better stitch support and no more puckers or pesky stitch loopies on the front of my design. Also I have a thread stand for thread cost about $12 that holds the thread a little away from the machine and helps the thread relax before it hits the tension disks. You can do the same thing with a mug. Just stand you thread up in a mug, elevate the mug with a couple of books and move it a little behind and to the right of machine.Really tho it's better to invest in a thread stand it does help with stitch out.

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  5. Very pretty! Love the background fabric with that fancy letter.

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    1. That fabric was a random fat quarter that I never would have found if I hadn't organized my sewing space . I'm constantly amazed at the benefits of that redo.

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  6. That alphabet embroidery is so neat! I like the way you put the band on the pillow too! I made some quilted bands a couple years ago and used velcro to fasten them, I like your idea better.

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  7. This is my way of avoiding sewing on a button Connie! Seriously I just wanted a smooth closure and this fir the bill, super easy.

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Thanks for your comments. I love hearing what you have to say.