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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Halloween T-shirts

Hooped through the arms


     My daughter asked if I could embroider a couple of t-shirts for the kids to wear on Halloween.  My grandson's costume, a traffic light, was not very conducive to wearing during the school day.  He wanted a skeleton on his.  I didn't have any I liked in my stash of designs, so off to Embroidery Library.  I found a cute one there.
Dancing skeleton

     To hoop his shirt, I put the arms of the embroidery hoop through the arms of the t-shirt and then made sure the bobbin arm went through the neck opening.  Some iron-on mesh stabilizer on the shirt and a piece of tear-away floated under the shirt provided all the support needed.

Hooped through the neck and bottom

     My granddaughter didn't want a costume, just a shirt with a Jack-o-lantern on it.  She had seen one that had eyelashes and a heart shaped nose.  Again nothing in my stash of designs.  I found this build a Jack-o-lantern at Embroidery Library.   I just used iron-on mesh stabilizer on her shirt because the fabric appliqué helped to support the stitches.

Ladylike Jack-o-lantern


    I built the Jack-o-lantern in my software, choosing the eyes with eyelashes and a pretty lips mouth. Because her design was taller, I hooped her shirt with the arms of the embroidery hoop through the neck and bottom of the shirt.  Then the bobbin arm went through a sleeve.

Two cuties on Halloween


     They both liked their shirts.  My grandson liked to pose like the dancing skeleton and my granddaughter really liked the fancy eyes and lips on her Jack-o-lantern.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Tale of Two Footstools

Footstool #1 before

     A client brought me two footstools they had bought.  They wanted them to be slipcovered to match their decor.  No problem I thought, but when they brought them by, one actually opened up and they wanted to preserve that feature.

Top for footstool #1

     The first one was pretty straight forward.  I measured the top and cut it out.  Then I sewed on covered cord.
Skirt for footstool #1

     For the skirt, I again measured and then cut pieces to sew together to make the skirt.  I needed to be sure to hide the seams in the pleats in the corners.  I added lining and sewed it into a big circle.  I serged the top edge to keep the raw edges together and then pinned it to the top and sewed all around.

Footstool #1 finished

     I then just slipped it over the footstool and I was done.  Now on the the other one.

Footstool #2 before


Footstool #2 before

     I couldn't make a slipcover for this one as they wanted to be able to open it up.  I took it part and started to get to work.

Lining covered foam getting fabric stapled in place

All stapled to the particle board


     I took off the old cover because we didn't really want the cording to be seen under the new fabric.  I covered the foam with some lining and then stapled the fabric over the board that was not seen.  Put the nicer wood grain looking board back over it and it all looked fine.

Oh No!  You can see the edge of the board

  Oh no, you could see the edge of that board.  That did not look good at all.  I consulted with my clients as to our options.  We chose to place the fabric over both boards and then apply gimp to cover the raw edges.

Top recovered with gimp in place

Top recovered with gimp in place detail


     Okay, part one solved.  Now for the bottom part.  The footstool was not square and it also had flared legs.  I decided the best option would be to make the 'skirt' in eight pieces.  I made four corner flaps and stapled them in place.

Starting on the corner flaps

Corner flaps in place, note the line for placement

Corner flaps in place

     To be sure everything lined up properly I drew a line on the inside that would be the mounting line (client was fine with the gold vinyl showing on the inside).  The other skirt pieces were cut in a trapezoid shape so that they could flare out with the legs.

One side flap sewn with lining

Understitching to keep the lining in place

     I lined the pieces and then to be sure the lining didn't peek out to the outside, I did an understitch to keep it in place.

Inside all pretty with gimp covering the raw edges

  I then again covered the raw edges with the gimp and reassembled the footstool.

Footstool #2 finished

  I think they turned out okay and the clients were happy.

Finished footstools

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Redo of House Front Part 7

Lumbar pillow with pleated center

     This is the last of the projects that I have done for the front of our house.  Last week I showed the headrest pillows I made.  From the other two pillow forms that I bought from Amazon, I made some lumbar pillows.  Because I felt like the other covers were too loose, I cut these an inch smaller than the pillow size.

Pleating the fabric

     I am now working with basically leftover pieces.  For the pillow on my rocker, I pleated a strip of pieces for the center.  I had to be careful where the seams fell while pleating.  I love my Quick Pleater, it made it so easy to get nice even pleats.

     I added a small flange to either side and then sewed on the end pieces, making sure I was matching up the stripes.  Then some covered cord around the edge, A back piece and I was ready to stuff in the form and sew it closed.

Lumbar pillow with varied stripes

     For my husband's rocker, I chose to play with the stripes going vertical on one end, angled in the middle and horizontal on the other end with strips of the solid in between.  Again some covered cord and a back and we are all set.

Sit and enjoy

     A cozy place to spend enjoying a good book or a bottle of wine.  Next on my wishlist for the front of the house is some new hardware for the door and a new light fixture.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Redo of House Front Part 6

Flat forms from Amazon

     I wanted some pillows for the rockers.  I wanted something for the small of the back and for the head.  It felt uncomfortable to lay my head back when relaxing, I needed just a little support.

After fluffing in the dryer

     I bought some pillow forms from Amazon, just something inexpensive.  When they came, they were super flat and vacuum sealed.  I took the pillows out of the plastic for a day or two and then put them in the dryer, on air fluff, with a few dryer balls.  That did help to plump them up some.

Cut fabric, with dog ears cut away


     I cut the fabric the same size as the pillow, 12 x 20, so that when I sewed them they would be slightly smaller and hopefully the pillow would fill it out more.

Marked for elastic placement

     I marked on the pillow forms approximately where I wanted the ends of the elastic to be.  I placed it so that it would fit over the three center slats of the rocker.  This resulted in my using a 10" piece of 1/2 inch elastic with the ends placed 5" in from each side and 3 1/2" down from the top.

Elastic on the back pieces

     Of course the pillow front couldn't be just plain so I monogrammed our initial using the striped fabric.  I really like the font I bought from Designs by JuJu.

Doing the monogram

      I then added covered cord I made from the striped fabric.  I sewed the front to the back with right sides together, leaving an opening to turn and insert the pillow form.

Machine stitching the opening closed


     I machine sewed the opening closed, the Sunbrella fabric is hard to hand stitch.

All finished

     They turned out okay, but I thought it could have been a tighter fit for the cover but that is just my opinion, others like the looser fit.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Redo of House Front Part 5

Friday night relaxation

     Another painting project for the front porch was a plastic table.  We had bought a bistro set many years ago but a few years back, one of the chairs broke and we threw it away.  The table was a green color and didn't look right with the newly painted rockers.

Matching chair

     I forgot to take a picture of the table before starting, but here is a picture of the matching chair.  You can see the mottled green color.  My husband took part the table and we throughly washed everything.  Then he sprayed it with two coats of a pretty silver color.

Painting in progress

     After letting it dry for several days, he reassembled the table.  Wow, it didn't even look like the same table.
All done

     It works great between the two rockers and even matches the new hardware that he bought for the rockers.  It's great for our wine and cheese on a Friday night.

The top

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Redo of House Front Part 4


Rockers prior to painting

     As part of the redo of the front of the house, I decided that the rockers on the front porch needed to be repainted.  We had gotten them maybe 10 years ago from a neighbor that was moving.  Even though the front porch is covered they had gotten quite weathered.

Cleaned and ready for paint

     We took them apart and really scrubbed them down.  Then they dried in the sun before my husband started the painting.  This went much quicker than refinishing the swing since there wasn't a long wait time between coats.

Final coat done

     He used spray paint and a cool gadget handle to help with the application.  After the pieces thoroughly dried inside for a week, he reassembled the rockers, replacing the old rusty bolts with shiny new silver ones.

Old rocker with new paint and hardware

     We chose a blue grey color to go with the blue house and the grey striped fabric.  The rockers look like new now. Next week I will show you how he transformed the green plastic table into a work of art.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Redo of House Front Part 3

Cushions for front porch rockers

     As Part of the redo of the front of the house I decided to make new cushions for our rockers.  Several years ago I bought new foam forms covered with Dacron.  When I finally went to start the project this past January I found that the glue had given way.

Oh dear, the glue gave way

     I took a needle and thread and whipstitched the edges of the Dacron together.  I decided to also make a muslin cover to make it easier to remove the cushion covers for washing.

All better

New muslin covers

     Not the most elegant looking muslin cover but since it was going to be covered anyway, why spend lots of time making it pretty.

Comfy new cushion

     I used a raspberry colored Sunbrella fabric for the cushions with a striped grey background Sunbrella fabric for the cording.  I cut it on the bias so the stripes angle around.  I added a zipper on the back of the cushion that extends into the sides to make it easier to remove the covers.

Pretty grey striped fabric for the cording

     The front door matches this raspberry color.  The grey stripe originally matched the house color when it was grey.  It still looks okay with the blue house.  That is what happens when it is several years (think 6 years) between the purchase of the fabric and the execution of the project.  

     Next week I will show you the transformation of the rockers and table with some spray paint.