FINISHED: Twister Sofa Back Pillows Re-Cover Project

With all that’s going on in the world right now, I must admit that I found it very difficult to focus and force myself to finish this Twister Pillows sofa back pillows re-cover project. That said, I am so very glad I did.

Pushing through the daily madness and finding my rhythm in sewing and quilting the new pillow covers was actually quite healing. I guess because I was doing something that I “COULD DO” instead of worrying and being caught up in the insanity. And at the end of the day, I had something to show for it.

Quick recap. Here’s the BEFORE sofa look:

Here is the AFTER:

As mentioned previously, I needed to make my pillow covers larger than the pattern so I simply enlarged the borders. I also decided to apply a scrappy binding instead of the prescribed “turning” method which would have been OK, but I love the look of the scrappy binding.

The Twister Pillows pattern offered directions for two methods of closure on the back: Envelope Style and Zipper Closure. I opted for the zipper closure and I really like the professional feel and finish. Here are a few shots of that:

Twister Pillow Back Side – Zipper Closure Finish
Twister Pillow Back Side Zipper Detail
Zipper Detail Close-Up

There you have it!

I loved the process of making my Twister Pillows! In fact, after I finish a couple other small projects, I would really like to design and make a coordinating Twister Table Runner to put on our coffee table that sits in front of the sofa.

What do you think?

Do the new pillow covers improve the look of our living room?

Have you ever made Twister Pillows or any projects using the Lil Twister Tool?

I’d love to hear your constructive comments and sharing below!

I Broke the (Quilting) RULES! And I like It.

Quilting on my domestic sewing machine using standard only the standard foot. No freemotion quilting. No walking foot.

Using my domestic sewing machine (it’s an older Juki TL98E straight stitch only machine) and it’s regular foot, I quilted my Twister Pillows with an orange slice design in each blade of the pinwheel.

Why did I choose to use my regular foot instead of freemotion quilting or walking foot?

Because I could and I wanted to see how they would turn out.

Be sure to scroll all the way down to view all pictures as the 4th pic shows the quilting from the back side. Surprisingly, it turned out pretty great. At least I think think it is and since it’s my quilt (pillows), my opinion is the only one that matters on this project!

ALSO…while I was doing quilting, I started thinking all this might be good to share publicly. Especially for new quilters, very young quilters or those who can’t afford or don’t want to spend big bucks on fancy machines or even purchasing a walking foot or an old machine. You see, I remember having absolutely NO budget for these things when I first started machine quilting and had little babies at home. That didn’t mean I couldn’t make nice things. It just meant I needed to be a little more aware and take my time if I wanted things to turn out right. For example, I needed to have the quilt sandwich basted really well (another blog article will be coming shortly on that). I decreased the pressure of my presser foot so there was less drag. I realize not all machines offer that option and you can still do this even if your machine doesn’t have that feature, but if yours does you may want to play with that a bit.

Pillow #4 quilted!

This design was very easy to stitch continuously. By that I mean I had no need to stop, cut threads and tie off anywhere unless a thread broke or the bobbin ran out. Simple stop/pivots were the only slowdowns.

Sew…how did I actually DO it? By the numbers, of course.

Quilting By The Numbers!

Using the picture above, imagine sewing toward the next ascending number, as follows: #1. Start at center of the pillow’s center most pinwheel secure a few stitches. From there stitch a gentle arc up the long edge of one blade of the pinwheel. #2. Stop. Needle down, lift presser foot, turn quilt, lower presser foot, stitch a deeper arc returning back to the center stopping at #3. Needle down. Lift presser foot, turn quilt, lower presser foot, stitch a gentle arc to #4. Stop. Needle down, lift presser foot, turn quilt, lower presser foot, stitch a deeper arc returning back to the center at #5. Repeat this on the remaining two blades of the pinwheel (i.e., follow the quilting lines to #6, #7, #8 and return to very center for the last time #9).

Once each blade of the pinwheel has been stitched, put needle down in the very center again. Lift presser foot, turn quilt to aim for the next pinwheel block and #10 carefully stitch in the ditch to the center of the next pinwheel. If you do this correctly, you will be able to travel to the next pinwheel without needing to remove the quilt from your machine.

After I finished quilting each of the pinwheels, I simply did a wonky echo spiraling around the outside of the pinwheel design until the entire quilt was quilted (relatively) evenly.

Are you wondering how the back turned out?

The back side of quilted Twister Pillow #4

I was pleasantly shocked at how nice the back of the quilt top looks! In the end it doesn’t matter at all for this project because this is a pillow top and this back will be inside of the pillow and completely unseen.

You know, I never seem to be able to follow a pattern’s instructions 100%. I always end up having to add my own twist. This project is no exception when it came to finishing. I chose the zippered pillow back option. The pattern instructions are well written and the results are really professional looking. So I did follow the instructions on that part, but I decided to take it a step further this time. Instead of turning, I decided to apply a scrappy binding. I pieced random fabrics from the top to make the binding. Yes, it took more time. But I just LOVE the results!

Any why not?! It is MY quilt (my quilted Twister Pillow), after all!

What do you think? Have you ever quilted using just your regular foot? How did it turn out? I genuinely welcome all related, constructive thoughts, ideas and comments below.

Holy Super-Sized Spooky Sweetpea!

Giant Sweetpea PodsJust one 18″ square of vinyl mesh and some rick rack, ribbon, an extra long zipper (recommend ByAnnie’s 4yd package) and two zipper pulls will make 2 Spooky-Sweet Treat Pods of Deliciousness. The ones I made (above) have made fun Halloween candy dishes for my desk and coffee table.  They’re virtually un-breakable and they pack away easily.

You’ll need to use zipper yardage for these extra big pods.  Cut the zipper several inches longer than the longest side of your triangle (see your Sweetpea Pod pattern for basic cutting instructions).

Also keep in mind– if you’re going to swap out the zipper pulls to a different color than your zipper tape–you must be sure to use the SAME BRAND and SAME SIZE pull as the tape. Test your zipper tape and pulls for compatibility BEFORE using in your project.  Not all zipper brands will work.

It’s SEW FAST and SUPER EASY to make super-sized vinyl mesh Sweetpea Pods because you omit the interfacing and lining steps.  For the zipper pull strings, I used thin strips of recycled bicycle tube, but you could choose to dangle a spider charm from a jump-ring or use almost anything interesting.

If you don’t have the LazyGirl Sweetpea sewing pattern yet, what are you waiting for?!? Get it ON SALE NOW. Click here and order yours today.

Save

JUNE Bag Sewing — Sugar Skull Run Around LOVE

LazyGirl Run Around Bag sewing patternYep, I’m just going to be honest. I’ve neglected the SewThankful blog for way too long.

Sew…I’ll try to catch back up by going back through and adding projects I’ve completed and reviewed the last year or so.

This is the Lazy Girl Run Around Bag I sewed for myself in early June 2017.

Living in New Mexico, Day of the Dead is a big deal and over the years I have come to love the celebration. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to reflect on and celebrate the lives of those I’ve loved and lost in this life.

SEW…I just have to say, I *loved* every second of sewing this super fun Sugar Skull Run Around Bag. She’s sleek and sweet and fun to wear. Yes, I’m done with carrying heavy “mom bags”…cuz my kids are grown or nearly grown and I’m ready to lighten the load.

I did a couple of change-ups with the zipper…notice two colors of zipper tape and a different color zipper pull? The “extended” pull is braided fabric used to make the bag with frayed/tattered soft end.

The Run Around pattern is super easy and goes together incredibly FAST. Can you say, “Instant GRATIFICATION?”

If you’re looking for a minimalist cross-body bag to carry your essentials and maybe a few small extras, *THIS is the pattern you NEED*.  This bag makes great gifts and uses hardly any fabric.

The Run Around Bag is a Lazy Girl Designs sewing pattern is ON SALE NOW at SewThankful: http://www.sewthankful.com/LazyGirlRunAroundBag_SewingPattern.html

Save

Half & Half Apron – Sewn Samples – Project Kits

This week I was busy sewing samples and making up kits for the Half & Half Apron project sheet (instructions by Karen Montgomery of The Quilt Company).

I’ve got to say I LOVE this little apron pattern/project.  It works up so easily and so quickly and the results are fantastic.  All the seams are finished and quite professional looking.  The pocket is fantastic–though it blends in with the apron body so you need to look closely. You could add lovely monogramming or other cool embroidery to the pocket very easily before stitching on the apron.

Here are the samples I’ve sewn so far:

FandingoOrangePinkDaisies_FeedsackTrimTies
Half & Half Fandingo Dark Pink/Orange apron sample

Fandingo Pink Floral
Half & Half Apron Fandingo Pink Floral sample

Tracy’s Review & Tips

1. The Half & Half Apron project sheet is very well thought out, nicely illustrated and very easy to follow step-by-step.

2. Unfortunately, there is no specified seam allowance on this project.  I used a 1/4″ seam allowance throughout and it worked perfectly.

The only place that might require a slightly deeper seam allowance is at the waistband since gathers are used and it may be tricky for beginners to deal with “gathering lines of stitching” that close to the fabric edge and stay within a 1/4″ total seam allowance. If you need to go a wee bit deeper than 1/4″ when sewing on the waistband, the project will still come out very nice.

3.  For those who do not know how to do “gathers” there is no instruction on how to perform that technique.  There is one illustration that gives you some clues.

Here is how I prepared my gathers: I make two parallel lines of long machine basting stitches very close to the edge of the fabric.  On one end of the lines of stitching, I find the bottom thread tails for each line of stitching and pull gently.  This creates a ruffling effect and you can slide the fabric gently to spread the gathers evenly to the center of the apron.  Repeat  on the other side until gathered fabric is even across the project and project dimensions are correct.

4. After I finished the apron instructions, I added top stitching to the waistband and ties — all the way around.  You could use decorative top stitching for an even fancier result.  The reason I added the stitching to the waistband and ties is that I know it will help keep the ties flat when I wash the apron in the future.  Without stitching, the ties are likely to “tube up” and twist in the washer and dryer making it more difficult to press flat.  Top stitching also adds more durability and a nicer overall finish to the ties.

These kits make gift making go sew much faster!  And…once you’ve made one, I bet you’ll be burning through your stash whipping up even more great combinations.

Kits also make FANTASTIC gift giving ideas for fellow quilters or sewing enthusiasts…since this particular kit includes the fabric and the project sheet of instructions, all the recipient needs to get started are rotary cutting supplies, thread and a sewing machine.  What quilter doesn’t already have an ample supply of those tools?