Monday, November 07, 2011

Quoth the Raven ....

... "Nevermore".

The clever folks over at Urban Threads come up with the quirkiest machine embroidery designs.  This one, "Nevermore", caught my eye because Dear Daughter #2 is an English major and she's into off-the-wall stuff.

This design is small (approximately 3-1/2" x 6-1/2") but I had The Perfect pillow insert for it!  I had purchased a standard size pillow insert for a previous project.  Unfortunately, the previous project was a non-standard size and the standard pillow insert was slightly too long.  Not to worry ... I would simply cut off the excess.

But wait!   In looking at the leftover bit, it really was too big to throw away; surely I could use it for "something".  (That is the mantra of horders collectors.  If you could possibly use it sometime in the future, better save it so that you won't have to buy it when you need it.  However, you do need to ignore how much STUFF you are saving.)   So, I saved the cut off piece for later.

Well, "later" came sooner than I thought it would (Hooray!).  The "Nevermore" embroidery would fit nicely on that custom sized, cut off bit!

Digging through my scrap stash, I came up with a lavendar-n-white print which was just big enough for the embroidery.  However, it wasn't big enough for the small pillow insert.  Not to worry, digging through my fabric stash again, I rediscovered 2 pieces of a fabulous deep purple fabric with copper "writing" on it.  Once piece was used for borders on the embroidery design to bring it up size and the other piece was used for the backing.  Combined with the "Nevermore" quote, this ::ahem:: literary fabric would be perfect for my English major daughter.

Just to jazz it up a bit, I used some leftover gold metallic fabric (from a previous vintage ballgown I had made for Dear Daughter #2) for a narrow flange between the embroidery and border fabric and also as the piping all around the pillow.  (Yes, to be coordinated, I should have used a copper fabric, but I didn't have any and didn't want to wait until the next day to buy some.  The gold metallic looks nice anyway and will remind Dear Daughter of her ballgown.)

The stitching was done without a hitch.  I have a Janome 300e, a very basic, stand alone embroidery machine.  It doesn't have many of the bells and whistles that other machines have, but it certainly suffices for my needs and it stitches beautifully.

I like to make my pillow covers with a zipper hidden at the bottom seam.  It makes the back look nice (one single piece of fabric) and makes the pillow cover removable for laundering.  When cutting out the front & back of the pillow, you need to remember to also cut a zipper extension, so there is more than a simple seam allowance to sew the zipper to.

I remembered to cut out the zipper extension on the back.  I remembered to cut out the zipper extension on the bottom front border piece.  When I finally got the front & back sewn together and sat back to admire it .... the zipper was on the TOP of the pillow, not the bottom.

::lots of unlady-like words::
::stamping up and down::
::temper tantrums::
::hissy fit::

I had sewn the border piece with the zipper extension to the top of the embroidery instead of the bottom.  I'd love to say that I was a complete idiot to do that but obviously some parts are missing.  :-(

Sooooooooooooooooooooo .... gritting my teeth, I disassembled the pillow: removed the zipper, separated the front from the back.  Luckily, the piping didn't need to be removed.  :-)

However, the front border piece with the zipper extension needed to be repositioned to the bottom of the embroidery piece.  If you look at the finished pillow, you'll see that the embroidery piece is really just an insert ... so to make my life easier (since I did NOT want to mess with the narrow flange fabric), I decided to remove the embroidered "insert", turn it upside down and .. voila! ... the zipper extension is now on the bottom!

The finished pillow is a very small accent size ... 7" x 14".

I love solutions.

From then, it was just a matter of re-assembling the pillow as before.  This time, there were no mishaps and the pillow was successfully completed. :-)   The next time Dear Daughter makes a personal appearance at the Ol' Homestead, she can take possession of it.

And ONE MORE THING .... take another look at the photo at the top .... see that small blue bowl of shortbread cookies?   *THOSE* are not store-bought.  THOSE were made by our Dear Daughter #3, who is the most AMAZING cook and baker.  These shortbread cookies absolutely, positively MELT in your mouth.  They are soooooooooooooooooooooo good.

Gosh, I'm glad she made them for her friends and that they are soon leaving the house.  :-)

Dear Daughter #3 has a food blog, The Adventures of an Epic Baker.  Since she typically takes her photos first and then writes the blog, the entry for the shortbread cookies might not be up yet .... but keep checking back, it'll be there eventually.  In any case, you could always peruse the other food entries she has written about ... they are ALL really, really tasty!  :-)

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