Pillow Forms…

Now that I am making my living full time on my “talents”, I’m working on an Etsy store.  One of my new projects is a pillow using recycled denim jeans.


I need 18” pillow forms for these pillows. 


I’ve debated making them myself from scratch or buying them at an affordable resale price.  I can make a really nice one but I’m not sure that would be practical for creating pillows in volume.


I came across 18” pillow forms at a discounted fabric store the other day.  The quality is okay with the only real flaw being that the forms lack enough stuffing. 


I brought one home to experiment with making modifications.  I was happy with the results and thought I would share. 


Here’s what they look like when I buy them.  They’re definitely clean and new and the casing is put together well, however, as you can see the corners are flat and the overall pillows are lumpy.  They’re just not stuffed well.




So, I decided to rip open the pillows and stuff them properly.  Here’s how I do it.


I use my extra fancy seam ripper (with which I’m pretty sure you can also conduct surgery) to start ripping in the center of one side.  I start at the label.




I continue to GENTLY rip out more stitches.  I take out about 6” total from the seam.




At this point, I reach in and start moving around the stuffing that already exists, filling all of the corners and stuffing them tight.

Next, I add my own new stuffing to fill out the pillow and I hand sew the opening shut.  I tried machine sewing but it takes a pretty big chunk out of the side of the pillow.  Hand sewing leaves a much nicer line along the edge.



This is the Much improved, Much nicer version of the pillow form!  It’s tightly stuffed and has a smooth texture!



Here’s a shelf full of forms newly stuffed and ready for sale! 



I have to say after making pillow forms by hand and then in comparison, modifying the store bought forms, the modification is definitely less work and cost efficient!

“Positively Pink”- Breast Cancer Fundraising Quilt


I belong to a quilting group that meets twice a month.  We’ve been working on a quilt to donate to a Breast Cancer Fundraising event in Sacramento.   It’s almost done.  I took the quilt home and have been working on some last minute details since the deadline is fast approaching.


Everyone raided their stash and donated black, white and pink fabrics.


Here’s what the top looked like prior to longarming.  We are all very happy with the results!!




The quilt still needed a binding, sleeve and label.


I did the binding last night and made the sleeve and label, however, I plan on taking the quilt back to our meeting on Monday so that the group can finish hand sewing the sleeve and label in place.


Here’s the sleeve.  Kind of hard to see since everything is the same color!



Here’s the label, also pinned in place and ready to be hand sewn.





We didn’t have a name for the quilt so I went online and looked up slogans for breast cancer awareness.   “Positively Pink” made the final cut!




Overall, it’s a beautiful quilt.  We did a great job!

The Scrappy Star Jean Quilt


In the spirit of loving to work with old denim jeans, I started working on a new denim quilt while still working on my circle rag quilt.

This quilt will be a lot of fun because it combines my enjoyment of working with jeans and scrap fabric.


Before I start any jean quilt, I need to get to the usable “yardage”.  Here is how I typically prepare a pair of freshly laundered jeans.

I start by removing both legs just underneath the pockets.  (I now have a HUGE stack of pockets waiting to a future project!)


Next, I cut down each of the seams in both legs so that each leg can be opened flat.



I often cut away the “cuffs” at the bottom  of each leg as well.  If you accidently run over them with your rotary cutter, they’re pretty hard and I would think could dull the blade easily.



I’m then left with two pieces of denim ready for sewing!



More on this quilt tomorrow…

The Jean Rag Quilt…continues


I’m in the process of starting a new recycled jean rag quilt.  I’m still moving along on a pattern and I need to rework the details as I write.  So now that I am no longer working, I can get busy!


I’m using the charm squares, “Odyssea”.  This particular size of quilt requires three packs. 




Here’s the first row…I just mix up all of the charm squares and start randomly placing them. 

Same with the jean circles.  Just mix up the colors and sew.





I LOVE this quilt pattern.  I love reusing old jeans and making rag quilts.  It’s a fun one!  I’ll keep you updated!

What do you do with your Scraps?


After each project I always have a big pile of scrap fabric left over, just like everyone- yes? 


Some of the fabric goes into my string storage and larger pieces go back into the stash.  Other strings and strips go into a bin.


Recently, I discovered that my nine year old nephew and five year old niece LOVE the colorful castaways located in my trash bin!


Often we will pull out various sizes of paper or cardboard (whatever we have on hand), bring out the fabric bin and some white, washable school glue.  Oh, and “kid” scissors.


They love to glue the fabrics strips down to the paper in varying patterns.  It’s so interesting to watch the way their minds work.  They’re both so different in how they use the fabric.


Funny how these simple strips are such a source of fun and amusement for them!  Additionally, it a fun “quiet” activity.  I don’t worry about them ruining anything because we use the washable school glue.


Here are a few projects from last week…








So much fun….  And such an easy (and inexpensive) way to spend some time together.  :)

Renovated Quilting Room!

Since I knew I was close to leaving my job, I started a renovation of my quilting room a couple of weeks ago.


I knew I wanted more storage that also looked nice.  I was VERY tired of not being able to find anything and the uncomfortable clutter associated with keeping so much on the floor.


Yuck!  This was no way to work and expect productivity. 


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So…I knew what I wanted.  I just needed to make it happen.


I went to Lowe’s and got the necessary shelving materials. 


Here’s the start of my shelving.  I did the work myself!





Here’s what the shelves looked like once I moved everything back into the room.


Whew!  It was a bit of work!  This was the first time I have put up shelving.  I am SO HAPPY with the results!


Here’s what my “Wall of Rulers” looks like.  Oh my gosh, I can now find a ruler when I need it!



And here’s what the room looks like all put back together!  It is such a TREAT to use this room!






I think I have finally found the best way to utilize the space in this small room.  I just realized, I don’t have any pictures of the “fabric closet” or the design wall. I’ll have to include those later.


Woo-Hoo!  I’m LOVING this room!

The Joy of Full Time Quilting


I finally made it!  My last day of work was one week ago today.  It was a long time coming.  I waited for approximately four months after officially quitting my job before leaving.  For the month of July I worked three days a week.  Those three days were killer though- very stressful!


Now, I am moving onto the life I’ve wanted for some time now. 


My intention is to make money by focusing on my passions.  Of course, quilting, is at the very top of the list.  I love to sew, I love to quilt.


I’ve got quite a few ideas, many of which revolve around having an Etsy shop. 


My very first plan is to finish my denim rag quilt PATTERN.  A lot of people have asked about it.  I’m very excited to get going on it again and finishing it!


In the meantime, I’m also excited to tackle quite a few projects that weren’t getting done around the house.  While I was working whatever free time I had was devoted to spending time with my family and quilting!


Here are 10 things I’ve accomplished in my first week away from my job:

1. I vacuumed out all of the dust bunnies from around the bed.  There were dust bunnies on top of dust bunnies under there.  I can actually see carpet now!

2. I cleaned the plastic grate/vent at the base of the refrigerator.  This thing was nasty.  I had to take a “Mr. Clean” pad to it in order to cut through the grease but it looks amazing now!  In addition, I vacuumed out all of the dust bunnies under the refrigerator as well.

3. I finally got all of our winter clothes out of the closet and put into storage.  At the same time, I put into the closet the remaining summer clothes.  I also pulled out any clothes that no longer fit and donated them to charity.

4. I cancelled our more expensive phone, TV and internet providers and changed over to one “bundled” provider.  We’re saving over $100 a month!!

5. I cleaned the toaster over.  This was another job for a Mr. Clean pad.  Oh my gosh, those things really cut through grease.  I was actually thinking we would have to take it out back and shoot it and get another one, it was looking so bad.  But it cleaned up Very nice.  It felt great to get it so clean!

6. I cleaned out the freezer.  There was some meat in there from 2007.  ;(  Not only did I clean out the freezer but we went shopping and replenished it with meats so we could do more cooking at home.

7.  I dove into recipes and found some healthy, light alternatives.  I’ve been cooking more and enjoying it! Eating out is no longer my “go to” for lunchtime.  

8.  I went through my sewing room and pulled out things I no longer need or use.  A group of women from my Mom’s church are getting together and donating craft supplies for local teachers.  It was a relief to get rid of things that were just causing clutter and know they will be put to good use!

9. I turned my leased vehicle back into the dealership in order to rid myself of insurance, registration, gas and a monthly payment.  This is going a long way towards helping me to work from home!

10. I renovated my quilting room!!!  I am so happy with the results.  My room is only 10’ x 10’ so I’m somewhat limited in what I can do.  I must say, though, I am SOOOO happy with the results. 


Tomorrow…pictures of the “new” quilting room!  It’s so Organized!!


Here are some pictures from our trip to the Cincinnati, OH for the Quilt Festival in April…
















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