The Pillows that Just Happened

Pink Quilted Pillow Covers via

Pink Quilted Pillow Covers via

Last fall I made some pillow covers for my little loveseat in the front room (where I sew), and I never really loved them. I had been seduced by a bold print at the fabric store. I actually still love the fabric, but I didn’t like how it made my little nest feel. So last week I decided to make something new.

A friend of mine (who has an amazing food blog) had given me some leftover fabric that I just fell in love with and knew I wanted as my pillows. But I didn’t have enough. I hadn’t originally thought of quilting the pillows, since I already have SO MUCH going on in that room, but I decided to play with fabric and just let it happen.

Yes, I decided to let the process just happen.

I almost hyperventilated just contemplating this thought of wild abandon.

[Read more…]

More Squares and Even More Waiting

More Squares and Even More Waiting via

More Squares and Even More Waiting via

My blanket is growing, little by little. I love this pattern. Since you work the blanket in strips only 30 stitches wide, you make lots of progress. And each square is only 16 rows, so I can finish a square pretty quickly. Then it’s on to the next color and it’s so satisfying!!

I remember years and years ago I decided to try and crochet a blanket for my Dad. I used double-strands of worsted cotton and some stitch that worked up pretty fast, I don’t remember which one. But after a few days I had only done about 6 inches of blanket and I just crashed. I couldn’t bear the idea of working on each loooooong row for weeks and weeks on end. [Read more…]

A New Crochet Project

A New Crochet Project via

A New Crochet Project via

Tthe last few days I’ve been laid up on the couch with a bad back. Those of you who have been around awhile know that I’m not particularly good at being ill. It’s not that I don’t like to relax on the couch, I do. I love a good cozy book and blanket, or a bit of handwork, anytime. But when I’m ill I’m stuck and I’m using up all of the good will of Mr. Magpie and the kids, and for what? So I can sit here, being frustrated. That’s when I get cranky. [Read more…]

A Pillow Cover for Fall

A Pillow Cover for Fall via

A Pillow Cover for Fall via

While spending the summer going through someone else’s things isn’t exactly what I’d call the funnest summer ever, there are sometimes perks. For example, my Dad had bought each of us kids a $100 US Treasury Bond back in the 70’s. I had forgotten all about them, but we found them in the bottom of a box, and voila! Some fun money.

I was going to use it responsibly, to pay bills or something, but Mr. Magpie said not to. He said I should take it and buy something special, as a reward for all the hard work I’m doing this summer. It didn’t take long for him to convince me. So I promptly ordered some bedding for my bed and then got myself to the local quilt shop to see what I could find. [Read more…]

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl’s Room

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

Over-dyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

The other night, I was sitting at my desk, working while sick with a cold, and all of a sudden I thought to myself, “Self? You should over dye those sheets for Baby Girl’s room.”

Thanks to major hoarding tendencies a lucky coincidence, I just happened to have some RIT dye in the house that was close to the right color for my project. Late night me says, “Good enough!”

Fifteen minutes later, I had newly over-dyed bedding in the wash, ready to rinse and dry for Baby Girl’s new room.

You may be wondering why the heck I felt like this was a good idea. Well, see, while working on the Dining Room Thanksgiving Countdown, I am also chipping way at Baby Girl’s room. And she had picked an inspiration photo that had the prettiest lilac bedding. (Go ahead, take a peek, I’ll wait…)

Like always, I’m trying to do this room on a budget. As in, as little money as physically possible! So I had planned to use this pretty white bedding with pink flowers I had gotten on eBay several years ago and didn’t use. It’s really pretty. But that much white for a small child I wasn’t sure about. Plus she loved that room with the lilac ruffled duvet. So, over dye it is!!

I started with this:

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

After dying, it looked like this! I love how the flowers are all faded under the dye.

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

It’s a little more purple than lilac, but I like it and I’m sure Baby Girl will, too.

I saved some of the original bedding, too, so that I have some to mix and match. I think they look pretty together.

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

I also really like how they look with the Sea Salt paint color we picked.

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

But the best part? Of course, the ruffles! Ruffles, ruffles, ruffles.

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

I’m really excited to see how these will work in her room.

Overdyed Linens for Baby Girl's Room

Now I just have to finish painting!!

Have you guys tried to over dye anything? What are your favorite color combos?

~Angela :-)

How To Sew A Throw Pillow Cover In 10 Easy Steps

How To Sew A Throw Pillow Cover In 10 Easy Steps

I admit, I tend to change my mind frequently. My husband would call it fickle. I just call it “ever evolving design tastes.” Whatever you call it, it means that I really love decor that has built in flexibility such as pillow covers that can be removed, washed, or changed. The best thing about pillow covers is that they are so easy to make. Here’s how I make a cottage-style throw pillow cover in 10 easy steps.

You will need:

  • A yard and a quarter (1 1/4) of 45″ fabric, or a yard (1) of 55″ fabric
  • Two and a half (2 1/2) yards of trim
  • A drinking glass and pencil
  • A sewing machine, iron, ironing surface, pins, scissors and thread
  • Optionally, you may want a rotary cutter and mat for cutting your fabric.

Step 1: Pillow Cover

Step 1
Cut your fabric into three pieces. For the front of the pillow, you will need one square 21″ x 21″. For the back, you will need two rectangles, 13″ x 21″ each. Note: Measurements given are for a 20″ square pillow. The formula for other sizes is at the end of the article.

Step 2: Pillow Cover

Step 2
To ease sewing and turning, we will round the corners of our pillow cover slightly. Trace a glass with a pencil on the wrong side of your fabric. Mark all four corners of the square piece of fabric and two corners on one long edge for each rectangle (see the picture at Step 4).

Step 3: Pillow Cover

Step 3
Cut along the pencil lines. To save time, I often double-up corners and cut two at once.

Step 4: Pillow Cover

Step 4
To prevent fraying but also avoid bulk at the seams, we will finish our raw edges using a zig-zag stitch or an overlong stitch if you have one. Finish all edges except the straight edge on each rectangle.

Step 5: Pillow Cover

Step 5
Since the straight edges of the rectangles will be exposed, we’ll use a more polished hem. Fold about 1/4″ – 3/8″ of the edge over twice to completely encase the raw edge and stitch it down with a straight stitch.

Step 6: Pillow Cover

Step 6
Next we will pin in our trim. On the right side of the square piece of fabric, start at the bottom of the pillow and carefully pin your trim, making sure the sewing band is to the outside and the trim to show is toward the inside of the square. Pin frequently, making sure not to stretch the trim. It should not have any tightness to it, or the pillow will pucker on the edges. Butt the ends together so the trim appears continuous, adjusting the length as necessary.

Step 7: Pillow Cover

Step 7
Next, we’ll pin the entire pillow cover together in preparation for sewing. Place one of the rectangular pieces face down, rounded corners to the outside as shown. Line the corners up and pin carefully, again, making sure not to stretch the fabric or trim.

Step 8: Pillow Cover

Step 8
When the first rectangle is completely pinned, place the second rectangle, face down, on the other half of the project. The hemmed straight edges will overlap. Again, beginning with the corners, pin the rectangle down carefully, making sure to remove any pins that might hide under the overlapping fabric and cause problems when sewing.

Step 9: Pillow Cover<

Step 9
Sew all around the pillow, using a seam allowance that matches the sewing band on the trim. For example, the sewing strip on my pom-pom trim was 5/8″ wide, so I used a 5/8″ seam allowance. For very bulky trims or piping that are close to the seam, you may need to use a zipper foot, but for flat trims such as fringe, or trims that hang away from the edge, your regular presser foot might work fine. If in doubt, sew a test using scraps of trim and fabric until you are comfortable with how the material will run through your machine. Finally, make sure to remove pins before you sew any given section of fabric! Sewing over pins can break your needle or even damage your machine. I usually pull the pins out of the 1″-2″ right before the presser foot and sew in small sections.

Step 10: Pillow Cover

Step 10
You’re almost done! Your project should now look like this. Next, turn the project inside out and press. Then, all you have to do is stuff the new cover with your pillow form.

Insert Pillow Form

Stuffing the pillow form into the cover is easy, just like you would put a pillow sham on a bed pillow. Smoosh it around and shake the corners until it looks right, and then, you’re done!

Finished Pillow Cover

Voila! One cute cottage style pillow cover. Now that you know this simple trick, you can change all the pillows in your house whenever the mood strikes. If you’re like me, that will be often!

My very best,

~Angela :-)

P.S.If you want to make a pillow cover for a pillow form other than the 20″ pillow I made here, you can figure your fabric sizes as follows:

  • Your square piece is the size of the pillow form plus 1″ square. So if your pillow form is 14″, your square piece of fabric should be 15″ square.
  • Your rectangle pieces are the same length as your square piece on the long edge. For the short edge, they are half your square piece plus 2.5″. So, if your square piece is 15″ square, half of that is 7.5″ and plus 2.5″ is 10″, so your rectangles should be 10″ x 15″ each.

Fast & Easy Loom Knitted Scarf

Fast & Easy Loom Knitted Scarf
I value handmade gifts. And I love beautiful yarns and knitting. The problem is that I don’t know how to knit. I’ve tried to learn, but I learned to crochet when I was 5 so the knitting never seems to stick. My solution? Using a fun and easy knitting loom to make simple handmade gifts, like this knitted scarf.
The way a knitting loom works is that you wind the yarn around the pegs twice around the loom, and then you use a little hook to pick up the lower loops and pull them up over the peg, creating a stitch. I bought mine, but you could make one yourself with a little ingenuity. This particular loom was made by Knifty Knitter and came with a set of four looms that you can use to make scarves, hats, flowers and more. I got it at Jo-Ann fabrics for $14.
Knitting Loom
To make the scarf, I picked up two skeins of yard, one in a super soft twisted natural color, and one in a black eyelash yarn with tan and brown kernels. I started with the eyelash yarn, did 20 or so rows of that, then switched to the tan yarn and just knitted away until the scarf seemed long enough (I like a good, long scarf), and then did another 20 or so rows of the eyelash yarn. Then I used a crochet hook to finish the end and get the work off the loom. Easy, peasy! It only took a couple of evenings workign while I watched TV, and now I have a great handmade gift for someone on my list.
Knitted Scarf
When I was done, I had enough left of each to do a hat, but not another scarf. The yarn was about $10. So it’s not cheaper, but it’s handmade by you, and that’s what counts. And it was fun! I am already planning another scarf, maybe experimenting with other yarns, stripes or other fun variations. I’ll post them as I do them.
Have any of you ever used a knitting loom? Do you have any brilliant ideas or projects to do? Let me know!
~Angela :-)

Iris the Womberscootch

Iris the Womberscootch
I promised you a mysterious artist, and I’m going to deliver. By way of introduction, let me tell you about Iris. She’s not really a pet. More of a companion. Iris is a Womberscootch.
Iris the Womberscootch
When Iris woke up this morning, the first thing Iris said was, “I want to go outside.” Unfortunately it’s been blustery and stormy, so I said we might not be able to. Iris was very cross.
Iris the Womberscootch
She refused to eat or play. She just sat in the window.
Iris the Womberscootch
I think Iris might have willed the sunshine, because we had a small break in the weather. Outside we found one of the climbing roses on our front arbor, old Bourbon rose “Zephirine Drouhin,” blooming. Iris says they smell fantastic.
Iris the Womberscootch
Then we played hide and seek. She looks pleased with herself, don’t you think?
Iris the Womberscootch
Finally Iris decided she wanted to take pictures. “Can’t you sit still?” she says.
Iris the Womberscootch
Iris usually sits by my sewing machine. She likes to tell me when my seams are straight and makes me rip things out that I probably would let go and regret later. She’s helpful that way. So I’m glad that Renee, creator of the Womberscootch and today’s promised promised mysterious and elusive artist, let Iris could come to live with me. Thank you, Renee!
If you want a Womberscootch of your own, you have to vist Renee’s website, While you’re there, make sure to take a look at her art gallery. You can also visit her blog, or her Etsy shop for more art & crafty goodies.
Okay, we must move on. Say goodbye, Iris.
“Goodbye, Iris.”
She’s soooo funny.
~Angela :-)

Liquid Sky Arts

Liquid Sky Arts

Ooooooh! Look what came in the mail today! I bought this from Liquid Sky Arts, whom I discovered blog surfing, and I am SO excited!

Isn’t she just beautiful? I can’t wait to wear her.

The site promises free artistic giftwrap, and I can promise you, it’s no lie. The confection that arrived made my rainy, blustery day.

Spring Sparrow Packaging

Liquid Sky Arts also has a scrumptious blog full of lovely colors, beautiful displays and graphic eye candy. Check it out.

Since I’ve been offline for a few days, neglecting all my new bloggy friends, I’m going to take a moment to give back and tell you about some of my new blogs and new friends. They are all so awesome!

Tune in tomorrow to hear about a mysterious and elusive artist who’s paintings and magical creatures will beguile you. But for now, I leave you with a close-up of the fantastic double-sided pendant. God, I love this thing!

Spring Sparrow Pendant

Now I have to figure out what to string it on. A chain won’t do it justice. Maybe a green silk cord?

Spring Sparrow Pendant

Wait a minute. Now I have to figure out where to wear it! Something tells me the toddler is going to love it a leeeeetle too much.


~Angela :-)