Tagged decor

Pillowcase for the tall kid

My eldest, who will soon be 14, is a big Legend of Zelda fan. A few weeks ago, I found some awesome Majora’s Mask fabric at Dressew, and bought a metre of it on a whim. I figured I’d eventually decide what to make with it.


Eldest is going for a sleepover tonight, and needs to bring a pillow, so I figured why not make a pillowcase? I whipped it up yesterday, in about an hour. When I make pillowcases, I base them on the measurements and techniques from the One Million Pillowcase project, and use this pattern from All People Quilt. I modify the pattern a little. In this case, I cut a 3″ wide strip of green broadcloth and pressed it lengthwise in half to make an accent strip between the printed fabric and the plain black fabric. When you prepare the opening, just baste this strip to the edge before sewing the loop. Easy as pie! I also had to make it a little smaller than the pattern tells you to, because my green fabric was 1″ too short and I didn’t want seams in it. The joys of sewing from your stash and using up leftovers!

Kid likes the pillowcase, I got to use up some stash fabric, and I’m a happy mum. I’m hoping to find some kind of awesome must-have fabric to make a fun pillowcase for the boy at some point, but nothing has caught my eye.

High Light Quilt – Finished

DSC_4551-001 Remember my post about the quilt I was making for our bedroom? It’s finally finished!

My sister in law has a home-based long-arm quilting business, and because of the size of the quilt, I asked her to quilt it for me. This quilt is massive! I knew there was no way I could ever possibly quilt it on my machine without hating every minute of it, so having it done on a long-arm was the way to go. She quilted it with a series of leaves, in pale yellow thread. I’m really pleased with the quilting, and there’s no way I’d have been able to do it myself.
DSC_4552She gave me the finished quilt in October, but because other projects were a priority, I let it sit for a while. I spent a few hours on Sunday binding it, and threw it in the washer today. Thank goodness for glue basting, or I’d have lost a lot of blood thanks to all of the pins I would have needed! I’m really pleased with my quilt, and love how it looks on the bed. It’s so much better than the boring Ikea duvet we had on it previously.

Pillowcases for Highlight Quilt

Well, my Highlight quilt is now in the capable hands of my sister in law. I picked out a lovely leaf pantograph, and she expects to have it finished in about two weeks, since she’s got some other quilts to finish before she gets to mine. Then I have to bind it (I’m not sure if I’m going to use plain black, or a print. I have some extra from my blocks).

DSC_4363In the meantime, I spent a couple of hours today making pillowcases to match the quilt.

I made a point of buying enough of the grey floral to make pillowcases. I thought that I had enough of the yellow floral to do the band at the opening, so I could put a plain black accent on them, but sadly, I only had enough for one pillowcase, so the yellow became the accent, and I used the polka dotted fabric for the opening.

I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. The fabric is nice and smooth, so they should be nice to sleep on. I’ll be writing up a tutorial for making these, as well as a fitted sheet, since I bought fabric to make my son a really cool fitted sheet and pillowcase. Stay tuned!

Sneak peek at Highlight quilt

DSC_4362I love starting a new project, even if it is a project that I purchased supplies for a while back and didn’t get around to starting. This is  sneak peek at my High Light quilt.

The fabrics are from Dressew, and include some Michael Miller pieces, which are more costly than most quilt fabrics I’ve purchased, but they’re very good quality and very pleasant to work with.

I posted a schematic of what I had planned here, and I’m done piecing now. I started cutting fabrics on Thursday evening, and spent Friday and Saturday afternoon sewing. That’s one of the reason I love quilts with large blocks – they go together very quickly. The other reason is that they look more modern than a lot of quilts with small blocks, and you can have fun with larger prints.

This is a large quilt – we have a queen sized bed, but I hate that the sheets hang down below the duvet, so I decided to make a king sized quilt. It was easy to modify the pattern – all I did was make it wider by one row of blocks (which are 20″ across, give or take). I could, theoretically, quilt it on my machine, but that doesn’t sound like much fun. Fortunately for me, my sister in law has a long arm quilting machine, so I’m bringing the quilt and batting with me to visit her, and we’ll talk about quilting it. I don’t have backing fabric yet, so maybe she has a cheaper source for it than either Dressew or Fabricland. I don’t want to pay $50 for backing fabric if I can help it.

I’m going to make some coordinating pillowcases as well. Not shams, because frankly, I’m too lazy to take them off the pillows every night. I’ll use the grey floral with the yellow (which I have lots of) as edging.

The next time you see my quilt top, it’ll be on the bed!



I started these placemats MONTHS ago. I am not kidding. I made one set (which has been used daily since I made them), started the second, then got busy with other things and put them away until today. The catalyst for getting them finished is twofold. One, the weather turned about a week ago, and it feels like Autumn already, even though we’re only a week into September, and the fabrics scream “AUTUMN!!!” Two, I did some rearranging and a little bit of culling of my fabric and craft supplies, and came across the placemats. Rather than stuff them back into the cabinet never to be seen again, I decided to leave them out on my sewing table so that they’d finally be completed.

DSC_4357My husband took the dog hiking today, and the kids were entertaining themselves, so I really had no excuse not to get them finished.

I didn’t use a pattern or existing tutorial for these, so if anyone is interested, I can write up a tutorial. They’re pretty simple, and I really should have written it up and taken pictures as I went along, so that I can make more later. I’d like to make some special placemats for Yule as well, and will probably do so this Winter.

DSC_4360The fabrics for these placemats are leftovers from my daughter’s rainbow quilt, so making them was incredibly economical since the fabric would likely sit in my stash, unused for who knows how long if I hadn’t made these placemats! I like that they’re reversible, in case I want to see the yellow side instead of the orange… or if something gets spilled on them. Just flip them over and throw them in the laundry the next time you’re doing washing.

One thing that I am really pleased about is that because I used cotton quilt batting in the middle and quilted all three layers together, they wash up really nicely. I can’t stand washing storebought placemats and then having to iron them – so long as I take them out of the dryer while they’re still warm, they flatten nicely without having to press them. The first set I made has held up really well, with weekly laundering and daily use for the last eight months or so.


Up next!

I’ve been quiet on the blog for a little while, as I haven’t been sewing and knitting is so dreadfully slow… besides, updates on knitting projects that are, well, uneventful, are rather dull. It would be different if I were working on something really challenging that needed explanations on new techniques and such, but that isn’t the case here.

I do have something new up my sleeve, however. I’ve been wanting a nice quilt for our bedroom for some time, but couldn’t decide what colours to use. Originally, I thought I’d go with olive and burgundy, as we have dark furniture and an olive green wall behind the bed, but that sounded too dark, and was a bit more masculine than I wanted.

Of course, I didn’t think my husband would be terribly keen on a really feminine quilt, either, so that left a lot of fabrics out of the question. No pastels, no girly florals. I didn’t want anything really dark, and I didn’t want to have to repaint the feature wall, so I decided to start with a pattern, and hope that inspiration struck.

© All People Quilt
© All People Quilt

After a lot of looking, I found the High Light quilt pattern, from All People Quilt. I’ve turned to them for patterns before, and I like that they have a good selection of modern quilt patterns, as well as more traditional patterns.

What I liked about this pattern is that the blocks are fairly large, which allows me to use bolder prints. There are plenty of options when you use large blocks! My daughter’s quilt has large blocks, which meant it went together quickly, and I could use pretty much any fabric I wanted.

I also like the yellow sections used in this quilt, as they add pops of bright colour without being overwhelming.

Fabrics for our quilt.
Fabrics for our quilt.

The next step was choosing fabric. I had some fabric in my stash that I quite liked, but had no specific plans for. I brought a swatch of it to the fabric store, and came home with this… The aforementioned fabric is the black and green one on the bottom, by the way. The green in the fabric is similar to, but lighter than the feature wall, so it ties everything together nicely.

The other fabrics are a variety of greys, greens and yellows, with a bit of white mixed in for good measure. Normally I’m not a big fan of yellow, but the yellow fabric is a soft, buttery colour and there won’t be a lot of it, so I think it will work nicely without being too much for my tastes. I think it’ll be a fantastic quilt, and I’m looking forward to starting it. I do still need to plan out my blocks, but they’re pretty straightforward, so that shouldn’t take long. I do need to modify the quilt a little, since we have a queen sized bed with a king sized duvet on it (queen sized duvets are never big enough for a queen sized bed).

An added bonus is that my sister in law started a long arm quilting business a few months back, so I won’t have to struggle with quilting a large piece on my machine. I don’t have backing fabric yet, but that’s no rush, since I haven’t even begun cutting yet.

Quilt schematic.
Quilt schematic.

Here’s the plan for the quilt, since I’m a visual person. As I mentioned, I’m going to have to modify the pattern to make a larger quilt, so I’m adding two extra rows of blocks to make it four blocks long by five blocks wide, instead of three blocks wide. This will give me a quilt that is large enough to cover a king sized duvet.

The border fabric is the green on black floral, which is swatched at the top. The pale yellow floral is the “highlight” fabric. I’m making two different types of blocks, and the fabrics are swatched together. I will need to buy some plain black fabric for the inner borders. This also covers my binding fabric, since I don’t want the binding to stand out from the rest of the quilt.

I’m planning to start cutting my blocks on Monday, as this weekend is going to be very busy with guests visiting. Fortunately, large block quilts like this sew up really quickly, so I could potentially be finished the quilt top by the end of the week, unless I get distracted by something else (which happens on a fairly regular basis).


My first large free motion quilting project.
My first large free motion quilting project.

When we moved into our new home, I promised my daughter that I’d make her a new quilt. She’d outgrown the cute pink and purple one I made when she was in Kindergarten, so she was pretty happy to hear that she’d be getting a new, more grown up quilt.

Daughter had this idea that she wanted her bedroom to be “like a garden”, so I bought a tree wall decal, painted her walls robin’s egg blue, and got a rug from Ikea that looked like grass. The quilt, which is up in her loft bed, is a rainbow.

Of course, stripes are boring, and I didn’t want to spend all that time and money working on a quilt that she wouldn’t like in a year, so I picked out some fabrics that are more grown up, and somewhere in between pastel and bold…

The pattern I chose is called Window to the Soul Gypsy Caravan, and it is by Amy Butler. The pattern is free, which is a bonus!

Unfortunately, the pattern makes more of a square quilt. I really need to get more consistent about reading finished quilt measurements! Lesson learned!

My daughter's quilt, before adding length.
My daughter’s quilt, before adding length.

It’s next to impossible to photograph a quilt in a loft bed, so these are the best photos I could get of the finished quilt.

Here’s some background on the quilt, which I started quite some time ago…

First post, talking about the planning stages…

Second post, an update and talking about my machine…

Third post, another update…

Fourth post, could it be? Yes, another update…

And the final post on the quilt, the finished pillow sham.

Then nothing. I posted nothing further on the quilt. For shame! Well, I’m remedying that now, aren’t I?

My daughter's quilt. The pattern is by Amy Butler, called "windows to the soul gypsy caravan"
My daughter’s quilt. The pattern is by Amy Butler, called “windows to the soul gypsy caravan”

The quilt, as I mentioned, turned out more square and was therefore a little too short, so I cut off the binding on the top and bottom edges, and added a band of another coordinating fabric to both ends.

How did I add the length? Well, the quilt was already finished, so I had to trim off the binding. Have you ever taken scissors to a quilt? It feels so wrong!!! Anyway, that’s what I had to do, and I lived to tell the tale. Thanks to my friend Andrea, I learned about the “quilt as you go” method, which I was able to adapt to this quilt. Basically, I used this version of the method, but more or less in reverse. First, I sewed the green and teal strips together, then I added them to the purple edge, which previously had been the finished edge of the quilt. I trimmed the extra batting, and used a decorative binding stitch to ensure that I caught everything on the underside of the quilt.

I had lots of the light green from the center left, so I used that, as well as some teal that I found I did not need.

Now the quilt is plenty long enough for daughter’s bed.