Monday, 30 July 2012

Petal Pocket Pillow...


This month I've joined in the 2 in 1 Sewing Challenge, hosted by Rikka, from Ricochet and Away. The theme of this challenge, is to sew something that can be transformed into a new look or a new item.

I've made a cushion that doubles up as storage space for a few teddies, toys or special treasures. Take the toys out of the fully lined, quilted pocket and you have a comfortable cushion.


To make my cushion, I've used the Pillow Pocket and Petal Pocket pattern by Nova, from A Cuppa and a Catch Up. I purchased the pattern last year, with the intention of making both versions included in the pattern for Christmas. Needless to say, the cushions weren't made for Christmas as intended, but I did actually start on this one. Once I could see I didn't have enough time, I packed the pieces away and thought... maybe next Christmas.

As soon as Rikka announced the 2 in 1 Sewing Challenge, the Pocket Pillow sprang to mind. Even so, I left it till the last week to begin. I think I work better under pressure and with a deadline to meet. 


First up was to make the petals and sew them to the cushion. I sewed the petals by machine and then hand appliquéd them to the front of the cushion. The pattern gives instructions to appliqué by both hand or machine.

Next up was the pocket. All smooth sailing to begin with. As you can see, I've machine quilted the front of the pocket using straight lines. Again, I hand appliquéd the finished pocket to the cushion. 

As the pocket would see a fair amount of wear and tear, I thought I'd better machine stitch as well. I did this with the batting and backing fabric attached. This took my Bernina to the limit!!! At one point, I couldn't even turn the handwheel by hand. I was already using a denim needle, but changed to a new one. The new needle allowed me to sew the pocket on, but the machine struggled. The pattern quite clearly stated to trim the batting in the pocket to reduce bulk. I did trim it, but not close to the seam. My machine was sewing through three layers of batting, plus fabric!!! Next time, I'll trim as the pattern said. I could also sew the pocket to the cushion front, before attaching the cushion batting and backing fabric.


Time to make a mini quilt with the front of the cushion. Having finishing my first quilt earlier this month, I was keen to try some more quilting, but on a much smaller scale. First I did a row of hand stitching, a simple running stitch, just outside the petals. Following the line of the hand stitching, I did rows of quilting, using the walking foot on my machine. I love the effect this creates!!!

The cushion has a simple envelope closure on the back. I've used the same mauve fabric as on the pocket, but I didn't quilt it. I just used two thicknesses of fabric.

Last step was to attach the binding. It's not the conventional way, but I've sandwiched the cushion between the binding and have done a decorative stitch to sew all layers together.

I'm thrilled with how my cushion has turned out!!! I'm tempted to keep it and not give it as a present. This would have to be one of my favourite projects!!!

Once my cushion was finished, the first thing that sprang to mind, was the rhyme, Ten in the Bed...

There were ten in the bed and the little one said,
Roll over, roll over.
So they all rolled over and one fell out.

There were nine in the bed and the little one said,
Roll over, roll over.
So they all rolled over and one fell out.

and so on until there are none in the bed.

Well, perhaps this little bed isn't big enough for ten, but I'm sure we'll squeeze five in the bed and have lots of fun having the toys fall out.

I just grabbed toys and a book from the shelf for the purposes of taking photos. As I was taking photos, I thought I must tell you about the book in case you haven't come across it. Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, one of our favourites, is written by Australian author, Mem Fox, and has been published in Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and French. In fact, we love all of Mem's books!!!

If you are looking for literature related activities to share with your children, check out Integrating Literature and Cooking, based on another Mem Fox book; Possum Magic. And just in time for the Olympics, Koala Lou Scavenger Hunt, based on another of Mem's books.

In case you're wondering, I'm not being paid to endorse Mem's books. It's just the teacher in me. Instilling a love of reading in your children is one of the most important things you can do.

When this cushion makes its way to its new home, there will be a book tucked away inside the pocket.

2-in-1 Challenge Homepage

This is my sixth challenge with Rikka. Not long after I began blogging, I entered my first online sewing challenge with Rikka and Keren, from Ricochet and Away and Sew la Vie! I created a Retro Flower Power Pillow.





Do the colours look familiar? Yes, I've used some of the same fabric for this challenge. I had no idea what I was doing and bought so much fabric, that I still have lots of mauves and purples left... LOL!!!

I'm aiming to make the boy version of the Pocket Pillow before Christmas this year.

Thanks, Rikka, for hosting yet another fun challenge!!! I'm looking forward to the next one.

I'm linking my Petal Pocket Pillow up to our Pillows and Cushions link party.

... Pam



Edited to add:  Voting has begun for the 2 in 1 Challenge, so head on over and vote for your favourite project.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Threading Your Way ~ Blog Tips ~ Link Party

Welcome to the thirty first edition of Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way. Each ongoing, themed link party is steadily growing into a resource full of ideas and inspiration.
    Remember, these linkys are ongoing, so you can continue to add projects throughout the year. Add as many projects as you would like.

    Our thirty first linky for 2012 is everything How Does Your Blog Look... blog tips, blog appearance, photography tips, how to on a blog, anything to help with the appearance and functioning of blogs...

    How Does Your Blog Look
    Link up any family friendly posts that you have written on How Does Your Blog Look Your posts might (but don't have to) include any of the following:
    • how to's 
    • tutorials
    • photos
    • tips 
    • what you have learnt
    As long as YOU have written the post, link it up. Link up as many posts on How Does Your Blog Look, as you would like. Come back through the year and add more.

    Guidelines for linking up:
    • Each post needs to be about How Does Your Blog Look.
    • Link to a specific post (not the home page of your blog).
    • No direct links to shops or giveaways.
    The fine print:
    • By linking up, you are giving me permission to use one of your photos in a feature. I will, of course, link back to your post, giving you full credit.
    If you'd like:
    • Subscribe to Threading My Way (GFC, RSS, email), to keep up to date, to see if you've been featured and to know when the next themed party starts.
    • Grab a button to spread the word about Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way and put it somewhere on your blog. 
    • Visit some of the other links. Everyone loves comments.
    I usually post Features each Saturday on Threading My Way. Features are chosen from all of the linkys, not just the most recent.




    I look forward to seeing your How Does Your Blog Look ideas...

    Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 



    Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 
    1. Bags and Totes
    2. Dresses for Girls
    3. Dresses for Women
    4. Hair Accessories
    5. Pillows and Cushions
    6. Boys' Clothes
    7. Skirts for Girls
    8. Aprons and Art Smocks
    9. Purses, Clutches, Pouches
    10. Dolls' Clothes
    11. Women's Skirts
    12. Baby Clothes and Accessories
    13. Children's Tops and Shirts
    14. Women's Tops and Shirts
    15. Softies, Dolls, Toys
    16. Sewing Tips and Techniques
    17. Sewing with stretch fabric
    18. Quilting and Patchwork
    19. Embroidery, Stitching and Appliqué
    20. Jackets, Coats, Raincoats, Ponchos
    21. Hats, Bonnets, Beanies and Scarves
    22. Pants, Shorts, Trousers for Children
    23. Drawstring Bags and Fabric Baskets
    24. Pretend Dress Up Clothes
    25. Clothes for Men
    26. Kitchen Accessories
    27. Swimwear
    28. Sleepwear
    29. Gift Wrapping
    30. Electronic Gadget Covers and Cases
    31. Blog Tips
    32. Refashioning with Denim
    33. Pants for Women
    34. Sewing Accessories
    35. Home Decor
    ... Pam

    Threading Your Way ~ Features

    We now have 30 ongoing, themed link parties. You can add projects to any party at any time. A new ongoing party begins each Sunday. Features, which are usually done each Saturday, can be chosen from any of the parties. There's a list at the bottom of the post.

    Our features for this week...


    Some very creative ideas linked to the Gift Wrapping Link Party:
    These awesome oven gloves linked to the Kitchen Accessories Link Party.
    An amazing wall hanging linked to the Quilting and Patchwork Link Party:
    And two fantastic cushions linked to the Pillows and Cushions Link Party:

        Head on over and visit these talented ladies. 

        Each week, I will place a blog button, belonging to the blog which was most viewed, in my sidebar. This week the most viewed link is the Gift Tags. Liz, look out for your blog button in my sidebar.

        Feel free to grab a button if you've been featured...


        You can find the Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 

        Don't forget, all of our link parties are ONGOING and will remain open all year. You can add links to any party at any time.
        A new party for How Does Your Blog Look  begins tomorrow. 

        I look forward to seeing more of your creativity...


        ... Pam

        Thursday, 26 July 2012

        Refashioning Denim...

        I mentioned the other day, that jeans are my favourite article of clothing. They are comfortable, hard wearing and can be dressed up or down, depending on the look you are after.

        However, they don't last for ever. Eventually they wear out, or, sadder still, they are outgrown. I have several pairs of skinny jeans that are waiting patiently in the wardrobe, hoping they'll be worn again. They've been sitting there for a couple of years now, so I think it's time to put them in the pile of clothes to be refashioned.

        Last month, after much deliberation as to whether I'd ever fit into them again, I did cut up one pair and made some denim fabric baskets.



        Here are some of my favourite jeans refashions that have been linked to our Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way ongoing link parties.

        From the Bags and Totes link party:

        From Skirt to BagMaarnietvangrijs

        Cobblestones Bag by Caroline ~ Sewing for Utange

        Grocery Bags by Kay ~ Jerry and Kay

        Jeans to Tote Bag by Kathryn ~ Crafts and Creations With KMOM14

        From the Purses, Clutches, Pouches link party:

        Jeans Pocket Bag by Jessica ~ Sunny Stitching

        Owl Phone Case by Caroline ~ Sewing for Utange

        iPod Keychain Pouch by Jill ~ Creating My Way to Success

        Monster Purse by Caroline ~ Sewing for Utange

        From the Aprons and Art Smocks link party:

        Jumpsuit Apron by PC ~ Meijo's Joy

        Jeans Apron by Diana ~ Closet Crafter

        From the Skirts for Girls link party:

        Refashioned Skirt by Jill ~ Sew With Aloha

        From the Drawstring Bags and Fabric Baskets link party:

        Washbag by Caroline ~ Sewing for Utange

        From the Kitchen Accessories link party:

        Jeans Pocket Pot Holders by Jill ~ Creating My Way to Success

        And from the Electronic Gadget Covers and Cases link party:

        Cell Phone Case by Marisa ~ Passion et Couture

        So many fabulous ideas as to what to do with your pre-loved denim jeans and skirts!!! If you've refashioned denim, leave me a link in the comments below, or link them up to our ongoing Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way link parties. I'd love to see your ideas.

        ... Pam

        Wednesday, 25 July 2012

        To Pin or Not to Pin...

        The other day, I came across a post, over at Practically Functional, showing how to prevent others from pinning photos, either all photos on a blog or just specific photos.

        You know from a previous post of mine, that I am more than happy for you to pin my photos.

        I will, however, use the code to prevent photos of featured projects being pinned. These are not my photos, but photos I have been given permission to feature when readers have linked to Threading Your Way with Threading My Way.

        I've already added the code to the photos from last week's features and it appears to be working.

        ... Pam

        Tuesday, 24 July 2012

        A Present in a Present...


        A few days ago, Mr TMW and I were shopping with my Mum. As we were passing Lindcraft, I suggested that I just quickly duck in and check out the half price fabric on sale. Not a problem. They said they'd meet me in Lindcraft when they'd finished. I debated who would finish first and said I'd meet them in K-Mart.

        No prizes for guessing who finished shopping first. It wasn't me... LOL!!! So, Mr TMW and Mum helped me look for fabric. Mum found this gorgeous fairy tale fabric. I couldn't resist. At the time, I didn't have a clue what I'd make with it, but I knew it would be the perfect fabric for a future, as yet unknown, project.

        Fast forward a couple of days and I decided to make a pillowcase, using this tutorial from Flower Press. A pillowcase is very easy to make and you probably don't need a tutorial. However, what I especially like about the tutorial, is that it gives the measurements for pillows in a few countries, including Australia, so I know the pillowcase will fit well.

        I've teamed the fairy tale fabric with a red check fabric, used both for the cuff and the back of the pillow. The red check fabric was bought on sale a few weeks ago when a friend introduced me to a new (to me) quilting shop, not too far from here.

        I'm using the pillowcase instead of wrapping paper. I only put a pillow in the pillowcase to take photos. Take the pillow out, pop in some presents, including the denim shorts I've just made and the gift is ready to give. 

        I've come across the idea of using a pillowcase as wrapping in several places, but the first time I saw the idea, was over at Hopeful Threads. You can see some of my previous pillowcases here and here.

        What suggestions do you have for wrapping presents? Add your ideas to our Gift Wrapping link party...

        ... Pam

        Monday, 23 July 2012

        Shorts on the Line...

        Denim is a staple part of my wardrobe. Jeans would have to be the one article of clothing I just couldn't do without. And, much as I love all the fabulous prints that are around, denim is still my favourite fabric for kids' shorts and pants. It's hard wearing, doesn't show stains easily, but most of all, it looks so cute on kids.

        As denim is a rather thick fabric, I wanted to top stitch all the seams for comfort. Easily done on all seams except the side seams. As there are pockets inserted in the side seams, I couldn't see how I could topstitch the seams without stitching up the pockets. My solution was to do a row of hand stitching. At the pockets, I just sewed through the top two layers of fabric and not the whole pocket.


        Once my hand stitching was done, I decided the shorts could do with some more stitching. I didn't want another row of hand stitching around the hem. Then I remembered the machine embroidery I'd seen earlier this week on a cushion. From there, my mind jumped back to the Retro Flower Power Pillow I'd done some machine embroidery on. Problem solved... one row of machine embroidery to secure the hem. As these shorts are for a boy, I played with stitches to find one that wasn't too flowery. Thanks Fiona!

        Can you see the stitching in the seam to secure the elastic? My stitching in the ditch is improving!!!

        Once again, I've used the Mud Puddle Splashers pattern. Bonnie, from Fishsticks Designs, has created this pattern specifically for charity sewing, but she is happy for shorts to be made for our own kids, once we have sewn some for charity. Using Bonnie's pattern, I made five pairs of shorts for the July sew-along, with Kristy over at Hopeful Threads. These denim shorts are for a little member of my family.

        It's not too late to join in with Kristy's sew along this month. There are some fabulous prizes!!! You can see all the shorts that have been sewn so far in the Flickr group.

        I'm posting my denim shorts in the Shorts on the Line Flickr group, run by Imagine Gnats.

        shorts on the line button Shorts Button

        ... Pam

        Saturday, 21 July 2012

        Threading Your Way ~ Electronic Gadget Covers ~ Link Party

        Welcome to the thirtieth edition of Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way. Each ongoing, themed link party is steadily growing into a resource full of ideas and inspiration.
          Remember, these linkys are ongoing, so you can continue to add projects throughout the year. Add as many projects as you would like.

          Our thirtieth linky for 2012 is everything Electronic Gadget Covers, Cases and Straps... iPods, iPads, phones, computers, kindles, cameras, ear phones, sat navs...

          Electronic Gadget Covers, Cases and Straps
          Link up any family friendly posts that you have written on Electronic Gadget Covers Your posts might (but don't have to) include any of the following:
          • how you made it
          • tutorials
          • photos
          • pattern reviews
          • tips for making
          • what you learnt
          As long as YOU have made it, link it up and show it off. Link up as many posts on Electronic Gadget Covers, as you would like. Come back through the year and add more.

          Guidelines for linking up:
          • Each post needs to be about Electronic Gadget Covers.
          • Link to a specific post (not the home page of your blog).
          • No direct links to shops or giveaways.
          The fine print:
          • By linking up, you are giving me permission to use one of your photos in a feature. I will, of course, link back to your post, giving you full credit.
          If you'd like:
          • Subscribe to Threading My Way (GFC, RSS, email), to keep up to date, to see if you've been featured and to know when the next themed party starts.
          • Grab a button to spread the word about Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way and put it somewhere on your blog. 
          • Visit some of the other links. Everyone loves comments.
          I usually post Features each Saturday on Threading My Way. Features are chosen from all of the linkys, not just the most recent.




          I look forward to seeing your Electronic Gadget Covers ideas...

          Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 



          Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 
          1. Bags and Totes
          2. Dresses for Girls
          3. Dresses for Women
          4. Hair Accessories
          5. Pillows and Cushions
          6. Boys' Clothes
          7. Skirts for Girls
          8. Aprons and Art Smocks
          9. Purses, Clutches, Pouches
          10. Dolls' Clothes
          11. Women's Skirts
          12. Baby Clothes and Accessories
          13. Children's Tops and Shirts
          14. Women's Tops and Shirts
          15. Softies, Dolls, Toys
          16. Sewing Tips and Techniques
          17. Sewing with stretch fabric
          18. Quilting and Patchwork
          19. Embroidery, Stitching and Appliqué
          20. Jackets, Coats, Raincoats, Ponchos
          21. Hats, Bonnets, Beanies and Scarves
          22. Pants, Shorts, Trousers for Children
          23. Drawstring Bags and Fabric Baskets
          24. Pretend Dress Up Clothes
          25. Clothes for Men
          26. Kitchen Accessories
          27. Swimwear
          28. Sleepwear
          29. Gift Wrapping
          30. Electronic Gadget Covers and Cases
          31. Blog Tips
          32. Refashioning with Denim
          33. Pants for Women
          34. Sewing Accessories
          35. Home Decor
          ... Pam