Sunday, February 13, 2011

I need your help....

First of all, my project is done! I finally get to show you: I made a pillow!!!


I am so excited about this little guy and there is quite a story as to how it came together. As you know I joined a quilt-along. They have set up a flickr group where everyone can post pictures. So when the group first started I posted a picture of my fabric and another member commented on it. I went to her profile and begin to look at past projects she had made. As I looked I saw this cute pillow and read her description that she had made it for her daughter's teachers. So I decided I needed one too! I'm a teacher, I need a cute little pillow for my chair. The description explained that it was made with something called a charm pack which is a set of 5" squares of coordinating fabrics. I happened to have one I had picked up when I had extra Christmas money-now I had an idea for it!

     So I got to work studying the picture and figuring out how the pillow was made. I came up with a method and got to work cutting my fabric into 2.5" squares for the front of the pillow. It took quite awhile for me to get them all cut perfectly square which is important with this kind of pattern. After they were all cut I laid them out where they looked pretty together and then begin to sew. I was as careful as could be but lining up all those little square was pretty hard. They didn't come out like I wanted but still pretty good. After I had all my little squares together I quilted straight vertical lines along each seam. I was going to do horizontal as well but it would have only highlighted the uneven seams so I nixed that. I got all my lines done and had been searching craft blogland the whole time. One day I looked up Sew, Mama, Sew and found that February was pillow month and they were having a pillow contest.

     Light bulb!!!! I was making a pillow-I should put it into the contest. I begin to read the contest instructions and found they had a category for pillows with words to live by. So then I had to find words to add to my pillow. I knew it had to be about teaching because this would be going in my classroom, so after a few hours I came up with Dream, Teach, Inspire. I planned to use my Cricut to cut out the letters because I figured out how to cut fabric on a previous project. I thought since I was using my Cricut I should cut out some cute image to go with it....the only teacher appropriate one I had was a tree and its such an awesome one. So I cut out all my applique with the Cricut and then I realized I didn't know how to actually do applique. I searched and found a few tutorials with helpful hints and then found a few videos that showed me exactly how to stitch around the applique correctly. The biggest tip: go SLOWLY.  Not what I wanted to hear because I wanted to be done quickly but I got to work and found that going slowly made it possible to get the stitches around all those letters!

     During this time I had two and half days off of school thanks to snow (even though I never saw any at my house) and plenty on time to finish it. After the applique was done the next step was to put in a zipper and make it into a pillow. I found a tutorial about putting in a blind zipper and after a few (ok maybe 5) attempts got the zipper sewed in correctly. Then I sewed up all the edges and stuffed it with stuffing I stole from Connor's ottoman. Done. I made my first pillow!!!! Here it is again in case you forgot what it looked like:


I love it and want to make a million more. In fact I am making another one right now with different fabric to try to get my squares to match up better. I was getting frustrated with it earlier so I am taking a break to right this. I'll finish it when I feel better.

  So here is where I need your enter it into the contest I need a name, something I'm not that great at. So leave a comment and give it a cute name for the contest. I've only got a little over week to enter it in so don't be shy.

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