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Next Up: Bathroom Storage

bath1 This, my friends, is a bathroom.
Not MY bathroom, actually. But a bathroom.

This is the downstairs half-bath in my son’s house. This house, built in the late 19th century, has extremely tall ceilings and the person who did all the original rehab work on the house basically threw up his hands in the bathroom, put in a toilet and a sink and walked away. (more…)

2014 – a year in review

Yoohoo, everybody!! Since today appears to be ‘International Gotta Review 2014 Day” for bloggers, I guess I have to woman up and work my way through the good, the bad and the did..not…work for 2014. Organization, I realize, is everything here, so we will go by topic sub-group so that for those readers who are only interested in one topic, just scroll down until you hit that. (more…)

The Pillow Project: Zips, Snips, and Done

So, let’s get down to business, shall we?

First things first: How are we going to close up the pillows? Well, yes, I can leave one edge completely open, stuff in the pillow form and then whipstitch it closed. Which I hate because it frankly requires me to keep the pillow form under some sort of control while I’m doing it. Very tiresome. I could also do a double flap and put in buttonholes and buttons. But I’m not going to do that either; I’m just going to put in a zipper. This makes stuffing the pillow very easy and it’s a neat and tidy closure. There are two ways to do this – in one of the seams (and if you follow directions on the package the zipper came in, then you are home free). Or, I can split the back into two pieces, make a seam there and insert the zipper in that seam. (more…)

The Pillow Project: Ideas

Sometimes, it’s actually quite overwhelming to try to get your arms around what you are actually going to do. Of course, the simplest thing to do is to just go out and buy pillows or pillow covers, but perhaps you can’t find anything that is either in the budget or that you like or that fits the decor/colors and so on. So. (more…)

The Pillow Project: First Principles

When it comes to making pillows, I have a couple of rules for myself which have stood me pretty well.

1. Measure the pillow form. I don’t care what the label on the bag says. Measure it anyway. If you are re-using a pillow form, also measure it because having people karate chop the pillow for ten years is bound to compress and shift the filling and this, believe it or not, will change the measurement. See the photo at the top. Take that measurement — that is how big you make the piece of material. NO, YOU DO NOT ADD SEAM ALLOWANCES. This is one of those ‘take it on faith things. When I have added seam allowances, I end up with a pillow cover that dwarfs the pillow insert. You want that pillow cover to be literally as tight as a drum. If you are putting a zipper into the back side (or a button flap or whatever), you need to complete that particular operation (putting in the zip, making the flap and the buttonhole and pinning it down as if it’s buttoned up or whatever), and THEN measure vertically and horizontally. If it’s greater than your original measurement, then trim down the edges until you DO get to that measurement. Again, once you sew this (and I use a half-inch seam), and put in the pillow form, it will look like Jane Mansfield at the beach, which is actually what you want. You don’t want corners that droop, or wrinkles or whatever because the pillow cover will then bunch up and wear out in odd spots. Remember: Think Jane Mansfield. (more…)

The Pillow Project

I think I can safely say at this point that even at Chez Siberia, it’s spring. Most of the snow is gone and I’m seeing the little leaves of the spring bulbs start to poke up.

Not that it is warm by anyone’s stretch of imagination. It’s 22 degrees F. this morning and windy so it’s not warm. But we are seeing the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, winter-wise, here. Which means only one thing.

Dissatisfaction.

After being cooped up for almost 5 months (and given the series of storms, horrific cold, wind and so forth; that 5 months seemed to last forever), there is part of me that requires massive change. Ordinarily, this revolves around getting my hair cut but this time, it’s more global. (cue scary music) I need change in the house.

Change in the house usually requires painting (which I don’t want to do; I actually like the color in the house at the moment). Some people go for a giant ‘slip-cover-a-thon’ for the furniture or a big change-over in the drapes. And not that I could not be convinced to change out the drapes in the livingroom for spring/summer/fall. I actually think that might be a good idea (something light-colored perhaps), BUT from a budgetary standpoint, I always go for ‘biggest bang for the buck’, which I think in this case involves… cushions for the two couches in the livingroom.

Above you see one of the couches. We have this one and a dark blue one and a red and blue and ‘some other colors that I’m not quite sure I can identify at the moment’ rug to tie everything together in the livingroom. I certainly lay no claim to great expertise in home decor. We tend toward the ‘find a hole and fill it’ school of decorating, especially on the walls. But after living with these couches for five years (one is an ancient one we inherited from one of my great-aunties which went through a complete re-do from the inside out), I have to say one thing:

They look a lot better with cushions on them and they look a whole lot better with cushions that are highly contrasting. At the moment, cushions are a bit ‘thin on the ground’ as they might way.

Hence the title above: The Pillow Project

Pillows, as a home decor project and as a sewing project are about as simple a deal as you can possibly find, as long as you measure the pillow insert correctly. If you want to be very technical, you can make cushion covers with zippers in them, or you can devise an opening that is held closed with buttons (meant to be seen, or not) or with a clever use of folded fabric at the back, like an envelop. But I need to make, as they might say out West, a ‘whole mess’ of cushions. I might even change out the cushion covers I already have (just to put something else into the rotation. So far, the plan includes printing cushion covers and fabric with screen printing. I might even use fabric paints on the fabrics and come up with my own fabric as well. This is an opportunity to let my creative ‘freak flag fly’.

So, stay tuned.

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