Friday, March 11, 2011

African Folklore Embroidery Pillow

I finished something this week!!  WoOOOooOoHOOoooOO!!!

I've actually had the African Folklore Embroidery finished for....well, a few years now.
I have been enjoying looking at it hanging up inside the glass door of my UFO cabinet all this time.

But....since Leora Raikin was going to be our speaker at my guild this month (TLC Quilters in Covina, CA) and I got a new couch & chair recently & they've been asking for some new pillows,
I decided to finally do something with the birdie.

To begin, I have to tell you that I'm a 'bag lady'.  That is, I tend to put things into bags, then the bags end up in a pile ~ well, you can guess the rest.  So anyway, on Monday I decided to go through a couple of the bags from the pile.  In one bag I found a bunch of pamphets & flyers from a Relay for Life from years ago.  In the next, junk papers & old receipts.  Out of the 2 bags, I kept one thing:  a Disneyland ticket from 1999!  Had to keep that, it only cost $39 to get in!!! 
 In the last bag I found 2 poly-cotton housecoats, that had snaps all down the front.  They were practically brand-new!  But, since I remembered that I had only worn them maybe one time, now they became....FABRIC!  I thought about the pillows I was planning to make & decided those snaps would work great for the back of the pillows, and be different & fun.  :^)

the back

the snaps (sideways, oops!)

Tuesday night I took the birdie off of the door & into "the Fabric Shoppe" (where my stash lives) & pulled fabrics for the borders. 
On Wednesday, I took the fabric to work with me to cut my border strips & the housecoat for the back.

Boy, did I have a heck of a time with that! 
For some reason, it just took me forever to figure out what size to cut my strips.
But, eventually I got them cut out. 
Then I started on the housecoat.  Oy!  I unsnapped it, so I could cut just one layer at a time.
No problem, except that I cut the first side at 17" and I really wanted 17.5".   Oh well.  I could sew a piece of the leftovers onto that side, busy pattern, so it shouldn't show.
Next, cut the 2nd piece.  Perfect!  17.5"!  Yay!!!
Until I went to snap the two sides back together & realized that I had flipped it the wrong way, so when the snaps were snapped, each half had about 2" sticking out.  What the heck, if I was already going to be adding one strip back on, why not just add a few more?  With that plan in mind, I cut them off even.

As soon as I got home from work, I started sewing.  Got all the borders on the embroidery and am very happy with the way it's looking.  I decided to use my red border fabric on the back, and sewed that on.
Take both pieces to the ironing board & press.

Then I go to layer them for the final seams around the outside, and they DO NOT MATCH!
I have no idea what I did, but I sewed some more strips to the back, then trimmed it to the correct SQUARE size, and, after about 2 hours of sewing, pressing & trimming....


On the new couch!

On the new chair!
So I was finished in time to take it for Show & Tell at the Guild meeting tonight &
I got to show it to Leora too.  That was cool!
She did a terrific lecture & there will be a workshop on Saturday too.
You can see more of her kits & beautiful, hand-dyed threads at her website:

Now I'm going to join in the linky party at Confessions of a Fabric Addict !
C'mon over & join in on all the fun!!

Have a lovely weekend!



  1. I love it! What a cute pillow! Whoop Whoop!

  2. That is really cool! Nice use of the housecoat!

  3. Hey Sue! It came out beee-u-tee-full! Good Job, Sister! Love Ya, J.

  4. I wonder if mistakes like this were just in the air last week. One step forward, 1.5 steps back. But you persevered and it came out absolutely gorgeous!! Whoop! Whoop!

  5. It is a great pillow! I never would have thought to use a housecoat that way! And I love your process...

  6. Whoop whoop!!! I love that pillow!! My daughter is adopting from Ethiopia and that would be so perfect for her new child's room - I'll need to look for designs like that! And isn't it amazing how something that should be so simple turns into a huge deal sometimes? Thanks for linking up!!

  7. Very nice embroidery! Great finish!

  8. Very nice! I know what you mean about trying to figure out sizes sometimes. Its like my brain is somewhere else.

  9. Beautiful pillow - and maybe since you had so many problems with this, it will be smooth sailing from this point forward. The problems you had sound like what I suffer from each and every time I try to work on a quilt. It is so dang frustrating, isn't it? But at least you found a way to make it work. And you're probably more proud of the way it looks now than you were with your original idea. Good job! It looks great!


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