Thursday, March 31, 2011

Neck Roll Pillow Tutorial

I kept myself busy this past weekend making pillows.  My parents asked me to make them two neck roll pillows for their bedroom.
These neck rolls are so easy to make (also called bolster pillows).  It took about a half hour to make both pillows.  Originally they wanted two to put on their bed.
But, when they got this chair, they moved one of the pillows onto it instead.  You can check out how we framed the mirror behind this chair here.
I started with a neck roll form and measured around it and also measured the length.  In my case the measurement around was 19" and the measurement from left to right was 14".
I cut my fabric 14 1/2" x 19 1/2" (the 1/2" being added for seam allowance).  I like to use a square to mark the back of my fabric.  This is the way I can insure straight lines.
To create the sides, you need to measure the diameter of the side.  Mine measured 6".  This meant half the diameter was 3".  I added 1 1/2" to this measurement to fold over to make the pocket for the ribbon to go through.  So the total for each piece would be 4 1/2" x 19 1/2" - I cut two pieces that size.
On each of those side pieces, I fold over the long edge about an inch or so (enough to be able to have ribbon put through.
Then with right sides together I sew the 19 1/2" ends together.  Notice that the pocket that was just created it toward the center (that way when it is all on the right side, that will be the end).
Now is the time to add any embellishments.  I sewed grosgrain ribbon onto the two seams I created when adding the end pieces.
I simply sewed around all four edges of the ribbon.
This time I left it at that because the fabric was a busy enough.  You could add anything else you want.  I folded the fabric in half and with right sides together (and making sure that the ribbon lined up together) I sewed it together being careful not to sew through the two pockets for the ribbon to go through.
Here is the old pillows I had made them (I just took the inserts out to make the new ones).  You can see that I added a center band to this one, as well as a ruffled edge.  This time they wanted something a bit more streamlined.
Once together, I took a safety pin and pinned it onto the ribbon.  Then I threaded it through the pocket I had created on each side.  Here's a tip - the larger the safety pin the easier it is to thread it through your pocket.  This was the only pin I could find and it kept opening up and going through my finger...a little frustrating.
This is what it should look like when you have finished threading the ribbon through the end.
Simply pull the ribbons and tie a bow.
Simple as that.  I love how it came out.
It looks perfect on their new chair.  Let me know what you think.  I always love and appreciate your comments.
The Swing into Spring party is still going on.  You can click here to join in the fun.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Swing into Spring - It's a Party #9

Welcome to this week's Swing into Spring party.  Last week there were 135 linkups at the party!!!  Wow -  that's a great party.  So much talent and so much inspiration.  I appreciate all of you joining in the fun.  Hopefully you too have made some new friends along the way.  Before we get started with tonight's party, I wanted to feature a few standouts from last week:

When I saw this photo I thought it was wallpaper.  Instead, Andrea created this using a stencil in an Ikat pattern.  I just love it.

My son loves Star Wars, so when I saw this pillow made by Natalie, I just had to feature it.  This is a totally no-sew project.  I also learned what Frey Check is...looks like a cool product.

Danielle brought an old glider back to life by re-upholstering it.  She did an awesome job!

Amy from Maison Decor created this shabby chic partial slipcover for her sofa.  So shabby chic!  Check out her smocked drapes from Pottery Barn.  Aren't they gorgeous?

A Vintage Vine  made this bench out of a coffee table - I just love it.  You have to go and check out exactly how she did it.

If you were featured, please grab an "I've Been Featured" button from my sidebar.  Now let's get started with this week's party.  I can't wait to see what you have been up to.  Link up anything you have been working on...home decor, sewing, crafts, organizing, baking, recipes etc.  I will keep the link open through Friday.

A few rules:
1.  Please become a follower.  

2.  Please grab my party button above and display it either on your sidebar or somewhere in your post.  This way word can spread about the party.  The more people at the party, the more fun we will have.

3.  Please enter the link to your actual post, not just a link to your main blog page.

4. Please visit others who have linked up.   Everyone works hard on their projects and blogs...let's show each other some love by visiting each other.  Let's have some fun and hopefully make a few new friends along the way.

Ok...Let's Party


Framing a Large Mirror

Sometimes there are things in your home that you want changed, but somehow keep falling to the bottom of the list.  That was the case with my parents bedroom.  My parents have a huge mirror in their bedroom that had an ugly gold "frame" that held it in place.  They love the effect the mirror has on the room, but not that gold frame.
It was about time to cover up that ugly frame.  So we went to Home Depot and bought moulding.

But, not just any moulding.  Home Depot carries a brand called Focal Point.  It is a Polyurethane product.  Unlike regular wood moulding, it is extremely light weight making it very easy to work with.  Their mirror is extremely large, and the existing gold frame used to hold the mirror on the wall truly cheapened the look.  Using a basic miter box the molding was measured and then cut on a 45 degree angle.

Using glue and a couple of finishing nails it was attached to the mirror.  The old gold frame remains underneath, completely hidden by the new beautiful frame.   This is the new look of the mirror.  Can you believe how much better that looks?
We caulked the mitered corners to hide any imperfections in the cuts.
The product comes primed already, so only a top coat of paint was necessary after it was installed on the mirror.  The whole project took under two hours.
So what do you do once you have a gorgeous "new"mirror in your go to West Elm and buy an awesome chair for the space (that coordinates beautifully with the awesome find from last week you can see here) (you can also see the chair in the reflection on the other side of the room).

Check back later in the week.  I will show you how I made the neck roll you see on the West Elm chair (which by the way - the chair was on sale - YES!).
Don't forget to stop back tonight at 8pm EST for my weekly Swing into Spring party.  Last week's turnout was incredible.  Can't wait to see what you come up with this week.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Pleated Pillows

A week or so ago I moved around my dining room furniture.  Using the two head chairs, I created this sitting area in the bay window space of that room.
I loved my new sitting area, but I did not love the green striped pillows anymore.  It was time for a change.  I went to Calico Corners during their 20% off sale and found the perfect fabric from Dwell Studios.

I started by measuring the pillow and picking out ribbon to use for the pleated trim.  I decided to go with the satin chocolate brown ribbon.

I like to use a square when cutting out fabric for a pillow.  It's an easy way to make sure I cut straight lines. I cut out two rectangles of fabric being careful to center the bird on the front of each pillow.
I pinned the satin ribbon onto the right side of the fabric, pleating it as I went along.  Each pillow took 4 yards of ribbon (one spool from Michaels craft store).
After pinning it all around, I sewed the pleated trim onto the right side of the fabric with the sewing machine.  I then took the other rectangle and sewed it right sides together starting about two inches from the end of the short end and sewing all around until I sewed about two inches again on the end I started.  This left space on the short end to stuff the pillow in.  I leave just enough space to "shove" the pillow form in.
You can see in this picture how I left about 8" of space to let the pillow in.  I then use Fabri-Tac (to me, it's the best fabric glue - it bonds instantly).   
I fold under the fabric and add the glue and press with my fingers to close the opening. 
Here is the finished pillow.  I just love how they came out.
They bring out the drape color and add a nice accent to the room.

Let me know what you think of the new pillows.  I always love, appreciate, and look forward to your comments.


This project has been featured at:

All Things Heart and Home

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quiche Anyone?

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that if I'm sharing a recipe, it must be easy to make.  My husband is an amazing cook and the weekends are the best in our home when he takes over in the kitchen.  However, during the week, although I do cook each night, my repertoire is limited.  One dish I am good at making is quiche.  It's quick and easy, and the best part is you can change what type of quiche each time but keep the basic recipe.
The quiche I made yesterday was spinach and cheddar.  I usually prefer spinach and swiss, but only had cheddar in the house.  That's another great thing about this recipe...I can make it with whatever I happen to have in the house.  Here is the recipe:
- one box frozen chopped spinach (I defrost it in the microwave for two minutes and then squeeze out all the liquid).
- 4-6 oz of cheddar cheese shredded

In a pie plate unroll pie crust (I use Pillsbury pie crust - it's so simple, you just unroll it into the pie plate) and spread the spinach and cheese into bottom of the pie crust.
 - 3 eggs beat
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- salt and pepper to taste

Mix these ingredients together and pour over the spinach and cheese.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  I usually wrap the edges in aluminum foil before putting it in the oven.  It keeps the crust from getting too overdone.  If you like the edges a little more brown, you can take the foil off the last five minutes.

You can make any variety just by changing out the spinach and cheese.  I have made bacon and swiss, broccoli and cheddar, peppers and swiss...any combination you like.  Hope you try this recipe.  I's super easy and very yummy!
On another note, I received the yard of fabric I bought at Calico Corners earlier in the week.  It's from Dwell Studios called Vintage Blossom in Citrine.  Calico Corners is having a 20% off sale, so I got a great deal on this awesome fabric.  I'm off to make the pillows for my new sitting area in my dining room.  Can't wait to show you them next week.  For now, you can see my new sitting area here.

Don't forget my Swing into Spring party link is open through the end of today.  You can click here to join in the fun.

Hope you have a great weekend!!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Quest for the Perfect Chair

You know, I am often on a quest for one thing or another.  This time it was my parents who were on a quest ... a quest for the perfect chair.

Chair from Ethan Allen
They needed a petite, upholstered chair.  Not so easy to find.  They loved the Giselle Chair from Ethan Allen.  The chair starts at $1029....however, by the time they were done picking fabric and tax and delivery the final price would be $1650.  So as gorgeous as the chair was, it didn't seem reasonable to spend that much money on one chair.  
Yesterday I stopped by Home Goods.  I did a walk through and didn't find any chairs that would work for my parents (and I also didn't find anything for myself - :( ).  I started to drive away when I saw my parents pull into the Home Goods parking lot.  I turned around and honked my horn at them.  No reaction (hello, you would think there would be some reaction).  My dad dropped my mom off at the door (it was snowing here yesterday) and I finally got her attention.  I told her I didn't see anything inside.  I decided to follow my father to his spot to say hello.  While I talked to my dad my mom called his cell to say she found the perfect chair.  What???  This I had to see.  I parked and went inside to see what she could have possibly seen...I was just in there.  Sure enough, there was the perfect size, shape and color to three chairs I did see (how did I miss this one?).  That combined with the fact that my mom thought it must be fate that I was there since I have a mini-van that could fit the chair...they bought it...for $300.  Not that $300 is cheap, but it is 1/5 of the cost of what the other chair would have been.  
Like I said, the chair is the right dimensions, is well made, is comfortable and coordinates perfectly with their decor.  What more could they ask for?   I took photos using my father's camera - so I had a little trouble getting the lighting perfect and using a camera I was not familiar with.  
The chair fabric is a small houndstooth pattern in a grey/blue and white.  This work very well with the toile they have on the duvet, bench and window treatments in their bedroom.

I will be making them a small pillow for the back of the chair in the next few days.  They were going to pick out the fabric after I left them.  Probably something in a navy color.  I will be sure to post about it.

You can see that it coordinates perfectly with their decor.  Their room is done in blue and white with some navy accents.  I love their room (although, as my parents are aware,  I am not a huge fan of the white formica furniture - however, it does seem to disappear into the background because everything else is beautiful).  
I think I may love the chair as much or more than my parents do.  
Instead of a headboard, they have three navy euro pillows and two pictures.  
My father made the cornice boards by making boxes out of wood and then applied textured wallpaper and painted it the same color as the wall.  
Apparently, yesterday morning my mom had told my father that this was the day she was going to find the chair.  Weird how that worked out.  

Don't forget my Swing into Spring party is still going on.  You can click here to join in the fun.  Hope to see you there.

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