Friday, December 20, 2013

Finish It Up Friday

The table runner I am making for my grandmother for Christmas received some matching placemats today! Well, placemat tops at least. I still need to quilt them. 
I do have a few little issues with the placemats though.  First up is the size.  Above is a regular, store-bought placemat on top of the one I made.  See the difference?  I'm hoping the quilting and a wash and dry will shrink them down a bit.  Not that I have had the best luck with washing things lately...

Second up, I couldn't even make the two placemats the same size!  I was using my 1/4" foot, but about halfway though the first placemat I realized my seams were not the scant 1/4" I always aspire to (though rarely accomplish) and were instead just slightly bigger than 1/4".  So I started adjusting my sewing to get the right seam size.  Of course, on the second placemat I did everything with this adjustment.  Turns out those little 1/8ths of an inch can really add up!  The placemats will be across the table from each other, so I think I will just trim the bigger one down and go with it.  They are for my grandmother, she won't mind, right... :)

And one last shot of the placemats with the table runner.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Baby's First (Momma Made) Toy

A few months ago I won a prize for the QuiltStory Lucky Stars QAL- a $35 gift certificate to Southern Fabric.  One of the items that I chose to use my gift certificate on was this Heather Bailey Happy Stacker ring toy, as I had just found out I was pregnant, I couldn't resist this cuteness!

I was slightly intimidated by the instructions, so over Thanksgiving I took everything to my grandparents house, figuring if I worked on it there my grandmother could help me if I had any trouble.  In the end I needent have worried.  The pattern was very well written and came together without too much trouble- if you don't factor in my newbie sewing pattern follwing mistakes.  Who knew you had to actually mark those notches and things when you cut your fabric?  Yeah... so there was a little backtracking.  The middle part (aka the hole) required handsewing and was probably what took the most amount of time- not because it was hard, but because I didn't feel like hand sewing and was taking my sweet time.
Most fun of all- when I finished and posted it on Instagram Heather Bailey herself wrote to me!  I had commented that I "hoped" to finish up the other rings, now that I had made this one.  She suggested "manufacturing" them, ie cutting everything at once and then doing each step like a production line.  Probably a very good idea and what I will do going forward- but I wanted to test one before cutting everything.  That way if I hated the result, I wouldn't have wasted any extra fabric :)
Oh!  And this ring is a little off kilter because it is not fully stuffed and stitched closed yet- I had almost a whole bag of fiberfill with me and still needed to buy more!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

When Nothing Goes As Planned...

Well, I suppose that everyone with pets (or, probably kids) knows that things don't always go the way you like.  My kitty managed to shall we say... stain... my quilt that was on my bed Saturday morning.  Of course, hubby and I were on our way out so I was rushing around trying to treat the stain before leaving for the day.  So I grabbed some Shout gel, treated the stain, and tossed it in the washer to soak, but Pregnancy Brain struck and I completely forgot to add a Color Catcher.  Yeah....

See that nice blue floral fabric... it should be white.  My first thought (at 9:30 at night when I opened the washer and discovered this) was that the cheap navy fabric had bled, but in the light of day I realized it was the floral fabric.  While that fabric was also from Joanns, it was the only designer fabric in the whole quilt!  A Denyse Schmidt print that I absolutely love (or, at the moment, loved, past tense). 

With this discovery I did what any reasonalbe, modern quilter would do- I googled, looking for blogs where people had had similar issues and how they solved them.  The next morning, I started my quest to salvage the quilt.

My salvage tools- (lots and lots of) Color Catchers, Oxiclean, and pins (because I read that pinning the color catchers on can lead to even better results).
50 (yes, 50) color catchers, 98% of a bottle of Oxiclean, countless pins, and 3+ hours later, I was ready to give this another go in the machine and hope for the best. 
I put it on a Soak cycle, but that turned out to only be 30 minutes and did absolutely nothing from what I could see.  So the quilt is now soaking in the machine until I decide to push the button and turn it back on.  It has been about an hour and a half now and I think the water is ever so slightly tinted blue (but that could just be wishful thinking).  I used cold water since that is what I always use (and what it soaked in yesterday that lead to this), but maybe in another few hours I will let it drain and refill with hot water and hope that works better. 
Any other ideas if this doesn't work?  Sadly, this is the only big quilt (aka queen bed sized) that I have made.  There are matching pillow shams and matching throw pillows.  It has some florals in it, but the fabrics are manly enough that my husband doesn't mind it.  I'll be so sad if I ruined it!  Why oh why did I not just spot treat the stain instead of soaking the whole quilt!?!?
UPDATE: I did take the quilt out and refill the machine with hot water.  I let it soak overnight and then took it out, the water was blueish, the Color Catchers were blueish... and the quilt was still blueish.  Ugh.  I had grabbed some Syntrapol from the local quilt shop, so that was the next try.  Washing in Syntrapol like the directions said... no change.  Next up was an entire bottle of Shout plus a Syntrapol soak and more Color Catchers.  The quilt still has a blue tint on those blocks, but I have officially given up.  The quilt is back on my bed and I am just living with it for now.  About the only good thing I can say is that the blue stayed on those blocks and didn't tint the entire quilt.  So to the untrained eye, I think it looks fine- I am the only one who knows what is wrong with it.  

Cheater Christmas Pillow

I found the cutest Christmas print at Joanns a few weeks back and thought I could use it to knock out a quick pillow for the holidays.

I figured I could knock out a pillow quick if I just traced over the prints as a quilting guide- famous last words, right ;)
Turns out switching colors all the time and lots of tracing can also equal lots of time.
The end result was definitely worth it.  It may be hard to see in the photo, but tracing over the snowman's features really gave him some nice depth.
As I was going along with the other squares, I got bored with tracing and started free handing.  First up was a Christmas Tree.
Second up was some holly leaves.  Both of these designs were found in the book Doodle Quilting. 
I still have lots of work to do on the "quick" pillow, but with Christmas fast approaching and a sudden gift to make, I think this will have to be put off until next year (or until the Summer when I start itching for Christmas to come around again :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Drift Away for Christmas

Nothing like deciding to make a Christmas gift 2 weeks before Christmas :)  After weeks of being stuck, I finally thought of the perfect gift for my grandmother- a table runner and two placemats for her kitchen table!  She has sewn all her life and is the person who taught me how to sew and quilt, but she doesn't like quilts (she is always too hot to use them, lol), she has plenty of pillows on her sofas and beds, but she is always looking for a tablecloth or something to cover her (very large, 60") table.  How have I sewn for years and not thought of this before??

Thanks to Google, I found a new-to-me fabric and sewing shop this morning and figured I might as well take the 45 minute drive to check it out.  So glad I did!

The fabrics up top are for the table runner and placemats.  The fabrics on the bottom were fat quarters I just couldn't pass up- so stinkin' cute!  I have a baby on the way, so they are justified purchases...right ;)  And the two feet for my machine are ones I have been meaning to get for ages and just never "bit the bullet" but at 25% off I took the plunge.  An open toe foot and a stitch-in-the-ditch foot.  Thinking that second one will be awesome for attaching binding by machine, something I could use some help with.
When I got home I discovered a fun little find in one of my fabrics- a hidden submarine!  Leave it to Tula Pink to do something like that (this is from her SaltWater collection, for those who are curious).
I decided to keep it simple for the runner- being low on time will do that to a person.  I love the way these fabrics play together.  The print that started it all was the painted pallet print, which I thought looked like a boardwalk.  Pretty much a perfect print since my grandparents live a half mile from the beach and my grandmother loves blue (and my grandfather hates flower prints, so I had to keep that in mind while searching for fabric too).  The teal print is a pale background with teal coral on it.  The very pale fabric is a pale blue gingham and the cream fabric has white circles on it that remind me of sand dollars.  The beachy theme has had me singing "Drift Away" all afternoon while making this.
Another shot, where you can maybe see the fabrics a little better.  Pictures at 7:30 at night is not easy!
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at CrazyMomQuilts.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Tedious Blanket

Even look at something online and think- that's so easy!  I can make that!  Yes?  Good.  Does it get you in trouble and take of every inch of free space in your brain too?  No, just me?

Meet the tedious "quick and simple" baby blanket-

And now, allow me to list some "fun facts" from this project-

- Applique on minky is NOT easy!  I saw something online that suggested heat setting the letters, then using the machine to stitch them down.  So I grabbed some WonderUnder and made my letters, but guess what, you can't really iron dimple-dot minky, it makes the dots disappear. 

- So I tried using a very low heat- either didn't work or I didn't have the patience.  Either way that was a no-go. 

- I tried using a very hot iron and holding it above the fabric and hoping the heat would melt the fusible web from there.  It kind of works, assuming you don't get too close to the minky and burn the fuzzies off of it. 

- Then I got the brilliant idea to get (as in, go buy) a hairdryer and use the heat from that to set the fusible.  Yeah, that just blew the letter around- including the ones I thought I had already fused down. 

- Next try was fabric glue.  Fabric glue that no longer had the tiny little pour spout, because it broke off.  So I used my fingers to apply the glue.  #messy  Again I thought it had worked, but when I went to sew the letters down it really hadn't and the minky was popping up through my stitches and bugging me. 

- It all got chucked at that point. 

- Finally yesterday I found another tutorial online and gave it another go.  Steam-a-Seam (NOT WonderUnder!), a warm iron, and a cotton scrap over top of the minky to iron finally got the letters attached! 

- Before sewing the letters on, I pinned some stabilizer onto the back of the minky/applique and also pinned the letters on for added stability.

- I tried to use a regular foot on the machine to attach the letters.  Too much trouble around the curves, so I switched to the fmq foot.  Much easier.

- Finally the letters were attached!  Yay!  The hard part was over!  #famouslastwords

- I pinned the minky to the cotton backing and sewed around the edges with a walking foot.  Turns out that is not the best option for minky.  It didn't pull the minky enough and I ended up with extra minky (in the photo above you can see the fabric pulling at the bottom corner, that is where the extra minky ended up).  Finally I was happy (enough) that I went ahead and turned the blanket and topstitched it- with my regular foot on my machine, which worked perfectly. 

- WHEW!  That was one heck of a "quick and easy" project!  See why I refer to it as the Tedious Blanket?  Also, to all the people on Etsy who make and sell these- I don't know how you do it! 

Of course, I couldn't just make a blankie- so I made a matching taggie too

This project went together much easier.  This project also has minky on the back, but with the regular foot on my machine I had no problems sewing with it.  The only issue I had on this little guy was when I pinned the ribbons on right-sides-together.  Turns out ribbons don't invert when you flip everything else :)  Thankfully I realized this before I got to that point- I only had one side of the ribbons attached when I saw my mistake, so it was an easy fix. 
And the two projects together-
I think it is cute.  I think I might run out to Babies-R-Us too though.  There are some pirate monkeys in the cotton print and one of the things on their registry is a monkey hooded bath towel, so I thought I might go and search for that to go along too. 

Linking up to QuiltStory for Fabric Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ribbon Star Pillow

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Christmas holidays are in full swing down here in Florida!  Continuing with my goal to add more festive pillows to our couches I present you with my newest finish-

I used a tutorial from Freshly Pieced for the Ribbon Star block.  The block has way more pieces that I typically will handle (I think I counted 49 pieces, I usually don't look at blocks with more than 5- I like a quick finish!) but the end result was so worth all the extra pieces.  I also need to give some Major props to Lee for the awesome tutorial- all those pieces and I NEVER used the seam ripper!!  Unheard of!  (My 5 piece blocks normally need a seam ripper, lol!).  She literally showed you how to lay out the pieces so that you would not get confused. 

As for the quilting, I am in love.  Inside the start I did a little dot-to-do quilting a la Angela Walters and it came out exactly how I envisioned it would- looking like a snowflake inside the star.  Perfect for this Christmasy pillow.  Inside the green ribbons I quilted a swirl and in the red just a simple stipple- hoping it would give the feeling of snow floating down. 

And, though it is not the best photo, it only feels appropriate to show a photo of the pillow on my couch with the Christmas tree in the background-

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at QuiltStory.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tis The Season

I'm one of those people- I begin decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween (and really, that is only because the husband puts the kibosh on doing it any earlier :)  I put out my Christmas quilt, table runners, and pillow the other day.  Wait?  What?  Pillow?  Singular??  Yes, somehow I only have ONE Christmas pillow!  Obviously that was not going to do.  Enter my finish for this week-

I found some red and cream strip sets left over from the trimmings of a Christmas tree skirt I made a few years ago and paired them up with a green holiday fabric I had.  I also learned (once again) that I am horrible about using scraps.  I am so worried about getting as much fabric out of extra bits of fabric as possible that I mull over ideas again and again- and ultimately a pillow this size take 3 hours.  Oh, I can procrastinate like no one else!  I just stare at the scraps, like I am looking at a puzzle and trying to figure out how to use them effectively without cutting into them too much.  Anyone else like that? 

And here is the new pillow with the one I already had.  I am loving the pops of color on the couch.  Hubby teased the other day that he must be in the wrong house, because he could sit on the couch without having to move pillows.  Well that won't do :)  Off to go make more!
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is such a strange feeling!  I have enjoyed seeing the quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival since the very first one, but this is the first time I have one to share myself! 

I'm choosing to share a wall hanging I made last year (but before I had a blog, so it has not been featured on here before).  As is becoming typical for me, I was inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest ( but decided to switch it up a little and make a wall hanging vs. a pillow.  I also wanted to change how the bow was made.  Since I was winging it on that I figured it was the perfect opportunity to make a design wall and really allow myself to play- I'm so glad that I did!  It made things much easier to be able to lay the piece up on the wall and really see the finished project (with the added bonus that my two fuzzy "helpers" couldn't get to those small squares and make a mess of them!  Kitties like fabric just as much as they like quilts :)

For the quilting I tried out a few designs from my very favorite quilting book (and the one that makes me want a longarm so bad!) Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters.  Hopefully the quilting can be seen in these photos- one day we will live in a house with good picture taking lighting, until then I make do with photo editing sites.  In the border I quilted some scrolls and then echoed them when they did not fit enough of the space.  In the remaining white areas I stippled and in the red bow I quilted small swirls in each square.

My favorite quilting on this is the leaves that are in the wreath.  Oh how I wish you could see them better!  I love the texture the quilting created and that it fit with the theme of the quilt made it all that much better.
This quilt was one of my favorites as I was making it and a year later it is still at the top of the list of favorites.  Could have something to do with my love of Christmas too that helps this quilt top that list :)  I couldn't even bare to put it away last year and instead it hung in my sewing room all year long.  I'm excited to pull it out again in the coming days (yes, I am one of those people that will put up Christmas decorations right after Halloween). 
I'm entering this in the Favorite Wall Hanging category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Spots and Stripes Forever

Oops I did it again... I made more bloooocks, got lost in the quilt... (to the tune of Brittany Spears Oops I Did It Again- yes I am a child of the Brittany Spears, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys generation :) 

Some stripe blocks to add to the blue/green quilt.  I also found a new use (kinda) for my little, diy, traytable turned pressing table.  Turns out I can move it around the house and press blocks in front of the tv with hubby.  It doesn't actually have to stay in my sewing room!  Yes, It took me a solid year to realize my portable pressing table was portable :)

And a little sneaky-peek at the quilt (this is only a sampling of the blocks tossed up on the design wall).  There are the square-in-square, stripe, and solid/print blocks.  There are also three patchwork blocks in the works that will be scattered about.  I'm getting excited to see it all together! 

And for those of you who don't follow along with me on Instagram (@flipflopsandquiltblocks, if you want to) - hubby and I announced some big news!

This was Baby's First Trip to Disney!  Baby M is due April 21st (and for those of you doing the math, I am 3 months pregnant and 5 months married- everything is on the up and up :)

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at QuiltStory.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Finish It Up Friday

A few weeks back I had the funniest craving... fabric!  Can anyone else relate :)  Suddenly (at 10pm) I just HAD to go online and look at fabric, of course that led to buying fabric.  I realized I had been pinning lots of navy and green things on Pinterest, so I used that as my inspiration and just started looking for fun prints in that color scheme.  My bundle of goodies arrived last week, but this past Wednesday was the first chance I got to dig into them.

I did things a little differently this time and decided to cut all my pieces before sewing.  At the time I hated it (#tedious), but now I'm really glad I did it.  It is so nice to be able to pop into the sewing room for a few minutes and have something ready to work on. 

I found a quilt tutorial on CluckCluckSew and fell in love with it- no surprise there, I pretty much love all her quilts.  Nothing hard or fancy, just some square-in-square blocks, some stripe blocks, some patchwork blocks, and some "regular" blocks with just the one fabric.  It is probably one of those patterns that I could do without a pattern, but I love that someone has already done the math for me and showed me a cutting diagram. 

One of my favorite blocks.  I usually hate cutting into printed fabric and making blocks like this, I always expect the fact that the print no longer lines up to annoy me but then I see other quilts where it has been done and I don't even notice.  I guess looking at quilt as a whole make it less noticeable than looking at just one block.  Either way I'm glad I did it, love these little zebras.

And a second favorite block.  Those letters are so cute!  And I'm glad to finally have cut into that polka dot (as well as the matching stripe that can be seen above), a fabric that I hoarded from Joanns a while back.  Colors I aways go after, so I figured it was a safe bet for me to stock up on. 

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at CrazyMomQuilts.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Finish It Up Friday & An Accuquilt Review

Finally feeling back in the groove, and even have a finish this week! 

Nothing big or fancy, just some simple, fun sewing.  Funnily enough, after 4 years of sewing/quilting I think this is my first simple patchwork quilt.  I made a patchwork quilt years ago, but it has two borders on it, so this one really is the only simple one.  Only I would take 4 years to make the easiest pattern (fun fact: the first quilt I ever attempted was a bargello pattern.  I like to skip the simple stuff and start with the intermediate :)

I used my Accuquilt to cut the squares for this quilt, but I must admit I am not impressed.  I have had my Accuquilt for about 2 years now, and to be honest I am still waiting to fall in love with it.  Years ago it seemed that all the "star bloggers" of the quilting world were being gifted with Accuquilts and then reviewing them "this is great!" "there's really not that much waste!"  "It's so easy, my kids can use it!"  Ummm... maybe I would say that too if I had gotten one for free and had access to someone at the company to answer all my questions (and if I was getting a kickback...), but I really don't see any of that.  Here are my thoughts-

1. Waste- yes, there is fabric waste.  And no, it is not always "the same as if I were to rotary cut".  I think it depends on the die being used.  I think for applecore or something that is an "odd" shape that is true, but for squares, strips, even triangle and tumblers, I find I would have way less waste if I were to rotary cut the fabric myself. 

2.  Preparing the fabric- it is not quite as simple as "fold the fabric and turn the crank".  You have to iron and starch the fabric very well, the slightest wrinkles tend to affect my cuts way more than I think they should.  You still have to cut the fabric down to size so it fits on the die (and only on the part of the die you want, some of the die have more than one shape/size on them).  And once the fabric is layered on the die, it can be hard to turn the crank to get it to go through the machine.  I was using 6 layers of fabric, which I did by folding one piece of fabric in half lengthwise and then folding it in thirds widthwise.  Those folds add a lot of thickness and can make turning the crank tricky- which I think also tends to make the fabric shift a bit and brings me to...


3. Fabric shifting/ fussy cutting- Fussy cutting isn't really an option, even some thing as simple as keeping your stripes straight can be hard.  Even if you lay the fabric out perfect, putting the cutting mat on top and running it through the machine tends to make my fabric shift a bit.  All of a sudden my stripes are off kilter. 

4. Cutting- My shapes rarely come right out of the Accuquilt.  Out of the 6 layers of fabric (so 6 shapes) I would get 3 maybe 4 that would come out perfectly.  The others were still stuck to the waste fabric and I had to cut them out.  One small slip of the scissors and the shape can be ruined. 

Basically, I haven't found the Accuquilt to be that accurate.  My issues this time could have been compounded with using a few different types/qualities of fabric, but many of my squares were not the same size- which seems awfully strange since they were cut with the same die!  I always expect my Accuquilt to save me time, but after I have prepped my fabric, cut it down to size to use in the machine, run it through the machine, etc... I could have rotary cut it faster. 

Does anyone else  have these troubles with the Accuquilt?  Any tips to change my mind on it? 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fabric Tuesday

Yippee!  It's Fabric Tuesday and I actually have something to share!  Sooo glad to have my sewing mojo (kinda, sorta, mostly) back.  I pulled out some scraps this past weekend and my Accuquilt and started cutting. 

Surprisingly, I really don't have much of a scrap selection.  I tend to buy fabric for a project and use it all up.  The scraps that I have are from a bunch of random projects and sometimes it is hard to get a color scheme that works from them.  This little set of fabrics took way longer to choose than it should have, but I think it is looking cute so far.  I am starting to get the appeal of scrappy quilts though- the fabrics in here all remind me of other fun, past projects.  It's like a trip (ok, a short one) down memory lane!

I was chain piecing these squares and finally, finally, found a way to make these easier on myself.  Once again it ended up being Clover Wonder Clips to the rescue!

Whenever I sew squares together in a chain, they always end up flipping around as I sew and by the time I go to cut them apart I have no idea which fabric I wanted on top and which on the bottom.  Not a big deal... until it comes to ironing and I want to alternate the direction of my seams.  This time I grabbed the Clover Wonder Clips and clipped the two squares together (opposite the side I was sewing).  Now I know that the red part of the clip is the top, so even if/when the fabrics flip around, I know which direction they should be.  Made thing so much easier! 
Linking up to QuiltStory's Fabric Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Welcoming Fall

Oops!  Didnt' mean to take a blog-y break!  I have a big project stealing all my time, but I can't share just quite yet ;)

I did get some of my crafting mojo back today though.  The change of seasons always means a change of front door decor, and big project or not I couldn't let Fall arrive with a Summer wreath on my door!

I went onto Pinterest and found this wreath which became my inspiration-  I love this wreath, but when I got to Joanns and was looking at the flowers the green and cream suddenly seemed to say Spring instead of Fall, so I changed it up a bit.
I started off with a wreath form from Walmart, and wrapped it with some burlap from Joanns.  Just a little hot glue on the backside of the wreath to (hopefully) make the burlap stick.  Those grapevine wreaths are tricky- so many holes between the twigs make attaching things hard.  Oh, and I trimmed all the little bits off the wreath.  What can I say, I like my natural twig wreaths to look nice and uniform :)

Next up was to trim the hydrangea blossoms off the long stalks so I could attach them to the wreath.  I just put a bunch of hot glue on the stem and shoved it down into the wreath.  So far it seems to be holding/working.

Ta-da!  The finished (I think) wreath!  Of course, it is too heavy and pulls the hook off my door, so I can't put it up until I buy a real wreath hook tomorrow (I have been getting away with using a command hook with magnets glued to the back for the last year).  I say I "think" I'm finished because I am very tempted to add our last name initial to personalize the wreath a bit.  On the one hand I like the flowers just on one side... but on the other I like things symmetrical (and the hubby definitely likes symmetry).  I think the letter on the other side would balance it out a bit.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Finish It Up Friday

The Great Pumpkin Quilt is finished and I love it!  Too bad the weather has been icky so the photos aren't that great :(  I thought this was the Sunshine State...

This little guy will be hanging on my wall this Fall.

Close up of the quilting and my favorite pumpkin- the jack-o-lantern!

And a peek at the back- a fun pumpkin print I found at JoAnns last winter- it has recipes for pumpkin pie and pumpkin butter on it!  The pumpkins were all made from fat quarters I bought at JoAnns last year, so I have no idea what they are.  The binding was a Denise Schmidt print from JoAnns too.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Today's task, to finish up the binding on my pumpkin quilt!  I'm so excited to get this one finished!

And how is this for binding math- I ended up with 4" leftover.  I'm actually impressed I even had this much leftover, I only had a fat quarter of this fabric and was pretty sure I could make it work without making bias binding.  I was right, but just barely! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Finish It Up Friday

Continuing on my Fall sewing kick-

Meet my newest pillow!  This little guy was started two or three years ago as part of a Fall themed applique quilt I was going to make.  I believe he was copied from clip art in an old Facebook game, (fluff)Friends.  I never did make the quilt (obviously).  One of the other blocks, a trio of pumpkins, I made into a pillow last year.  I started doing the same with this block then too, but there was a whole heck of a lot of blanket stitching to secure all those parts onto the scarecrow and I got bored last year and stopped.  I found the block again a few days ago and decided this was the year to finally finish it up.  Once I had the scarecrow (which of course took no time at all) done I grabbed some scraps for the border. 

The backing is a fabric I picked up at Joanns on sale last winter.  I intended for it to be the backing of my pumpkin quilt, but it turns out I had already bought (better) fabric to back that quilt- but the colors were perfect for this little scarecrow.  I love when that works out.

Typically when I make a pillow I do an envelope back, but I never really like it.  I think I do something wrong because the fit is always too tight and the envelope part bulges and I always worry the fabric is going to giveway.  In this case, I made a pillow that was not a standard size so an envelope back was not an option anyway because there was no pillow form that would fit in it.  Invisible zipper to the rescue.  This was my first time sewing one.  It came out ok, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the end with the stopper to be invisible.  I couldn't get the teeth of the zipper to flatten down enough by the stopper for me to sew it well.  I used a this tutorial from Craftiness Is Not Optional.  Does anyone have any tips for invisible zippers or know of any other good tutorials?

Fun Fact: the stuffing for this pillow was taken out of airline travel pillows.  When my husband was traveling a lot for work he would often get upgraded to first class and I quickly informed him that the pillows he was given needed to find their way home to go.  Free pillow forms/stuffing, yes please!  I now have a cabinet full of airline pillows- it got to the point where I had to tell him to stop bringing them home.

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts for Finish It Up Friday and Fabric Tuesday at QuiltStory.