Category Archives: accessories

Pooh’s Book Pillow

Hello-0-0-0!  If there are any readers left out there, I’m still here!  Neither the virus nor lethargy has kept me quiet, just the hurry-up of life, even while in lockdown!

This is a fun little project that was done for precious little Beatrice, #1 fan of Winnie the Pooh.

The book pillow was also done for Brother’s Stitching Sewcial blog to celebrate Pooh’s birthday, hence the included book.  Finding that little paperback required  determination and skills worthy of Sherlock Holmes,  but I was driven once I knew such a publication existed, though long out of print.

Book pillows have surged in popularity and not just for children.  Who wouldn’t want to curl up with a good book and a soft pillow?  With the recent stay at home call, this is a soothing antidote to what might be seen as isolation.

Why not make one today, for a child, for a friend, for a shut in, for yourself, for anyone! The instructions are for the Winnie the Pooh pillow shown, but any fabric, any embroidery design may be substituted.

NOTE:  This pillow was made on my Brother Dream Machine.  Some instructions are specific to that.  Greater details can be found on Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial here.

REQUIREMENTS

  • 16” pillow form
  • Fabric: Winnie the Pooh print: 18” square for front, 10.5 x 1.5” strip for handle embellishment, (2) 17x 13” rectangles for back envelope closure.
  • Pooh bear gold: 22 x 16” for embroidered pocket front to enable hooping in 9.5 x 14” frame, later trimmed to 17 x 11.5”. Smaller embroidery frames may be used and will require less fabric but will also require more than one hooping.
Note: If using directional fabric, take care that the pattern is facing the same direction on both rectangles.
  • Red gingham: 17 x 11” for pocket lining, 10.5 x 7.5” for handle
  • Generic fabric: 18” square to back the batting (this will be inside, against the pillow form and will not show)
  • Batting: lightweight cotton, 18” square for pillow front, 22 x 16” for pillow pocket
  • Notions: adhesive spray, glue stick
  • Thread: embroidery, monofilament for free-motion quilting, cotton for construction

Embroidery Design from iBroidery.com

Add text from your embroidery software. 

Instructions• All seam allowances are ½”.
• All basting allowances are ¼”.
There are four parts to the reading pillow;
1. The pillow front (Pooh print)
2. The pillow pocket (solid gold with embroidery lined in red gingham)
3. The 2-piece Pooh print envelope back
4. The handle. The parts may be made in any order and then the pillow will be assembled.

Pillow Front

1. Use spray adhesive to bond generic fabric backing to batting. Repeat to bond front Pooh fabric to batting. It is helpful to add safety pins around the perimeter for extra security.
2. Quilt the layers together with free motion or grid quilting. Insert monofilament thread in needle (follow instructions in THE Dream Machine manual for using monofilament thread.).
FOR FREE MOTION: This is a very brief overview of one method detailed in THE Dream Machine instruction manual.
a. Insert the straight stitch needle plate.
b. Attach quilting foot “C”
c. Thread needle BY HAND (gentle reminder) with monofilament thread.

Pillow Pocket

The pocket as shown was embroidered in one hooping in the 9.5 x 14” hoop from THE Dream Machine and then lined on the sewing side. The iBroidery.com design default size is 2.65″ x 3.76″ and could be stitched in the 4 x 4 frame. It can also be resized in increments up to 4.5 x 3.18. With PE-Design or BES 4, text can be recreated in any size or embroidered from the free downloadable design in a 5 x 7 frame.

8. Hoop 22 x 16” gold fabric bonded to batting in 9.5 x 14” THE Dream Machine frame.
9. Load both text and Classic Pooh designs into machine.
10. Open the tan Classic Pooh design. Edit the color to RED.
11. Enlarge to 4.28 x 3.02 or desired size. Rotate the design clockwise 90 degrees.
12. Mirror the design. Save in memory.

13. Open text file. Rotate clockwise 90 degrees and if desired angle 20 degree counterclockwise (as shown on the sample). Add edited Classic Pooh design.
14. Embroider.
15. Trim pocket embroidery to 17” x 10”, leaving 1 1/2″ above top of rocker.

Add Pocket Lining

16. Stitch gingham pocket lining to top of pocket front with ½” seam allowance. Press seam allowance toward gingham.
17. Press gingham fold at top of pocket.
18. Spray batting with spray adhesive. Smooth gingham over batting, matching bottom raw edge of gingham to bottom raw edge of gold pocket front.
19. Stitch around both sides and bottom of pocket with scant ¼” seam allowance.
20. Select decorative honeycomb stitch #7-049 just below gingham with red thread.

21. Attach open toe foot. The Brother metal open toe foot (SA186) offers excellent visibility for exact placement of this stitch. I love this stitch-it’s like the bee just left the honeycomb.

22. Trim pocket to 17 x 10”.

Envelope Back

Note: If using directional fabric, take care both pieces are facing the same direction..

23. Press 3/8” doubled hem on the left edge of one back and on the right edge of the other back.
24. Straight stitch close to folded edge.
25. Work honeycomb stitch over doubled hem.

Note: Envelope backs are cut with extra width. If your double hem varies or if you are unsatisfied with your honeycomb stitching or choose another stitch, you can cut it off and have enough fabric to redo it. I had to. Twice!

26. Trim envelope backs to 17” x 11.5”.
27. Overlap backs so that outer edges measure 17” side to side. There will be a 4 to 5 ½” overlap depending on number of double hem do-overs. Baste along top and bottom of overlap ¼” from raw edge.

Handle

28. Press 10.5” gingham vertically. Open and fold raw edges toward center, pressing folded edges. Fold again encasing raw edges in center, creating the strap.

29. Topstitch each folded edge.
30. Fold 1.5” Pooh character strip in thirds, with raw edges meeting in the center wrong side. Secure in center of gingham with glue stick. Then topstitch each side. Ends are raw.

Construction

31. Place finished pocket at bottom of pillow front. Baste on three sides ¼” from raw edges.
32. Place handle facing down, centered about 5” apart on pillow front. Baste in place ¼” from top raw edge.
33. Stack envelope backs right sides to right sides on the pillow front and pocket. Pin in place.
34. Stitch around all four sides with ½” seam allowance and shortened stitch length (2.0). Reinforce stitches across handles, at sides of pocket, and at top and bottom of envelope backs.
35. Mark diagonal line ½” across each corner. Stitch across this diagonal line, then stitch around the perimeter of the pillow again going across these diagonal corners. This rounds the corner, reducing the floppy “dog-ear” often seen on square pillows.
36. Turn the pillow cover right side out and stuff with a 16” pillow form. Now it’s ready to delight a child–or and adult–or you.

 

Other Ideas:

  • This precious birthday Classic Pooh design would be delightful on a birthday party tablecloth or it would charm any child when embroidered on a birthday shirt. It’s available here on iBroidery > Classic pooh 200811116

  • The book pillow isn’t just for children. Adults and teens would be happy to have their current book handy with a pillow to snuggle up to as they read. An ailing friend or a shut in would enjoy a book pillow with a new book. And so, would you. Make one for yourself!

Required disclaimer: I am a paid Brother Brand Ambassador.  Not required:  I LOVE my Brother Dream Machine!

 

Fast and Fun Halloween Projects

These darling pencil toppers were just mailed off to my younger grands to share with their classmates. Did you know that Halloween is the most popular secular holiday in the USA?  Just ask my grandchildren.  They are crazy for this time of year.  Last month, 6 yo Vivian Rose told me she was counting the days until Oct. 1 so she could start wearing her Halloween clothes.

This is a bit of a joke, as she is required to wear a uniform to school.  So hairbows, headbands and pencil toppers are her only Halloween expressions for the school day.  Her Halloween “clothes” will only be weekend and after school attire.

These pencil toppers from GG Designs  are just a joy to stitch out.  They come as a single design or “sorted” with four pumpkins or ghosts or bats in a single 4×4 hoop. I combined 2 sorted sets of pumpkins into a larger hoop, did another color sort and stitched 8 pencil toppers in just a few minutes.  This was repeated with the ghosts and then with the bats.  It takes longer to cut out the felt designs than it did the stitch them. Now the set is on sale for only $4.13.

What a sweet little gift this would be to a favorite elementary teacher to share with her students.  There are so many who would be happy to receive these slightly spooky pencil toppers.

GG Designs Embroidery was the inspiration for another Halloween favorite which was sent to my grandchildren last Halloween.  This was digitized and also stitched for the children at church, making me one of  the more popular church Nanas!

As a paid Brother Ambassador (required disclosure), the project was posted at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial and includes a step-by-step photo tutorial., as well as a FREE download of the file for the pumpkin.

There is still plenty of time to whip up these cuties.  For your children, grands, neighbors, church children or for nursing home patients, these pumpkin treat bags are sure to bring a smile.

 

How-to: Garments for Ghana

Required disclosure:  I am a paid Brother Ambassador.  Not required:  I absolutely love Brother Machines.

Several readers have written asking if they may participate in the Garments for Ghana project.   Others asked how our project operated so they might do a similar event in their own community.  When I mentioned in response to a comment on this topic that I might write this post, at least one promised that she (sweet Sandee) would not find these details boring.  I hope she is not the only one because I am going ahead with this.

Before I began, I was given some direction from the mission team leaders.  The request was for bright colors, since the landscape there is pretty bleak.  We did that. Check.

Second, there must be no buttons or closures  that might break or need replacement. Such replacement is not an option for mothers in these areas.  Check.  Elastic at the neckline was the only closure notion.  I know elastic gives out after a couple of years, but I expect these garments will be worn out long  before the elastic is.

Third, in many African nations and apparently in Ghana, bare shoulders for girls and perhaps adult females, is taboo.  So we needed some sort of sleeve.  Check.  I did notice early on that many photos of pillowcase dresses for Little Dresses for Africa showed the girls wearing a  tee shirt under their dresses.  Now I see that the site offers a free pattern that has a sleeve, much like the pattern I used.

Fourth, each garment must be marked with its size.  I had a bag of labels for sizes 1-5 and for the others I embroidered sizes on grosgrain ribbon in the hoop.  Ladies who worked from home used a sharpie to write on ribbon, which like the others,  was tucked into the elastic casing at the back. Continue reading

Back at Last!

First, let me wish you a happy Valentine’s Day!  My latest post at Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial is all about embroidered cards, specifically Valentines. I wish you all joy and happiness on this special day of love.

 

 

The tutorial gives all the ins and outs of embroidering cards, from choice of cardstock size and attaching embroidery.  Check it out and please leave a comment at Stitching Sewcial if you find it helpful or inspiring.  Here are a few of the other samples.  Details of each are included at Stitching Sewcial:

 

 

The front embroidery is covered and inside text is Minnie’s quote.  It reads:

 

This one is for our 6 yo granddaughter.  The inside text reads, “Vivian Rose, you are our favorite princess.”

More are posted.  I had a hard time stopping, since these are so much fun to make.

But much more has been going on since I last posted here at Janice Ferguson Sews.  Of course, Christmas was pure joy, with both of our children joining us with all four of our precious grandchildren.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Many gifts were stitched. Mug rugs caught my attention and I made several for my daughter-in-law, but didn’t manage to get a photo.  These are so much fun and make great gifts.  She is our nature girl and really liked the apron I embroidered for her with this fabulous bear from Urban Threads. Continue reading

Bees for Bea

 

This is longed for and long-awaited baby Beatrice, whose name means “she brings happiness.”  And she surely has!  Our church, family and friends prayed long and fervently for her safe arrival into the loving arms of her adoptive parents.

The afternoon of her baptism a few Sundays ago, friends hosted a barbeque for the entire church and other family friends in Beatrice’s spacious country back yard.

This sign greeted guests.

 

Did I mention that the theme of Bea’s nursery is Winnie the Pooh? Can you tell?

 

Of course, it was HOT!

I made the smocked bee sundress for Bea, complete with bloomers and a hat. She is  tiny, born 2 weeks early at just 6 lbs. Even the newborn size is huge on her. But babies grow and there is still plenty of steamy summer weather left here in central Florida.  It should fit her soon.

Using black on such a tiny baby gave me pause.  But there is no way around it when you are dealing with bees.  The picot edged bias softened it a little but I much prefer white or pastels for newborns.

At the top of her hat sits an adorable little bee which I found on the facebook Smocking DeStash site.  I bought 20 because I knew there would be many opportunities to use them for Baby Bea.

 

This country barbeque in a huge yard with pet goats and chickens was just the sort of fun children love. Still, they needed a few special activities. So while they were eating I discreetly hid bees all around. Continue reading

Easter ’18 Week

Vivian Rose at Oma’s house, decked out in her mother’s Rebecca’s Bow Dress.

 

I hope you all had a joyous Easter.  The Ferguson family had a fabulous week of Easter celebrations!  We saw both of our children with all four of our grandchildren, but not at the same time.   A good bit of sewing was done before and after their arrival.

Saturday we joined our son-in-law’s family for Easter dinner.   5 yo Vivian Rose was resplendent in her mother’s 35 yo Rebecca’s Bow Dress,  with her curls confined to elaborate, elegant French braids.

The original slip has been lost through the years so this white Imperial batiste slip was made.   Because it really can be worn as a dress, a bow was embroidered on the yoke.  To avoid it shadowing through the dress, it was stitched in a very pale pink and white.

 

The same yoke pattern was used with 1/2″ removed from the top half of the armscye.

 

Ever obliging 9 yo Alastair wore his bow tie made from the Little Boy Bowtie:the Quick and Easy Version pattern which I have used so often.

 

 

The color matched the green leaves in his sister’s fancyband.

 

The bows alternated with 3 vertical strips of lace.

 

I love this picture taken as Vivian was ready to put on her heirloom dress.  Alastair was proud that he was already dressed and ready for the egg hunt.

 

The bunny was tied at the top with a bow, but Vivian HAD to open it.

 

See the felt candy-filled bunny in Vivi’s hand?  That was such a fun little project.  I made 20 of these for the children at church, as well as for these two.  Vivian had a bunny filled basket and loved handing them out.  I so regret that I did not get a photo that or of all the pink, blue, yellow and white bunnies together.  They were a big hit with all the children. Continue reading

Beaded Bag

If you happened to stop by these past  two weeks, you must have thought I have dropped off the face of the earth.  Though very busy, I have managed to stitch a few things that I would like to share with you.

 

monogrammed for a bridesmaid

 

Today I’m showing a feminine drawstring bag.  This is a bride’s gift to her bridesmaid, stuffed with a few precious momentos, reminders of the young ladies’ time together and a matching monogrammed handkerchief.  After the wedding, the bag can hold more handkerchiefs or whatever pretties that need a container.

The fabric is a lovely organza from fabric.com.  The fabric was cut 10″ x 16″.   With a width of 118″ 7  bags can be cut from 1/3 yd. with plenty of room to straighten the fabric edge.

In order to show off the ribbon, ivory French lace beading was used instead of a casing.

The beaded trim was originally  joined to a dark brown twill base.  After it was stitched in place, the taupe colored satin ribbon stitched on top of it.

The same ribbon was used for the drawstring ties.  Thread for the monogram was chosen to match the ribbon.

I love a quick project every now and again.  This same bag could be purposed for so many other uses–bridal showers, birthdays or any gift occasion.  It’s nice to have a simple project to make up in a hurry when the need arises.  Then try stitching a pretty bag like this.

 

 

 

 

Clergy Stole

 

What a joy it was  to make this stole for our young, exceptional pastor! He has   the wisdom, powerful teaching and Biblical understanding of a much older, more experienced pastor.  Our church is growing in leaps and bounds with his leadership.

Sunday in  the pulpit he wears a suit and tie. A traditional black robe hangs in his closet, but he said he doesn’t wear it because without a stole he looks like a judge.  Hmmmm…I thought, I could make one!   How hard could it be?  How long could it take?

Well, let me tell you this one was not hard but it did take a very long time.   Operator error again.  I made so many mistakes!

Whenever I take on a project unlike any I have made, I like to research the subject to get a comprehensive view of just what is involved.  Google took me to a lot of blogs and sites for free patterns.  Pinterest took me on that same route. Both have numerous free patterns, mostly labeled quick and easy.  I didn’t want quick an easy.  I wanted good.  So I looked further. Continue reading

“..land that I love!”

 

our 4 yo grandson ready for the fireworks

 

Every day I am grateful to be living here in the USA, truly the “home of the brave, land of the free…”

We’re all eager to celebrate our nation’s birthday.   But it is important to pass our love and appreciation for the liberty we enjoy on to our children and grandchildren.

Special children’s clothing for the July 4th holiday shows them that this is an important celebration.  Since my grands are all far away this Independence Day, I’ve looked back at a few earlier celebrations with and for them.

This was granddaughter Vivian Rose’s first July 4th.

 

 

Our two older grands wore these outfits one summer.

 

 

Of course, the holiday specific food is also important—and enjoyed.

 

18 month old granddaughter Vivian Rose loves her corn on the cob!

Continue reading

Beautiful Easter ’17

What a hambone! This little girl in her smocked Swiss voile bishop loves the camera.

 

I hope you all had a joyous Easter.  Ours was beyond fabulous, with a beautiful worship service and all four grandchildren and their parents for the weekend.  It could only have been better if our pilot son had not  been flying out in the wild blue yonder.

It was a non-stop celebration.  Saturday morning a church family hosted an Easter egg  hunt for 40+ children.  Wonderful as the hunt and the huge bounce house were, the highlight for most of the children was fishing in the pond.  Those fish were hungry and hit on every line.  Every child caught at least one fish. Grandson Alastair, 8, caught 4!  He was ecstatic.

 

 

Vivian Rose also caught a fish but she seemed more disgusted than thrilled.  She was happy to have her daddy’s help dealing with her catch.  She looked so cute and comfortable in her Petite Poche Penny. Continue reading