Tag Archives: machine embroidery

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!

 

Vivi’s Cruise Dress

Almost 7 yo Vivian Rose is tiny. A size 5 Children’s Corner Louise would have fit her ever so much better. She poses in Central Park on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas cruise ship.

Life has been a whirlwind for us these past few weeks.  Of course, Hurricane Dorian was expected for a very long time and preparations were non-stop.  With 3 acres of patio furniture, potted plants, a standing basketball hoop, pool, and other miscellany, it seems there is always more you can do to prepare for a Cat 5 hurricane.

My fabulous husband, Bob, up on first story roof to put up storm shutters on second story windows. Already the skies were gray.

 

Additionally, I spent more hours in front of  the television than I have in the past year.  The weather and each of Dorian’s tiny turns to the east and then the west were monitored vigilantly.  The weather  had never seemed so important.

But living 30 miles inland from the coast, we were spared. Our damage amounted to two downed palm fronds and a few clumps of Spanish moss.  But days were spent waiting and watching Dorian’s painfully slow progress as it viciously battered the Bahamas and inched up the Florida coast.  We thanked God for His mercy, prayed for the poor Bahamians who were suffering bitterly, and prayed for those still in the storms path.

We had a cruise to the Bahamas scheduled for Sept. 2 and that was cancelled, of course.  By the time the storm passed, we were rebooked on a cruise which departed from Port Canaveral Sept. 5, just 30 hours after we received confirmation.

The purpose and highlight of the cruise was spending time with our two younger grandchildren, 10 yo Alastair, 6 yo Vivian Rose, and their parents.  We had a fabulous time.

The “cruise” dress I made in such a rush for Vivian Rose was done well before the hurricane was due to make landfall.  Inspired by a gorgeous dress made by famous smocking plate designer Terry Collins, I ordered the fabric the very day she posted her dress on-line.  The pattern is Children’s Corner Louise.

 

This is a terrific pattern, a blank canvas for a variety of embellishments.  Or it is lovely as shown as a jumper or sundress.  The bodice is fully lined.

While making this, I faced many of the problems familiar to those of you whose grandchildren do not live nearby.  Though Vivi soon will be 7, she is very tiny. Yet her mother declared that she wears a size 6 and that’s what I should make.  So I did.

Obviously it it too large in every respect except the length.  You can see  the gaping armholes in the first picture.

 

Continue reading

Free Happy Face Pencil Toppers

My turn to present the Children’s Message at church came this week just in time for back-t0-school.

The children range in age from 4-10 so the message needed to be catchy to get their attention and brief enough to keep that attention.  Additionally, there must be a meaningful message.

 

This bag and fabric was a gift to me from the Ghana mission team in thanks for the garments our sewing group made. The bright colors certainly caught the children’s attention.

 

With a large, colorful  tote bag next to me,  I mentioned that they had all begun a new school year.  Then I asked what they learn at school.  The answers were just as expected–math, reading, manners and to be kind (that was nice to hear).

They were curious about the bag but I said they would see what was in it later.  It was a surprise.  Darling tow-headed Reid, 4 yo,  had snuggled up to me before the service began and sneaked a look in the bag.  He shouted smugly, “I know what the surprise is!!!!” Continue reading

Christmas Fawn Daydress

Christmas is just around the calendar corner and it’s rush, rush, rush for me and many of you.  I’ve just finished this Swiss batiste dress for Baby Beatrice.

I’ve written in earlier posts about Baby Bea, our new granddaughter via our church. Neither of her parents’ mothers is living,  so months before she was born they asked me to be her official Nana.  That was a happy day!  And, of course, she is a doll, just now 4 months old, which for me has been at least 120 more happy days.

Her daddy is an avid hunter, especially for deer. Bea’s little daydress is a reminder NOT to shoot Bambi or his antlered  father.

But back to the dress……the pattern is Old Fashioned Baby‘s Baby Daydress.

 

 

Like all of Jeannie B’s patterns, this one is a delight to sew and offers several design options.  I love the Scriptures and embroidery designs she places in the blank space around the pattern pieces.

 

 

 

The shadow work fawn is from Joy Welsh’s Applique for Kids.  It stitches just beautifully with her instructions.  The greenery beneath the fawn was extracted from another design which I cannot recall right now.

 

 

 

The holly at the neckline is another design whose origin I cannot recall.  I need to keep better records of what I embroider.

 

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Mug Rugs~What I’ve Learned

I’ve always thought mug rugs were a great idea and always meant to stitch some.  Finally, a need arose and a set of these unusual “rugs” seemed like the perfect hostess gift for a perfectly gracious host and hostess.

The second set was made for the guest of honor and speaker, extraordinary Pastor James of Ghana.  So two gift sets of 4 mug rugs were made.  I don’t enjoy stitching identical designs again and again, so I changed the thread color of the background stitching and some of the lettering.

 

 

At a lovely dinner at the home of members of our church, Pastor James spoke passionately to a large group of  guests about the challenging conditions in Ghana.  Our host and hostess, a physician and nurse, had gone there on a medical mission trip this past summer. Continue reading

Halloween Projects~Quick and Easy

 

NOTE: This is reposted from several years ago, but still has some good ideas for quick and easy Halloween projects.  I hope you find something you like.

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Halloween has never been a favorite holiday of mine but our grandchildren get absolutely giddy with the fun it brings.  This year, I’ve joined in the celebration with sewing projects.

This candy jar was so quick and easy.   Our grandchildren are all big Disney fans so the iBroidery.com design with Mickey and the pumpkin seemed perfect.  It was embroidered on orange felt then glued to a fringed circle of black burlap.  The embroidery was glued to a strip of fringed black burlap  then adhered to the jar with double sided tape (one of my all-time favorite sewing notions).

 

candy jar alone

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Summer Picnic Dress

Originally plain white with drawn thread work at the hemline, this versatile dress from All About Blanks can become something very special. Adding a shirt makes it suitable for chilly, windy kite-flying days.

 

This “blank” linen/cotton blend dress from All About Blanks is, indeed, a blank canvas awaiting embellishment. With embroidery, ribbon and topstitching, it steps out from “blank” into the realm of special.

Its patriotic kite and images of sunshine and water seem to broadcast and celebrate the joys of summer.  For a picnic, family  reunion or any such occasion, a little girl would be the center of attention.

The embroidery design is from Brother’s embroidery site, ibroidery.com.  It is so sweet and versatile, capturing the magic of childhood summers.

 

Brother’s ibroidery.com design BIC-MTGSAS008

Another little touch was swapping out the white utility buttons with  eye catching red ones.

 

 

A complete tutorial post for this project is at Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial.

*Required disclaimer:  I am a paid sewing consultant for Brother.

 

 

Live, Love Life

 

This pillow was made for our precious granddaughter, Laurel.

 

enjoying our visit to a New Jersey tea room

 

She just turned 14 and I couldn’t resist offering some grandmotherly advice to mark the occasion.  Putting that advice where she could read it every day seemed like a better idea than delivering a “Things to Remember” lecture. Continue reading

Elegant Table Linens and Precious Memories

This project and a detailed tutorial are posted here at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial.

 

I loved embroidering this elegant set of table linens for Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial.  Aside from the sewing details in the tutorial posted  there,  many “back stories” go with it that I just have to share with you.

First, I have loved these designs since I first saw them on my Dream Machine.

 

 

Like the design used on the quilted bed footwarmer, I was so eager to find the perfect project for them.  Then….I did! Continue reading

Baptismal Towels

 

Do you have more than one project in progress?  I have stacks– some must be done NOW, some are handwork for when I watch tv with my husband, some are mindless chores like hemming for when I’m on the phone, some I put aside for one reason or another.

Still, in the midst of a looming deadline and other pressing matters, I took the time to embroider 6 hemstitched linen guest towels for upcoming baptisms at our church.  I had customized the design sometime ago for a newly ordained pastor. So it was just a matter of hooping up my stash of linen guest towels and embroider them.  It was so satisfying to stitch something simple and meaningful in the midst of all the sewing busy-ness.

You might recall my story that our church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground several years ago. Continue reading