Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fabulous Friends Wednesday - Ann from Make The Best of Things!

Welcome to another FABULOUS FRIENDS WEDNESDAY!!!   I'm thrilled to introduce you to Ann from Make The Best of Things.  Her blog sends out such a welcoming, inviting vibe, I find myself looking around all the time!  And I love how Ann can look at something and see so much potential!  She really does make the best of things.  I hope you'll take the time to drop by her blog and say hi!

Thanks to Vanessa at Craft Envy for asking me to Guest Post. Craft Envy is a great blog with some wonderful projects. If you're not a follower, you should be! I've never been a guest poster before so I am going to "learn by doing" which is the way I usually try new things!

I've been creating and crafting for a long time. A long, long time, lol! Here's a pic of my high school I.D. card from way back...way, way back. Let me just say, Class of 1970 RULES!!! (And I didn't know how cute I was) Back then embroidered denim cut offs were hot, because we could keep them from tearing and fraying with some cool embroidery. Now they're being sold at Old Navy. Back then crocheted ponchos and vests and ripple afghans were all the rage and now there are Etsy shops dedicated to crochet. And Danish Modern furniture was in (now there's Ikea) and wonderfully wild floral print hip hugger mini skirts were in style, which I and all my friends sewed ourselves because BACK THEN all the girls took sewing in Home Ec!

They say that everything old is new again and this little project I'm posting is no exception. Back then we discovered trapunto, the dimensional quilting technique, for our way cool embroidered vests and skirts. It's the perfect craft for making some unique home decor and especially that favorite project, couch pillows! So here we go, a trapunto skeleton key couch pillow just for you.

Skeleton keys are hot right now. Their vintage charm and character really bring personality to otherwise modern decor and they fit in with any number of styles, including shabby chic, farmhouse style and an eclectic mix. The dimensional look of the skeleton key on this pillow would fit in with all those styles. Annnnd, it's easy to get this look!

I used muslin for this project. It's my favorite fabric for home decor. It's inexpensive, easy to work with, a nice neutral color and works up beautifully. For the front of your pillow cut two matching pieces of fabric.

Using a quilting pen, whose ink disappears when you spray the fabric with water, I outlined a simple skeleton key shape (this one is grungeboard from Tim Holtz).

I simplified the detail within the key head to make it easier to stitch. Set your sewing machine stitch length to 3 or 2, since you want small stitches for this project. Sew around the shape and use your judgement, going slowly, turning each angle with the needle DOWN to make sharp corners. Feel free to simplify your design as you sew, this technique is very forgiving and looks better with a simple shape. For example, I eliminated the little bumps in the shaft when I stitched this key.

Sorry for the poor contrast in this pic, but if you look you can see I've stitched the outline of the key in matching thread with small stitches.

Next you will clip several small openings in the backside of the design thru ONE LAYER OF FABRIC ONLY. This will give you the openings for stuffing your shape. I used the blunt end of a crochet hook to get the small pieces of stuffing into all the small areas. You can also use a needle to "wheedle" the stuffing into place smoothly. Stuff your shape evenly until it is softly plump.

Here you can see the small slits in the backside of the fabric with the stuffing showing through. Once your stuffing is in place, handsew each slit closed. Your stitches do not have to be pretty, just as long as they work. Do not draw too tightly or you will distort your stuffed shape. Spray your design with water to erase the ink and at this point you can iron your pillow top around the stuffed shape if you wish. I put a simple envelope closure on back and put my new pillow cover on a 12" stuffed form and there you have it, a trapunto skeleton key cushion for your couch or bedroom. I like the way this came out. I like it alot! I'll be posting more projects using this technique on my blog, so if you have questions, drop me a line.

Thanks again to the gals at Craft Envy for the invite. This was fun! You should try guest posting. You'll learn something new and have a good time doing it!


  1. I noticed the awesome cutting board in the background of one of the pictures. Where did you get it.

  2. I got it at Joanne's with a 50% off coupon. It was not real cheap even then but it has held up for six years!

  3. that kicks a**! so many possibilities with this technique!

  4. So cute! I love this pillow. Another great idea Ann!!!

  5. Earn free satoshis over at Easy Bitcoin. 11 to 33 satoshis per 10 minutes.



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