Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cozy eye pillow

Quilted eye pillow by Linda Theil
by Linda Theil

I always thought eye pillows were only for Thirties-era starlets until I learned in yoga class how nice a weighted eye pillow feels when you are resting. For this eye pillow that I made, I used an old worn sheet that I love, but you can use any soft scrap you have available. Old flannel p.j.s would make nice eye-pillows. An eye pillow is also a warmhearted gift for travelers and visitors.

You can download a printable PDF file for the "Eye-pillow pattern 2016" by clicking on the link. Or you can draw your own pattern using the drawing shown here. Each block should be 1/4-inch.

To make an eye pillow, you will need:
  • 4 pieces of fabric 11-inches wide by 5.5-inches high
  • 1 piece of cotton batting 10-inches wide by 4.5-inches high
  • one elastic hairband, available in drug stores
  • one cup buckwheat hulls or rice

Cut one eye-pillow piece from cotton batting, do not add seam allowances to pattern piece. (Use solid, dark line on pattern piece.)

Cut four eye-pillow pieces from soft cotton or flannel fabric, adding 1/4-inch seam allowance around entire pattern piece. (Cut out pattern piece on solid, dark line; dotted line shows approximately where the seam allowance will be cut on fabric pieces.) Cut arrows pointing outward to show where elastic band will be sewn. (The photo above shows arrows as notches, but you will cut your arrows out, not notched inward.)

Pillow pieces cut out. Note that arrows are cut pointing outward, not notched inward.

Lay one pillow piece wrong-side up on table, put the batting piece on top of the pillow fabric. Put a second pillow fabric piece on top of the batting, right-side-up -- sandwiching the batting between two pieces of pillow fabric.

Machine quilt the three layers in whatever design you prefer. I used a walking foot for this step, for seaming the pillow pieces together, and for topstitching.

Put the two remaining pillow pieces together with wrong-sides-together. Pin, and stitch around outside edge of pieces to secure.

Cut the elastic hair band with a pair of scissors.

Cut off a 16-inch length of hairband. Save remaining elastic piece for another project, or discard.

Pin each end of elastic to RIGHT side of quilted pillow piece on each temple where marked with fabric arrows. Pin with rubber nubbed surface on headband facing up (if your band has rubber nubs). Leave about an inch of headband on either side of pillow, sticking outward, past seam allowance area. Baste in place on sewing machine.

Put remaining pillow piece on top of the quilted pillow piece, matching right sides together, and tucking headband between both layers.

Leaving a three-inch opening at the top of the pillow for turning, using a walking foot, stitch all layers together around the edge of the pillow pieces with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Inspect seam, be sure the headband has not been caught in the seam, when satisfactory, double stitch seam to secure. 

Turn the pillow right-side-out.

Eye pillow turned out with opening in top unstitched.

Measure one cup of buckwheat hulls, or rice.

Put buckwheat hulls or rice inside opening of stitched pillow.

Pillow with hulls inside.

Turn in opening edges and pin in place.

Push hulls away from stitching area and topstitch opening closed and continue topstitching around entire eye pillow. Check to make sure there are no holes where hulls might escape. Restitch to secure, if desired.

Cozy eye-pillow is ready to use.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tulip nine-patch from Moda Bakeshop

Tulip block from Moda Bakeshop

I love this little tulip block from Moda's Bake Shop. You need scraps of a tulip fabric, background fabric, and a leaf fabric -- plus any fabrics you want for borders. For the tulip and background, I used fabrics from the Strawberry Fields Revisited line by Fig Tree Co. for Moda. I used strips of the background fabric for the first border, as instructed in the Moda how-to. All seams are stitched with fabric right-sides-together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance and using a 1/4-inch presser foot with 1/4-inch seam guide.
Composition of the pieces for the tulip.

To construct the block, you will need:
  • One scant 3" square of leaf fabric
  • Three 2.5" squares of background fabric
  • Two scant 3-inch squares of background fabric
  • One 1.5" square of background fabric
  • One 1.5 x 2.5" rectangle of background fabric
  • One scant 3" square of tulip fabric
  • One 2.5" square of tulip fabric
  • One 1.5" square of tulip fabric

For borders cut about one yard of strips of desired width (up to two inches) for each border.

To prepare nine-patch squares:
Cut one 3" square of tulip, and leaf fabrics and two 3" squares of background fabric each diagonally into two triangles.

Sew leaf and tulip triangles to background triangles. 

Press, and trim to 2.5" squares

Sew 1.5 inch square of tulip fabric to 1.5 inch square of background fabric.

Sew that construction to the 2.5 x 1.5 " rectangle of background fabric.

Arrange sewn and cut squares into a nine-patch configuration to form a tulip image as shown in photo above.

Stitch bottom three squares together.

Stitch center three squares together.

Stitch top three squares together.

Vertical strips shown pressed and arranged in tulip design.

Stitch bottom strip to center strip.

Stitch top strip to center/bottom strip.

Trim block to 6.5" square.

Sew first border of background fabric to one side of block.

Sew first border of background fabric to opposite side of block.

Two sides of first border, pressed.

Sew first border of background fabric to top of block.

Sew first border of background fabric to bottom of block.

Complete first border of background fabric pressed.

Trim border if necessary to make even border width.

Finished tulip block with background border.

Sewing first strip of second border.

Sewing second strip of second border.

Sewing third strip of second border.

Sewing last strip of second border.

Second border installed.

Added first strip of third border.

Sewing second strip of third border.

Second strip of third border, turned back after stitching.

Two sides of third border installed and pressed.

Sewing third strip of third border.

Third strip of third border sewn and turned back after stitching.

Sewing fourth strip of third border.

Tulip nine patch with three borders installed -- to be set on point.