It turns out that Friday the 13th was my lucky day! It was the day that I gave birth to our beautiful, precious, tiny girl. We named her Caroline Jemma. She was 5 lbs 15 oz and 19 3/4 inches long. We were completely shocked that she was a girl. Throughout all of my doctors appointments and ultrasounds people kept referring to the baby as he, so I just assumed that it was going to be another boy. It was such a wonderful surprise and I’m so glad we waited until the end to find out. I can’t wait to start sewing tiny dresses!
My nesting instinct kicked into high gear right after the first of the year. January always seems like a great time to work on organizing and cleaning projects, but this year I really decided it was high time to make a few changes that just keep getting pushed to the back burner. I’ve never really loved the furniture arrangement in our master bedroom. We also had terrible window treatments that the boys were constantly fiddling with. We finally decided to get new, room darkening blinds. This decision set off a whole chain of events for me. We rearranged the furniture, got a new duvet cover, and I made some fun new pillow cases.
This was our old Shabby Chic bedding. I loved it so much and it served us well when we were first married. But then two little boys with perpetually dirty feet came along and things started falling apart. The embroidery on the duvet cover got snagged, there were always smudges of something on the white fabric, and our pillow cases started ripping. Our large pillows in the back were really in bad shape. The fabric was torn and the pillows themselves were droopy and ripping.
I have always loved the combination of navy and green. When the newest Cotton + Steel fabrics were released I was smitten with the Cookie Book collection. I found this striped duvet cover on sale at Pottery Barn and decided that I would use some of the Cookie Book fabrics to make pillow cases to coordinate.
I started out making pillow cases with this mint fabric. I used a pattern from the book Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Melanie Falick. I’ve used this pattern a few times to make pillow cases for the boys. It’s easy and I’m always happy with the results.
Then I moved on to these small accent pillows. I used this floral fabric to make two shams. I measured the cases that we had been using previously and based these shams off of those measurements. I had asked for a ruffling foot for my sewing machine quite a few years ago but I’d never used it before. I used it to pleat/ruffle the trim and then sewed the back, front, and ruffle with my regular machine. It took a little bit of practice, but the ruffling foot worked out really well.
The last step was making the cases for our big 30″x30″ pillows. I have made a few mini Swoon blocks recently and I wanted to make the full sized blocks. I would love to make a whole Swoon quilt, but the thought of doing the actual quilting on such a large pattern seems really intimidating to me. I figured this would be a good place to start. The finished quilt blocks are 24″x24″, so I just added some white sashing around the pieced block to get the pillow cases to the size I wanted.
I quilted fronts as if I was making an actual quilt. I sandwiched batting between the pieced block and an old sheet that I used for the backing. I used my walking foot to do straight line quilting. I didn’t take a picture of the back of either of the big pillows, but it’s the same concept as the small floral pillows. I made a button placket and used three large buttons for the closure. I made sure to interface the plackets– that was one of the first places that our Shabby Chic pillow cases started showing wear. The buttons kept pulling off and the holes ripped open. If they had been interfaced I think they would have worn better! We also ordered new pillows to go inside these shams and it’s so nice to have big, fluffy pillows again. I am so pleased with how these turned out. Now they have a place of honor at the front of all of the other pillows when the bed gets made!
We are planning to paint the room in the Spring and I need to make curtains or valances for the windows. It would cost $600 to get the curtains that match our duvet cover and I’m pretty sure I can make something for a lot less! I am really happy with our master bedroom updates so far!
I’ve been sewing up a storm lately, since I know in a few short weeks my sewing time is going to be drastically reduced. I am about 2 weeks from my due date and I am so excited to meet this little person! I still haven’t packed my hospital bag– mostly because everything that I would pack is currently in use. I did however just make two new things for myself to pack in my bag. Continue reading