Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Mishmash

I made a pillow this week - and I was in shock when I finished, because holy crap, it actually came out the way I envisioned it!  I am not skilled, nor experienced, when it comes to sewing...I know just enough to know that there IS a way to do something, but I don't know what that way is.  So, I thought and thought, and discussed what I wanted to do with my mom, Debby and Barbara, looked at several tutorials online, thought some more, and finally just started doing it - and color me surprised when it came together!  This was my inspiration piece, and where I got the download of the free anchor pattern:

And this is my version:
Side - I was able to get the stripes to match up!
Close up of the zigzag around the anchor.

Originally I was going to topstitch the anchor (after fusing it to the fabric) like in the inspiration piece, but made a last-minute change.  It was a little challenging going around the curved areas, but I had some moral support:
Stopped to let my racing pulse rest (it was nerve-wracking doing this part!) and Paco was immediately up and making sure everything was OK.
 Part way through the zigzagging. 

To say that I'm pleased with this would be an understatement.  I even managed to do the red edge trim, which I talked myself out of many times over the course of this coming together.  Quite happy I went for it as I think it really finishes the look of the pillow.  Sewing is still very outside of my comfort zone, but I still have two more that I want to make to complete this set (it's for the guest bed in my son's NC place), so I'll be continuing on with this confidence-building endeavor.


Thanks to my friend Stephanie and her top-loading washer, I was able to felt the bowls I knitted!  I love how they came out - the flower bowls were a new pattern and I'm going to play with yarn colors and weights a bit more, but overall, not bad for a first attempt:
Paco took time to stop and smell the flowers...

The round bowls - I love.  They just make me happy:
I thought it was only appropriate to use one to hold some of my knitting supplies.

Artsy shots:


I promise this isn't completely turning into a craft blog, but hey, that's what the mishmash is all about - random things I've doing, or find entertaining, or (of course) pictures of Paco.  Speaking of that dog, he's a mess.  Last week he was playing in the front yard with his buddy Ginger...Jeff was doing yard work, and Ginger's human sister was watching them.  Well, Ginger decided (as she is wont to do) to take off, and Paco went with her!  Normally he hesitates when they reach the end of our street - I think he likes us so much that he really is torn about leaving - but this time, he followed her.  He got several hundred feet away before Jeff saw what was happening and called him home.  Ginger is a running fool and her people had to get in their car to go catch her - she's super fast.

Here's Paco posing by a new plant we put in recently:
See Mom?  I be gud.  You take all da picturs you want.  Not going anywhere.

Here's my pretty pink calla lillies that we also planted - I don't have a lot of hope that they'll survive the summer, but the plant was super cheap, so I threw caution to the wind and tried one:
These are the second set of blooms - maybe it will surprise me and last.  I go outside and encourage it every couple of days...hey, you never know!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Sweety you did an excellent job on the pillow. It looks great! And don't worry about showing to much craft, I love it.

    And Paco, Paco is always good. So he thought he was going on an adventure with Ginger :) Did he hesitate when Jeff called him or did he come straight home?
    R. thinks Bella won't run away but I'm not so sure, that dog of mine is a unguided rocket when she sees a cat or a bird or something else. I'm not taking any chances with her :)

    Have a great weekend my friend.

    1. Thanks, Fran! :)

      Jeff said Paco stopped, looked at Ginger (longingly, I'm sure) but ran to him when he called. That unguided rocket is a very apt description of what Ginger does, and if you think Bella would do that unleashed, then yeah - I'd take no chances either.

  2. I'm having such a hard time with buying your "no skilz, no experience" with sewing! Gosh!! Even the tape around the edges?? Crazy. Looks soo wonderful! Makes me feel like maybe there is hope for me. Ha So impressed!
    Cool bowls; I likey. Fun artsy shots. Paco & the flower caption made me laugh.

    Speaking of flowers & Paco; Gorgeous lillies! Wow. The other plant is cool too.

    Oh & Paco.....I think when Jeff called him back he was thinking: "Oh, yeah, dis running biz more werk than I realizd. It actwally exrsze! I go to Dad. I save snout in front of Gingr and make it look like I very obednt boy. Whew! Thanks Dad!"

    1. Believe me, if I can muddle through this, you can too...I took a sewing class way back in the day (can't remember if it was Junior High or High School) and it was SO HARD. I credit some of this to all the tutorials and videos that are available now - I wore a path from my dining table (where the sewing machine was) to my office computer to recheck the instructions, lol. Plus, I think I have a bit more patience now, like in lining up the striped on the back to match. Wouldn't have occurred to me 35 years ago!

      P.S. I think you speak Paco perfectly. He says you are appointed as his spokesdog. ;)

  3. I like your pillow better than the original! And the zig zag is just right. There's no other way to do that than to go super slow, stop and start. I always think to myself,"its still much faster than hand-sewing!" Oh, and lining up the stripes?? I don't think I would have even attempted that! I can see you are going to become a sewer extraordinaire!

    I LOVE your bowls. And I'm with you. Even though the flower bowls are super cute, there's something very wonderful about the round ones.

    Sophie says "Hi Paco." "Who is this horrible Ginger that you speak of? I would never lead you down the wrong road like that tramp."

    1. Thank you for the sewing compliments - I'm sure you (secretly) wondered what in the world I was trying to attempt with all of my emails to you, but your encouragement kept me going. :)

      Sophie calling Ginger a tramp has me ROFLOL this morning! She's pretty much spot on with that assessment!!

  4. Your pillow looks fantastic! And to do that red! Love how the bowls turned out.

    Paco is so cute next to your flower.

    1. Thanks! (Paco says "I know" - what a smug dog, lol)

  5. I'm with Debby - I think your pillow looks better than the original! I'm super impressed with your sewing abilities. :)

    I LOVE THOSE BOWLS. All of them. Gosh so cute!!

    Craft skillz - you got 'em. :)

  6. Love your pillow! And the bowls!

    I have a sewing machine left to me by my great-aunt, but I haven't honored her by using it. I should do that and learn to make myself some curtains, :)

  7. I LOVE those knitted bowls. And the picture of Paco's snout in one? Priceless!!!! He is such a big personality. It comes through in the photos. Have a wonderful weekend Shelley

  8. Your pillow is wonderful! Matching stripes, zig zagging around applique. You're ready for quilting now. I'm sure Debby would agree.

    You sure Paco wasn't looking for a snack vs. smelling the flowers?

  9. You are so stinkin creative. Love the pillow. I use to teach sewing to middle school students, miss those days!

    Paco is pretty darn cute too!

  10. That turned out great Shelley! You definitely have more sewing skills than I do! And you should open an Etsy shop to make money!

  11. Very nice job! You sew like a pro!

  12. I am uber, uber impressed with your pillow and your sewing skills! I don't see why you shouldn't be posting crafty stuff. It's your blog and things you do. (Kind of like how mine turns into a home improvement blog).

    Those callas are beautiful!

  13. Wow!!! You're pretty talented! I love those bowls!! The pillow is pretty impressive as well. I'm not quite sure I believe you're not an experienced seamstress.

  14. Paco is just so useful in your endeavors!

    I love it that you are doing so many crafts and sharing them. First I love crafts...but secondly it shows a natural progression. Right now my focus is on weight loss..and it's awesome to see that the focus isn't going to be that way forever! :-)

  15. That pillow is so neat!!!

    Why did you need a top loading washer for the other project? I am curious :)

    1. You need the agitator (and a couple pairs of old jeans or some big towels) to rough up the yarn and make it shrink together (felt).

    2. Ahh, cool! Thanks for explaining!

  16. I LOVE PINK CALLA LILLIES!!! Sorry for shouting but that's so gorgeous.

    Never, ever apologize on this blog for your craftiness. You're talented - the end.


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