Thursday, May 17, 2012


I recently hooked a pillow top for a class I'm teaching this summer. I decided to do something special to the edges.  I took a class last fall, and the teacher had prodded the edge of her pillow and it looked fantastic.  I decided this was the finish this pillow needed.

I made a hidden zipper backing for the pillow so I could sew all the way around the pillow top.  I was afraid if I had to hand sew any opening closed, the force of prodding the edge would break my hand stitching.  This way I could avoid that possibility. I found instructions for the hidden zipper by Googling "hidden zipper pillow back".

                        I cut strips of wool and also strips of silk approximately 1/2" to 1" wide and 4 to 6" long.

I can't for the life of me remember what this tool is called. I have 3 of them and used them for stuffing doll legs and arms back when I made primitive dolls. This one has a small tip and worked the best for pushing through the linen and catching the wool or silk strip and pulling it back through. (Update: It's called a hemostat.)

Always go into the same hole from the last strip. I skipped 3 or 4 holes before coming up and grabbing the strip to pull it through.

This is as much of the finished project I'm going to show. I like to wait and have the class get the first look. I'll show the complete pillow when I get home in July.

I'm happy with the look and it is worth the extra trouble and time to do this.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I've been doing a little dyeing this past week. I needed a few swatches to work on an older project I started a few years ago. I found a new appreciation for swatches and also for the dye book "Jewel Tones" by Carolyn Clemens. Here's how I do it on the stove. I don't remember where I bought the pan...probably at an antique shop. I cut apart a long cooling rack for the bottom of the pan and 8 quart jars fit perfectly in the pan.

Here are the results of another dye session, not the one in the above photo. It is JT 34...a light blue to a violet for use in flowers.

I found it necessary to increase the amount of dye in jar 8 and decrease the amount in jar 7 by 1 tsp. It could be even a little more as 7 and 8 are extremely close in color.