Friday, August 22, 2014

Shopping the Stash: New Pillows

I am afraid of welting. It’s fiddly to sew, and you have to use the dreaded zipper foot, which always looks easy until I try it. So for two years I have lived with brown and orange accent pillows that came with my couch when I have none of those colors in my living room.

Leaky pillow that is the wrong, wrong, wrong.

Recently, however, the great molt started. The pillows were leaking feathers everywhere. It was time to tackle the welts.

Pillow molt

I’m not going to cover how to sew welting to pillows. It really is an easy process, and my fears are completely unfounded. I’m a terrible perfectionist with my sewing, and that usually is the cause of my sewing trepidation.

Instead, let’s talk about shopping the stash. As crafters, we all have a stash of possibilities: fabrics, glues, markers, papers, sequins, etc.

 Suzy Cucumber's fabric stash

This pile is but a mere fraction of my decorator fabric stash. Turns out I’ve been hoarding a perfect fabric in my stash. I found it at the craft thrift store for $4 for 2 yards. I had plenty to fussy cut a medallion motif for each pillow.

To solve the molting problem, I used fabric glue and strips of white cotton (again from the stash) to seal the leaky seams of the pillows. No way was I going wrestle feather pillows under the presser foot!

Sealing a leaky feather pillow with glue.

I used the old pillow cover for a pattern and cannibalized the zipper and welting to use in the new pillow.

Yes, I had to sew the welting in the second pillow twice.

New matching pillow

I’m so happy with the end result. No more crappy pillows for me! I’m going do a bit more shopping in my stash and see what else I can come up with to redo my accent pillows.

Have you forgotten about any treasures in your stash? Do tell in the comments.



Friday, June 13, 2014

Quick Fix for Wrong Color Thread

You know how you’re happily sewing along on purple fabric with purple thread and you completely forget your bobbin is white thread because it hasn’t mattered until now?

SC Sewing Mishap

Yeah, me too. I even zigzagged it so it would really show.

Since this purple cotton is the lining of a purse, I just colored over the white thread with a violet Prismacolor pencil. Anything to avoid the seam ripper!

SC Sewing Mishap Fixed


I also broke four needles up to this point, and I can’t blame it on machine error. Rushing usually is my enemy and led directly to the white thread debacle.

What are your worst sewing disasters? This is one of my minor booboos.



Monday, June 9, 2014

Wildflowers on the Back Roads

Sometimes you just have to go for a drive to see what’s in your own backyard.

My husband and I took a Saturday drive south toward Lubbock and the South Plains just to see what we could see. I wanted to see wildflowers.

The Texas Department of Transportation actively seeds and encourages wildflower and native grasses along Texas roadways. The practice started in 1932, even along the back roads.

I found a wealth of wildflowers along the farm to market roads. At 75 mph, they all look the same. I was amazed at how many varieties I found in a short time. With the help of the Wildflower Center and an index of Texas Wildflowers, I was able to identify most of the wildflowers.

Englemann Daisy

Engelmann Daisy


False Garlic

False Garlic



Lone Sunflower


Red Prairie Coneflower

Red Prairie Coneflower


Yellow Prairie Coneflower

Yellow Prairie Coneflower


Scarlet Guara

Scarlet Guara

Scarlet Guara aka Scarlet Beeblossom


White Prairie Clover

White Prairie Clover


Yellow Spiny Daisy

Yellow Spiny Daisy

Also hidden along the back roads are unique examples of roadside attractions. So many little towns were well–traveled before the interstate highway system bypassed them and their dreamers. We found Bob’s Oil Well service station in Matador, Texas.

Matador, Texas Roadside Attraction

Bob's gas pump, Matador, Texas

Widespread thunderstorms ended our trip, but even the sky was beautiful.

Looking up at the Storm



Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring Refresher

I have one clock that is still set to standard time. I changed every other clock in the house for daylight savings time but not the clock in the kitchen. I mentally add one hour when I look at that clock. It’s always on the back of my mind to get out the stool and change the time, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Our house and yard has been stuck on the back burner just like that clock. For years we’ve had projects and ideas simmering, but life got in the way. Most of our time and money went to fencing and then it went to two universities and their residence halls. (#1 is graduating this May!)

With kids out of the house, we talked about possibly moving and came to realize we had work to do if we ever decided to sell the house. And then we decided to fix up our house for us instead of for someone else.

Instead of spring cleaning, I’ve been spring repairing.

SC Lists

I went through every room and wrote down every little thing that bugged me. Having that list has been empowering because I put a big black line through every finished project.

It’s about dang time.

And the clock still reads one hour earlier than it really is, but I put that item on the list. I’ll get there eventually.

Since my crafting time has become spackling time lately, I’m expanding Suzy Cucumber to include all the other crap I hack around here. Because being handy is a craft too.