pocket pillow tutorial
Hi Everyone! I’ve got Valentines Day on the brain (how can you not with the barrage of diamond and chocolate commercials on TV right now?!) – so I thought I would share a pillow tutorial for this super quick, adorable and fun Ombre Heart Pocket Pillow that I originally created as part of the Craftaholics Anonymous Creative Team. I don’t know about you, but I just love pillow tutorials that are fun, quick and easy, as I’m often leaving holiday decorating until the last minute!

Ombre Heart Pillow Tutorial

Supplies

To make your own 16” pillow, you’ll need the following supplies:

½ yd fabric for front and back of pillow
½ yd fabric for pocket and binding
¼ yd fabric for heart
1, 9” x 9” piece of heat n’ bond
16 ½” x 16 ½” piece of fusible fleece (used Pellon TP 971F)
1, 16” pillow form
Free Heart Template

Fabrics used for pillow tutorial:
Pillow front and back, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen by Robert Kaufman
Pillow pocket and binding, Simply Color by V & Co. for Moda
Heart, Simply Color by V & Co. for Moda

Heart Pocket Pillow Tutorial

Making the heart

From the ombre fabric that is already 9” wide, cut 9, 1 ½” strips from the various colors in the fabric, approximately 3 dark, 3 medium, and 3 light to get the desired ombre effect for the heart.
Next, sew all the strips together in order from dark to light along the 9” side to create a 9” x 9” square. Press all seams open.

Place your 9” x 9” square of fabric face down on your ironing board with your 9” x 9” piece of heat n’ bond on top. Following instructions for the heat n’ bond, press together and allow to cool.
Using the heart template, trace the heart outline onto the paper side of the heat n’ bond and cut out your heart. Set aside.

Making the Pocket

Cut 2 pieces 10 ½” x 10 ½” from your pocket fabric. Place both pieces right sides together and pin in place. Sew around all 4 sides using a ¼” seam allowance, leaving a 3” opening at the bottom. Clip your corners and turn right side out. Press flat, ensuring your opening seam is folded into the pocket.

Take your heart and remove the paper backing. Center it on the pocket and press in place using a hot iron. To sew the heart in place, I used variegated pearl cotton and hand-stitched around the outside edge. However, you can also use a long straight stitch on your machine and sew around the edge of the heart as well. Note that this method can allow for some frayed edges since it is raw-edge applique.

Attach the Pocket to the Pillow Front

Cut a 16 ½” x 16 ½” square from your pillow front fabric.  Fuse this piece to your piece of fusible fleece to give the front a bit of weight. Center the pocket with the heart and pin in place. Sew around three sides, leaving the top open and making sure to catch the pocket opening in your stitch line along the bottom.

Making the Back

To make an envelope closure on the back of the pillow, cut 2 pieces 16 ½” x 10”. Along one edge of each piece, fold in ¼” and press, and fold in another ¼” and press to create a finished edge. Using a straight stitch on your machine, sew down the middle.

Finishing the Pillow

Place your pillow front face down on a flat work surface. Next, place both of your back pieces right side up, lining up the three unfinished edges with the edges of the front. Your pieces will overlap approximately 2 inches on the back, creating the envelope back. Pin in place.

Next, create your binding using your preferred method by cutting 2, 2 ¼” x wof (width of fabric) strips from your desired fabric. Since I wanted the project to be quick, I sewed my binding to the back of the pillow using my machine, and then I sewed to the front using my machine rather than hand stitching. Some say its cheating, but I say its quick and it works for me!

Next, just put in your pillow form and your pillow is finished! Don’t forget to add a cute note, card or goodies for someone special!

I hope you enjoyed the pocket pillow tutorial! If you make your own version, I’d love to see it! Leave a link in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out!
christmas table runner

You guys, I am clearly not lying about sewing for Christmas being my absolute favorite! Recently, Sew, Mama, Sew! put out a call for Christmas In July projects and I couldn’t resist (I mean, its not like I had anything else going on this month like a Christmas in July Sewing Challenge or anything!?!).

christmas tree table runner

I had this project in mind for a while, and I thought it would be perfect for a Christmas table runner – and I am so pleased with how this turned out. How amazing is this fabric?! I already have a few ideas on how to create other projects out of this block, so I’ll be sure to share when (and if!) I get around to it before Christmas this year.

So, head on over to Sew, Mama, Sew! for the tutorial – I can’t wait to see what you make with it!

PS – I promise to update everyone on my amazing weekend catching up with my Sew South ladies at Uphome. So much sewing fun to process, and let’s be honest, I am completely exhausted from all the late nights :)

Looking for a last minute 4th of July project? Check out my latest Creative Team pillow tutorial over at Craftaholics Anonymous.

I am loving how this pillow turned out and just might make another to bring a matching set to my Mom this weekend. Who doesn’t love red and white chevron with mini anchors on a fun nautical inspired anchor pillow? It is so bright and cheerful – it makes me smile.

This pillow tutorial is perfect for the beginner sewist – I promise. It goes together in 30 minutes and makes a huge impact for your 4th of July decor.

Speaking of the 4th, I’m spending the 4th of July at home in New Jersey for the first time in years! I am so excited for BBQs, time with family and most importantly, time at the beach and boardwalk. I’m really looking forward to it! What are your 4th of July plans?

 
I’m so excited to share my latest project with you for the Craftaholics Anonymous Creative Team. Now that the Spring like weather has finally arrived in Virginia (the photo above was taken the day after the snow we got at the end of March – crazy!), I’m starting to think about getting outside and planting a garden. And, I would love to have a place to keep my gloves, tools, etc. close as I make my way around the yard. 
This apron goes together so quickly and can easily use fabric scraps! So, head on over to Craftaholics Anonymous for the Spring Gardening Apron Tutorial. I hope you’ll share if you make on! 
Happy Sewing!
Christen

I know everyone has been saying it, but really, Easter got here really quickly this year. I’m just not ready, especially with Sew South last weekend. But, if I’m really being honest, what usually happens with holidays for me is that it gets too close and I haven’t made anything, so I just give up.

Well, this week’s Handmade Hot List is for those of you, who like me, want to make a few things for Easter but thought your time was up. These projects are fun DIY projects that have high impact for little investment of time and materials.

Burlap & Metallic Tote by Jessica of Me Sew Crazy

Jessica is on the Creative Team with me at Craftaholics Anonymous, and I just love her sewing projects! I love this colored burlap & metallic tote. It is so adorable and can be whipped up in no time. I just need to find the metallic iron on foil and get to work! Link to the tutorial here.

Scrappy Fabric Eggs by The Velvet Aubergine

Who doesn’t love a fun project that uses scraps? I know I do – especially since my scrap bin is currently overflowing (and I have a secret 10 gallon tub in my closet FULL of scraps). I need an intervention. And I think making a few dozen of these eggs is the perfect solution. I love the idea of making a bunch and using them for egg hunts year over year. And, these are WAY cuter than just plain plastic eggs. Link to the tutorial here.

Sweet Ruffle Apron Tutorial by Christen of Love Elaine

If you have an hour, you can make this sweet ruffle apron. This is actually one of my own tutorials that you can find at Sew Mama Sew. If you are like me, I’m sure you have plenty of gorgeous spring fabrics in your stash that you could easily make one of these to host Easter Brunch. This apron is the perfect gift for your mom or your mother-in-law – they will invite you over more often, I promise!

Spring Wreath by Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous

How adorable is this wreath?! I just love it! And, usually the most holiday or season decorating I actually get around to is putting up a wreath. Linda’s wreaths are the absolute best – and I just love this one as its so simple and clean, yet fussy at the same time. If you have company coming over on Sunday, you have plenty of time to finish up this wreath on Saturday. Everyone will fawn over your craftiness. Link to the tutorial here.

Happy Easter! Let me know if you end up making any of these fun projects!

xo,
Christen Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Yes, you read that right. I am officially published! Someone pinch me! I’m so excited to finally be able to share with you the finished product – as it seems like ages ago that I actually completed the project and sent it in to the editor at Stitch Magazine – who is great by the way!

 So, let’s rewind to July. I follow Stitch Magazine on Facebook and I saw a post with their latest call for submissions for the Spring 2013 issue. I decided to take a look and see what was involved and if I had a shot at submitting a project. Their calls for submissions are very well organized and are themed based – so it either speaks to you, or it doesn’t. Well, this one spoke to me, as it had a feature “From Porch To Garden” and I immediately thought that my roll-up placemats would be perfect! They are quick to sew together, look super cute on a table, and have clever functionality – always a conversation piece!

Fast forward almost 6 months and I was finally able to see my project in print! Professional photo shoots just make items look amazing – and this photo just doesn’t do it justice!

  
There they are! The fabric is Havana by Monaluna, and it is just PERFECT for spring and summer. Makes me smile just thinking about getting them out for eating on the deck once the weather is warm. Which is only in about 2-3 more months here in Virginia – one can dream right?!

I still can’t believe those are MY placemats in the pages of a sewing magazine with MY name as designer! It was a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again. Which, luckily for you (and me too!) I have another project coming out in the Stitch Magazine Summer 2013 issue that I am even more excited about since its a brand new item never seen before that I think you’ll be excited about.

Well, 2013 is off to a great start so far, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to focus on the design side of sewing – I’m feeling more and more creative and I can’t wait to share more of it with you along the way!

Welcome! I’m so excited to be sharing my new creative journey with you, as it marks a new chapter in my story. In 2009 I started Love Elaine, a handmade shop on Etsy featuring aprons, totes, baby quilts and Christmas stockings and tree skirts in bright modern fabrics.

Over the past 4 years I’ve greatly enjoyed creating and selling my products and most importantly, sharing in some of the most important times of people’s lives – a child’s first Christmas, a first Christmas Tree, the joining of two lives through marriage, a new baby, numerous birthdays and holidays by providing those people with handmade items that last year over year. Just this past Christmas, Santa filled over 500 Love Elaine Christmas Stockings and placed presents under 150 trees with a Love Elaine tree skirt. You can’t imagine how surreal that is to me, especially considering Love Elaine doesn’t have a huge production facility or a staff.

This past year was a year of change for me professionally and personally. I’ve taken a lot of time to think about Love Elaine as a business, and I had time to give the business a real shot. And, after all the time, I’ve realized that I enjoy the creative process of turning fabric into something new, something useful much more than I enjoy sitting at my machine, doing production-line sewing for my Etsy shop.

So, what does that mean? Well, its actually good news for all of you. This year, I’m going to start a new endeavor on this blog to share my love for handmade – all aspects of handmade from DIY sewing tutorials, no-sew projects (because sometimes I don’t want to sew either!), and unique ideas for giving a handmade gift. Because, in all the time I’ve spent with Love Elaine and in my own life, handmade gifts are the most meaningful to the giver and the receiver. I want to share that, plus, share with you the handmade community that I’ve become a part of – so many talented artists and makers are out there with unique items just waiting for you to give to someone special.

That is where Love By Hand begins. Showing the ones you love, those someone specials out there that you care by giving a handmade gift – whether you made it, or someone else. I hope you’ll come back and visit and share in your love for handmade with me. I’m really excited and couldn’t be happier to be starting on this new journey. I hope you’ll join me!