A few things I learned while making the Hourglass Pillows pattern. Actually I was following #1, until the making of the pillow, which has reinforced it for me.
1. Keep a pair of tweezers in your sewing kit. They are small and it is annoying to go grab them from the bathroom. Cheap tweezers probably work fine, I’m using an old $5 drugstore pair.
2. When trying to decide between the 3″ doll/upholstery needle and the 5″ long doll needle to be used for tufting pillows pick the 5″. And grab a leather thimble while you are at the store.
3. Along those same notes, don’t try to attach said needles when your hands are sweaty. The needle will slip from your grip (maybe not if you have that leather thimble, I wouldn’t know). It takes a good amount of force to push through 2 layers of fabric and 8 layers of interfacing and you don’t have much leverage with several inches of batting in between those various layers.
4. If you try to simplify the method of attaching the buttons to the pillow you might just break the thread, even the heavy duty stuff.
5. When you tie the thread to the first button shank leave a tail long enough to work with later on. It is very hard to tie a single piece of thread into a knot on a button shank once said button is pulled close into the pillow. It is much easier to tie one thread to another – several times.
And now I have two new pretty pillows. I’m not sure if they will live in the living room or on the office futon yet, but yeah for pretty pillows. And thank you Amy Butler for offering the pattern for free. And thank you random person at the fabric store for suggesting her orange Bella fabric – I’m loving it more every time I look at it. Actually I often love large scale prints but shy away from using them. I was glad I bought extra fabric because I ended up fussy cutting the Bella fabric. Fussy cutting is a quilting term (my mom explained it to me last time I visited her) that I’m now completely failing to word a concise explanation. Basically instead of maximizing fabric you think about framing designs within the pattern piece, so you don’t say, cut off the bird’s head when you stitch up your item. I did good on one pillow and not so good on the other.
Just a warning, I did end up with a slight problem with the pattern piece for the front of the pillow. I think what happened is that it had a seam allowance added to the long edge and when you stitch it up your pieced square is about 1″ bigger than your pillow back. I ended up cutting a 17″ square piece of tracing paper, lined it up on my pillow front and trimming the edges before stitching the front to the back. Hmm, maybe I should try making another hourglass pillow with the mods I think should be made before declaring such an error? Or I can mention it and maybe, eventually get around to trying my mod. I know I would have felt better had I found someone mention it when I did my search for this issue.