Monthly Archives: January 2015

Making Piping for Embellishment

I embroidered two little pieces last summer: one freehand and the other cross stitch.

Dachshund Embroidery on Linen Blend

The dachshund was embroidered with stem stitch and french knots on a linen and cotton blend fabric from a thrifted item of clothing.  I added two fabrics as a log cabin type border, cotton batting, and hand quilted stitches with embroidery floss.  dachshund embroidery with border ws The previously purchased piping on the left had a much narrower diameter than I wanted, so I made piping from 1/8 cord that I bought from the grocery store.  I followed this tutorial from Deby of So Sew Easy.

Cord for making piping    The fabric strip is cut on the bias, and then the cord is encased by stitching with a zipper foot.

sewing piping on pillow frontThe piping is basted in place before the final step when it is sewn between the layers of fabric, turned, and stuffed. The end result is a sweet little piped pillow.

dachshund pillow finished


I liked this scene from the book “Decorative Cross Stitch Borders”, which I have in my library.

When I started stitching the design on 28 count linen, I didn’t like the very tiny head on the girl, so I started making changes.

Head of Girl as Charted

I ended up with this somewhat altered, tranquil scene.

Swan Girl Cross Stitch in Hoop

I added a frame of yo-yos.

Arranging yo-yos on embroideryI made a flat finish, and added blue piping.

I think the piping adds a striking finishing touch to both pieces.



Life is Good

Life is Good panel with half square triangles

A new year brings a sense of hope and the possibilities of new beginnings. “Have a great day” seems to be the current American greeting and slogan, replacing “have a good day”, and the earlier catchphrase “have a nice day”.  While “have a great day” is either wonderfully optimistic or glib, life has its ups and downs, and every day cannot be a great day.  Sorrow, loss, sickness, and death are also a part of life.

Still, life is good when we can find our own paths to happiness, and give help or encouragement to others who cross our path in everyday life or in cyberspace.  A heartfelt thank you to all who read my posts, and to those who have inspired me through your own writings, or have taken the time to write encouraging comments.

I received the very pretty and cheery “life is good” panel as a bonus surprise when I ordered some fabric from a seller on E-Bay.  To start off the year with a reminder to celebrate life, I made this panel into a little mini quilt/mug rug,  because life is definitely good when you’re relaxing with a drink and snack.

half square triangle strip from back

I made a border of  half square triangles using my 1 1/2 inch scrap squares, and white squares.  I used this method of putting 2 squares together, drawing a diagonal line, sewing two lines 1/4 inch from the drawn line, and then cutting apart on the diagonal line.  I machine quilted diagonally.  Although I usually use double fold binding, I tried a single layer method recommended for smaller items.  My corners aren’t mitered very well. I followed a tutorial that showed pinning on the entire binding before sewing which didn’t work for me.

Life is Good mug rug quilting detail

I love the strawberry fabric on the back.

Life is Good Mug Rug Strawberry Back

Mug Rug with Starbucks

I wish you a new year filled with lots of “life is good” moments. What is a “life is good” moment for you?