How to Make a Dresden Plate Pillow

This post was sponsored by Nancy’s Notions. I was compensated in some way for writing this post. Any opinions given are completely my own. For a complete list of disclosure rules see the disclosures page.

How to Make a Dresden Plate Pillow|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

I have admired this Dresden Plate design for quite some time. My friend and I first spotted it at the huge Quilt Expo a couple of years ago. The design template and directions are an easy to use kit from Nancy’s Notions. I was very excited to have a chance to work with Nancy’s Notions on this project, since they are located in my home town here in Wisconsin.

The Dresden Plate kit comes with a plastic template and instruction booklet. You can make any one of a dozen or so different styles by adding different fabrics and sewing variations. I decided to make a pillow version with some patriotic inspired fabrics. The original Dresden Plate design is for a table top decoration, but I decided I would get more use out of a pillow than a table topper. I also decided that larger was better in this case, I used the full size of the template for this project.

Dresden Plate Pillow Supplies:

•3 coordinating cotton fabrics of patriotic design, about 1/2 yard of each red and white strip, blue chambray and navy blue with stars

•Matching Thread, heavy duty

•Poly-fiberfill stuffing, or an old bed pillow

•Quilting Ruler, Cutting Mat and rotary cutter

•Sewing machine

•Iron

•Spray Starch

•Iron on patch in a dark color

•Sewing needle and thread

•Fabric pen or marker

How to Make a Dresden Plate Pillow|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

The red and white Yoyo in the center of this pillow gives it a fun dash of Patriotic color. I can see myself taking the pillow along with my favorite blanket to those summer concerts in the park or to see the fireworks!

Here’s the entire process in a quick video!

Directions:

  1. Iron each fabric to remove wrinkles, matching selvedges and raw edges. Spray with spray starch as you iron to keep the fabric crisp. The starch helps keep the bias cuts from stretching while you are cutting and sewing.
  2. Place the fabric fold edge close to you on a large cutting mat. Measure a 12″ inch strip and cut with a quilting ruler and rotary cutter. Cut 2 strips from each of two fabrics for the pillow top.
  3. Line up the fabric strips on the horizontal. Place the template on the strip, mark the fabric with a fabric pen and cut out with the rotary cutter. This goes faster if you layer your fabric strips. Cut a total of 6 chambray blue and 6 navy blue pieces. For dark printed fabrics it’s easier to mark and cut on the wrong side so you can see your cutting lines.
  4. Cut a 7″ circle in contrasting red and white stripe fabric. (I used a plate to draw my circle).
  5. Lay out the Dresden Plate pieces on the table to view the finished look before sewing.
  6. Sew the pieces together with a stitch length of 2.5 on your sewing machine.
  7. Press seams. Cut a 3″ circle of the iron on patch material and fuse it to the center of the design with the iron. The patch should cover the hole completely. You can also cut a fabric piece for this, but I decided that using a fusible patch was easiest.
  8. Hand stitch a 1/4″ turned seam on the edge of the red and white fabric circle. Using the thread tails, pull up the threads to gather the edges and create the Yoyo circle. Tie off threads and clip ends. Slip stitch in place over the iron on patch.
  9. Place pillow top right side up on red and white contrasting fabric, cut around all edges to make the back of the pillow.
  10. Pin pillow front and back together with WRONG sides together. Stitch around outside edge with a blanket stitch or zigzag stitch. (I like the home spun look this gives the pillow.) Leave a 6-8″ opening to insert the stuffing.
  11. Stuff the pillow with poly fiberfill stuffing. If you are using an old bed pillow, cut away the pillow casing. Pull apart used fiberfill and fluff. Then insert the used fiberfill into the new pillow. Be sure to stuff all the “petal edges” around the pillow.
  12. Slip the opening back under the sewing machine foot and sew closed with the same stitch as before.

How to Make a Dresden Plate Pillow|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

The back of the pillow is also red and white stripe. I forgot to take photos of that. Oh, well. More tomorrow! Thanks to Nancy’s Notions for sponsoring this post!

If you enjoyed this sewing project you might also enjoy these posts:

Kids Travel Pillow

Wool Wave Pillow

How to Sew A Coffee Bean Bag Pillow

Make an Ugly Old Tote Bag Look Like New, No Sew!

Tea Towels with Appliqué

Make an Ugly Old Tote Bag Look Like New, No Sew!

Make an ugly old tote bag look like new with a few craft supplies! This post was sponsored by Therm-o-web. I was compensated in some way to write this post, any opinions given are completely my own.

Make an Ugly Old Tote Bag Look Like New

This Ugly Old Tote Bag was a spur of the moment project. I was unpacking my bags from my recent trip to the SNAP blog conference and was excited to try some of the new products we were given. Love them all!

This burlap bag caught my eye in a heart beat. My grandmother always carried a burlap bag in the summer months, and it reminded me of her classic style.

Tote Bag Supplies Needed

•Old Burlap tote bag, can be a thrifted item or grocery store type fabric bag (Buy now affiliate link)

•5″ pack of printed or solid colored quilt squares, cotton (Buy now  affiliate link)

•Therm-o-web Fabric Adhesive (Buy now through this affiliate link) (Buy now affiliate link)

This pile of colorful quilting squares was the perfect thing for this project. The colors caught my eye when I saw them, and I was immediately lost. My unpacking was forgotten, and I was deep into creating. Who needs to unpack anyway?

Make an Ugly Old Tote Bag Look Like New

The burlap bag we received at the conference from one of the vendors at the conference. I didn’t love the name on it, so I came up with a way to re-style it. It was easy! You would never know how it started out!

It’s exciting that Facebook now allows us to embed videos here on the blog. I made a Facebook live demo of this project, since it was such an impulsive craft. I have lots more fun ideas, so check back soon for more videos!

Be sure to Pin this post!

If you like creative projects, here are some more fun posts to enjoy!

No Sew Lavender Sachet

Simple Pillow Tutorial

How to Sew A Coffee Bean Bag Pillow

Craft Room Decor

Butterfly Cloche

 

Blogging as a Business

Blogging as a business is tough. There have been lots of changes in the blog world the last few years. This is a post that I never expected to write.Blogging as a Business|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Blogging as a business is a tough job. There is so much competition today, millions of users write blogs. It wasn’t always like this.

My Blog Business Story

I began writing seven years ago as kind of a personal journal. We were going through a lot of financial and personal struggles. and blogging was a way to focus on the beautiful side of life and worry less about the hard things. Three years ago, I decided to get serious as a blogger and make blogging my primary business. This was never my intention as I originally began writing just for fun.

When I decided to become a business, I stretched myself to learn a little more each day. I learned Blogger, Word Press, new social media platforms, photography, Adobe Lightroom, PicMonkey, Picassa, Photoshop and other related computer programs. I learned to stage my money shots, link up to blog parties, find and work with brand sponsors.

My Blog Business Updates

Last summer I spent weeks re-writing my old content. I updated dozens of photos, added affiliate links and SEO to my old posts, along with new custom graphics for Pinterest on a total of more than 200 posts. I also redirected hundreds of blog pages to make my blog more efficient and run smoother. To make my site more appealing, I hired designers to install a new theme, and redesign and rebrand my blog and logos. I studied branding and how to create a style that would match my vision for this blog’s future.

By fall my blog was practically brand new, and I anticipated the next couple of years would include great things for me and that I would be able to achieve my business goals.

Overall blogging is a good experience, it inspires me to work harder to accomplish more. I am always learning new things, meeting great people and have come to enjoy and embrace every part of the blogging journey.

Until now.

My Blog Business Crash

Two weeks ago my site went down. Perhaps you were looking for it. My URL was completely blank for more than 5 days. You may have noticed that it now looks a little different. In fact, I have completely lost 8 months worth of new content, along with my new blue and gold theme, my logos and all my hard work. It has been a devastating loss.

Even though I have backups of my blog, my former web host failed to transfer data after I paid for them to do it. I thought I had multiple backup copies of my site. It turns out, that none of them were current or recoverable by my new host. To make things worse, the additional backup plugin I installed was never activated. It seems as though there is always something that I don’t yet know about blogging.

I am not technical, but I have learned a lot the last few years. Somehow it seems like I will never get where I want my blog to go. There are so many of us bloggers that love blogging, but can’t quite get to our end business goal to be successful. I am not alone in this frustration.

My Blog Business Future

For now, I am trying to decide how to proceed. There is no way I can re-create 8 months worth of content or I will never have the ambition to write anything new. It’s very discouraging to come back to the blog when it looks like it did a year ago, after I put so much time and effort into it. In addition, I have broken links all over the web from the posts and photos that were deleted. Right now, I have no idea how this will affect my site long term. Google does not like broken links, and generally punishes sites that have them. Honestly, I don’t know what that will do my page views or ranking.

I know I need to rebuild somehow, but it will take time. It is painful and I am disheartened. There are tons of updates that could be done, but I don’t know that I will even attempt to recreate the blog as it was. With each passing day there are new reasons for me to move ahead in yet a different direction. You will have to be patient with me while I work through it all.

My Blog Business Recovery

For now, I am concentrating on different things.  Recently, I compiled two new ebooks. Part of blogging as a business is creating content other than what is on the blog. Remember the phrase “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? It rings so true today.

I recently began publishing ebooks, and I have several more coming soon. My first adventure was this photography book and am now releasing two more ebooks for your reading pleasure.

Photography Challenge: Improve your photography and laugh at my attempts to master the camera. |Designers sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

The 30 Day Photo Challenge is the humorous account of how I actually learned to use a DSLR digital camera. I made lots of mistakes and you can laugh at every single one of them. This story proves that anyone can become a photographer, even me. This book is $1.99 and is available by clicking on the button below:

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The next book has been my most popular blog series ever. Thousands of pins and page views have made this series a huge hit. Projects from this book have been featured on the Huffington Post, Craft Gawker, Hometalk and various other websites.

Gifts Wrapped in Glass: Crafts, Recipes, and projects in mason jars|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Writing this crafty book was one of the best things ever. I purchased and used more than 150 Mason jars of different styles, sizes and colors for this project.

Filled them with all sorts of beautiful things, and gave them all away.

This book, also $1,99 is full of ideas for crafts, recipes, sewing projects, home decor and much more all wrapped up in cute little Mason Jars.

You’re going to love it.

[inbound_button font_size=”30″ color=”#ddc885″ text_color=”#111111″ icon=”” url=”” width=”” target=”_self”]BUY IT NOW[/inbound_button]

 

Rustic Stenciled Sign

Stenciled sign and chair @designerssweetspot.com

This post was sponsored by Cutting Edge Stencils. Any opinions given are completely my own. If you have questions regarding my policies please see the Disclosures page.

Good day friends! Hope you are enjoying your summer. I have been working on a number of projects behind the scenes, but have finally completed one of them. This Rustic Stenciled Sign is just the thing to personalize your garage or barn.

Here in Wisconsin we often see personalized Barn Quilts as you drive though the countryside. I decided to make my own version. It’s a little different because it’s long and narrow instead of square, but I felt like this shape has more of a unique character.

Rustic Stenciled Sign @designerssweetspot.com

The sign was made from some old cedar fence boards that a friend gave me. We used three fencing boards, two on the front and one to hold them together on the back side. The boards were trimmed to 36″ long, nailed and glued together. We used a bit of old chain to hang the sign on the wall.

Corner of stenciled sign @designerssweetspot.com

The wood was very dry and rough, so the first thing I did was to sand it down a bit with a sanding block. Then the boards were stained with an English Ironstone White Stain to give them uniform color.

Generally, you aren’t supposed to use stencils on rough surfaces. However, my first rule of blogging is to break all the rules, so I did it anyway. I like the weathered appearance the rough texture gives the pattern. I used acrylic paints and a stencil brush to apply the design with the stencil. This pattern is Cutting Edge Augusta Tile Stencil.

Rustic Stenciled Sign and Chair

A final coat of satin polyurethane protects the sign from the elements. Hummmm, I may have to move it inside so I can see it more often.

Want to remember this project? Pin this graphic!

Rustic Stenciled Sign Pin

Off to work on some more fun projects!

 

 

 

Vintage Style Apron

folded apron on bench

I have been slow to complete this latest project. I am getting burned out with all of the activities going on around here. I am pleased to put together this easy to sew tutorial, but I am going to be taking a break for a couple weeks after this, including stepping away from my FB Live Learn to Sew posts for now.

There are so many big things happening here. Graduations, weddings, work on the house, planting the garden. I can’t keep up. Also I have been working on my Newsletter, which you should be getting in your inbox soon. If you aren’t currently a subscriber be sure to sign up, I am offering a FREE download of my Learn to Sew Worksheets for new scribers, you won’t want to miss anything!

This all adds up to not enough time for blogging. We are entertaining soon for our son’s Graduation, taking a school trip and have a number of weddings and parties to attend. I have been meaning to work on my ebook for a while, and I want to finish a few larger projects that I started months ago. The blog is growing all the time, and I need to spend time working on the things that help make it happen.

finished apron

So, back to the apron. I love vintage style aprons. I have been looking at them on Pintrest for a while now, searching for just the right fabrics to put together to get that vintage look. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of vintage style fabrics out on the market. I finally settled on these prints from Riley Blake Designs. They came in a Fat Quarter Bundle which you can find for only a few dollars at any craft store or fabric shop. The good part about Fat Quarters is that since they are made for quilting, they are all cotton and are easy to work with  for a the beginning sewer.

The bad part about the Fat Quarter Bundles  is that you only get a 1/4 yard of each fabric, so it did require a little creativity to piece the entire thing together and have enough fabric for the entire apron.

Here’s what you will need for this project:

1 Fat Quarter Bundle of at least 4 coordinating floral prints

1 1/2 yards 2″ wide lace trim

Matching Thread

Machine wash and dry fabrics before starting to sew. Remove salvages and block each piece so it’s square.If you aren’t sure how to do block your fabric, see my Facebook Live tutorial here.

Choose 2 prints to use to make the skirt of the apron. I used a smaller print on the pockets, and a solid print for the sash.

apron sections and pockets

Rip or cut the two prints for the skirt into 4″ sections. I left one section 8″ wide for the center panel of the skirt. Your fabric will rip the length of the piece, so it will be 1/4 yard long when finished.

Stitch the pieces together to make one wide panel. I sewed three 4″ pieces on each side of the wider 8″ panel.

Finish the side seams with a 1/4″ rolled hem. I also finished the inside seams with a zig zag stitch to keep the edges from unraveling. Stitch two rows of basting stitches along the top edge 1/2″ from raw edge. Use a long stitch, size 5 or larger on the sewing machine. Leave long threads at ends to pull and gather the top when needed.

Finish the bottom with 2″ wide lace. Zig zag the lace over the raw edge of the fabric.

front and back of pockets

To make the pockets, cut two 9″ squares from a contrasting print. Fold the top edge over 1  1/4″ and press raw edge to the back. Pin lace trim on FRONT of pocket, 1″ down from the folded edge. Zig zag stitch lace onto pocket from front side. This should catch and finish the raw edge of the pocket on the backside at the same time.

Stitch 1/4″ rolled hem on pocket sides and bottom. Pin pockets 2 1/2″ down from top edge of skirt where desired. Top stitch in place by stitching carefully over the first stitching for the rolled hem, pivoting at corners. No one will know they were stitched twice, and the extra stitching makes a nice finished look to the pocket.

Rip or cut the solid fabric horizontally into 4″ sections. Stitch sections together at short edges so you have a continuous piece. Mine measured 4″ by 56″ after sewing. Fold right sides together. Stitch ends closed and make the sash, leaving an 18″ opening to attach to the skirt of the apron.

Turn sash right side out, press. Pin to right side of skirt, making gathers by pulling up basting stitches to fit skirt into opening of sash. Pin all layers together, stitch. Sandwich  fabric over gathers and topstitch on the right side.

Here it is all in a nutshell. I am loving these little video segments, I hope it makes the entire process clear and easy to understand. Please let me know if you have any questions!