Friday, December 17, 2010


This is the story of Joy. 

the story of JOY

In November I really, really wanted to make some Thanksgiving decor.  A runner, a pillow, it didn't really matter.  I just wanted to make something, you know?  Real bad (I'll blame that on Angela).  But, tragically, I didn't because I spent my time making Christmas gifts so that I wouldn't be stressed in December...

So come December I had my heart set on making something for Christmas.  Thank-goodness we didn't have all the hardware required for those pesky living room curtains on the big, important "must do" list.  Phew!

My pillow of Joy was inspired by this "Lovely Little Forest Quilt" and tutorial from the Purl Bee. I followed the easy tutorial for making the trees, which was just delightful, I tell you.  Those little trees are so cute, so tiny.  Oh my gosh, how perfect would they be as a Christmas card?!?!

Ahem, I enjoyed making the trees.

But, as much as I admire this wall quilt, I'll admit that it's a wee bit too subtle for my house.  A leettle too reserved.  As I happily grew my little forest of trees, I racked my brain for the right touch of something that would make this pillow stitched in Color.  

Joy Pillow w/Reverse Applique

Pinked patches of fabric and reverse applique nestled in amongst the trees quite nicely.  And, as fate would have it, the patches are from 3 of Anna Maria Horner's colorful collections:  Garden Party, Good Folks and Innocent Crush.  How nice.  The hand-stitching flew by all too fast.  And, suddenly it was time to sew the zipper, the invisible zipper....

So, of course, I procrastinated. 

After all, what is the point of a finished pillow cover if one doesn't have a pillow form?  Well folks, the pillow forms arrived early this week.  So, last night, it. was. time.

twisted.  just plain twisted.

Enter invisible zipper tutorial from Sew Katie Did.  I'd like to say that my zipper was installed with absolute joy, but you know that would be a lie, right?  In fact, my mind got a little twisted when it came to stitching the zipper on the second side, and so...

how not to sew a zipper

By this point I was not happy. But, hey, joy is not about "happiness".  Joy is despite the circumstances.  So, I persevered.  And, you know what?

Conquer the zipper

I conquered the invisible zipper.

If you've been following my adventures in stitches, you may remember that I did sew an invisible zipper before at Skirting Couture with the truly fantabulous Anna Maria Horner and her assistant Alexis.  But, well... Alexis held my hand the whole time.  4 months later, I felt like a newbie (but a brave newbie, since the FMQ had gone so well earlier this week).  And, yes, there was fear.

Lovely Little Forest Pillow

So, my genius plan is to sew invisible zippers regularly throughout 2011 in order to free myself from the fear of the invisible zipper.  And, guess what, you can to!  In fact, I'm cooking up a grand idea.  A grand pillow-making idea.

To be continued....

ice cream was warranted

P.S.  and the joy warranted ice cream.


  1. Your blog is quickly becoming one of my most favorite reads...It's such a JOY! What with all the Anna Maria Horner love and finding out you homeschool like I do. And you've been so generous with your lovely tutorials and tips. Thank You!

  2. Very pretty pillow! Love the reverse applique'... you've inspired me to try some today!

  3. You crack me up. The zipper can absolutely smell my fear, that's why I haven't attempted a zipper yet! I think I will definitely try that invisible zipper tute, I need to conquer my fear! And I love your holiday decor, it looks fantastic.

  4. It's a lovely pillow!

    I think we need to come up with a blog button that says something like "I fought the zipper and won" but more clever and cute. =)

  5. Good for you! I've been sewing for 45 years, and I STILL hate to put in zippers! When I actually do it, it's never as bad as I remember - but I still put it off, every time. I actually look for patterns that don't need a zipper, just so I don't have to worry about it....

    Your pillow is gorgeous - nice interpretation and improvement on the inspiration!!

  6. I love it! "The zipper can smell your fear!" hahaha. I know it does, that's why I stay away. Love the trees! Too cute.

  7. Best post yet, Rach. Good job, and BEAUTIFUL PILLOW!!

  8. LOVE it! You should make stuff for my house. ;)

  9. The pillow is awesome - I love the use of white fabric.

  10. Zippers will be on my list of goals for next year. I'm so glad you persevered. Your pillow is lovely!

  11. love your little pillow! and you are smart to make your presents in november...i am stressing out making my presents right now! blah!

  12. awesome pillow. Hope your holiday is merry!

  13. great pillow great details. love the hand stitching. :) and great job on the invisible zipper (her tutorial is my fav) and so now I'm addicted to invisible zippered pillows. :)

  14. I love this, it's beautiful!!

  15. Rachel, its so beautiful! I love that you made it into a pillow for the holidays, but it must have been so tough to pack it away. Maybe "joy" throughout the year?


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