Gifts for Girlfriends

As my daughter finishes her Senior year of high school, the girls were all about "this is our last Homecoming, this is our last rafting trip" and other final events that mark the end of high school. We will have dozens of graduation gifts we'll have to make (always home made!) and certainly 4 amazing years to remember. She wanted to begin with a little gift for a few of her friends so photo pillows was our project.

In the digital age, girls photograph everything! Me, I take 10-12 photos at a time for one blog or another, and download them, delete them and start over. So when I told her she needed to find photos of her and her girlfriends, it was a scavenger hunt of digital pics. Once the photos had been chosen, she cropped, photo-shopped and enhanced to her heart's content and then we printed them on...wait for it...FABRIC! Love this stuff! Fabric, sold in sheets (at our Etsy store) that runs through the printer like a sheet of paper. As with paper, the clearer the photo, the better the quality of the fabric print.

Next we went fabric shopping, because, well, the 200 yards of various fabrics stashed in the sewing room just wouldn't work. A solid or tone on tone is best for the side of the pillow that the photo will be on, and then of course a fun contrasting fabric for the other. We also picked up ball fringe, a bag of batting and we were set.

We did our pillows 14" X 14", a pretty basic size. Using a rotary cutter and mat I cut my squares at 14½". Really, there are no rules. The picture was about 7X10 so we trimmed the excess and used double sided fusible to press it into place on the solid fabric. You could even embroider names, date or the event if you wanted. After the photo is secure, sew around the photo using an applique stitch in a great color, think of it as your frame! Then baste the fringe to this side of the pillow, to the right side of the fabric, fringe hanging to the inside. Trim any excess. Now put the front and back together, right sides together, and stitch around, leaving an opening of about 6" at the bottom of the pillow. Turn your creation inside out, which is now, right side (of fabric) out. And stuff it to your satisfaction. Ideally you will meticulously hand sew the bottom closed, but if you are a 17 year old senior who just finished your last year of high school, you will run it closed with your machine. What the heck. And seriously, it is a great keepsake for girlfriends. Or Grandmas, sisters, Aunts, dads anyone, right?
by Susie

Happy Mothers Day!

I am fortunate that on this Mothers Day my mother is only a phone call away. I just came back from a visit with her and it was lovely. Who could ask for anything more.

My mom is glamorous, right out of the pages of Vogue. When I was growing up she would look at the fancy magazines and say "I can make that" and sure enough she would go to her sewing room and churn out the most beautiful outfit. She made me great clothes - so cool that in High School girls wanted to borrow them. And my mother had constructed them with her passion! She was an inspiration then and she continues to be.

The picture at the right is my High School graduation and she made both our outfits. I remember my dress like it was yesterday. She let me pick out the fabric and she took her time fitting it and making it the right length. I wish I still had that dress. I still have a few jackets in my closet that she made - as good as Valentino, they are!!

Happy Mother's Day Mom. I love you and thank you for inspiring me to be the best I can be and Make it Myself!