Angela Might Have A Problem
I just finished this pillow and I love how it turned out. Since I'm working on the pattern and just know you'll all want to make this lovely pillow, I thought I'd take a moment to share with you a few small tips I picked up while working on this project. Not huge tips, just small ones, but I hope they will be helpful to you. First, sourcing the center embroidery:
Vintage hand embroidery squares can be found on eBay. You just have to watch for them.
"Watching" eBay requires a minimum of 2 hours per day of auction surfing.
In order to win at a low price, it is best to bid at the very last possible second. I usually bid when there's 10-15 seconds on the auction.
In order to be confident in your last-minute bidding ability, it is necessary to practice. I recommend attempting to win at least 4-5 auctions per surf session as a warm up. In training for the big day, when you will be bidding on vintage embroidery, you might attempt as many as 20 auctions.
Embroidering your own square would be less time consuming and definitely cheaper, but then you wouldn't be able to tell people it was a vintage find, and what's the point of that?
Next, selecting fabric:
It is not possible to have enough fabric. Shopping before, during and after each project is not optional. It is a necessity.
Even if you think you have enough fabric, you will still not have exactly the right fabric required for the job at hand.
If you find that you somehow, miraculously, have exactly the right fabric required for the job at hand, it will help if you take a small percentage of your fabric, say, 82%, and store it in project bins with patterns that you intend to make but haven't thought about or looked at in 4-6 years, thus eliminating the fabric from your regular pervue and thus, practically, your available stash.
If somehow you have found yourself, despite your best fabric hiding efforts, in the inexplicable situation of having exactly the right fabric in your stash for the project at hand, you can correct this problem by incorrectly cutting your one remaining scrap of a key fabric in such a way that renders said key fabric unusable for said project, and thus requiring a trip to shop for fabric.
Becoming maniacal about finding the exact same fabric, despite it's having ceased production in 2004 will ensure that you will have to travel to the maximum number of fabric stores possible before closing.
Being pragmatic enough to realize that you might not find the exact same fabric and therefore should pick up three or fifteen possible substitutes at each fabric store while optimistically hunting for the one right fabric will assist in increasing both your stash and your fabric shopping trip hours.
Bribing small children and other non-fabraholic family members who may happen to accompany you on this excruciating session of torture lovely jaunt with high-sugar items such as cookies and ice cream should guarantee at least a 223% increase in fabric acquisition time.
Fabric, fabric, fabric.....ooops, that's not a tip, just delerious chanting. Sorry. And yes, in case you were wondering, that photo is of the fabric I bought while trying to find replacement fabric.
And finally, let me share some helpful hints about the construction process for this project.
Leaving 1/4" seam allowance for the outside edge to which you have to attach trim will guarantee that you spontaneously create new and inventive curses
Being naturally impatient and spinning the iron setting up to cotton every time you flick on the iron will precipitate disaster.
Pressing the final project on the cotton setting will cause all the little non-cotton mini-pompoms to melt on your iron.
Pressing over plastic head pins will cause them to melt into your iron. Interestingly, these can be peeled off, bent into funny shapes and will cool, hardening into that shape forever (or until you iron it again).
Being a naturally impatient person will guarantee that you feel compelled to do the above at least once per project
Melted plastic is really hot. Really. Ouch.
Said obsessive selvedge salvage can make a project take approximately 428% longer than usual.
But you have to do it anyway.
Because it's way cool.
Okay, folks, that pretty much wraps it up. Look for the pattern in a few days!