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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pretty Personalized Pillowcases!

How's that for alliteration! As part of school, I am offering electives to all of my kids this year. The girls are doing home economics (sewing, cooking, etc.) and the boys are working through some basic electricity lessons using Snap Circuits. I am hoping to have them design and wire a lamp as an end of study project.

The first project I did with the girls was to make these pretty pillowcases. Andrea was able to do much on her own - - except for the trim, which can be tricky. Jenna needed a bit more help, having never used the sewing machine before. Bless her, she thought she was going to have to hand sew the whole thing! Pillowcases are an easy first project. I allowed the girls to choose their fabrics (1 yard of the main, and 1/4 of a yard coordinating color). Then we selected some trim to match. If you can find fabric the fabric on sale, it also will not cost a lot.

Here are the directions:

Cut from 1 yard - - two rectangles measuring 21 inches by ++ inches. (Layer and cut both at the same time with a rotary cutter if you have one.

Cut from 1/4 yard - - two rectangles measuring 21 inches by 5 inches. (Again, layer and cut both at the same time.) Iron these in half, lengthwise.

Make two halves: Pin coordinating fabric to the main fabric (matching the long side of the coordinating fabric to the short side of the main.) and sew with a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch hem. For ease, I used the hem guide on the machine for the girls to line up. Iron seam flat towards the main fabric. Do other side the same.

Add any trim if you are going to at this time.

Match halves, right side together, with coordinating fabric at top and pin. Sew both halves together with 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch hem around three sides (do not sew the top where the coordinating fabric is - - this is the opening for your pillow). Turn right side out and press - - you are done!

Note: If you have one available - you may wish to serge the seams after sewing so that they do not fray. Otherwise, trim with pinking shears or sew with a zigzag. If your kids are able to, they can serge without sewing on a regular machine first, but I found it easier for my oldest to sew first and then use her seam as a guide for the serger.

We also had cooking day - - Marshmallow Treats!

In memorium . . .

On August 4th, my mother's husband, Don, died of pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old. True to the nature of many of the older generation of men, he was both humble and proud. Don and my mom met when I was 16 years old. He brought my mom to my high school, and later college, events and graduation, and thus, became part of my life as well. My children called him "Grandpap," and he was present at many of our family holidays and celebrations.
Don was a quiet, reserved type of person. One who didn't really talk much unless you talked first. This made it a little hard to get to know him - - since you actually had to engage him in conversation, but when you did, it was worth it. He was very generous with his knowledge. I remember Jeremy doing something on the history of airplanes and asking Don if he knew of a web site or something that could help. He sent on a whole page of links with pictures! He taught me the finer points of driving a stick so I wouldn't burn out my clutch right away. He told my husband a way to use tubing with water to make sure the drop ceiling he was installing in the basement was level.
For all that, there was so much that we didn't really know. I knew he was an avid balloonist, but didn't realize to what extent until I read his obit. I knew he did some kind of engineering for a living, but didn't know what kind or that he worked on the design of submarines. All things that would have been neat to talk about.
We will miss him dearly,

May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.