Letting it Out

As I mentioned last week, the boys and I took an impromptu vacation to Minnesota.  In addition to our regular activities like the Como Zoo, a lake day, visits with friends and family, Ikea shopping, a quick HomeGoods date with my blog pal Jen, and indulging in all the foods of home, I made my way to a new store.  My cousin and pseudo sister told me about it, and she happily let me tag along.  Where did we go?  SR Harris Fabric Outlet in Brooklyn Park.  Jenna warned me, telling me it was 30,000 square feet filled with fabrics.  Well, now I believe her.  Look at this:

That’s one aisle of fabrics stacked over my head.  Surprisingly, the store is organized pretty well.  Cottons for quilting in one area.

Rows of home decorating fabrics.  A shelf covered in bolts of silks, taffeta, and tulle.

I had to practice serious restraint not to walk home with an carload of various silks, knowing full well it doesn’t stand a chance against my kids.

And the ribbon.  Oh, the ribbon!  Several end cap shelves of assorted ribbon.  I especially loved the velvet trims.

In a way, SR Harris reminded me of Ikea.  Huge store with plenty to look at, great prices (everything is 50% off the list price), and a do it yourself attitude.  Get this, you cut your own fabric!  How awesome is that?!?  So now, let me show you what I came home with.

Forgive me, because I don’t know most of the names.  The green stripe is actually from my Ikea shopping trip.  I couldn’t see a designer of the blue stripe, but it’s a nice weight canvas type fabric for $5.00 per yard.  P Kauffman makes the blue swirl, and I think the gray is by Ralph Lauren.  Both home dec fabrics are originally $19.99 per yard, but everything is half off.  No clue about the white sequin brand, but it was too fun to pass up.

Like a raccoon, my eyes like shiny, sparkly things.  I got a 1/2 yard to make an accent pillow or two.  To top it off, I got a few yards of an aqua grosgrain ribbon for 35 cents a yard and two yards of green velvet ribbon for 50 cents a yard.  Perhaps I’ll add it to a plain pillow cover for more detail or around a lamp shade.  Haven’t decided yet, but I’ve decided to buy things I love to work in.

Minnesotans, this is definitely worth a stop if you’re looking for any fabric.  I can’t wait to go back again to see what other treasures I can dig up.

Do you have a go to fabric store?  Do you go looking for something specific?  Or just by what catches your attention without a plan for it?

Coral Crush

Our main bathroom remodel still isn’t done, so most people aren’t using it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work on storage.  Being drawerless in the bathroom, wait, that came out wrong.  Without drawers in the vanity, I have to get creative with hidden storage.  So, I took to Pinterest to see what fun I could come up with.  I saw neat tutorials to make soft sided fabric bins, creative hard sided boxes, and even considered a rope covered box.  Ultimately, I decided to combine a few ideas to make something perfectly suited for our bathroom.  So, I started by cutting a large box to fit inside our small linen closet because I couldn’t find a pre-made box to fit the same.

Of course, cardboard boxes are ugly.  Luckily, I’ve been hoarding fabric lately, so I pulled out a yard of light gray duck cloth.  I didn’t have a long enough piece to completely wrap around the box, so I cut one strip 12 inches wide along the long end of the fabric.  To cover the back, I cut another small 15 inch wide by 12 inch tall strip to piece together.  With my long strip taped in place, I marked the corners.

Using those small marks, I sewed the smaller piece to make a box slip cover.

Because I was feeling lazy, I used Gorilla tape to hold the fabric in place along the underside and around the top edges.

It seemed too boring, so I dug through my paint stash until I found a bottle of coral acrylic paint.  How ’bout some stripes?  After measuring and marking two-inch wide strips, I taped off my edges.

And used a sponge brush and pouncing motion to paint near the edges and filled in the middle.

Pulling off the tape is such a fun part of painting.  Especially when the lines are crisp.  I had some rope on hand, so I marked two holes to create a handle.  Using a screw, I rotated through the fabric and cardboard to make the pilot holes.  Stuffing a pen through widened the holes enough to get the rope through.  Simple knots on each end hold the rope in place.

Now I’ll have to find a white or gray vinyl to line the inside.  Right now, it holds bath toys and we’ve got room for other ugly junk.

I’m really surprised at how sturdy it seems, but we’ll see how it holds up over time.  I think I’ll add fabric to the bottom so the shelf doesn’t get scuffed up when it’s pulled in and out.  Gotta hunt down a good-looking clothes hamper and maybe a few wire baskets.  Or maybe I’ll get all DIY on the hampers arse and make something myself.  Who knows.  Until then, tell me about your bathroom storage situation.  Do you prefer drawers, cabinets, boxes, open shelves?

Herringbone Pattern Pillow

While the boys and I were wandering the aisles of Target, I spotted this beautiful Fieldcrest pillow.

The only color Target carries is this grey, and we don’t have much, if any, grey in our house.  After inspecting it for a few minutes, I felt confident that I could create something similar.  Luckily, Joann Fabric is within walking distance of Target, so that was our next stop.  I bought a relatively thick light blue fabric on clearance, then we went home and got to work. 

To make a herring bone textured pillow, you’ll need:

Fabric, at least two and a half times as much as the pillow size you want. 


An iron

Pillow stuffing or a pillow form


Hem tape

To make the pillow, first, cut strips of fabric into rough 4 inch wide pieces.  I made strips that were the entire length of my two yard piece.  Cut several strips, then fold in half and iron to create a nice, straight edge.  I chose to add hem tape, just to make sure things couldn’t move around when I started sewing.   

Once you have your strips pressed, cut a piece of fabric one inch larger than the desired finished pillow size; this is the backing piece you will sew your strips to.  Fold in half or measure to find the center of the fabric.  Mark with a pen or pencil. 

Now you’re ready to start cutting, pinning and sewing.  Place the first strip of fabric at a 45 degree angle from your center line.  Trim the end to match the edge of the pillow.  You don’t have to do this, but it will help keep everything straight.  Pin in place.  Place another strip over the top of the first piece, but make a 90 degree angle.  Cut the bottom piece at the end of the one on top.  You will sew over it, but you don’t want the pieces to be short. 

Keep overlapping pieces, pinning in place.  I would suggest doing a few at a time, then remove and sew into place.  Allign the edge of your presser foot with the folded edge of the strip and sew one at a time.  Make sure your pattern stays straight and your pieces are overlapping in the same order.

Repeat until you reach the other end. 

Follow this tutorial to create an envelope closure, then stuff and enjoy!

To see other pillow ideas, check out this felt circle pillow cover I recently shared or these inspiration ideas from Etsy.