Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Too Cool for School Carpool "Tag" Pillow Completed!

The Fancy Mommy's New Carpool "Tag," a 10" x 20" Pillow
I finished something today -- the Too Cool for School Carpool Tag.  It's not really a tag, though; it's a pillow that I'm going to wedge between my dashboard and windshield in the carpool pickup line at school this year so the teacher with the walkie-talkie can let the teacher inside the building know which kids should be sent out to my car.  This started out as an experiment in machine embroidered applique using my new Bernina 750 QE back in January.  Then I cast it aside until I decided to use it for a free-motion quilting practice exercise seven months later, in July.  I didn't like the way the quilting looked from the back side (in hindsight, I should have used a lighter weight bobbin thread with the Superior Threads King Tut in the needle) and I wanted to come up with a way to finish the carpool tag so that I would not have hold it up to the windshield, which is how I came to turn this into a 10" x 20" throw pillow.  I just tested it out, and it fits perfectly between the windshield and dash, stays in place without me holding it, and the lettering is very visible from outside the car.  Perfecto!

Samuel & Sons Dolce Marabout in Candy Apple
I used a leftover piece of red microfiber chenille for the pillow back and a remnant of Samuel & Sons Dolce wool Marabout lip cord trim because I had them laying around -- literally -- and they worked.  Unfortunately, I went ahead and cut my pillow front and back with a standard 1/2" drapery workroom seam allowance before I measured the 5/8" lip on my fancy trim.  Groan...  Way to complicate a simple project, Rebecca! 

Annoying 5/8" Trim Lip
Just about every other decorator trim on the planet has a 1/2" lip so you can just line up the edge of the twill lip with the cut edge of the pillow top, sew close to the cord, and have your pillow finish the correct size.  Note to self: Measure FIRST!  THEN cut!

I decided to hand baste this trim to the edges of my pillow front so I could offset it by approximately an eighth of an inch.  Was this really necessary?  Would we have noticed and missed that 1/4" difference in the finished size of this pillow?  Probably not, but it never even occurred to me to just make the pillow slightly smaller.  I had already ordered a custom down/feather insert for this (feel free to roll your eyes at me), and my supplier already oversizes their inserts by about an inch to ensure that the pillow covers don't sag.  I had also already cut away my corners to prevent the "dog eared" look, so that removed even more space from the pillow cover...  Whatever.

Cutting Away Excess Fabric at the Corners to Prevent "Dog Ears"
Here's what the trim looked like hand-basted to the pillow front:

Offset Trim Hand-Basted to the Pillow Front
From the back side, you can see that the twill lip of the trim cord extends just a bit beyond the seam allowance of the pillow front.  You can also see that I was too lazy to test and adjust my serger tension when I serged the edges of my pillow top.  Ahem.  It looks pretty on the outside, where it counts.

Horrendous Tension Abounds; Trim Basted Offset from Edge
After that, I constructed the pillow as usual.  Oh, but I did test out a different invisible zipper.  In the past, when I wanted to make a throw pillow, I'd just choose whichever invisible zipper at Jo Ann's was the closest color match to my pillow fabric or trim, but a couple of times I had problems with the zippers breaking on those (perhaps due to an insufficiently burly zipper, perhaps due to my sons' pillow fighting battles in the living room).  Anyway, this time I ordered heavy duty #6 bridal gown invisible zippers online from The Zipper Lady (she sells them at retail individually; you do not need a wholesale account) to see if that would work better with my bulky quilted pillow fabric and in-the-zipper-seam trim.  The invisible zippers sold at Jo Ann's are usually #2, intended for lightweight garment fabrics like silk, rayon, etc.  See the difference? 

#6 Bridal Zipper on the Left, Regular Invisible Zipper on the Right
The only bummer is that bridal zippers only come in shades of white, cream, and black.  Well, that and the fact that the Bernina #35 Invisible Zipper foot worked better with the smaller coils of the ordinary invisible zipper. 

Inserting #6 Invisible Bridal Zipper with #45 Invisible Zipper Foot, Coils Too Big for Groove
Next time I'll probably go old school and put the invisible zipper in with my #4D Dual Feed Zipper foot instead.

All's well that ends well, right?  At least SOMETHING is finished!

Ta Da!


Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

I didn't know you could order heavier zips! Thanks! And BTW what do the letters stand for?

Ivory Spring said...

Such awesomeness!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Aw-you're Cool Mom!!