Lorine Mason - Designer, Author, Innovator

Archive for Pat Sloan

Decorating your Holiday Tree with Thread Spools

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I was recently invited over to a good friend, Pat Sloan’s house to help her bust her stash of items collected over the past number of years. The idea of this exercise, although I must admit it turned into a party with food and drinks, was to give away items that were overwhelming her sewing studio. Anyone who works in the creative industry knows just how much ‘great stuff’ we can collect over time. There are items we purchase, items left over from free-lance jobs, items sent to us to feature on our blogs, newsletters or radio shows, and items were not even sure why we have on hand. Every once in awhile it seems, it starts to overwhelm even the most organized person.

I was firm that I was going over to connect with friends and perhaps come home with a few very special items but that I was not going to load up my car with goodies. The main thought behind this reasoning was that I just gone through a clean-out of my own studio and liked the idea of an empty shelf here and there. I took a small bag and off I went to meet up with friends, eat good food and most of all laugh. The evening was wonderful, the food great and laughter as always the best. What did I come home with you ask? Well I picked up two books which I promptly gave to a couple of ladies who stopped by my house the next day and a bag of thread. I know you were wondering what the spool decoration at the top of this post was all about…

I decided to create some spool decorations for use as party favors as I am hosting my local American Sewing Guild chapter’s holiday party next week and I know the ladies will love these.

Here is how I made them:


Thread spools with wrappers intact

Beads of various sizes – I used a thrift store necklace that I took apart with wire cutters

Bead findings such as eye pins, wire, caps to create dangles


Ornament Hangers

Fishing line

Scissors &  Wire Cutters

Remove the label from the top and/or bottom of the thread spool.

Create a dangle of beads (I cut apart a portion of the necklace) Using beads, eye pins etc.

Thread a 10″ length of fishing line through the eye pin at the top of your dangle. Insert both ends of fishing line up through the thread spool.

Insert fishing line through a large bead at the top of the spool.

Add a medium size bead and then insert one end of the fishing line through a small seed bead. Tie a double knot, wrapping the fishing line around the outside of the seed bead.

Tie fishing line around the bottom of an ornament hook and tie a double knot.

Insert both ends of the fishing line back through the seed bead and tie a double knot, trim.

Wrap a 10″ length of ribbon between the top of the spool and the large bead and tie a bow.

BTW everyone this post is part of the Designers Connection Blog Hop – please take a moment to hop around to see everyone’s post. The icon is along side my blog. Click and Hop




Rockin Smockin Pillow

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Rockin Smockin Pillow

‘Rockin Smockin’ Pillow Project

by Lorine Mason


2/3 yard 45” Fabric + Fabric scraps to cover buttons*

14” Square Pillow Form


Two 1-1/2” Covered Buttons – shank style

Washable fabric marker or pen – two colors

Heavyweight upholstery thread and needle

Coordinating sewing thread and needle

Straight pins

Westcott® titanium bonded precisions scissors & Westcott® scissor mouse

Rockin Smockin Pillow Project Diagram

Rockin Smockin Pillow Project Diagram


  1. Trim your pattern using the Westcott® Scissor Mouse.
  2. Poke a small hole at each ● on the pattern.
  3. Place the fabric wrong side up onto a flat surface.
  4. Center the pattern on the fabric along left selvedge edge. Pin the pattern to the fabric, being sure not to pin through any of the ● markings on the pattern. Trim any excess fabric extending beyond the pattern at the opposite end using Westcott® titanium bonded precision cut scissors.
  5. Use the fabric marker/pen to mark the ● directly onto the back of the fabric.
    1. Remove the pattern and draw diagonal lines connecting the ● using the pattern as your guide. Alternate pen colors between rows. Note: marking the rows in different colors helps keep you on track when smocking. 
    2. Number the ● starting at 1 and ending at 56 along the first row, using the pattern as a guide. Optional: Continue numbering each of the four remaining rows, always starting with 1 and ending with 56.
    3. With right sides together, align the selvedge edges and stitch together using a ½” seam. Re-mark ● along seam line.
    4. Begin smocking, starting along the right side of the fabric with the wrong side up. Pinch together the fabric matching ● 1 and 2. Stitch through both ● three times.
      1. Moving diagonally across the fabric, repeat matching ● 3 and 4. DO NOT    cut the thread between stitches. Be sure to leave at least 1 1/2” of thread loose between stitches.
      2. Continue smocking the entire row ending at stitch 56.
      3. Move over one row and repeat until you have smocked a total of 5 rows. Note: taking the time to mark the rows in different colors assures you stay within a row when smocking. 
      4. Turn under app. 1/4” along one side of the pillow and sew through both layers of the fabric using a running stitch and long stitches. Start and end at the seam line.
      5. Pull the thread taught gathering the end of the pillow. Knot the thread securely by stitching into the fabric numerous times.
      6. Stuff the pillow form into the pillow, tucking in the corners of the form and gently stretching the smocking stitches.
      7. Repeat stitching and gathering the opposite end of the pillow; encasing the pillow form.
      8. Cover two buttons* following the manufacturer’s directions.
      9. Place buttons over the center gathers of the pillow; using a large needle and upholstery thread, sew buttons in place being sure to knot the threads securely.

*If covering buttons using the same fabric; purchase ¾ yard and trim 3” from one side of the fabric, set aside this strip to cover buttons. Alternate option; Use large decorative buttons or other items such as flowers, beaded jewelry etc. in place of covered buttons.

Directions and Diagrams provided for the’ Rockin Smockin’ pillow are the property of Lorine Mason and should not be copied without prior permission.

American Patchwork and Quilting Radio

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“Lorine Mason, featured guest on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio with Pat Sloan.”
Tune in this afternoon November 14th at 4:00 pm est. I willl be talking with Pat and it is always a pleasure as this lady has a sense of humor along with all that talent. I am looking forward to discussing my love of fat quarters of fabric, Boutique Slippers, all those doll clothes books, creating fun projects for publishing and who knows what else. Here is the link to tune in… http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/radio/index.html