Lorine Mason - Designer, Author, Innovator

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Pleated Ribbon Pillow

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Offray LogoFinal Offray Ribbon

Turn simple grosgrain ribbon into a gorgeous pleated pillow masterpiece. A little math and you are on your way with complete diagrams and step by step directions.  I promise it is not that difficult.


Offray grosgrain ribbon – 3″ wide Navy & White, Buttons,Poly-fil® pillow form or Poly-fil® premium polyester stuffing, 1/2 yard of cotton fabric plus basic sewing, cutting and ironing supplies.

How to:

Determine the finished pillow size. To do this, take into consideration the width of the ribbon ie: Ribbon that is 3″ wide when folded will create folded  designs 3″ square. Use multiples of the 3 inches when deciding the finished size of the pillow you wish to create. The featured pillow is 15 x 21 inches.

A.  Cut ribbon three times longer than the width of the finished pillow plus 6 inches. ie: finished pillow will be 21 wide , cut ribbon 3 x 21 + 6 = 69 inches.  The pillow will be 15 inches in height so you will need 5 rows of ribbon. Starting 3″ inches from one end, place marks on the top and bottom edges of the ribbon, spacing the marks 3 inches apart. Note: If you were using a different width of ribbon you would alter the length of the spaces to match the width of the ribbon.

B. Fold the first set of markings to match the second set of markings and pin. Fold the third set of markings back towards the second set and pin. This is the first box pleat. Continue folding from left to right and then right to left until you have created the required number of box pleats. In the case of the project pillow that number would be seven.

C.  Using a thread and needle; Stitch through the center of each pleat, being sure to stitch through all layers of the ribbon. Note: The stitching is marked in red on the diagram.

D.  Turn the pleated ribbon over to what will become the front.

E.  Bring the top and bottom edges of the ribbon to meet at the center point, secure by stitching a button through all layers of the ribbon.

F.  Lay the completed strip of pleated ribbon over the top of another length of ribbon. In the case of the project, a contrasting color was used.

G.  Cut a length of fabric for the pillow front 1″ larger than the length and width of the pillow. ie: Finished pillow will be 15″ x 21″. Cut pillow front 16″ x 22″. Center the ribbon strips on top of the pillow front fabric. Stitch between and at the center of each of the pleated areas. Be sure to stitch through all layers of the ribbon and fabric.

H.  Cut two pieces of fabric for the pillow backing. Cut one the height of the pillow plus 1 inch x the width of the pillow plus 8 inches. Cut the second piece the height of the pillow plus 1 inch x the width of the pillow + 3 inches. ie: The project pillow is 15″ x 21″, cut one piece 15″ + 1″ = 16″ by 21″ + 8 = 29″ cut the second piece 15″ +1″ = 16″ by 21″ +3 = 24″. Turn over 1 inch along one of the side edges of each piece and press. Turn over a second time and top stitch.

I.  With the pillow front laying face up on a flat surface, cover with the two pillow back sections, overlapping the center edges. Stitch around the outside edge. Clip corners and turn right side out. Insert pillow form.

Depending on the finished size of the pillow you may not be able to purchase a pillow form. To make a custom size of  pillow form; cut two pieces of cotton fabric 1 inch larger than the width and length of the finished pillow. With right sides together, stitch around the outside edges, leaving a 4 inch opening. Clip corners and turn right side out. Fill with poly-fil® premium polyester stuffing to desired fullness. Stitch the opening closed. Insert the pillow form into finished pillow.

Pleated Ribbon Pillow

 Pleated Ribbon Pillow

This project is part of the Designer Craft Blog Connection so please take the time to see what my fellow designers have come up with to show off  all things possible with ribbon.  The icon is along the side of my blog post. Simply click forward or backward to check out what they have created.  Leaving a message is always appreciated.


July 4th Pillow with Craft Attitude™

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Fourth of July Pillow (2)

Have you tried QuiltAttitude™ a print at home, transfer to just about anything product. I recently received a package of Quilt Attitude™ and had to just give it a try. With July 4th around the corner and my love of sewing I decided a pillow to sit on one of the chairs outside the front door would be the perfect project. I gathered my supplies and set to work.


Two sheets of Craft Attitude™, Quilt Attitude™, Floral Attitude™, Shoe Attitude™, Jewelry Attitude™ or Scrapbooking Attitude™ (This product is so versatile it has numerous names. They all work for this project.)

Three coordinating fat quarters of fabric

Two Steam-a-Seam2 fusible web sheets

One Crafter’s Choice 16″ Pillow Insert

Rick Rack, Embroidery Thread & Needle

Computer & Printer

Basic sewing supplies

USA Pillow Craft Attitude Transfer SheetsJPG

I choose to play with fonts on the computer and words that described not only the United States but the Fourth of July specifically. My plan was to have two panels of words and then balance the project with fabric in the opposite corners. I drew two 8 inch squares on my computer and filled in the space with phrases using a variety of font, font sizes and three colors of ink. I also added a star or two to each square to balance everything. Next I read the printing directions and chose to reverse the wording of my designs on the computer rather than set up my printer to print them mirror image. You need to do this one way or the other as the words will transfer backwards if you skip this step. Here are my two printed panels….

USA Pillow Craft Attitude Transfer Sheets trimmedJPG

After letting the ink set for a couple of hours, I trimmed the transfer sheets leaving a 1/4 inch border. Next step…go back to your instructions and read carefully how to transfer to fabric. I chose the fusible web method and pressed my transfer sheets to Steam-a-Seam2 fusible web. I achieved success the first time out which goes to show you that great instructions are key, I however did go over the instructions a couple of times.
USA Pillow Close Up

I cut eight 4 1/2″ squares, cutting four from a striped fabric and four from a dot fabric. Using 1/4″ seams I quickly sewed four squares together to create one of the quarter panels. Repeat to create the second panel using the remaining four squares. If you would like to add rick rack or another trim, now is the time to do so. I choose to attach the rick rack using french knots. Stitch the fabric quarter panels to the Craft Attitude™ transfer panels, alternating their placement and referring to the project photo. Press seams towards the fabric panels. Stitch the two halves together and press. Reminder: to do let your iron touch the Craft Attitude film, always use a pressing cloth.

Once the pillow front has been completed, embellish with buttons or other items of your choice. Measure the pillow front and cut a backing fabric using this measurement. With right sides together sew backing fabric to pillow front leaving a six inch opening along one side. Turn right sides out and press. Insert a 16″ Crafter’s Choice pillow form and hand stitch the opening closed.

Fourth of July Pillow Close Up

That was pretty simple and very Patriotic. Have fun this 4th of July,




Duetica & House Warming Gift

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Finished DesignI recently acquired the membership to the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio which was recommended to me by my good friend, Eileen Hull. After talking with Mark and Adrienne at Duetica I was sold on the concept and will become one of their guest bloggers as I like the system enough to recommend it on my own. The Duetica Lettering Arts Studio provides for a very low cost access to numerous custom designed fonts and the ability to work between not only different fonts and sizes but each font comes in a variety of combinations that all seamless fit together.
This is the first project I created using the system the first time out of the gate so to speak. Here is how I created this fun pillow which I intend to give a housewarming gift to my daughter .
Tracing the Design onto your fabric.

I started by choosing what I wanted to transfer onto the pillow front. I chose to use their initials as the kMn & kNm were kind of unusual. I selected the Woodwinds font and quickly tabbed through multiple versions of lettering styles within the system. I enlarged the font to 230 and printed out the 3 sheets of paper. I then used a light table to trace the lettering onto my fabric using a pencil.

Adding weight to the Linework

The next step was to use a Sharpie fine marker and trace around the lettering filling in the lines here and there and varying the width of the stroke. I used a piece of copy paper which I laid over the ink and pressed using a hot iron with no steam. The ink is now set.

Painting in Designs

The next step is to paint in the center of the letters. I used Tumble Dye by S.E.I to paint in the letters. I combined fuchsia, pink and yellow to achieve the coloring you see on the pillow front. While the ink does not act as a full resist, I found that I could carefully brush in the paint right next to the ink allowing only a small space for the ink to flow and had no problems. S.E.I. has a great tutorial on their website, check it out.

Once you have completed your line work, painting and have heat set the inks and dyes it is time to create your pillow. There are many ways to make a pillow and sometimes simple is the way to go. For a detailed explanation of making your own pillow I suggest to go over to the Fairfield site as I have instructions along with some other great designers on exactly where to start and how to finish your own pillow.
Thanks for dropping by and be sure to check out Duetica, Fairfield and S.E.Ito see what you can do.

Sewing for the Outdoors

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The birds are chirping and the sun is shining. It is time to spruce up my outside patio and I think these two pillows just might do the trick. I loved the variety and bright colors of all of the berries in the fabric and was able to find the perfect colors in the stash of batiks to create some fun piping. Not settling for only one row of piping, I doubled up, creating a two for one. It is a lot simplier than you might think. Simply create to rows of piping using cording between bias strips of fabric and your zipper foot, butt the two rows of piping together and stitch. They are now one piece and can be used as any other piping might be used. For full instructions on creating your own outdoor pillows as well as an article on outdoor fabric choices- click on the Clotilde Sewing Savvy logo next to this post and you will be directed to my latest newsletter post on this subject.

As these pillows will be used outdoors I chose Weather Soft™ Pillow Inserts for my pillows. http://www.fairfieldworld.com/product-cat/74-outdoor-pillow-inserts They are available at your local Joanne Fabric stores.
If you find yourself in the area stop by and I will make us a pitcher of lemonade.
Sewing items for outdoor use requires a few extra steps to protect your precious projects. The first step was to use Fairfield’s Weather Soft™ brand new pillow inserts as they are water resistant and meant especially for outdoor use. The laminated shell protects the fiberfill from moisture. The next step was to choose fabric for the new pillows. Here is where the decision is crucial, water damage is not the only potential problem to consider, there is also sun damage. Choose fabrics that offer protection from the outdoor elements. Another option is to use Scotchgard™ Fabric Protector for water resistance if the items will not be exposed to the sun.

Sewing for Summer Sun Directions

by Lorine Mason



One yard of fabric; weather guarded for water resistance and/or sun damage*

Two 1/8 yards of coordinating batik prints for binding

Two yards cotton piping cord filler

Weather Soft™Pillow Inserts; one each of 12” x 18”, 18” square

Velcro®Brand Soft & Flexible Sew-On fastener

*Optional:  Scotchgard™Fabric Protector spray


Cut the following:

Square Pillow

  1.  Three 18”L x 7” W rectangles – square pillow front
  2. Two 18”L x 14”W rectangles – square pillow back
  3. Two 18” pieces of piping
  4.  One 18” piece of  Velcro®Brand Soft & Flexible Sew-On fastener

Oblong Pillow

  1. Three 5”L x 18” W rectangles – oblong pillow front
  2. Two 12”L x 14”W rectangles – oblong pillow back
  3. One 12” piece of Velcro®Brand Soft & Flexible Sew-On fastener
  4. Two 18” pieces of piping

Encase the piping (C) between two (A) sections of fabric right sides together and stitch using a ½” seam. Repeat with the remaining piece of piping and fabric sections.

Create a double turned 1” hem along the one side of each of the (B) sections. Stitch Velcro (D) over the hems, referring to the diagram for placement of each of the hook and loop sides.

With right sides together and the back opening overlapped, pin the front and back sections together. Stitch around the circumference using a ½” seam. Turn right side out and press.

Insert pillow form. Optional: If you are not using Weather resistant fabric; in a well-ventilated space spray the finished pillow with Scotchgard™.


Weather Soft™Pillow Inserts


Velcro®Brand Soft & Flexible Sew-On


Scotchgard™Fabric Protector spray


Fabric – ©Elizabeth Golz Rush for Robert Kaufman

Not your average fabric panel

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Talk about art replicating fabric or is it the other way around. I purchased this fabric panel sometime ago as I was drawn to the bright colors and wonderful painted background look of the piece. I had thought I would add it to a quilted wall hanging, perhaps cutting it apart and adding fabric strips between the cuts. My next idea was to hand quilt the piece adding in beads and wonderfully colored threads. The last idea was to create a great tote bag as a gift for a good friend.
You see, that is my problem I tied my own hands as I had too many ideas and could not decide on which one to move forward with……and then life got in the way and I had deadlines to meet therefore with no direct home for this project I had to put it aside to work on the items that already had a home that they needed to get to as soon as possible.
Now is probably not a good time to bring this piece up again as Christmas is around the corner, I am taking a vacation in January with my wonderful husband and then there is CHA in Anaheim. I however still love the piece and am thinking of carefully pinning one corner to my bulletin board in my studio so that when I get time in let’s see February I think perhaps I will make that decision and complete the project. I promise to post the results.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.