So last night I got together with a couple of friends, Anna and Cassie, for an evening of baking. Anna is an amazing cook and baker. She has had our family over for brunch a couple of times, and she is the type of cook that, every time you eat something she's made you think to yourself, this is the best ______ I've ever had! She's also brought me adorably wrapped boxes of cookies the last couple of Christmases, which I usually hide from the rest of the fam!
Anna was also kind enough to make a wonderful summery dinner of a corn, tomato& avocado salad with a yummy lime/cilantro dressing, bread with orange honey butter and fruit. Heavenly! And I have to say, to eat in a quiet home where you can have an actual conversation is a nice change of pace! I love my big rowdy family, but a peaceful evening every once in a while is very appreciated by me.
So, we made lemon-orange sour cream glazed cookies from this book that are melt in your mouth delicious!
They have orange zest in the cookie, and lemon zest in the glaze, and true to the book's title, lots of butter. Can't go wrong with those ingredients! The cookies turned out wonderfully, and of course now I feel the need to go out and buy that book, plus The All-American Cookie Book, where Anna gets a lot of her other wonderful cookie recipes. Something tells me that even with the right recipes, mine probably won't turn out as good as hers. Some people have just got the touch!
So, to say thank you for all of her wonderful hosting, and as a lateish housewarming gift for her new place, I made Anna this pillow. As far as I'm concerned, you can't get enough monograms! I used this awesome tutorial for pillow covers from CottagMagpie, one of my all-time favorite inspirational blogs. I love this tutorial because it is for a pillow sham that is open in the back, so the pillow cover is removeable so you can change it and still use the same pillow form, and also wash it, which is very important in my house! I love these pillows I made a couple of years ago, but they were sewn all the way around and you couldn't remove the cover, so the white one got really trashed and I just had to chuck it (I saved the pillow form though, of course). I was trying to figure out a way to make a pillow with a zipper or something and found these instructions and it was the perfect thing- I'd much rather make one of these than put in a zipper! The other great thing about this tutorial is that she tells you how to make one to fit any size pillow form. So, I see lots of pillow making in my future, for beds, couches, chairs, you name it! I told my husband how great this would be, and how it was another way to use up all of my fabric, and he very pessimistically said that it was more like an excuse to buy more fabric. I guess he knows me too well!
So just a little more pillow detail for those who might be interested in making one:
I sketched the letter A, then traced it onto tracing paper, then traced it backwards on to some Heat 'n Bond (possibly my favorite crafting invention ever), and ironed it on to the bottom corner of my pillow front. I did this while it was laid out on the pillow form to make sure it was high enough to show once the whole thing was sewn. Then I zig zagged around the whole applique, and that's pretty much it. After that, I just followed Angela's tutorial which was really easy, with pictures of each step. She also shows you how to add trim, which I will definitely do on future projects. I used tan linen that I bought at Joann's. Linen is pretty expensive, even at Joann's it is like $15 something a yard, but I bought a couple of yards when it was 1/2 off. Oh, and one other thing, she has you zig zag all of your raw edges, which I don't know if I would bother to do if using cotton, but if you're going to use linen, I'd definitely do it because it frays a lot. Anna has a gorgeous new white couch from Pottery Barn in her living room, and a brown leather chair, so the linen looks great in there. Let me know if you try making any pillows yourself, the possibilities are endless!