Sunday, November 23, 2014

DIY Pillow Covers and Another Cozy Mystery Book Recommendation

Hi there! Remember the pillow covers I was going to make? Well, here they are...

I'm not going to lie. It wasn't pretty. There might have even been some tears involved. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that we don't really have some of the standard sewing tools. Like a good pair of scissors, for example. My old scissors made for a jagged cut on the fabric right off the bat. 

The lady in the pillow cover tutorial I watched had this neat little tool. I think it was just a mini iron. After she folded the fabric over for a hem, she rolled this little thingy over it and it kind of ironed it down in place. I think it was plugged in. Anyway, it sure would have made it easier to hold down the fabric while you pinned it. I could have just gotten out my iron, but I didn't want to mess with that big ol' thing. :) She also had a neat little fabric cutting tool that cut through it like butter. Oh my...I just know y'all are laughing at my lack of sewing knowledge! Ha ha! 

 The hardest part was learning how to get the bobbin and spool of thread started. The thread had to go through a whole maze (up, down, over, left) just to get it where it needed to be. If I sewed every week, I'd probably have it down pat in no time, but as little as I plan on doing it, it's going to be difficult every time. 

In the pic below, I turned the pillow over and pulled apart the "envelope" part to show how it's made. There's just this little opening where the fabric overlaps to stuff the pillow into. I still can't believe I made these. Well, with LOTS of help and instruction from my hubby. :)

I do like how they add a pop of orange and fall-like color to my living room. 

I think they compliment my cable knit pillows perfectly. 

Okay, enough about sewing. I don't know if any of you even read "cozy mysteries" but just in case, I had to share these with you. The author is Kate Borden and there are three in the series. "Death of a Tart", "Death of a Trickster", and "Death of a Turkey".

My mom bought these from Abe Books (click HERE to go to their site) so we could have a copy to share. I had her text me this pic to show you what the covers look like...

peggy jean turner mysteries

FYI, if you're ever looking for an out of print, or hard to find book, check Abe Books. They've always had what I'm looking for. 

Anyway, these books were available at my local library, so hopefully yours will have them too. However, we liked them so much, we wanted to purchase a set to re-read over and over. :) 

You can click HERE to go to the author's page on the Fantastic Fiction website where you'll see a description of each book. Do y'all know about the Fantastic Fiction site? It's a wonderful resource for looking up books, authors, etc. It lists the books of a series in order and gives a brief description of each. It also recommends other authors based on the one you searched. I've found so many new books/series to read from this site. 

This series by Kate Borden is definitely a cozy mystery in my opinion. The main character, Peggy Jean Turner, is the mayor of her small New England town and also owns a hardware store. There's not a lot of blood and gore and it takes place in a charming, picturesque town with lots of every day things going on that we can all relate to. This is hands down, one of my favorite cozy mystery series. :)

If you're interested, you can click HERE to see my post where I list some of my favorite cozies. I definitely need to add the Kate Borden series to that list. 



  1. Sewing frustrates me too, Lisa! The great thing about it though is the more you practice the better you will become. And thank goodness for Youtube!!!

  2. Your pillows turned out great!!! I used to get very frustrated when sewing with my old sewing machine. My husband bought me a new one as a gift it has made sewing soooo much more pleasant. It will get eaiser, just keep practicing on pillows :o)

  3. Those books sound fantastic! Did you ever read the Southern Sisters Mystery Series by Anne George? I loved those books. They are how I learned about Sister Schubert's rolls. :) Anne George has passed away unfortunately but you should still find the books.

  4. I'm excited for the cozy mystery recommendation! I put it on my Goodreads "want to read" list! Your pillows look great!! Sewing makes me cry too!

  5. I think you did a fantastic job on those pillow covers! They're beautiful. I really like the color too. I've never used a sewing machine in my life. I'd love to learn how. I'm a bit intimidated though because of stories like yours. LOL! But where there's a will there's a way, right? At least you had your husband there to help you. My husband doesn't know anything about sewing either. So we would both be clueless. You've inspired me though.

  6. Lisa, I think our husbands are very much alike! Mine would totally be there helping me figure out sewing! I am soo sorry they caused you stress, but please know they are beautiful! Also, my mom gave me some fabric sissors and made me promise I will never use them for paper or anything else! And I never have... they cut fabric so, so nice! (Hint to your husband that fabric sissors would be a great stocking stuffer!). You did a great job, friend!
    Kendra @

    1. Thank you, Kendra! I really do need to invest in a good pair of fabric scissors. I actually might put them in my hubby's stocking since he sews more than me! Lol! He graciously offered to make more pillow covers for me if I don't want to sew anymore. I might do that because there really is a lot of beautiful fabric out there. Now that I have a more neutral color scheme, it's easy to add pops of color with pillows. :)

  7. I made a note of that know I love those sort of mysteries. Petty crimes!! Ha!

    I applaud you for taking the leap into sewing. I tried half heatedly and couldn't get past threading the bobbin, even with the You Tube videos. I also realized I needed the space for all those "extras" you mentioned and I simply had the kitchen table, no dining or craft room to spread out on. Measuring and math skills? Nope. Patience...not for this. I am still trying to sell the sewing machine!!

    Your pillows are so pretty, this is exactly what I wanted to do. And curtains!! Keep up the good work! :)

    Jane xx

  8. You did a great job, Lisa, and should be proud of yourself! Sewing is a skill that takes practice and patience. There is a "mini iron" that is typically used for small things like ribbon & such, but it's so much easier if you just use your regular iron. It will make a nice sharp folded edge that is much easier to sew. The other tool you mentioned is probably a rotary cutter, but you need to have a special mat under your fabric & an acrylic ruler for a guide to use that kind of cutter. Most JoAnn stores have someone who comes to the store periodically to sharpen scissors. If what you have is a good pair, getting them sharpened is a really good idea. One last tidbit (whether you want to hear it or not....heehee) is to get a good pair of scissors and label them for "fabric only." Cutting paper dulls the blades quickly, and for fabric you want them to be very sharp. Okay, I've bestowed all my "Monday wisdom," and now I need more coffee! Have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  9. Awesome job on the pillow covers girl!!! You did it!! I also love the orange with your neutrals...a nice surprise!!
    I love a good mystery book but I can't even tell you when the last time I read for pleasure was (except for blogs lol).
    Have a great week!

  10. Lisa, Great job with the pillow!! I'm impressed! I love sewing, but I tried my mom's sewing machine, and it's not working! I'll have to put another one on my ever growing list of things I want!! Thanks for the wonderful post!!

    1. Thank you, my friend! It was pretty confusing, but I got through it. Lol! I'm amazed at the new sewing machines out there. Lots of them have LCD screens and everything! Fancy! :)

  11. I'm not even gonna dabble into trying to make pillow covers since I'm a horrible sewer . With that said, I think you did a great job on your Lisa, a quick fix to change out your decor right! The books look enticing, and it being older, I think they will be interesting reads, just have to find time to do so! ;-)

  12. I stopped by your blog today. The covers look great - I love the color.


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