Monday, May 23, 2016

A Daughter's Birthday with Burlap and Ticking Pillow Tutorial

Hello, Dear Friends, I have missed you! 
I enjoyed my break and have been keeping busy. 

Thank you for your sweet well wishes! 

I thought I would catch up where I left off
and start with my daughter Jennie's birthday. 

All of my children are in their 30's now, 
but we have a tradition of celebrating with old-fashioned
cake and ice-cream birthday parties. 

Most of the time......

Here she is at age 4. She's my 'middle child' - diplomatic, 
generous, agreeable, but able and willing to stand her ground
when pushed :) 
When you are in between two brothers and an older sister, 
you develop those skills....

Ramblin' Man and I are both eldest children. 
I, the eldest of four sisters. 
Ramblin' Man the eldest of two sisters and a brother. 
Certainly birth order does have an effect on 
your view of the world and your childhood experience. 

Being the eldest means always being 'responsible'.

What birth order are you, Dear Friends, and
how has this affected your life experience?

You can find more information on birth order Here.

Ramblin' Man set up the deck canopy for the occasion. 

He didn't set it up last year and we so missed having it! 
During heat and rain, it creates a cozy
sitting area for the two of us, 
and is also great for parties! 

All set up for our first outdoor celebration of the season. 

My 'helpers', Whitey Bear and Ling-Ling
 (under the chair), sleeping on the job! 

Kai helps by picking up his stuffed animals. 
He carries them everywhere he goes. <3

He's also great for crumb control! 

I sewed this pillow as a gift for Jennie.

She showed me a photo of a similar one
some time ago and I wanted to surprise her. 

I sewed it from blue striped mattress ticking
with a burlap ruffle. 

Here is how I made it.....

I found this wide roll of burlap for the ruffle Here.

It is finished on both edges. 

You will need approximately 2-3 times 
 the perimeter of your pillow, for gathering. 

I folded the burlap almost in half,
leaving one side about an inch wider,
and pressed it with a hot steam iron to form a double ruffle. 

I used a 1 yard length of 47 inch fabric, 
cut in half along the fold. 

Genuine mattress ticking fabric has a heavier weight - 
perfect for supporting the heavy burlap ruffle. 

You can find mattress ticking fabric Here.

Rather than attempt to gather a ruffle, I simply 
made pleats of about 1 inch wide and pinned them in place
along the edge of the right side of fabric. 

Be sure to put the shorter side of the double ruffle face down
and the fold along the edge of the fabric. 

Lots of pinning.....

Sew ruffle in place about 1/4 inch from edge. 
Remove pins as you sew. 
Pin down corners tightly to keep them
 out of the way before placing backing
over all, right sides facing. 

Pin and sew in place, leaving an opening for stuffing. 

Turn pillow right sides out and you will end up with
the ruffle looking like this.....

Stuff and sew up opening by hand. 

Spot or dry clean this pillow.

I liked this pillow so much, I might make
one for myself! It does seem to fit perfectly
on my French settee'!

(For some reason the photo has distorted the stripes
of the pillow - an optical illusion!)

Time to party! 

On the menu....
 Grilled chicken kabobs with peppers and pineapple
glazed with brown sugar bbq sauce, 
 Garden Macaroni Salad, (Click for recipe)
 fruit salad, corn on the cob, 
and cupcakes with ice cream. 

The family <3

The birthday gal, Jennie, sitting below baby Ethan. 

It was a beautiful day
and we felt blessed to be all together. 

Thank you for coming along, Dear Friends!

Make a wish!  


"Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough."
- Sir James M. Barrie -


  1. It looks like it was a wonderful party for your middle girl! By the way, I'm the 5th of 7 so I'm not sure where that places me!

    The pillow is simply beautiful...I wish I could sew when I see creations like this. The salad also looks great, I'm Pinning it.

    Thank you so much and Happy Birthday to Jennie!


  2. Hi Karen, my ddear friend,
    so lovely to hear from you again! Thank you for all the wonderful pictures from the lovely Birthday Party!
    The Pillow you made is georgeous!
    Hope, you all are well,
    have a wonderful week, take care, and enjoy!
    Love, hugs and blessings to you, Claudia xo

  3. Lovely party and lovely pictures! The pillow is so nice, I would love to have one myself :)
    Have a sunny day!

  4. Oh how lovely your deck looks with the green, green trees in the background, with the sun shining. That canopy is great. How lovely to enjoy family celebrations there. The menu sounds rather delish and those cupcakes look a treat. Love, love, love Jennie's beautiful cushion. You did a superb job, Karen. Love the ticking and the burlap is the perfect finishing touch. Oh.....and I am in love with your french settee....actually I seem to be in love with everything in your lovely home. 'Tis wonderful to be able to visit your lovely blog again....welcome back. Xx

  5. What a lovely and cozy atmoshere you always create for your guests, for your family Karen! You are a sweetheart!!! The pillow is simply fantastic!
    A warm hug

  6. Karen, first of all happy birthday to your daughter.
    I do love this post and the menu too :-)
    Have a nice week

  7. Hi Beatrice, happy birthday to your daughter. That is a very pretty pillow. I am the 2nd of 2 girls in the family.

  8. You really do put on a lovely party, Karen. Your deck is the perfect spot for gatherings. "Happy Birthday to Jennie" It's so nice to celebrate our children's birthdays, isn't it. Thank you for the recipe. :)I'm the youngest of three and there are almost 9 years between each of us. Very weird, I know. I grew up like an only child.

  9. What a lovely celebration with your family. Happy Birthday to Jennie.

    The pillow is wonderful!

    So glad to see you back again.


  10. Your deck made such an inviting spot for Jennie's birthday celebration, Karen! The menu sounds perfect to honor your daughter, and the pillow made the perfect gift. Yes, you definitely need one for your settee. Happy Birthday wishes are sent to Jennie! ❤️

  11. Well that's just the cutest pillow I've ever seen.

  12. i have missed you!!! as i work in my gardens, i think of you as you are one of my favorite "deck" gardeners.

    i LOVE the pillow and i am so in to burlap these days...

    the deck looks great, a wonderful place to celebrate a birthday!!!!

  13. Love your pillow and the tutorial!! So glad to see you back. I was an only child... Oops

  14. The pillow turned out so pretty and perfect for your settee! What fun birthday festivities. It always makes me wish I was closer to my family when birthdays roll around. Hugs!

  15. Oh, I would definitely make a pillow like that for myself too. Well done. And a perfect 'design' for a settee. For sure.

    Loved celebrating along with you and your family. Lots of fun had by all. Even Kai.

    And as for the children in my family, I'm the youngest of five. Always spoiled from the beginning. LOL

  16. What a lovely setting for a party. The canopy really makes for a cozy spot for relaxing.

    I'm sure the birthday girl was thrilled both with the pillow you made and the birthday party.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  17. Belated birthday wishes for the birthday girl, looks like a wonderful family gathering. I loved the pillow, such a wonderful gift and certainly a great tutorial. I am the 2nd born of 6.

  18. Everything looks just perfect and even blessed with a sunny day, how nice :-) Love the pillow, you did a great job and it compliments the chair nicely (which I also love) We are going to be celebrating my daughter's 15th this weekend. :-) Recipe looks good too! Glad you are back from your blogging break. Have a great day!


  19. Hello, Happy belated birthday to Jennie! The cake and ice cream sound delicious to me. YUM! Wonderful family photos, love the furbabies and your pretty new pillow. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day and week ahead!

  20. Lovely to have you back Karen. Family birthdays are such fun even when they are grown up. Just having time all together. Wish your daughter Happy Birthday and enjoy your week. B xx

  21. So glad you are back, I've missed you. x

  22. Dear Karen, Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter. Your outdoor celebration looks like a wonderful time had by all. Getting all together make for a special time. Your pillow gift is stunning. Thank you for sharing the excellent tutorial. It turned out gorgeous. So nice to have those sweet little helpers for crumb control too. Glad you enjoyed a blog break. I have been doing the same and rearranged how I blog. After 10 years it was time for a new direction with my time so blogging only once a week now. Blessings to you sweet friend. Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment. xo

  23. Dearest Karen,
    Glad that your husband did put up the canopy, early in the season as you can enjoy it many, many times before it is getting cold again. Such a lovely spot for celebrating as a family.
    Love your genial pillow and the ticking is a very sturdy, long lasting fabric. The burlap looks very playful and gives a nice country look.
    Yes, I am a 2nd born but first to live so I agree with what you mentioned. Interesting article too.
    Sending you hugs,

  24. Karen, What a beautiful family! Your menu is yummy, your deck is so pretty, it all looks wonderful. Hope Kai got a few cupcake crumbs. The pillow you made is lovely. I might be taking a blog break soon myself. Glad you enjoyed yours. :)

  25. The pillow you made for your daughter is beautiful! Lovely family on such a pretty deck. Looking at Adler's birth order, it would certainly apply. I come for a large family, but there were really two families and an only child. The oldest male was treated as the oldest, even though I was the oldest female, because we were close in age. xoxo Su

  26. I was just thinking of you today and here you are! So happy to have you back. I love how you did the ruffle on the smart to fold in half with one shorter and then to pleat instead of gather. I dread that part of sewing! It is just so lovely and vintage looking. You definitely have to make one for yourself! Your family is lovely and the dinner sounds delicious. Love these times in life.

  27. Happy Birthday to your dear Jennie! What a nice birthday celebration. The deck canopy is a great idea for different types of weather. The pillow is a nice gift that you made your daughter, Karen. She will always remember it being handmade by her mother. The cupcakes look so Yummy.

    Well, I am the Youngest child, and as some might think "spoiled," I was far from it. I had one Barbie doll growing up, one troll, and had to use my imagination when building dirt forts in the fields behind my house with the neighbor kids. I always stood up for what I believed in, and my heart went out to those in need. I did have to stand my ground with my older brothers and sister. :) I'm off to check out the link, that should be interesting.

    This was a wonderful celebration for a your middle child, Karen.(Jess is mine) :)


  28. Karen, glad you enjoyed your break and that you're back now! Love your pillow. I would have had a hard time parting with it! :D

  29. Karen, glad you enjoyed your break and that you're back now! Love your pillow. I would have had a hard time parting with it! :D

  30. Karen ... welcome back.
    So pleased the party went well, your photo's are lovely to look at and I'm sure will create many happy moments to cherish.

    All the best Jan

  31. Karen, such a beautiful party and tribute to sweet Jennie! And I absolutely LOVE that pillow!! Happy birthday Jennie! Love, Kellie

  32. So nice to have you back Karen!! ;) Love the pillow - it turned out beautifully! You definitely need to make another as it does look perfect on your settee. Lol

    Looks like it was a wonderful party and your deck is so big and perfect for such fun. Your menu sounded delish too!

    Blessings for a wonderful holiday weekend ahead. xoxo

  33. Loved your beautiful artwork on the burlap ruffle pillow! Happy Belated to your daughter! You have a gorgeous deck and garden, thank you for sharing the photos!
    Hugs, ♥Jody

  34. Karen you deck looks so pretty and inviting and I love the cozy spot under the canopy. Lovely! And how wonderful to celebrate your beautiful daughter's birthday all together on a nice day too. The pillow you made is gorgeous! It is nice to have you back blogging. Enjoy the rest of the week and especially the holiday weekend coming up. Hugs. Pam

  35. Family gatherings are priceless, especially when the family loves one another. Your deck looks so pretty, what a wonderful place to spend time with family.

    Love your dogs, and the pillow does look very nice on your settee, so you do need to make yourself one.

  36. Good to see you back posting, looks like you all had a fun celebration, so great to have everyone together I am sure. So love that pillow thanks for sharing how you made it and you will have to make one for yourself it is perfect on that chair!

  37. Hi Karen, the pillow is beautiful and what a lovely bday celebration on your deck with family! Sounds like the perfect way to start summer!
    Enjoy the end of the week and have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  38. What a wonderful gift and yes it does look great on your settee!!
    Love the cupcakes. Looks like a great time was had by all.
    Have a relaxing weekend :)

  39. Oh, you must have had such a lovely partys!
    And I adore that large armchair and the pillow you made!
    So beautiful!

    Have a wonderful weekend and greetings from The Almond Valley!

  40. Happy (belated) to your beautiful daughter on her birthday.

    Love your porch - sure seats many, how divine!

    Your pillow you made her is AWESOME and you absolutely must make one for yourself. It looks perfectly right at home on that awesome settee!

    As for birth order, Ihave an older sister, a younger sister, and older brother and a younger brother- one of each, and I am every bit a middle child EXCEPT I also had to take over as first born, because my mom was very sick and my older sister very immature - so I kinda am both by the way of things.

    We three youngest are quite a bit younger than the two oldest, as mom lost several between my older brother and myself......she got lucky with me, lol.

    Neat post. And I now want cake and ice cream so badly I can think of little else now, haha. HUGS! ♥

  41. Dear Karen,

    Lovely that the family were able to gather around to celebrate your daughters birthday. Lovely times and as each birthday rolls around they are more special. I love the pretty pillow you made.
    I am the youngest in my family and have an older sister and brother, and great to have their love, especially now my parents are no longer with us.

  42. How nice it is to see you back again. I'm glad you had a good break, and I'm equally glad that you shared the cushion you made - it's lovely!

  43. I was persuaded to have already put my comment here ... I think that sometimes they go lost !
    Anyway, I'm so overjoyed by having you back, dearest Karen !
    I wonder what a marvelous time you had, your family is truly so beautiful, what a blessing to have the chance for staying all together and have a joyful time !
    Your pillow is amazing, I'm sure that your daughter will treasure it !
    I so love burlap, years ago I made a pillow with it for my Geremia loved its smell and I embroidered on it his name ... it's still in our kitchen on the armchair he loved !

    Enjoy the end of your week ahead, sweetie, sending my dearest love to you with so much thankfulness

    Xx ~ Dany


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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