I’m a big fan of Betz White and not just because of her bright, colorful style but also her eco-friendly ethos and her reputation for sewing expertise, something I knew about already from making this travel bag. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be asked to join the blog tour for her new book Present Perfect.
The book is focused on a variety of sewn goods that can be made as gifts for a variety of folks including men (yay!), kids, babies, and anyone moving into a new apartment or house. I jumped at the chance to make this awesome pillow, the Sweet Life Pillow. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to learn the technique for making it. And, of course, Betz White didn’t disappoint. The pillow not only looks fantastic but it also doesn’t skip a step.
Every aspect of its construction is characterized by high-quality craftsmanship. Both the front and the back are quilted and the whole pillow comes together beautifully.
I mean…bam!…look at that bee! So awesome! Never mind that it pairs PERFECTLY with my Melody Miller whole cloth quilt. Serendipity!
As for the down and dirty details: I used bits from my stash as well as fabric from Amy Butler’s latest line Glow, which I received at her color story workshop a few weeks ago (more on that in another post coming soon). The binding is a yummy Anna Maria Horner fabric that was given to my by a lovely friend. I wasn’t sure about adding an orange to the mix but I love it. I did make a few modification but minor, minor ones. For starters, I opted out of putting eyes on the bee, it just looked too hard to stitch two perfect circles. Secondly, I minimized the width of the outside binding, just my preference to keep that smaller.
Present Perfect By Betz White is available from Interweave/F+W or enter my giveaway (more info below) to win a copy! Betz even made a sweet little video:
GIVEAWAY: If you are interested in winning a copy of the book leave me a comment by Monday, 12am EST! Tell me your handmade plans for upcoming gift-giving. What are you making? I love sharing in the crazed making madness of this season. Please note: Only US-entrants can win (sorry international friends) and the book must be shipped to a non-P.O. Box address. Thanks! GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! A random number generator picked #12 and the twelfth eligible comment is from Jane who said:
“Melissa! your pillow turned out so so good! I love it! Those little finger puppets on the front there are really cute too I always end up making bags of some sort or the other…i’ve also got plans to knit a few cowls this winter…hmm….i actually haven’t started my list yet…guess i should do that so that i have time!”
Looks like you have a new book to help you along Jane (as chance would have it Jane is a good friend of mine and crafty co-conspirator. Random that number generator surely is!!).
Be sure to check out the whole tour for a sweet sampling of what is included in the book:
1. Sew Mama Sew – Make & Bake Apron excerpt – Mon, 10/6
2. Stacy Sews – Falling Leaves Appliquéd Placemats – Tue, 10/7
3. House on Hill Road – Hot Mitt House & Tea Towel Set – Wed, 10/8
5. Sew Sweetness – Wool Courier Bag – Fri, 10/10
6. Raspberry Sunshine – Gentlemen’s Travel Case – Mon, 10/13
7. Pink Chalk Fabrics – Pasha Pleated Clutch – Tue, 10/14
8. The Long Thread – Eye Candy Glasses Case – Wed, 10/15
9. Made with Moxie – Cargo Tablet Sleeve Thu, 10/16
10. Bijou Lovely – Coffee Cash Coin Pouch – Fri, 10/17
New and Little
11. Flax and Twine – Forest Friends Finger Puppets – Mon, 10/20
12. Imagine Gnats – Bib, Rattle & Burp Baby Set – Tue, 10/21
Disclosure: This might be obvious but I received this book from the publisher as a part of my participation in the blog tour, my opinions about it are my own.
Betz White says
So awesome, Melissa! Super love it. Thanks so much for participating!
Melissa Q. says
Thanks so much Betz! Your book (and you!) made it a joy.
I would love to win this book. BUT what I’m going to SEW! after looking over your blog, is your Easy Zipper Pouch! eeekkk not because I need easy (well…maybe..but I’m a profess sewer) but because of the french seams! nice…..
Melissa Q. says
Yay! Sounds fun!
I need to quilt and bind a pretty baby quilt for my sister in law and her soon to come out baby girl and I’m making mini stuffed letters (alphabet set) for my 18 month old niece. That bee pillow is amazing and the book looks awesome!
I’m using colorful fabric scraps to make handmade cards for the holidays! Thanks for the chance to win this great book.
Melissa, your pillow is awesome! And I especially love the touch of orange on the binding…it really pops! For Christmas this year, I have many projects…all done, except for a T-shirt quilt I’m making for my daughter who just graduated from college. I would love a chance to win this great book…I just love Betz’s patterns…so easy to follow. Thank you!
What a fab pillow! For holiday gifts, I have planned/started/finished: a small table runner, a kindle case, a couple of very different pillows and three quilted throws- one is currently at the longarmer (yay!), the second almost has a completed top (one seam away), and the third is a pile of fabric and t-shirts. 🙂
Vicki H says
Fantastic pillow! I plan to make zipper pouches for the girls in the family.
What a cool pillow:) I love it:)
Love the bee pillow! I’m diving into the wonderful world of knits with an online class that includes 5 diff patterns. Yoga pants and cowls in the works now. I’m finally going to make clothes! I’m equal parts terrified and excited. Also finishing up my Random Rectangles Quilt from the book 1, 2, 3 Quilt by Ellen Luckett Baker.
I’m hoping to make the apron for my SIL for Christmas (from the book). But after looking at your tutorials – I might also try the Tic Tac Toe for my daughter and the pool bag for all of us. Love those! Thanks!
Love this piilow! So happy that it is currently gracing our store – where Melissa also teaches some FANTASTIC classes! Well done, as always, Melissa!! (and no entrance required!)
Love this pillow! I plan to make slippers, bags, or pouches this holiday season.
Melissa! your pillow turned out so so good! I love it! Those little finger puppets on the front there are really cute too 😉 I always end up making bags of some sort or the other…i’ve also got plans to knit a few cowls this winter…hmm….i actually haven’t started my list yet…guess i should do that so that i have time!
So cute! I am hoping to make most gifts this year-but am not going to stress about it! The main goal is quilts for the grandparents!
I am hoping to finish some ornaments for a family ornament swap. I guess I had better get started now!
I will be baking for sure. I don’t know if I will be making gifts this year.
Jill Dorsey says
This is one of my favorite projects in the book and I just love that you made it with a pink bee!
What an awesome pillow! I would love this book…looks like it is packed with all kinds of goodies to make. I am making bags and baskets for Christmas…lots of them. I also just finished making pillowcases to use for “wrapping” up big gifts so that it is two presents in one. Thanks for the chance to win.
This year I plan to make an apron for my sister and a soft nativity set for my little ones.
Kristen Gilmore Powell says
I really want to make a quilt for a grandma…and I want to try at a stuffed animal too.
Love the pillow! Been looking for some cute patterns for bags for this years holiday season!
nice I really enjoy making gifts and this looks like it has many wonderful projects
cooladam1 at live dot com
looks like a great book full of very nice gift projects. I enjoy making gifts for the holidays
cooladam1 at live dot com
John Hutchens says
looks like a wonderful book full of great projects for the holidays. I enjoy making gifts for family and friends. cooladam1 at live dot com
Melissa Graham says
I plan on making my kiddos some Christmas ornaments. We are also surprising them with a trip to Disney World for Christmas so I plan to make some Mouse ears and other items to give them a hint that we are going.
Leslie Bower says
I am busy making quilt for the Santa Train which runs along the impoverished towns of VA, KY and TN the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I like to make little gifts for family and friends. I am always looking for new ideas. Thank you for the chance to win.
That would be a very fun book to have & make projects from! Thanks for the giveaway!
Ruth L says
Making handmade gifts has been a lifelong quest! Some years I actually manage to finish my list, but more often than not, I have to buy a few things. This year I am making pieced and quilted pot holders for everyone’s kitchen ( the adults) and plushy toys ( for the kids). I really enjoy the process of deciding what to make each year and the joy of giving away each little treasure!
Kathy h says
I love the projects that I have seen so far. This season, I will be making pillowcases and some throws.
I have a group of friends who get together on Tuesdays and we make things and trade ideas. We exchange handmade Christmas gifts. I am sewing project bags for knitting and crochet projects.
This year I’m making small, quick gifts for most of my friends and family — pillowcases and aprons mostly.
This year I’m making small quick gifts like pillowcases and aprons.
Looks like some great ideas. I’ll be making simple things like pot holders, towels, ipad covers, tablerunners this year.
I’m trying to make about 20 sunglasses cases (I’m not sure how the gift lift got so long!) – mostly for teachers!
I am just know gathering some ideas but hope to have a few handmade items in the bunch. Thanks for participating in the hop.
I gathering ideas and would love to have some handmade items. I just read somewhere only 74 more days.
Carol B (CC)) says
Your pillow is gorgeous and love the colors! Actually, I am hand stitching on cards and making sets for gifts.
Lovely giveaway! I make bags for gifts-tote bags, cosmetic bags and purselets! Great way to use up my stash.
I’m working on new stockings for family and pillowcases and puppets for donation right now. 🙂 Thanks for the chance!
Melissa (@BooksThings) says
I love that pillow! I’m thinking about sewing some bags for the holiday.
I am making placemats for my parents for Christmas.
Judi B in VA says
I would LOVE to make this pillow or that cute set of finger puppets!