Saturday, 14 December 2013

Learn to Sew Pillow Cases

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Today Emily and Grandma made two pillow cases in an hour.  This project makes a wonderful first sewing gift for a beginner as all of the seams are straight – great sewing practice with a polished finished product.

We used two 1 yard pieces of fabric and 1 ,½ yard piece contrasting colour and from this we were able to make two pillows.  Next time I would purchase a 1 ¼ yards of fabric to make the pillow cases longer.
We cut our pieces to the following measurements:

  • 24 inches for the body of the pillow (again in the future I would make the pillows 30 inches long)
  • 3 inches for the contrasting band (green in the pictures)
  • 12 inches for the cuff of the pillow case.

Note: you can lengthen your pillow by either increasing the length of the pillow body or by increasing the length of the cuff.

Sewing and Ironing
Step #1
Iron all of your fabric flat.

Step #2
Take your contrast band and fold it in half length wise, giving you a 1 ½ inch long band.

Step #3
Place the body of your pillow with right side of fabric facing up and place the band onto the right side with the cut edges meeting.  Secure this with a few pins (these will come out at the next stage)

Step #4
Take your cuff fabric and place it right side down on top of the band and body fabric.  Remove the pins securing the band and pin the four layers of fabric together

Step #5
Lay your piece out on a table and starting with the body fabric opposite the band and cuffed roll your fabric towards the cuff.

Step #6
Take the cuff with the right side of the fabric facing in and fold it over the roll and pin this now pocket closed.  The edge that you will sew is now five fabric layers thick.  

Step #7
Sew the long edge of the fabric leaving the ends open.  Note: You never sew through the rolled up fabric!

Step #8
Through one of the ends turn the pocket inside out releasing the rolled up body of the pillow.

Now all you have left to do is to finish your pillow case in whatever fashion you like.

  • Surging the seams or
  • French seams.
 I first learned to make this pillows at the Hanover Sew Club where it was one of the sewing projects that we completed on site.  That was over a year ago and I was not confident I remembered all of the steps.  To ensure that we did not waste the fabric Emily Googled three seam pillow cases and we found the You Tube Video below.  

Here is the You Tube Video

Merry Christmas

Grandma Snyder
   ©2013 Twosnydergirls

Friday, 13 December 2013

A Teachable Moment in the Nativity Scene.

How did the witch end up in the Crèche?

A Teachable Moments.

Our granddaughters were over for the weekend and as is their practice at Christmas they play with the crèche.  We were busy moving my mother and just being busy. 

After the girls left I was sitting with a cup of tea and as I set my teacup down on the table I was astounded to find a plastic witch hiding in with the manger animals.

How did she get there and what sinister purpose did she have?  Once my shock subsided I took another look at the scene and came to the conclusion that she was not hiding for malicious reasons, no she was hiding out of fear that she would be excluded from the miracle of Christ’s birth.
 I wondered how many people feel excluded from Christ’s birth because of a belief that Christians will not allow them into the manger stable to gaze upon the face of Jesus.

The New Testament is full of stories of people who believed themselves excluded from Godly life,  yet the risks they took to see Jesus or to touch the hem of his robe showed their faith to be stronger than his disciples.

As I picked up my teacup again I wondered about my own expression of spiritual faith – Does the reflected light of my faith reach into the corners of a room and shed warmth and love – is it inviting or does it pluck the witch out of the crèche and toss her into the toy box? -  I left the witch in the crèche.

The second teachable moment came the next time we saw the grandchildren.  I asked them the reason the witch was in the crèche.  Our 6 year old granddaughter, as outspoken self-assured 6 years will do, announced to do evil.  Her 8 year old sister quickly corrected that it was impossible to do evil to the Son of God.

Grandpa calmly added his voice to the discussion.  Jesus was also a human being and so could be tempted with evil, in fact Jesus was tempted by the Devil for 40 days and night in the desert.  The 6 year old corrects herself “I was just kidding” she wants to see the baby just like the Wise men did.

I am glad we found a witch in our crèche and that we were all open to exploring the challenge she presented to each of us.

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Love Letters

When I was young my mother had a wooden box in the top drawer of her dresser that contained letters she and my father wrote to each other before they were married. I would sometimes sneak a peak at these letters. It showed me an aspect of my parents I didn't ever see otherwise. These letters also greatly influenced the kind of man I wanted in my life - someone with whom I could share the love of God.

Volker and I also wrote letters to each other, before and after our marriage. I too keep them in a wooden box, along with some other special letters and things.


The two soft magnets were part of a valentine card I made for Volker that said,
"Pumpkins are orange,
zucchinis are green,
You're the best husband
I've ever seen."

The pink sugar cupid was on a cookie he bought for me.

The little shoes are slippers I made for my baby boy.

The child's drawing is from a card that Trina made for me when she was six, "because I wanted to show you that I love you."

My treasures!

When Mom moved to into long term care the wooden box was still in that drawer, but it was now empty and the lid was off. It was looking it's age. I took it home.

Because it had so influenced me, I want to pass that on somehow. My own kids are grown and married, so, I thought, I'd like to pass this on to my granddaughter. We have a lot of fun with mail because we live so far apart. I want her to treasure the really important things in life, the less tangible -- the love we give and receive.

I asked my brother, Myron, who besides being a wonderful photographer, is really good in the refinishing department. Last night he brought Mom's wooden box back to me. Isn't it beautiful! Definitely a treasure box now!


As Mina is only four years old I will wait awhile before I give her this box, but in the meantime I will put a few treasure into it for her.

  ©2013 Twosnydergirls

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Enfolding Love

We Can Rise Above Ourselves

Today I attended the funeral of a child just becoming a man.
He died fully engaged in life chasing down his dreams, alive in hope and expectation.
Two families experienced this tragedy.
Both grieved with broken hearts and shattered dreams.  They had out lived their child.
They did not know how to cope except to put one foot in front of the other and travel those moments lead by compassionate hands, somber smiles and
The hope that tomorrow and the tomorrows that will come after will diminish their pain over time.
 Outside of this tragedy his families never speak.
Their lives did not intersect by choice, by design, by need and by anger.
Today they were more than themselves.
Today they reached out in love to their son and their love was more than their, hurt,  could hold.
Their love burst out to enfold them all
and they were his Family
More than themselves, stronger in this moment able to endure today.
Tomorrow they will once again grieve the loss through the pieces of him they hold and cherished.
Two families that never speak, lives that never intersect, by choice, by design, by need and by anger.
 Today we buried a child becoming a man.  A child chasing his dreams, alive in hope and expectation.

 by Marjorie Snyder 

Grandma Snyder

Pictures from

  ©2013 Twosnydergirls

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