Thirtieth Thing: Pipes of peace

Like corn, the word pipe has has multiple meanings. As a noun, it can be a thing you use to smoke, or not; something that carries water or gas; or a musical instrument, though give me Northumbrian– over Bag- any day! Then there are pipe dreams, pipe jeans, pipe organs and pipe weed. Perhaps I should pipe down!

Piping is something else – it can be something you do with icing and a steady hand to make your cake look fancy, or, as I have learned, it’s something you do with piping cord.

Adding piping cord when you sew something gives it a better shape and makes it look much more professional. You need to learn to cut fabric on the bias, find the right size of cord and then attach a different foot to the sewing machine.

Talking of sewing machines, this is the first project to be completed on my new (to me) Singer sewing machine. It’s blue, of course. And after a good clean and tweak, aside from the odd hiccup (see below) it is working a treat.

So, what better project than a special birdy/birthday cushion to learn this neat trick?

Tools / special requirements: piping foot, piping cord, enough fabric to cut strips on the bias. You can sew strips together if they’re not long enough.

Time taken: 3 hours for the whole cushion (plus week in between when the sewing machine went to the repair man after the pedal dramatically burnt out and wouldn’t stop stitching. Hilarity!

Things learned: Argentine singer-songwriter Sergio Denis recorded a version of Pipes of Peace in Spanish, re-titled Pipas de la paz in 1984.

Satisfaction (1-10): 10. Never expected to be able to do this!

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