Pillow Talk

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had several catch-up posts to write… this post contains two fairly recent projects, one made in November and the other in early December.

The Des Moines MQG meets once a month, January-November, and our November meeting is always a party with a holiday themed swap. I typically come up with a plan and execute it in the eleventh hour–why mess with tradition? I was inspired by this cute Winter city scape fabric in my stash, so two nights before the party, I started making a reverse applique snowflake, and added some big-stitch quilting around the edges of the snowflake:



Marny took my pillow home and added it to her collection… I won this cute Heather Ross postage stamp embroidery hoop by Crystal:


Here is our post-swap group photo with everyone holding what they won (our  junior members, in front, organized a private swap between the two of them):


A few weeks later, I made a Glimmer pillow using the sidekick ruler as a shop sample for Woodside Quilting (They have kits for this pillow available if you are interested). The medallion is six different batiks, the background is Carolyn Friedlander’s Cross Hatch from her Botanics line:

Glimmer Pillow 1

I basically made this in a day; I was impressed at how quickly it went together–a well written pattern with excellent illustrations. It is put together with six triangular segments:

Glimmer Segments

Couldn’t resist taking a few photos of it in the fresh snow since it looks like a snowflake or snow crystals to me:

Glimmer Pillow 2

This one shows the straight line quilting a little better:

Glimmer Detail 2

This past weekend I attended our DSMMQG Sewing Day and started recovering some cushions for a vintage camper my stepdaughter and her boyfriend recently purchased. It’s not the most exciting sewing project, so I was glad I had friends around to chat with while I started to tackle it.

Happy Sewing,



Pretty in pink (and purple, too)

My niece turned 1 over the weekend, that’s her focusing intently on the mylar Butterfly balloon tied to that bag of gummy candy I just gave her (she has two big brothers to help her out with the candy) 😉  It is incredible how fast a year can fly by… and she looks so tiny in these pics at age 3 months…

She’s got that looking cute thing down pat.  😉  My sister has been planning Zoe’s big-girl-bedroom for a few months now, and when I was at Gruber’s last month, I started cutting hexagons for her twin bed quilt (see bottom right photo:)Friday, I started to make a pillow that will match her big-girl quilt.  This was probably as much a birthday gift for her Mommy as it was for her; but keep reading, Zoe liked her gift, very much.

My sister has always loved animals of all kinds, and the inspiration fabric I bought for the quilt is covered in butterflies, and is being used for other items that will go in her room, too.  And, I have been dying to try our One Big Cabin quilt pattern in feminine colors, ever since I first drew the animals… so…. Ta-Da!

A pink owl pillow, with two pretty butterflies (fussy cut from the inspiration fabric) surrounded by scrappy log cabin blocks made from all the fabrics in her quilt!  Isn’t that pink and purple owl precious?  Well, not as precious as that sweet baby girl up there, but it is pretty cute.

There are 9  little owls hiding in the log cabin blocks, as well as some fussy cut flowers and one red heart.  These are from a Rile Blake fabric by My Mind’s Eye.

On the back, I used a piece of the butterfly inspiration fabric, and found in my stash, I had Cosmo Cricket alphabet fabric that just happened to have the Z and the O lined up, so I decided to make another log cabin block with her name on it:

Zoe’s Mommy loved the pillow, just as I thought she would, but Little Miss Zoe Grace loved it, too:

She did her best to crawl onto the middle of it and perch there proudly, but a 20″ fluffy pillow is pretty big for such a little girl.  So she continued to climb on, roll around on, roll off of, lay her head on… giggling the whole time…

She even found it was useful for baby yoga poses:

(oh to be so flexible)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Zoe Grace!  Thanks for sharing that pretty little smile–Auntie Doris loves you to the moon and back…

Pillow Talk

I made a t-shirt for last Christmas for my sweetie.  It read “I geek banjos”, the phrase was explained in this post, when I was still working on it.  Sadly, after one washing, the t-shirt was too small to be comfortable wearing.  I spent a long time stenciling that shirt, I wasn’t about to throw it in the donation pile!  So this Christmas it is being gifted to him, again, as a throw pillow:

Yes, I believe you can give the same gift twice, if it’s altered in between, right?!?  He’s getting a Kindle, too, so he isn’t exactly deprived…  The border and backing are this, BeBop by P & B Textiles: 

Appropriate fabric, given that he owns and plays quitars, banjos and mandolins.  It was a day for sewing pillows, I guess, made a pillowcase for a Christmas gift as well, out of some sassy cowgirl fabric that was gifted to me a last year:

Not too many handmade gifts this year, but it was a relief not to feel the pressure of getting a bunch of items made by Christmas!  Maybe next year, I’ll start early and make something for everyone on the list.  Then again…

Swap Meet Satisfaction

This summer, I had the pleasure of getting to know and befriend Amanda Jean in person.  We sewed next to each other for three days sharing all kinds of talk about families, funny kid stories, food, sewing, being practical & frugal Midwest gals, etc.  During the course of conversation, we decided to do a swap, after I shared that I had a few unsatisfactory swaps (as in receiving nothing in return, TWICE) and therefore was a little gun-shy when it came to joining big swaps like Pillow Talk, Doll Quilt Swaps, etc. 

So, in November, I made this pillow for Amanda Jean, using Kona Stone, and some favorite scraps:

 It is an original applique design I came up with for one of Victoria’s Block Gathers.

And, then, I made her this cute little mug rug, also from my scrap bin:

 Even the binding was a scrap of leftover binding I had saved, just the right size for this little rug!

Then, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I open my mailbox to find an envelope from her, with this red & aqua LOVE wrapped in it:

That’s a cute little card she stitched up, in that bottom left photo with my mug rug…very cute gift accessory.  The pillow matches my Grandma’s bed perfectly, and looks pretty darned good with those aqua walls, too!  Thanks a million, Amanda!  You made my day-week-month!!

A very satisfactory swap, indeed.  And a friend I’m so glad to have met, truly.


Ollie the Owl

I met my friend Toni in June 2004. We became fast friends, and it wasn’t too long after we met that we realized we both have a passion for quilting. And vintage stuff. And feedsacks. And fabric. And shopping for all of the above. And she also has a thing for owls. Owl graphics, owl knick-knacks, live owls, she even has an owl house on a tree behind her home! I gave her some owl stuff for Christmas along with some other gifts, and she loved the owl items! When I first saw Amy Schimler’s Forest Fun fabric, I knew I had to make something for Toni. (Toni is the friend I made all of these with.)

Then, I came across this great free pattern on the Robert Kaufman website:

Aren’t they adorable? The pattern is called “On a Whim”, also designed by Amy. And that cute round pillow is included in the pattern. So…this weekend, I made this pillow as a fun little birthday gift for my quilting pal, Toni…

Meet Oliver. Ollie for short.

Happy Belated Birthday, Toni!

A few check-offs

I’m a little under the weather this week, but I did manage to finish a few items, and check them off my list…some holiday and birthday gifts for nieces and nephews.
Some monogram pillows that I started at my last retreat…and a shot of the reverse side of the pillows…It’s hard to sew for a ten-year old boy, but I think this should work…
A not-too-little-girlish pillow for the twelve-year old niece…That girl with the pink umbrella looks just like her!
And some boy pillowcases….
complete with choppers and racecars…Certainly “manly” enough…

Thank you all for your sweet comments on the passing of my Grandmother. She and my Mom are responsible for my “crafty legacy”. I’m hoping to make a floral garden quilt to honor Grandma, I’ve always wanted to, and now I have extra motivation.