Thursday, March 24, 2011

March Blogger's Pillow Party

March has me thinking of daffodils, green shoots popping up from the ground, and warmer breezes that bring the scents of spring. So my latest pillow combines all my favorite parts of spring: sunny yellow and fresh green with some spinning pinwheels to twirl in the breeze...

This pillow will be living at my LQS until the end of April when I'll be teaching a group how to make these fun blocks with the L'il Twister Tool.

I quilted some twirling loops inside the pinwheels to add a little more movement, and some vining leaves in the green dot borders.

Another envelope closure with a contrast binding to finish it off. I can't wait for the end of April when it can come back home again!

Be sure to head over to the Blogger's Pillow Party to see many other beautiful and creative pillows :)

Blogger's Pillow Party

Fabrics used are Moda Origins by Basic Grey charm pack, Kona cotton in Snow, and Michael Miller Ta Dot in Moss.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

dresden pillows and a quilt-along with Lily

Late in February I made this oh-so-girly dresden plate pillow for my Pillow Panache class at QIJ.  I was a little worried the dotty background would push the whole thing over the edge into the land of "tooth-achingly sweet", and I'll admit it's close to that edge (okay, it's precariously perched on that edge), but not quite over it :)

I'll be teaching a group of ladies how to make this pillow next Friday.  I also made another version with most of the same fabrics, but I didn't "point" the ends of the petals, so it looks more like a wheel. ( I haven't decided on the center fabric yet, so that's why it's not shown here.)

As many of you know, I LOVE putting zippers on my pillows.  But these last couple of pillows, I have become enamored with this contrast binding edge envelope closure.  So here it is once again...

Early this summer we are going to have two new baby boys in our family.  Are they called "grand-nephews" when they are the children of my niece (the sweetest girl in the whole wide world) and my nephew (the one who is oh-so-generous with his technological skills)?  I can never remember the proper terminology for that familial relationship... And just to clarify - the babies are not twins and my niece and nephew are not married!  My nephew and his wife are due first in May, then my niece and her husband in June.  I do have some family tree branches that cross in ways requiring lengthy explanation - all perfectly legitimate and legal - but when your brother-in-law is also your uncle, you need to be very specific when describing familial relationships, hence the lengthy explanation.  Since we are digressing SOOO far off topic, I'll save the brother-in-law/uncle story for another post....

Oh yeah, so baby quilts... My friend Lynne over at Lily's Quilts is hosting a dresden quilt along and she's making non-pointy dresdens too!  I'm going to play along and maybe use the quilt as a baby gift (if either set of parents really likes these colors, that is).  I'm planning to change things up a bit from her plan and make different size dresdens throughout the quilt, and so far this is the fabric stack I'm planning to work with...

I'd like to find a brighter orange and a tomato-red and then I'll feel like the palette is complete.  The background will be Kona in snow.  Any other colors you think I should add in?

If you're up for a quilt-along for all skill levels, hop on over to Lily's and sign yourself up!  You can see her sample here.  I must warn that the discussion threads over there start out all respectable and ladylike, but they quickly go downhill into questionable, but HILARIOUS innuendo.  If you have no sense of humor, stay away.  Don't say I didn't warn you ;-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

quilting advice, please

Borders are on and I'm ready for the next step! But I've no idea how I'm going to quilt this... any suggestions?

I've considered outlining all the houses, giving the grass some texture, and stitching in "boughs/leaves" on the trees. Or I could just do an all-over meander. That seems a little boring, but there is already so much going on here!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the power of flowers

Today I learned a lesson in the power of a handful of tulips.

A co-worker of mine has gone through an incredibly rough time over the last several months.
Today is her birthday.
Her favorite color is purple.
On a routine grocery trip I spied some purple tulips.
I took them to her at work.
Unexpected tulips delivered to the birthday girl = unexpected hugs given to the bearer of tulips :)
All that happiness from a handful of purple tulips.

And these little pretties made by Lorrie are going to brighten up the neighborhood quilt this afternoon as I piece all the blocks together :)

And lastly, that Mary Engelbreit... she surely got her message right today...

Monday, March 7, 2011

tiny houses and tiny trees

My neighborhood is growing!

Each of these little house and tree blocks is 6" (oops!) 8" square finished.

My favorite is the turquoise flower house. Or the red with the wavy roof. Or the pink with red dots... guess I'm loving them all :)

Which is your favorite?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

gotcha covered

Miss Natalie has been busy in the sewing room again. This time she made a cute and functional covering for a composition notebook:

The outside completely covers the notebook and closes with a strip of velcro. Inside the cover there are two pockets on both the left and right sides. She used Michael Miller Hoopla Dot, Play Stripe, and Lava Light in the Spice colorway. The pattern is "Gotcha Covered #163" from This and That.

She was able to finish this project in a few hours the same weekend we purchased the pattern. The supplies call for both heavy and light weight fusible interfacings. We like to use Pellon Shir-Tailor for the heavy - I'm not sure it qualifies as "heavy weight", but it does the trick. A bit of gathering is called for on each side of the center band, but she skipped that part and opted to make the outside completely smooth and flat.

It's the perfect size to use as a sketching, travel, or quilt-planning journal. Oooh - that gives me an idea - use travel themed fabrics to make these journals and give as gifts! I predict I'll be sewing a few of these in my future :) The perfect use for those "Venice" fabrics from David Textiles that I've been eyeing! Or the Paris street map fabrics... the possibilities are endless...

I'm just a left-brained girl at heart

This is what my fabric scraps looked like yesterday morning, before I saw this photo on flickr prompting me to make an easy and harmonious improvement to the situation.

And now after a trip to the magical land of Target, they look like this...

I scored the shoe organizer for $7.99, added some 3M Command sticky hooks (oh, how I wish I'd invented those products!), and presto-chango... organization! The bottomless paper bag of scraps is off the closet floor, and I can actually locate a yellow-green piece when blue-green piece just won't do.

* Note the ROYGBIV classification system, further sub-categorized into print ROYGBIV and batik ROYGBIV. I ♥ ROYGBIV organization. The left-brained part of me is very happy today :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

won't you be my neighbor?

There's a new Block of the Month starting at Quilt in Joy soon, and it's all about the neighborhood! Lorrie and I are making the sample, and we'll be taking turns teaching the monthly demos as well. We spent several hours yesterday cutting and piecing these 12" house blocks. The top row shows my blocks, and Lorrie's are in the bottom row.

Here is what the quilt will look like when it's completed. Lots of paper-pieced trees, log cabin flowers, grass, picket fence, and perfect blue skies to accent all the cute houses!

This pink house and yellow house use the same pattern, but some of the pieces are reversed to give you a mirror image. The little square over the door had some conflicting directions in the pattern, so the yellow house has some extra "trim". How do you like the zigzag shutters and door? We are using lots of polka dots and "dot-like" fabrics since our shop carries a big variety, but I just had to sneak in those stripes!

Lorrie's teal and red houses are also mirror images.

The finished size will be around 60" square, so you can imagine how small some of those pieces are! I've really been drawn to house blocks lately, so this project is a perfect fit for me right now. I love the precision required to make these blocks, but I'm also drawn to appliqued and wonky houses. Today I discovered this pattern by Piece O' Cake designs - I've never seen it before - and now I'm pretty sure I need it :) LOVE those trees and the red background!

Have you made any house quilts or blocks? Traditional or wonky?


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