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confused geese pillow

24 Jan

sometimes, you just gotta make a pillow.

confused geese pillow

my sister had a birthday a few months back, and due to some last minute party rescheduling, i couldn’t make her something like i’d originally planned.  as time went by, i felt worse and worse that i HADN’T made her something…so finally i got down to business and sewed this pillow for her.  i’ve been big on crossing things off my “to do” list lately (probably a nesting thing) so it felt great to get this done and finally gifted.

confused geese pillow

she had mentioned she needed more throw pillows in her living room, so i made the colors neutral to go with her existing white/cream/wood tone scheme.  the flying geese are essex yarn dyed linen in leather (i got it at Bolt, you can find it here), and the background is a creamy bella solid that i also got at Bolt.  you’ve seen it before as the bodice of Em’s Christmas Dress this year.

confused geese pillow

i used my friend Cherie’s awesome confused geese pillow tutorial to make the pillow.  i went with the larger size (18″ x 18”).  once i finished the piecing, i quilted it to a slightly larger scrap of batting, trimmed it, cut an 18” x 18” back, added a zipper, stuffed it, and done!

confused geese pillow

the insert is the IKEA FJÄDRAR, which is a pretty great price for a feather pillow and my favorite to use for these types of projects.  it’s good to make the outer cover a bit smaller than the pillow insert (the insert in this case is 20” x 20”) so it lays nice and tight and keeps a puffy pillow shape.  18” x 18” may be a bit smaller than i’d normally go for a quilted pillow outer, but it still looked good once i carefully zipped it up.

confused geese pillow

i’m happy with how it turned out, and my sis put it on her couch immediately, so it was well-received.  i think quilted pillow covers are a great “i feel like making a quilt but i can’t commit to all that time/fabric/effort” type project.  you still get to experience the fix of piecing and quilting, but they can be made in a day.  perfect to practice on, and especially fun to give as gifts!

* * *

P.S. get ready – a new film petit is coming on monday!!!   it’s also the first day of Kid’s Clothes Week but we figure we’ll sneak it in before KCW really gets going.  trust me, it’s inconceivably good.  ;)

P.P.S.  teepee print from this awesome shop.

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ed emberley alligator quilt

18 Nov

i snagged a couple naptime hours this weekend to clean up my utter disaster of a sewing room…and in the process, i got inspired to do some stashbusting and a project i’d delayed for far too long – a cozy quilt for O!

ed emberley alligator quilt

the little guy doesn’t realize it, but i’ve felt bad for a long time because i’ve never made him a blankie of his own.  i made his sister a quilt, and multiple cozy flannel/minky blankies for snuggling/school, but none for him.

it’s not like he’s blanket-deprived – he was gifted a number of handmade and store bought blankets at baby showers and has actually adopted my baby quilt as his own…just none made by ME.  and i believe that there’s nothing more special a mother can make than a cozy blanket for her kids.  you’re literally wrapping your little one up in love!

ed emberley alligator quilt

it was when his unborn baby brother was gifted a beautiful CINO quilt that the guilt really started to set in.  O needed a home sewn quilt!  NOW!

ed emberley alligator quilt

i had gotten this Ed Emberley for Cloud 9 alligator print at Bolt last year with the intention of using it for a blanket for him…

ed emberley alligator quilt

…and same plan with the super soft light blue minky on the back.

ed emberley alligator quilt

it’s hard to see in photos, but i did irregular sawtooth quilting on the alligator print and straight horizontal lines across the solid color blocked top and bottom rows.  it looks like alligator teeth in person!  there is no batting, but due to the minky it still has a nice weight to it.

ed emberley alligator quilt

the top and bottom rows (scraps cut 8” high to extend this directional print a bit for more coverage) are a mix of Kona and Moda Bella solids from my stash in colors that pull from the print.  the quilt measures 35” x 50” which covers him very nicely.

ed emberley alligator quilt

the binding is Amy Butler’s full moon polka dots in tangerine (still available here)!  think i may have gotten that at Bolt too.  ;)  it’s finished by zigzag stitch, both for speed and to mimic the sawtooth quilting / alligator teeth motif.

ed emberley alligator quilt

love how the colors look when they all drape together, it feels bright and happy but still boyish.

i showed the in-progress quilt to O when he woke up from his nap, only partly quilted, and he was very excited about it, rubbing the minky side on his cheek, etc.  i promised him i’d finish it when he was asleep that night, and i did.  i laid it on him while he slept and when he came to our room in morning, he had wrapped himself up in it!  he proceeded to “Linus around” with it for a good part of the day.  GREAT SUCCESS.

does fall make you want to quilt too?  i feel like the knitting and quilting bugs hit me hard when the weather gets cold (still haven’t picked up the needles yet this year, though)!

** i have emailed Lara, the winner of a Gingercake pattern.  thank you to all who entered the giveaway! **

camp quilt for the husband

2 Jul

i tried to buy something for my husband for father’s day, i really did!  i went to our favorite home / random cool stuff store, schoolhouse electric, with the full intention of getting him something there.  problem is, that place is a bit spendy, and everything i wanted to get was out of budget.  what happened next is what usually happens – i get inspired, and decide to make something instead.  so i went home and knocked out this quilt mostly during naptime (with some sneaky finishing touches the next day).

camp quilt

the vibe they have at schoolhouse is sort of a arts & crafts era meets midcentury modern meets industrial meets summer camp, which is what i tried to recreate in my quilt.  the reason i made a quilt for him is he tends to fall asleep on the couch most evenings…and he’s a taller guy, so i thought he needed something to keep his feet cozy as well as his shoulders, ya know?  it’s always a bit frustrating to watch a person try to cover themselves with a too-small-of-blanket.

camp quilt

i’d also wanted to make a quilt that looks like a pendleton national park blanket for a while (still plan to eventually make a quilt for O that looks like the crater lake blanket), and decided this was my chance to practice.  it was really tough picking “manly” fabrics from my stash, but i stuck to mostly linen and it worked out.

camp quilt

the quilt measures 43″ x 66″ finished – sort of random, but that’s what i had, fabric-wise.  the fabrics are a navy linen (from JoAnn i think), red canvas from Bolt (most famously used on little red), natural linen (from fabric depot), with essex linen yarn dyed black center panel.  it’s a strip quilt, which came together really quickly.  i omitted batting, both because i didn’t have enough on hand, and because i wanted it more summer blanket-weight.  the backing is Denyse Schmidt for JoAnn from last year.

camp quilt

the binding is two packages of store-bought double fold bias tape (sent to me by Cherie, thanks girl!) and the non-matchingness of it gives it that extra “summer camp” element i was looking for, plus takes it away from flag territory a bit.

camp quilt

i quilted it with mustard thread on both sides of each stripe, and zigzagged the binding to finish it.

camp quilt

the center of the quilt also has a quilted concentric diamond shape which doesn’t really show up in photos (or real life for that matter) but it subliminally ties in with the backing.

camp quilt

my husband seems to really like his quilt/blanket and uses it almost every day, and when i surveyed him for his favorite project of mine for Sanae’s blog, he said this!  i don’t sew for him much, but i really should do it more often.  look how happy his two fingers are there, peeking out from the side!  ;)

camp quilt

GREAT SUCCESS.

single feather pillow

21 Feb

Em’s school has its annual auction coming up, and while i have been mostly flying under the radar as far as my sewing knowledge goes (no requests to make the class quilt, phew!), i did decide to make something to donate to the silent auction (and earn fundraising credit) –  a feather pillow!

single feather pillow

the block pattern is from Anna Maria Horner’s feather bed quilt, and if it looks familiar, it’s because i already made one for Caila around Christmastime.  i had even saved a couple extra feather halves for this purpose.  this time, i went with just a single feather against yarn dyed black essex for a bolder statement.

single feather pillow

i quilted it with some red/blue/purple variegated thread (never used that before, kinda fun) and i hope it’s not too crazy looking for the school auction attendees because i want them to bid it up – you know, for the kids!  it closes with a zipper.

single feather pillow

the back is leaves and berries from hello pilgrim by lizzy house.  i only got a fat quarter but need more – it’s so pretty.

single feather pillow

i can’t remember how big the pillow is, sorry – sort of a lumbar size i guess?  i wanted to keep it – maybe if it doesn’t get many bids at the auction i’ll just buy it back.  ;)

oh so here’s a confession – i rarely, like almost never, buy fabric online.  i’m spoiled to have four awesome fabric stores within about 20 minutes of my house that each serve a different purpose depending on what i need, PLUS a JoAnn, PLUS a little shop near work just in case i need a thread run on my lunch break.  i love being able to touch and see my fabric before buying it and have built good relationships with the gals at Bolt, especially.  but this local convenience does pose a bit of a problem with blogging, since none of the stores I shop at have much of a web shop presence (my first lovely fabric sponsor, Britex Fabrics, has amazing fashion fabrics online but not much in the way of quilting cottons, which i sew with often).

enter my newest sponsor, Pink Castle Fabrics.

pink castle fabrics

i reached out to them because i wanted a place to link to when i’m posting my projects so non-locals have a place to actually buy the fabric if you like it.  i browsed a few online shops before contacting Pink Castle.  i love their general shop aesthetic, and they stock almost all of my favorite designers, so i knew pretty quickly that they’d be a great fit.  want to go drool over some fabric/add to your stash?  here are my favorite lines that Pink Castle has in stock right now:

Lizzy House – Constellations

Carolyn Friedlander – Architextures

Rashida Coleman-Hale – Tsuru

Anyan – Cotorienne

Essex Yarn Dyed Linen

plus so much more!!  Brenda, the owner, has a really great eye.  Pink Castle is in the process of opening a storefront (in Michigan), which is very cool too.  oh and have you heard of Camp Stitchalot?  how fun does THAT look?!  anyway, i’m so happy to have them as a sponsor and i hope you’ll check them out.

now to pick out an outfit for the auction (it’s a “through the decades” theme and her class is assigned to the ’90s which i guess means the husband and i are supposed to dress like that for the event.  doc martens and plaid shirts?  not the fanciest decade ever…).

PS – film petit is coming!  

fat quarter pot holder mini tutorial

25 Jan

my sister Laura is getting married this spring!  we’re super excited, he’s a great guy.  oh and i get to make another flower girl dress!  yay!  Em and her cousin are co-flower girls actually, so depending on the design complexity, i might be making two or my  mom might make the second one.  we’ll see.  anyway.

fat quarter pot holder mini tutorial

she had a bridal shower last weekend, and i was actually on top of the present-buying for the most part.  i had thrifted some great big vintage doilies for table decorations a while ago, as well as a mason jar with bubbles in the glass, both of which fit with her decorating scheme.  i also got her a Silpat, since Laura loves to bake.  and then because something had to be handmade, i made her some pot holders (starting the night before and finishing the morning of the shower).

fat quarter pot holders

i subconsciously matched the colors to the Silpat.  haha.  the main fabric is from Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley line, and i’m not sure what the binding is (if you know, please tell me!).  both are from Bolt.

here’s a quick words-only tutorial for these simple pot holders, which are a great way to use fat quarters, practice quilting if you’re scared of quilts, or to whip up as a quick gift if you have a few supplies on hand.  super easy, super fast.

fat quarter pot holders

this tutorial makes two hot pads that are quite large, you can scale them down in the “trim to square” step if they’re seeming unwieldy to you:

  • grab two fat quarters (FQs) – one for the body and one for the binding – some batting, and twill tape
  • cut four 9.5″ x 9.5″ squares of FQ, and four 10″ x 10″ or so squares of batting (for two pot holders)
  • make a sandwich – one FQ face down, two layers of batting, one FQ face up (try to line the FQs up on either side as best you can)
  • mark a diagonal grid starting corner to corner using tailor’s chalk or disappearing marker – mark lines 2″ apart
  • pin baste between the lines
  • quilt using a walking foot along the lines
  • trim to 9″ square (or smaller – i think 8″ square is standard)
  • cut 2.5″ strips of the second FQ for binding on the grain, enough to go around each pot holder (you’ll probably have to piece two strips together)
  • baste a loop of twill tape to the wrong side of the pot holder, and bind using your favorite method.  i usually hand stitch to finish my quilt bindings but this time i zigzagged them for speed and stability - this tutorial is great if you need it
  • make another one
  • DONE

fat quarter pot holders

not too bad, eh?  i love how puffy the double layer of batting makes them, and the zigzag stitch will keep them secure through washings.

fat quarter pot holders

mmmmm pillowy.

and here’s how i wrapped the gift up.  i’m a huge fan of the old “make a wedding rehearsal bouquet from shower ribbons and a paper plate” tradition, and really love to wrap shower presents with fun toppers to add some pizzazz to the practice bouquet.

pom pom flower

i wrapped the gift with simple brown craft paper, topped with white grosgrain ribbon and a pom pom flower with felt leaves!  i hot glued the leaves to the bottom of the flower to make sure it all stayed put, threading the tails of yarn from the pom pom through a small slit i cut into the felt to tie it to the ribbon.

pom pom flower

i’m so looking forward to Laura’s springtime wedding!

oh and if you make a pot holder using this mini tutorial, please add it to the flickr group.  thanks!

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