Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pillow Talk Times Two

Hello! It's me again...making pillows again.  First off, I'll waste a line or two of type to say how I lament leaving the blog so long and how sorry I am to notice that this trend is growing with tons of bloggers I admire and follow.  We're decamping blogs and Flickr in droves for Instagram which I love but which is such a limited platform to interact and understand process.

So of course, I'm posting two photos I took with Instagram.

I made two pillow covers to spruce up my living room using Anna Maria Horner velveteen from her LouLouthi fabric line and backed them with Minky Cuddle 3.  The minky was a mis-order from - it's labeled "hot pink" but it's such a pale color it just wasn't what I had in mind for the project I intended it -- but it's also too soft and cuddly to waste.

I had green nylon zippers on hand in approximately the right size and I love the contrast they add even if practically no one but me will notice them.  The inner cushions are FJÄDRAR 20" squares from IKEA ($6 for feathers!)

If you're wondering about sewing with minky, it was easy.  I searched for tips online and so I did sew with the minky on bottom using a walking foot (except for the zipper installation which was normal.  The only difference was that as I worked with it, the minky stretched a tad and ended up being more of a rectangle than a square.  I simply stitched using the velveteen as my guide and trimmed the excess Minky before turning the cover right side out.  I also used tons of pins (about ever 1.5 inches) as well as a ballpoint needle on the advice of the gal who sold me the velveteen.  Everything worked like a charm and I'm eager to make more projects with these super soft fabrics.

I hope to continue to post about my projects here but feel free to come find me on IG these days (I'm @Missenota there.)  I'm badly in need of a new computer  and so even interacting with my favorite software and programs is difficult these days on an older Mac operating system.  Until then, the phone will have to suffice.

Are you sprucing up the home for springtime? I'd love to hear about it.

Keep stitchin'


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Designed a Quilt!

Today's the big day.  I've written my first quilt tutorial and it's over at Sew, Mama, Sew!  It's called Ladder Lattice.  (Here's the link.)

The blocks are 12.5" and you can easily make three from a fat quarter so it's really up to you how big of a project you want to make.  Although I agonized over my photography skills -- I usually do -- I am totally pleased with the quilt and design itself.  I think it would look gorgeous in solids or just two colors too so I'll probably be making another one soon.

A couple of firsts on this project.  I didn't use any pins, just Elmer's washable school glue with a fine tip.  You squeeze a thin line inside the 1/4-inch seam allowance and touch press with the iron.  It holds everything perfectly through stitching so I hardly had any trimming to do which saved fabric loss.

The second new thing is my walking foot.  I finally ordered an easy-feed sewing foot for my freebie machine.  Now I'm invested!  Although my stitching actually suffered a little,  especially in-the-ditch; my speed really increased.  I know I'll be practicing more with it and making bigger quilts in the future.

It's really satisfying to see a project from my sketchbook come to life.  This one is so much like my pitch drawing that it's uncanny.  I designed it specifically to use fat quarters (7 prints) from Erin McMorris' Forest Hill by Free Spirit.

I'm still learning and growing as a quilter but the design part of it is a key element for me.  When I brainstormed ideas, this was one of five I pitched and then, as I constructed the quilt, I jotted down notes for two new projects.  I so hope that someone finds the tutorial useful as it would totally please me to see more quilts made from it.  Since I've really learned to sew through online tutorials, it means so much to me to give back to that process.

It's also the Blogger's Quilt Festival this week so I'm entering Ladder Lattice in the Original Design Quilts Category.  Just because I can and it feels so good.

This quilt leaves 10 inch squares (actually, a little more) for scraps so I'm working on a pattern that will use those next.  Please come back to check it out.

That's it for now.   Thanks for stopping by!

Keep stitchin'


Friday, May 9, 2014

Coaster Swap

Turns out Mother's Day came early.  Mom and I both made a set of quilted coasters for last night's Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild swap.  Then we reached into the pillowcase and pulled out eachothers' sets.  So she got these:

And I got these:

(Mom loves Tula Pink.)

Last month, I had to miss our guild meeting because I had concert tickets.  Alyssa Thomas had a trunk show and I missed it but mom -that sweetie!- got an autographed copy of Sew & Stitch Embroidery for me.

So that's how I was inspired to use a free Penguin and Fish embroidery pattern (the one you get for subscribing to the  email newsletter) for the little animals on my coasters.  Stitched on Essex linen, backed with Indian Summer, and pepped-up with some scraps -- including Carolyn Friedlander's Ledger, my very favorite print in the world.

These were so easy to make and reminded me how much I love hand embroidery.

So guess what I'll be doing this weekend.

Word to your mothers!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Doll Quilt Swap

Finished up another terrific Flickr swap, the Doll Quilt Swap round #14.  The dresden is from a great free tutorial at Snips Snippets.  I recommend it!

I made a little house-shaped quilt inspired by this photo of the vaulted ceiling in my partners' awesome little sewing room.  She's Samantha, she's from British Columbia in Canada, and her blog is called Making Life Prettier.  The little cross-stitch on the label is on honor of the awesome quilt she made for the swap.

She's a pretty talented quilter; Fantastic Mr. Fox here stole a ton of hearts.  Boy was I surprised to find out those sneaky swap mama's of the DQS partnered us to each other.  This little fella (and some coveted extras: a zipper pouch and a fat quarter of Violet Craft) arrived in my mailbox last week.  It is my new, favorite-est thing.

It's totally the year of the fox at my house with this quilt, my Pillow Talk Swap pillow made by Kristine Holland, and the Monaluna Meadow fabric challenge for the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild.  (More about that in March when we do the BIG REVEAL!)

The only bad news is that I'm still waiting for the package I mailed out December 2nd to arrive at its destination in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  I know, I know...that's a long time!  I've never actually lost something forever in the post though so I hold out hope but that line is stretching thiiiiinnnnn. (Edited to add that it finally arrived in March!)

Whelp.  That's about it, folks.

Until next time.  Keep stitchin'!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Go Team! Broncos Pillow

We've been straying from big gift-giving for several years, especially at Christmas.  My family abolished gift exchange a couple of years ago and rather than disappointing anyone, it's really cut down on holiday stress.  Now, we just have a select few on my husbands' side that we still wrap things up for in December.  Jer's grandpa is a big Denver Broncos football fan (so is Jeremy and so am I) so I made -- ahem, skirting the license laws here -- a Denver Broncos throw pillow.  Here it is in all its glory:

The front has a simple grid of quilting in Aurifil thread.  The mane did not turn out how I envisioned but after cutting the blue appliqué, I realized my original plan would be too complicated and might stretch the fabric so I improvised with the zig-zag stitch in orange.  The lettering did turn out legible though and I feel like it gets its point across.

The back is my favorite part.  I made a cathedral window block but it's BIG.  I mean, it's twenty inches big.

That means, I cut four twenty-inch squares and folded them down into ten-inchers and then sewed those four together to make the foundation.  I picked some favorite blues and oranges from the stash and used a glue stick to keep them attached while I sewed.  I can't say it enough, cathedral windows are fun!  I did end up covering the intersections with buttons but they didn't look bad before.

There's a zipper at the bottom and a twenty-inch down pillow insert inside.  Jer's grandpa had to move into an assisted living situation recently and although his little apartment is accessible and clean, it doesn't have as many touches of home as he was used to.  We didn't make it to Montana to see Grandpa unwrap but I heard he gave it a long hug and that makes me feel really good to think about.

Did I tell you all Happy New Year?  I think I just did!

Keep stitchin'.