Showing posts with label Pillow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pillow. Show all posts

Friday, July 13, 2012

PTS8 Received


Cheers to another super successful swap. I received my pillow from Charise the other night and I was thrilled when I opened the package. This round I told my secret partner that I would love an "odd-shaped" pillow like a circle, hexagon, rectangle, etc. Well, she listened!


There were a couple pillows I had my eye on this round, and the one Charise was making was one of my absolute favorites. I held my breath as she posted teaser pictures and even went so far as thinking that her pillow might be for me because it was just perfect. And her construction is absolutely amazing. There is not a single stitch out of place. And she even added some amazing hand stitching (my favorite!) and did you see her fussy cutting!


She also added a few extras in the package for me! She gave me a great little pocket journal. I'm so going to carry this with me in my purse for an on-the-go inspiration journal. AND Charise included fabric! Who doesn't love fabric? But this isn't any fabric. Oh no! She gave me some Farmdale Blossoms. Eek! This print has been on my ISO list for a long time. I LOVE this print but I totally missed the boat when it was out so I don't have any in my stash. Well, thanks to Charise I now have some in my stash and I can't wait to work with it. But I'm sorry, this one is going into a project for me because I love it so much.


Since this pillow is an odd shape, I'll have to make my own pillow form to do it justice. And I think that just jumped to the top of my To Do List! But I did have to immediately throw some temporary stuffing in there to see it take shape.



This pillow is going to live in my sewing studio. I only think that's appropriate, don't you? So thank you Charise! You did an amazing job. I could not be any happier. I love it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

LAMQG Trinket Swap

It's funny. I joined the LAMQG online pretty much when the guild was first formed but I didn't have the guts to actually attend a meeting until well over a year later. Looking back, I wish I had mustered up the courage to go sooner. I am so blessed to be able to gather with such an amazingly talented and kind group of people every month (sometimes twice a month if I can sneak away to our Saturday Sew) and now I wouldn't miss a meeting for the world. So if any of you are out there and chicken, like I was, to attend your local MQG meeting, I would encourage you to just go. It might take a couple meetings to get to know people, but it's so worth the effort.


If you can't guess, last night was our monthly meeting, which meant the swap reveal. This swap was intense. Almost everyone who participated admitted that there were struggles along the way. But in the end there were some amazing swap items created. I know for me, I am glad I decided to participate in this one because it really challenged me. This swap was a little different than we've done before. Last month, everyone who wanted to participate brought in a picture of a trinket from home for our partner to use as inspiration. All of the inspiration pieces were put into a large bag and each of us drew out a piece blindly. I picked Patsy's geode which, while I love it and think it's striking, I was at a loss for inspiration.


I knew that I wanted to play off the curves of the outer part of the geode and with the clean lines in the striations in the inner part but what to make was the hard part. I didn't want to make a mini quilt and a pillow just seemed too linear. I carried the geode around with me everywhere in the hand stitching bag I take all the time, partly for safety and partly waiting for inspiration to strike.


Then it did. I started thinking about a bag. And I actually have a hobo-style bag pattern locked up in my head that I've been wanting to create but just haven't had the time. Well, I didn't have the time now, either, so don't get too excited. It's still hanging out in the gray matter and will come to fruition one of these days. Unfortunately time was running out so this was not the project for it. Instead I found a McCall's pattern for a smaller, curved, handbag. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for but it was close enough.


I pieced a variety of solids in strips from 1" to 3" in width, using the 3" strips on either side so I had enough to cut, and created a striated "fabric". I stuck with a gray palate to match the inside of the geode, working with everything from Essex Linen in gray to shades of Kona and Art Gallery solids. Using the striped fabric I created I then cut out one of the outside pattern pieces from this "fabric".


Then, to create the geode shell, I used an orange shot cotton on the opposite side and for the strap and base. The lining is Stella. I loved the gray color palate and the clamshell design which I think worked well with the overall aesthetic. But I ran out, and, quite frankly, I made this at 4 am the morning before the meeting so I couldn't really run out and get more, so I used an Art Gallery solid for the pockets and seam binding. Finally, to emulate the crystallization in the geode I beaded the button on the handle. I added the amber beads in the center because there is a tiny piece of, what looks like, fossilized amber inside that I wanted to capture. Patsy seemed really happy with it so that's all that matters!


I didn't go home empty handed, though. Oh no! Megan picked my trinket, which was a wine cork. (Yes, I'm a lush!) But Megan gave birth to her beautiful son on the Fourth of July so, understandably, she couldn't make the meeting. But she sent her gift to me with a proxy. Megan made me the most incredible pillow from my wine cork inspiration. Seriously, I am so in love! I think she might have been stalking me in PTS8 because she nailed me.



Her work is incredible! And the colors are so me. I immediately wanted to put it on our bed, but it wasn't made. It will live there eventually. And it's given me motivation to finish the Lone Star Quilt I've been making for our bed. I think it will match beautifully. Thank you Megan! It's perfect!

Friday, July 6, 2012

PTS8 Sent

Cross one off the list! Just in the nick of time I completed the pillow for Round 8 of the Pillow Talk Swap. I'm sending it off to my secret partner this morning. One of the things I love about swaps is stretching my sewing skills. Often I get to step out of my comfort zone to try and create something I think my partner will love. I hope I was able to do that this time.


I knew I wanted to try creating the star in the middle right off the bat. I used this tutorial to learn the fabric folding technique. But I also wanted to take the pillow to the next level, so after creating the star I started improvising the piecing around it. During the planning phase I had pulled this stack of fabric:

PTS Auditions

Then I started to edit when I made the star, but a few people in the swap chimed in and mentioned that they missed the lime green fabrics from my initial stack so I decided to add some back in. Then I brought some purple back into the last round, but as I mentioned the other day, something wasn't sitting right with me. So I put the pillow aside for several days to think about it.


A couple of you confirmed what I was thinking. And, thank you to everyone who chimed in. I really, truly appreciated the feedback! So I ended up ripping some seams, and pulling the purple border off the pillow entirely. Then I replaced it with a solid lime green border. Suddenly it was feeling much better to me.


I finished it off with hand stitching in lime green and purple. But please don't judge my hand stitching. This one was tough! There are several layers of fabric that I needed to sew through because of the folded, fabric star, so the back of the front (weird I know, but I think you know what I mean) of the pillow isn't so pretty and the hand stitching was slow going, taking one stitch at a time to get the needle through all those layers. The back is simple and I brought the purple back into the pillow here and a hidden zipper enclosure. I really love the way a zipper back makes the whole pillow taut. The finished pillow measures 14" square.


Of course, I included some extras in the package - some purple Pearle cotton thread, a spool of purple variegated Gutterman 100% cotton thread, some fabric scraps, buttons (yes, those tiny scissors and sewing machine are actually buttons!) and a pair of my absolute favorite scissors. I was gifted a pair of these puppies in a swap by my dear friend Natalie and they're amazing.


I really hope that my partner loves her package. The pressure is on for me because I'm actually an admirer of my partner. It was an honor to make this for her. I'll be holding my breath until it arrives at her house!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Swaps In Action

June was absolutely crazy with work. I don't know where it went! All of a sudden I take a breath and it's July. How did that happen? I have been sewing a little bit. In fact, I've jumped onto the swap train again. After a quiet Spring, it seems like I'm almost overextended on Summer Swaps. But two of the swaps are associated with bees I'm in so we're taking time off from the bee to get to know each other better so there's a balance. In fact, all the do. Good Stitches Hosts are doing a swap and it gave me the perfect excuse to use my Joseph's Coat paper piecing templates. I'm loving this one!


And the Pillow Talk Swap is back in action. I have been working on the pillow for my secret partner, and while I love the center, I started improvising one afternoon and I'm bot sure if I'm liking where I took it. Did I go too far?


Part of me thinks that I should start ripping stitches and change things up, while another part of me thinks that my partner will like it. I guess it's a little out of my comfort zone with all the mixing and matching of prints so I'm second guessing myself. What do you think?


Then, my guild is hosting a swap and I couldn't resist joining in the fun. I missed the last swap because I was in South America and I think swapping is a great way to make new friends in the guild. For this swap we were asked to bring in a trinket from home and our partner is supposed to make something inspired from the trinket. I ended up with Patsy's geode and I'm really excited about this one. I'm brainstorming loads of possibilities. I know I want to play with solids, curves and thin lines with this one. But what to make? Perhaps a bag? That's where I'm stuck. So even though I haven't been around lately, I have been working a little. Hopefully, I'll be able to show some finishes very soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another Great Swap


I just got home from the domestic portion of my travels. In NYC I was able to sneak into Purl SoHo yesterday for a second. And when I arrived home, moments ago, I was greeted with this lovely PTS7 package from Elaine...


Oh my God! I can't believe it's mine. She totally "got" me. The colors and fabrics are absolutely perfect for me. Seriously, they're some of my favorites. Plus, I love curves and she nailed them, didn't she? And just wait until you see the back!


I freaked when I saw her post this in the Flickr group and then it came home to me. I adore texture. I mention my love of texture to every swap partner and this is the first time a secret partner has delivered. And she delivered in a big, bad way. And did you notice that adorable journal she made for me as well? Seriously this was an awesome round. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!


And since this is a swap, of course I made something too. Here's the package I made for my secret partner...


My partner didn't give me a lot of direction and she was relatively silent this round so I was a little stumped at first but after stalking her favorites I settled on a design fairly quickly. It was the color scheme I was concerned about.


Finally, I just had to bite the bullet, jump in and hope that I was making something that would make my partner squeal. I started out using this tutorial, but I augmented the paper pattern so the points matched in the middle.


I decided that this one needed hand stitching. I didn't think machine quilting would do it justice.


In the end I opted for simplicity in the stitching and a button in coordinating Essex Linen to tie everything together.


The back has a simple zipper enclosure to give the pillow a tight fit around the pillow form.


And, as usual, I added some extras in the package, including fabric, as an added bonus for my partner.


I sent this off to my partner last week, and it should arrive on her doorstep any moment now, if it hasn't already. I truly hope she's as delighted with it as I am with my package.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Little Stitches Week 12 - Pattern C - Pillow Sham

Welcome Back for week 11 of the "Little Stitches" Sew-Along. This week I had to whip up the pillow sham for Arden, to match her bed skirt, since I'm going to see her mommy this weekend! It's been way too long.

Pattern C - Pillow Sham - Difficulty Level: 3

Arden's getting big, and I've been planning to make this pillow for her for a long time so I suspected that it was high time I actually got around to whipping it up for her. I knew that this project would be an easy one and the difficutly level was more for the overall project featured in Pattern C, rather than just this pillow sham. In fact, I was able to whip it up in less than an hour this morning.

Yes, this project is quick and simple. It's also pretty straight forward - not many surprises here. When you create the back panel, both of the right sides of the fabric face up when you're aligning them so it creates a natural opening when you turn the pillow.

The only tip I have for this one is when you're basting your top panel to your muslin. Due to the added layer of fusible fleece, it can get a little slippery. You don't need to use your walking foot for this one, but pins can help ease any fabric slippage. I also recommend taking each seam one side at a time, meaning I stitched my seams from one end to the other and didn't pivot at the corners. I started with one of the long sides. Then I stitched the seams on each of the short sides. The key here is to stitch both seams in the same direction. I recommend starting at the long edge you just basted and stitching towards the remaining open long edge. This way you can cheat your fabric toward the opening in case you encounter any slippage and this will minimize puckering.

Otherwise, this one's super easy and it makes a fabulous, quick gift. I can't wait to see how it goes with Arden's crib skirt.

So, what are you working on?Link up your latest projects here and show everyone what you're making. You can share your projects in any state from start to finish. I'll keep the linky party open all week. Remember, you can also show off your "Little Stitches" projects anytime in the Undercover Crafter Sew-Along Group on Flickr. See you next week when I'll show you my latest finish.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 Finishes

As the first week of 2012 is coming to an end I thought I would hop onto the 2011 Finishes bandwagon before bringing myself into the new year. When I started thinking about all my finishes last year t struck me that I didn't have many quilts in that category. As I started looking through my photos I realized that there were a couple more than I realized but it was a light quilting year for me - although I do have several quilt tops from 2011 in the cue to finish this year. Swaps aside, since much of my sewing this year was swap related, as I've already showed you, I did venture into doing a few commission pieces this year for the first time. And as usual, all of my non-swap finishes were gifts for others, but at least one of those resides in my own home since it was a gift for my wonderful and amazing husband.

2011 Finishes

So 2011 was a more productive year that I thought when reflecting back in my own brain. And while the end of the year my sewing came (almost) to a screeching halt due to work, I'm anticipating that 2012 will be even better than the last. Here's to a creative and productive New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Year of Swaps


I just realized in all the craziness of the past few months I never got around to showing you all the beautiful pillow I received from Brittnay in the last round of the Pillow Talk Swap. She used gorgeous fabrics to create this stunning pillow for me and even included some extra fabric in the package. I'm such a lucky girl!




It got me thinking about all the amazing swaps I've participated in this year. And then I started counting... Ten. Yes. I participated in TEN swaps in 2011. Talk about crazy. Even before I reached that count I vowed to slow down in 2012 and I hold firm with that, but I don't regret any of the swaps from the past year. I love every single one of them. So I thought an end of the year recap was in order. First off check out all of the amazing swap packages I received this year...

There are so many talented people out there! To start off the year I received this wonderful apron and a matching towel from Megan. That towel (along with one I received from Darci the year before) lives on my oven and gets constant use. Then Shruti made me a very colorful sewing apron and a mini quilt that came all the way from India. Next I received a fabulous sewing machine cover for my Janome from Mary. Then, lucky me, all the way from Australia, Bek sent me these awesome linen and Echino placemats and coasters that grace our table every night. Back on the homefront I received another amazing sewing machine cover from Nichole. This one lives on my Baby Lock. Eventually, I got into the Pillow Talk Swap and received this cute Central Park inspired pillow from Safieh. And the gifts kept coming in the shape of a table runner from Kristy followed by linen napkins to match my placemats from Amber. Then a bath mat and embroidered wall hanging from Marie. Then the amazing pillow from Brittany to round out the year. Thank you to all of my amazing secret partners. I am constantly in awe of your talents!

And I was busy too! I made Sarah some Echino and linen placemats and napkins that made her "Spart!" Then I sent Wendi a pincushion and tread catcher with some nesting bags. For Meghan I made a cathedral window pillow and a DSLR camera strap our of some of her favorite fabrics. Karie received a circle table runner and come matching coasters. I made Missy the Soul Crushing table runner. And Wendy got a hexie and linen table runner with a matching dish towel. I was so excited when I got to make Darci the hexie pillow she had me in a swap in 2010 and it was fun to repay the favor. Dorte was obsessed with bags so I made one for her and filled it with goodies. Then I made a sewing machine cover for Leanne and I was Charlotte's angel and made her a floor cushion using her favorite Kona Orange. Finally, Cate received a lime and aqua pillow in my last swap of the year. It's been a very productive year I think.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Habitat Challenge Reveal

Last week we had our monthly LAMQG meeting and I was finally able to make it. The past couple months I've been absent because of work, but my friend Jay McCarroll was calling in via Skype on this one and I didn't want to miss it. It was also the chance for us all to reveal our finishes in the Habitat Challenge. This one tested my boundaries. I love Jay's Habitat line but using several of his prints all at the same time was a stretch for me creatively. I thought a lot about what I wanted to make for this challenge a lot before I dove into the project. Our guild had very simple ruled for this challenge:

1) We have to make something quilted, since we are a quilting guild.
2) We can add as many fabrics from the Habitat line as we like but the only other fabrics we're allowed to add are solids.


I decided that I wanted to make a pillow for the challenge for a couple of reasons. The main one being my schedule has been so out of control lately I didn't think that I would have the time to make a quilt and a pillow seemed the perfect thing. I focused on the fabrics a lot before I started cutting. I wanted to let the fabrics speak to me since they're very bold and have a definite voice. Honestly they're very much like their creator, Jay. Those are two of the things I admire very much about him. He's so super talented and honest and hes' not afraid to speak his mind.


I started thinking about curves as I looked at the fabric. And while I did do a little sketching, this was mostly improv pieced and I didn't know what the end result would look like when I started. It was a bit like jumping off the deep end. It wasn't until I started quilting that I allowed myself this kind of freedom with sewing. Usually I use patterns when I construct garments. Quilting has really pushed me to grow as a sewer. Even now I approach patterns in a different way and I'm not so handcuffed any more.


I didn't intend the piece to turn out as literal as it did. I started by using crisp, straight lines on the bottom and then the top was all curved piecing because I wanted it to have a different flow.


I did straight line quilting using Gutterman variegated yellow 100% cotton thread. I wanted it to feel like a starburst. Then I machine appliqued the circle over the top of the quilting. This wasn't to hide my points - actually they were almost perfect - instead it was deliberate and I wanted to break up the quilting with some "negative quilting" for lack of a better word.


I used Kona Ash on the back and laid in a zipper enclosure. At first I wasn't so sure about the finished product and all of the prints playing off each other the way they do. I even sent pictures to Natalie to get her feedback because I value her aesthetic and I wanted to make sure it wasn't ugly. It worked for me but it's definitely busy. In the end she convinced me to go with my gut.


It was definitely nerve-wracking to show it off to our entire guild and to Jay. There were so many absolutely amazing projects made by the incredibly talented members of our guild. But even more fear inducing was having Jay call me out in the middle of the meeting to chat with him while the votes were being tallied. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful to talk to him. It had been way too long since we last caught up properly and even longer since I've seen him, but it put a spotlight on me that I'm not used to. But it was so good too. I miss him to pieces. He's such an amazing guy! If you get a chance to work with some Habitat you really should! I am actually adding a little more to my stash. I think I see a Habitat dress in my near future.