Lucky Charm Pillow Top

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

I finished piecing the front of the  Lucky Charm Pillow cover a few days ago and am getting ready to baste (bleah!) and quilt.

Sewing the half hexies together was not that difficult, but I didn’t enjoy it. I don’t enjoy sewing rows together. That is how this project goes together, so I had to do it that way. When I sat down and focused, it really only took me less than an hour. I was slightly hampered by trying not to hit the edge of my sewing table with my boot, otherwise the process was smooth.

Lucky Charm pillow top completed
Lucky Charm pillow top completed

This isn’t a project I would make again, but the whole ‘getting to know the Jaybird rulers’ is a good experience.

Lucky Charm Sewing

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

Even though I am losing interest in this project, I am soldiering on. I decided to do it and I cut the half hexies for this pillow, so I am doing it.

Lucky Charm Sewing
Lucky Charm Sewing

I started sewing the half hexies together despite everything. They are looking pretty good despite my problems with cutting them. With my foot it was a hassle to get up and down to go to the ironing board, but at least I didn’t have to go to the large design wall as well.

I think it is starting to look ok. I have to make it into a pillow soon. I plan to use the Spoonflower instructions for adding a zipper instead of doing the overlapping closure. I think it will look tidier.

Lucky Charm Pillow Top Start

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

The Lucky Charm Pillow Top project for Journey 2 Nebula started last Tuesday. I wasn’t very excited about it. After working with hexagons a lot, I am over them. I was determined to do the project. I had to decide, first, what fabrics.

I watch the video and decided to use fabrics from the 5″ squares I have been cutting. These are not a charm pack. Since I don’t have a project in mind, I thought it would be a good time to use these patches. Sadly, I didn’t have a lot of purple, so I had to think again.

Lucky Charm Half Hexies cut
Lucky Charm Half Hexies cut

I did look through my charm packs to see if there was anything I could use. I found a pack of Hoffman batiks in a range from pink to purple, so I pulled out most of the purples and cut them up.

Now I either have to wait for the next video or read the pattern and figure out myself what to do next.

Tim’s Pillow

Tim's Cushion
Tim’s Cushion

I visited Tim last week for another transfer of quilts, etc. He showed me this awesome cushion he made. I really love the color choices.

Tim used the All People Quilt Play It Cool pattern and took inspiration from their color choices as well.

Of course, there is a lot of turquoise, but the combination of the splatter print and the greys are really great. The darks anchor the overall design and the pink gives it a little pop. I just love it.

Tim's Zipper installation
Tim’s Zipper installation

I am so impressed with Tim’s zipper, too. Look how perfect that looks!!! I need to practice to do so well.

I am surrounded by people who provide excellent inspiration. I feel very fortunate.

Under the Sea Pillow FINISHED!

Under the Sea Pillow Finished- front
Under the Sea Pillow Finished- front

Yep. It’s true. I have finished the Under the Sea piece after many years of working on it. I can hardly believe it.

I am so thrilled that I have one hand project that is finally done. Granted, I could have just said “this is done” and moved on, but projects speak to me and this one was very chatty. I finally feel like it is really and truly done – enough embroidery, enough embellishment, enough stitching.

Under the Sea Pillow Finished- back
Under the Sea Pillow Finished- back

As I have said, I started this piece in a Pamela Allen class in April of 2009. I hope it was worth 10 years of work (not constant work).

The London Portfolio fabric seems to fit the front pretty well and I am pleased with the black binding.

This was not an easy project to finish and included a lot of ripping out, but like Beach Town and the Flower Garden, I am pleased with the style of working and the results. Pamela Allen is a design genius and if you want to learn to design quilts, she is a great teacher.

Merit Hexie Pillow Finished

Merit Hexie Pillow
Merit Hexie Pillow

I totally forgot to post the finished version of my merit hexie pillow. The last time I posted about this was on April 4!

I don’t know exactly when I finished it, but it was not long after April 4.

I had to take all the papers out before appli-quilting them on to the background.

I also forgot to show it at the guild meeting. I’ll bring it with the Walking Foot WOW pillow (another thing I forgot to bring to show and tell) to the next meeting.

BAM Pillow Swap

BAMaQG Pillow Swap entry
BAMaQG Pillow Swap entry

I needed to rest at the beginning of March, but knew I had a pillow swap to finish by the April meeting. My recipient’s color preferences were listed as:

  • Green (lime, pickle)
  • magenta
  • orange
  • white

I wanted to be sure my design was modern, fit the desires of the recipient and wasn’t too difficult to piece. I immediately thought of the Alison Glass fabrics I used for the Triple Star. Except for the white, I thought those fabrics would fit well with the desired color scheme.

I had a pillow I thought was made by my pal Amanda stuck in my mind. I asked her about it and she suggested Pinterest. I immediately found the design for which I was looking – the X Plus O block. Once I had the name, I found a lot of examples and spent a happy hour laying on the couch and looking at them.I also found an example that I thought would be good inspiration.

Before I could really sew again, I worked on the design using EQ8. I was able to play with the size and get the elements right.

Maria's BAM Pillow Swap in process
Maria’s BAM Pillow Swap in process

After I could sew again, I went back to working on my Sew Together Bag project. In the middle of that project, I needed a break, but didn’t want to reset my machine for piecing. I knew that if I did, I would have three more UFOs and another year would pass before I could give the gifts. Cutting was a good idea, so I cut out all of the pieces.

One of the helpful parts of EQ8 is the ability to print out rotary cutting directions. I found a bug in the process of doing this, which I reported to the Electric Quilt Company. It turned out not to be a bug; they don’t consider a lozenge shape to rotary cuttable. I was able to figure out the size to cut a square as I plan to use the flippy corners method or the Simple Folded Corners Ruler.

I also used the Spoonflower zipper installation instructions. I acually watched the video and found it to be really helpful. I am pleased with how my pillow’s zipper closure came out, though I had to redo it a couple of times. I think the problem was the zipper foot I used. I used the flat snap on zipper foot. I didn’t feel like I could get as close to the zipper as I like. As a result I didn’t catch the seam allowance, which makes a closed up area around the zipper. I should have used the tall, skinny foot. I am used to it. I didn’t use it because I was sick of installing feet and resetting settings on my machine. I paid the price.

BAM Pillow Swap Recipients
BAM Pillow Swap Recipients

We exchanged yesterday and everyone did a wonderful job. I am behind Christina, but you can see my pillow over my head.

Merit Hexie Pillow

Merit Hexie Pillow Layout
Merit Hexie Pillow Layout

As you know we have been earning merit hexies in the guild. I had a few minutes before I had to get ready to go out, so I designed a layout for my 2017 merit hexies.

I used the leftover basted sandwich from the Walking Foot WOW class. I laid out my hexies in a couple of pleasing ways and finally decided on this layout.

I pinned everything in place and will begin appliqueing the hexies down soon. I might have another chance to install a zipper!

Walking Foot WOW Pillow Cover

Walking Foot WOW pillowcover
Walking Foot WOW pillowcover

Over a year ago, I took a Walking Foot WOW! workshop with Mel Beach. I finished a walking foot sampler in the class that has been hanging around. After finishing a pillow cover on Friday, I was looking for a way to practice the zipper installation method I discovered on Spoonflower. The first installation took me much longer than the video, so I knew I needed practice.

The sampler was on my list and I decided it was a good day to make it into a pillow. The pillowcovers I made 5 years ago are starting to fray at the edges. I am surprised they have lasted this long.

WFW Pillow zipper Installation
WFW Pillow zipper Installation

The zipper installation went a lot better. I used the regular zipper foot and not the flat snap-on version I used on Friday. The regular zipper foot is a pain to get on and off, but is a lot easier to line up with the zipper itself and the stitching.

Everything wasn’t all peaches and roses. I still need practice. The zipper isn’t centered between the stitching, but I was able to catch the seam allowance on the first try, which was a problem last time. I like this method. It looks much more professional than the flap method.

Anyway, I am pleased with the way this pillow came out and am planning on working on another pillow with my 2017 Merit Hexies.

California Pillow

California Pillow
California Pillow

I finally made the pillow I intended to make from the panel Mrs. K sent me.

I feel like such a slacker. This panel has been hanging around since …. I don’t know…. months? I do keep sewing, so I can’t be that much of a slacker, right?

We do not have to raise money this year at Grand Parlor, so I made this pillow for one of our friends who does not get support from his Parlor to attend Grand Parlor. He is running for Grand 3rd VP and needs all the help he can get.

California Pillow back
California Pillow back

Yes, I pulled out some Pointillist Palette fabric, after being inspired by my SIL. I can’t hoard it. I have to get the 4th Pointillist Palette quilt done and use this great fabric. Since I had it out to use for Kelly’s Color My Quilt piece, I decided this pillow would work as another effort at using it.

The back is pretty plain, but I do like that blue. I wish I had written down what it was (usually I write the brand and color on the selvedge) as I could look for more. I didn’t so, it will be a mystery.

NSGW Pillows

NSGW 2016 Grand Parlor Pillows
NSGW 2016 Grand Parlor Pillows

We skipped last year, but are back in the saddle this year with more pillows.

NSGW 2016 Grand Parlor Fancy Pillow
NSGW 2016 Grand Parlor Fancy Pillow

I have to admit that SIL2 did most of the work. I did a little cutting, supplied some fabric, then, was out of time. I had so much to do to get ready for Grand Parlor. I couldn’t get this done. SIL2 stepped in and did the rest. The pillow above looks REALLY elegant. The gold fabric isn’t too showy. It will go well in a really decorated living room.

NSGW 2016 Grand Parlor California Fabric Pillow
NSGW 2016 Grand Parlor California Fabric Pillow

This year we decided to put years on them so they would be more special — limited editions. We used leftover fabric from the shirts we made for DH and BIL3.

NSGW Grand Parlor 2016 Pillows - backs
NSGW Grand Parlor 2016 Pillows – backs

As in previous years, these pillows will be raffled off to raise money to support kids needing surgery for craniofacial anomalies. You can make a donation to the Cleft Palate Foundation directly (tax deductible) without being at Grand Parlor. Sorry, no pillows for a straight donation.

Finished: NSGW Pillows

RAL's NSGW Pillows
RAL’s NSGW Pillows

You might remember that I mentioned that I made my BIL give up his winning pillow at Grand Parlor with the promise that I would make him one. The pillow forms were clogging up my fabric closet (and creating or encouraging Fabri-lanches), so I finally got busy with them last week.

Right after Grand Parlor, my SIL sent me the embroideries. She made about five (I still have some generic versions). She did an exceptional job personalizing the two larger embroideries to reflect BIL’s office. I am really pleased with how the logo pillow came out.

First, I had  to get the forms. I went to Joann with a coupon and bought 16″ pillow forms, which BIL favors. I also mentioned the project to my mom and she came over with a travel size pillow form. Suddenly the project went from 1 to 3 pillows!

Next, when I had a few minutes, I cut the batting and pinned the embroideries to the batting. Some of the batting scraps I was using were too small, which required some Frankenbatting. I bought some of the batting tape from the Fat Quarter Shop recently and tried it out. It worked like a charm. Yes, it is another notion and I could have zigzagged the two pieces of batting together, but I this method worked out very well and there is no lump, which I can’t seem to avoid when I zigzag.

Later in the week I started sewing. Pretty much I used scraps from my scrap bin for the strips, which was great. Some of the strips were pieced together to make them long enough, but I had some longish strips from the previous pillows, so there is some continuity.

Again, I used the Pointillist Palette fabric for the back (Mrs. K to the rescue again!).

I hope BIL likes them. I guess I have to go work on quilts now.

NSGW Pillows…Again

As you read this, I have hopefully just returned from another Grand Parlor. With any luck, I did not say something stupid and embarrass DH. With a little more luck and some preparation, I looked nice and people spent a lot of money for Cleft Palate buying raffle tickets to win the pillows. I am writing it in advance so I don’t have to worry about posting wearing high heels and lipstick. 😉

These were on my radar. Really they were. My BIL asked me to make them in plenty of time and I agreed. I really had no mental problem making them. Not much of a problem anyway. I don’t like making pillows and I always seem to have some problem making them. I just didn’t start them.

Eventually, the pillows really and truly entered my consciousness. I asked DH when we were leaving for Grand Parlor. I have been having a problem lately fitting where I am in space and time with the actual days of the week. I am not sure what that is about. I blame the months and a change in schedule. They seem really long lately. Anyway, I asked DH when we were leaving and he said May 18. I realized that I had a week (Yes, 1 week!!!) since we were talking on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

So, I got started. I spent most of the day on Sunday (Mother’s Day) making pillows.

Fabrics for Pillows
Fabrics for Pillows

First things first, I got DH to approve the fabrics. These aren’t what I would have chosen, but he knows the constituency, so I trusted his judgement.

He wanted a color scheme of blue and red and another of blue and yellow. I thought about making sets of two, though I don’t know if that is the way the pillows will be raffled.

Mrs. K. saved my bacon by sending me more of the Pointillist Palette blue. I know she didn’t even intend to send it for the pillows. It is an old fabric and one that got me hooked on quilt fabric and building a stash. She sent me some reserves recently, I think, as a subtle way of encouraging me to finish the series of Pointillist Palette quilts. 😉 [As an aside, I found some of the blocks for the next in the PP series of quilts which means I can get started on them again.]

She saved me, however, because I am mostly out of dark blue prints. I don’t buy or use them much and whatever I did have I used for the Stars for San Bruno quilts. I didn’t think I had any dark blue and then I saw the one on the top in the above photo. It is perfect and DH approved.

Tension Problem
Tension Problem

I noticed that SIL had a tension problem on one of the embroidered panels. Tension issues happen, even in the best of circumstances. We all know that. I didn’t think that people would notice immediately, but I also didn’t want any awkward questions later.

I had recently used my fabric markers, so I pulled them out. No brown. A number of them had dried up and had to be thrown out. The brown must have been among them. I have another set, but I couldn’t find it, then I remembered the Staedler set I received for my birthday a few years ago.

I carefully colored over the parts of the N (see above in the poppy panel) and the A with the brown. If you look closely you will see that the brown of the thread and the brown of the marker do not match. It is a very slight difference and I don’t think the Muggles will notice.

Then I just started sewing. I forgot to use batting, so the blocks are a bit thin, but I think they will be ok. I’ll try to remember for next time.

Yellow & Blue NSGW Pillows
Yellow & Blue NSGW Pillows

One issue turned out to be that I didn’t have the forms. My SIL bought the forms and originally I thought I would just give her the cases, she would stuff them and all would be well. I got nervous, though and worried that they wouldn’t fit. I needed to check the sizing to be sure they weren’t saggy or too small.

To alleviate my fear, she brought them over and, fortunately, the forms she bought worked with the pillow covers I made. I didn’t have to make any adjustments.

Red & Blue NSGW Pillows
Red & Blue NSGW Pillows

I really had to sew a lot less than I thought. I did a good job cutting the embroideries apart so they were fairly close to the finished size of the pillow forms. I had way more fabric than I needed.

I finished the last bits, stuffed them and took them to Grand Parlor where I told the boys to charge a lot for the tickets. The proceeds of the raffle went to the Charitable Foundation. We had a separate sale of pins and bracelets for Prostate Cancer Awareness (BIL has it).

2014 NSGW Pillows Complete
2014 NSGW Pillows Complete

You can see photos from the event on Flickr or read more about the event on another blog.