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.

Native Sons Pillows

How I Receive the Embroideries
How I Receive the Embroideries

Yes, I am doing pillows again.

DH is firmly ensconced in his position on the Executive Board of the Native Sons of the Golden West, so I was off the hook last year in terms of making pillows. The last time I made them was in 2012. They are extremely popular and I got a lot of questions last year about whether I had made any. It is kind empowering having control of an item that people really want. It is also shocking that others don’t make pillows for this event. People really like them.

DH’s Grand Presidential year is approaching and he needs a Marshall. The Marshall is an Executive Board position in which the guy makes sure he has the names of all the “dignitaries” correct, knows whether the dignitaries have a wife, girlfriend or daughter along as companion and that the AV equipment works at any given function. He passes all the relevant information to the Grand President. This position votes in Board votes and has a say in discussions as well. As I understand it, of course. DH asked his brother, which means there will be a Hospitality Suite this year with all the trappings of a political campaign: portable bar, raffles and lots of hand shaking.

NSGW Pillow Embroidery
NSGW Pillow Embroidery

I was, apparently, first on his list for the raffle requests. His mom and a neighbor always make gift baskets. He asked me at least a month and a half ago to make pillows and he wanted four. No problem, right? Pillows don’t take that long to make, but I always seem to have problems making them. They are also very popular and bring in a lot of money for Cleft Palate. I also like having my work ‘out there’ for the Muggles (as Frances says) to see. The more people we have admiring handmade work, the better.

I immediately emailed my SIL with examples from previous years and she agreed to do the embroideries. She couldn’t do them until May 6 as she was heading off to graduation for our niece in Michigan. No problem.

NSGW Pillow Embroidery
NSGW Pillow Embroidery

We don’t, yet, have a .blf file (I think???) of the logo of the Native Sons, so SIL uses various embroidery motifs to come up with suitable designs for the embroidered panels. The software that works for her machine is so much more sophisticated than the embroidery module on my 9000. I never did get the software for it, but I am glad I didn’t spend the money as embroidery software has gotten so much easier to use, more workable with a computer and, generally, so much more sophisticated.

The bear, the California flag and the outline of the state work well and are popular. Even though we don’t have the official logo, once we add the name, people seem to like these designs.

NSGW Pillow Embroidery
NSGW Pillow Embroidery

While I can take very little credit for the designs, SIL and I worked together on some designs when I was in DC in 2011. The pictures I emailed her were from that trip, I believe, though they could have been from the 2012 pillows. The designs are similar.

I got SIL’s work on the 7th or 8th of May. The first thing was to cut the embroidered panels apart into squares.

Then piece the panels to the right size, then put the back on.

Done.

NSGW Pillow Embroidery
NSGW Pillow Embroidery

Go to the conference and have people fling money at the raffle box.

HA! Hopefully I will have no problems.

 

First Finish of 2014

Tea towel pillow
Tea towel pillow

A few years ago, TFQ gave me a tea towel which I thought was too pretty to cover with kitchen yuck. i really liked the motifs, which echo,in shape, if not color, the Tarts Come to Tea. It hung over the door of the fabric closet for quite awhile. The door of the fabric closet is a hybrid inspiration wall and I-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-this-but-haven’t-gotten-to-it space. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with the tea towel, but one day it came to me that I could fold it over and make a pillow.

I sewed it as described except for a space to stuff it last week. It was a quick trip around the edge with white thread. Yesterday I stuffed it with a combination of shards and tiny scraps and leftover batting. Then, I sewed it together on the machine.Voila! back pillow.

I really like finishing something on New Year’s Day as I like to think it sets the tone for the year. We will see.

Tea towel pillow - back
Tea towel pillow – back

NSGW Pillows

NSGW Pillows
NSGW Pillows

I was back in pillow hell on Monday, except that it wasn’t really hellish. I made four pillows using embroidery panels my SIL and I created on her embroidery machine when I was in Maryland/DC last year. My part in that was saying yes or no to colors of thread and whether the letters should be curved or not. She is the embroidery queen and I was just her humble assistant.

Embroidery panel (1 of 4)
Embroidery panel (1 of 4)

While I was in Maryland, we made a few pillows for the Native Daughters, of which we are both lurker members, but I took the embroidered panels home to make the Native Sons pillows later. As I have mentioned, my DH in on the Board of Trustees of a non-profit. When they are running for off their parlor (e.g. chapter) sponsors a hospitality suite at the Grand Parlor (e.g. annual conference). In the hospitality suite, they play cards, offer liquid refreshments and raise money for their Cleft Palate charity using raffles. For the past year or two, since DH has been running, I have made pillows for him to raffle off. They were wildly popular the first year and he raised a record amount for the charity.

Guess what?

“Later” is this weekend! Can you say last minute? I wasn’t planning on spending my day off making pillows, but this coming Saturday would be even more last minute, so I did the job. I was prepared for drama and there was none. I think I only had to rip out one seam. I measured correctly, counted properly and generally made 4 pillows in record time.

Batting Foundation
Batting Foundation

The big difference was that Cathy, my SIL, suggested using batting as a foundation. It makes the block look nice and gives the maker a goal. You cut the batting the size (including seam allowance, so if finished is 14″ you cut the batting 14.5″, etc) you want the pillow and then sew on top of it. I don’t know how this would work if you didn’t have a flip and sew friendly pattern, but I am sure there is a way to figure that out.

Anyway, the pillows are done and packaged ready to head to NSGW Grand Parlor. DH was pleased and I am going to the dentist and then am going to work on something fun that doesn’t feel like “quilt work.”

The Sunday Stash Report (a la Pam at Hip to be a Square podcast) is 2 yards. More on that later.

Nota bene: if you think there are photos missing, there are. I am having trouble uploading some pictures to the blog. Check back later. It will be resolved eventually.

Visiting

As I have mentioned around the web, I was on the East Coast last week. I don’t like to announce the fact that I am going to be gone, so I apologize if anyone was confused. I was at a conference for my job, which you might remember if you heard Creative Mojo (I promise to stop mentioning this eventually). If you didn’t hear Creative Mojo, you can listen to the podcast.

Mark & Jaye
Mark & Jaye

One of the things I did back East was co-host the Creative Mojo podcast with Mark Lipinski. I was really nervous and even more nervous when he posted on FB that he had been admitted to the hospital early that week. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen and wondered if I would find a note on the door with a key telling me how to turn on the headset and microphone so that I could fill in for him. Fortunately for me (and all of you!) Mark is a consummate professional with the motto of “the show must go on.” He was working on the script when I arrived, so Jeff entertained me. Jeff Turner has a smile that lights up the room. Toby, Mark’s friend and the owner of the Kindred Quilts, was also there to talk about creative book clubs. I thought it was funny that they were both from, or had lived in, California! Small world!

Mark came down when he was done with the script and told me what to do. I had to read or review a bit of a couple of the books whose authors would be on the show. I also had to read an article from another author and think of comments to interject. I also had to read the script and be familiar with the way the show would go.

Mark's House
Mark's House

Mark’s house is gorgeous. On Quilt Out Loud, Mark’s house looks like a mansion. In reality, there are a lot of rooms, but it seems to be well proportioned. The colors they used to paint the rooms are wonderful and bold. The hall is a bright citron green. The living room is bordering on a warm white, but has a tinge of orange or yellow. The living room, as are all the rooms, so beautifully decorated. They look like a decorator did them, but there is no feeling of not being able to sit down. The living room is very comfy as well as well put together. The guest bath is a light purple and Mark’s office is a wonderful sunshiney yellow. Mark’s office is filled with books. I kept getting distracted during the podcast looking at his books. He and I have a lot of the same books. His are not piled on the floor (note to self: get a new bookshelf!), but well organized in cube cubbies.

Mark talks a lot about his hoarding tendencies. While I did see the Pod (he wouldn’t let me in), I didn’t see any hoarding tendencies. House Beautiful could walk into his house and start a photo shoot. I felt funny taking photos of the inside, so I didn’t and I would have stayed longer except Mark really looked like he needed to go to bed.

The show went really fast and I had a lot of fun doing it. All I did to become the co-host was email Mark and I was in. It was fun.

The highlight of the trip was visiting with my SIL and the family. My BIL is a great cook and has no problem substituting to help me deal with my food intolerances. I really enjoy visiting with my SIL. We usually do a sewing or quilting project. We really work well together and it made me think of how much I like working with certain other quiltmakers on projects.

TFQ is another with whom I enjoy working. She and I work really well together, too. Remember the Cheerful Baskets? She has a great (can’t say this enough) sense of color and is good at giving me the pieces to sew in an orderly manner. I wish they both lived closer, but I also enjoy going to visit. I wish it were easier to visit.

I always learn something new when SIL and I sew together. She has a large workspace which allows two people to work together without stepping on each other. SIL has a pseudo-professional stand-alone embroidery machine. She has been having fun making Christmas ornaments, Boy Scout patches and other things with it. She had an idea for the NSGW pillows, so we played around with the software that comes with the machine and designed some motifs.

Chain piecing pillow covers
Chain piecing pillow covers

She stitched them out (well, caused them to be stitched out) while I was at the conference. When I returned, we made them into pillows. When I made the last Teacher pillows I thought that I should quilt them, but was really too lazy. SIL reminded me about the quilt-as-you-go method, so I used that to quilt and sew the tops simultaneously. The good thing about that method is that you can make the back as big as the pillow form and then you know where to stop. The other good thing is that you can use up random bits of batting.

NDGW Pillow Cover #1
NDGW Pillow Cover #1
NDGW Pillow Cover #2
NDGW Pillow Cover #2
Ruth's NDGW Pillow Cover
Ruth's NDGW Pillow Cover

We made 2 pillows for the Native Daughters’ (sister organization to the Native Sons for women) upcoming convention and one for my MIL (SIL’s mom). The one for my MIL was a bit of a mistake. We felt like we didn’t have quite enough fabric for it, so we didn’t want to make it for the grand Parlor. However, once the piece was finished we really liked the way it came it out and my adjust what we do in the future to take what we learned into consideration. We also embroidered 3 additional centers for pillows for the Native Sons raffle pillows for next year. I hope I don’t put them somewhere where I can’t find them!

Mosaic Block
Mosaic Block

We also worked a little bit with SIL’s  new Accuquilt Go Baby cutter. She had some parallelograms she had cut and we wanted to try the Jinny Beyer Perfect Piecer. In looking for a comprehensive video on using the Perfect Piecer, we found a video with an interesting block called Mosaic (I kind of doubt that is the real name, but I haven’t looked it up and I could be wrong) using parallelograms. She cut and intended to sew, but she was busy picking out greens for a green quilt, so I sewed. I am now an Accuquilt Go convert. Those patches lined up perfectly and there was only one small point matching problem.

In Lancaster County, we had bought fabric for a shirt for my BIL, so we worked on that, too. I was her assistant on that project since I am not much of a garment maker. I like it when I get to sew on my work-vacations.

Capital Quilts
Capital Quilts

SIL saw the above quilt, which is a 9 patch alternated with a snowball block. You can buy the pattern or take the class at Capital Quilts.

Sisto's Star Table Runner
Sisto's Star Table Runner

Sisto’s had a couple of nice quilts available for us to view as well. This looks paper pieced, but it could also be done, I think, with Y seams (at which you all will be experts after you work on the hexagons.

Tilted 9 Patch
Tilted 9 Patch

If you don’t mind sewing on the bias, this looks like you could make regular 9 patches and then trim them to be tilted.

Link to the 30's
Link to the 30's

This quilt is from the book, Link to the 30’s, which we saw hanging in Sisto’s Janome room. You can probably buy the book by calling Sisto’s. It is a book, along with the previous volume, that I have been thinking of buying. It is a project book, but the quilts aren’t all ‘quick & easy’. I thought it was done very well and I liked the way the blocks were not chopped off.

Link to the 30's - detail
Link to the 30's - detail

I wasn’t able to quickly discern the block so I took the detail above. I would have to look at the quilt closer to see the block and I simply wasn’t tall enough.

In case you are wondering about the conference I attended, it was great. it was a lot of work in terms of listening and understanding and bringing information back to my workplace. Not interesting in terms of quiltmaking, though.

Finished: More Pillows

Simply Pillows class project from 1999
Simply Pillows class project from 1999

These pillows have been languishing in my fabric closet for so long they weren’t even on my WIP list. They were yelling at me very loudly on Saturday after I finished the Teacher Pillows. I was inclined to work on them since they were taking up valuable floor space in my fabric closet.

The class I took at the Sewing Workshop was called Simply Pillows and Linda Lee taught the class. I took the class in 1999. Most people didn’t piece their pillows, but since I was enamored with quiltmaking I decided to piece my pillows. We learned to do piping and the striped piping on the pillow above was already done when I took the pieces out of the bag on the weekend. I had to sew one seam and I was done. It is pathetic that I let this project languish for so long.

Actually, I was kind of surprised that I took the class in 1999, because I thought for sure I had taken it when I lived closer, but the dates are in my handwriting on the folder. Very strange.

Simply Pillows Class Project #2
Simply Pillows Class Project #2

The hourglass pillow did not finish as intended. I put on some piping, which was in the bag of supplies. I found out that the back wouldn’t fit, because, apparently, I needed to trim the front of the pillow before adding the piping. I took off the piping and just sewed the back to the front and called it done.

Enough pillows already!

Finished: Teacher Pillows 2011

Whenever I finish the Teacher Pillow Project, I always feel a little sad. This is even after ripping half my hair out and spending way more time than I wanted in the process. Crazy, I know.Somehow the end result of a little pile of pillows is wonderful. And this is the last year I am doing this. The Young Man goes to high school next year and, except for special occasions or for special recognition, I am resolved to not make this many pillows again. (I know you are thinking “Famous Last Words.” Stop thinking that!)

2011 Teacher Pillow Group
2011 Teacher Pillow Group

This year I had 5 pillows to make, but decided, as I talked about yesterday, to also make a pillow for the Art Teacher, leaving me with a total of 6 pillows to make.

2011 Religion Teacher Pillow
2011 Religion Teacher Pillow
Religion Teacher Back
Religion Teacher Back

I made a Greek Cross (pg.72) block for the 8th grade Religion Teacher.

2011 Science Teacher Pillow
2011 Science Teacher Pillow
2011 Science Teacher Pillow back
2011 Science Teacher Pillow back

The Science Teacher got a Big T (pg.37) block. Do you like the label? It is an exploding test tube. The Young Man’s goal of blowing something up in science class has not yet been achieved.

2011 Art Teacher Pillow
2011 Art Teacher Pillow
2011 Art Teacher Pillow back
2011 Art Teacher Pillow back

Art will receive a Martha Washington Star (pg.85). I really like the back that the Young Man did for her. Very appropriate, I think.

2011 SS & Reading Teacher Pillow
2011 SS & Reading Teacher Pillow
2011 SS & Reading Teacher Pillow back
2011 SS & Reading Teacher Pillow back

The Social Studies and Reading Teacher will also receive a Martha Washington Star. Look familiar? I was feeling uninspired. Now I think I should have  made the block red, white and black, but I am not remaking it. I don’t know what the back means. Perhaps an inside joke?

2011 English/Literature Teacher Pillow
2011 English/Literature Teacher Pillow
2011 English/Literature Teacher Pillow back
2011 English/Literature Teacher Pillow back

English and Literature received a basket block pillow last year and she will receive the above Grape Basket (pg.71) this year. The fabrics and colors goes with the block I made last year. This basket block was a bit of pain. I have made a number of basket blocks and this one went together very strangely. When I had finished putting it together, I looked at it and thought that I would have done it differently, had I known.

2011 Math Teacher Pillow
2011 Math Teacher Pillow
2011 Math Teacher Pillow back
2011 Math Teacher Pillow back

The Math teacher will receive a Free Trade block (pg.67). see a theme here with the Sawtooth Star variations? Again, I was uninspired. The fabrics go with some I used last year. Hope she likes pink. The back depicts Pi out to a lot of digits.

In years past, I have also given the Resource teacher a pillow, but this year she is getting a quilt.

Nota bene: All the blocks are from a book called Around the Block. It is out of print, but has been been reprinted with v.2 and v.3 in a book called 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks. Very worthwhile purchase. I would have a hard time living without this book.

Teacher Pillows 2011 Progress

Art Teacher Pillow
Art Teacher Pillow
Religion Teacher Pillow
Religion Teacher Pillow

I will be glad when this project is done. I wanted to finish last week, but there was too much going on. I thought I could make some progress this past week in the evenings. No joy there either. Today, I am supposed to be resting, because of this cold that I am trying to have not turn into the flu.

And this is the last year for bulk pillow making. I still have to make the raffle pillows for the Native Sons and I may make a pillow every once in a while for a special teacher, but that is it. If I go back on my word feel free to remind me.

Anyway, the above pillow is for the art teacher. She has been a rock for the Young Man and has really encouraged his creativity and has encouraged his style. The pattern is Martha Washington Star from Around the Block.

The blue and yellow pillow is Greek Cross for the religion teacher. It actually came out really well. I used my last IKEA pillow form and kind of like those forms. I wanted more robust forms, but the ones I bought are REALLY really firm and forced me to make the pillow covers a bit bigger.

Raffle Pillows

2011 NSGW Raffle Pillows
2011 NSGW Raffle Pillows

I explained the whole deal about these pillows a few days ago.

Last Friday I needed to clear off my sewing table (do you see a theme of Spring Cleaning here again?) before I did anything else.

The pillow tops were already pinned to the backs, so I really just had to sew around the edges and do a little trimming. Since it was easy, I did it and now they are done and I can cross this task off my to do list. I can’t tell you how good this makes me feel. I am not sewing like a demon at the last minute! Hooray!

2011 NSGW Seal Pillow #2
2011 NSGW Seal Pillow #2
2011 NSGW Bear Flag Pillow #1
2011 NSGW Bear Flag Pillow #1
2011 NSGW Seal Pillow #1
2011 NSGW Seal Pillow #1
2011 NSGW Bear Flag Pillow #2
2011 NSGW Bear Flag Pillow #2

Pillow Time Again

NSGW Pillow #1 - 2011
NSGW Pillow #1 - 2011

This is the first first of a series of pillows I will be making over the next month.

My DH is an executive board member for a California organization called the Native Sons of the Golden West. In addition to supporting the preservation of California history, they raise money to help people suffering from facial deformities such as Cleft Palette. During their elections, each of the candidates opens a hospitality room. They do their best to raise the most money for Cleft Palette. To do this they display items, such as gift baskets, for sale. People purchase raffle tickets or bid on items. The competition to put out the best items is fierce, because each candidate wants to draw the most people to hospitality room. They get kudos for the amount of money they raise.

Last year, the pillows were a big hit. People bought many tickets and when I made a brief appearance for the Grand Ball, people wanted to place orders for pillows. I told them they had to buy raffle tickets. The pillows and the gift baskets put together for DH raised over $600 to donate to the NSGW Foundation. Get a donation form on their website.

The Young Man was visiting his grama so I spent time (when I was not doing Easter stuff) working on the pillows. I did a kind of log cabin design around the printed flag and emblem with leftover strips from various projects that are piling up on my desk for the Spiderweb.

I have all of the pillow tops done, but haven’t made the backs for all of them.

2010 Teacher Pillows

Yes, it is Teacher Pillow time of year. I had resolved to not leave it until the last minute, but being in bed with a nasty virus for over week did not assist me in my resolve.

I made one pillow last weekend after I was feeling a little better. I also made a block during the week for one of the pillow tops, but spent the better part of Friday finishing them up. School is out on Friday, so I had to get it done.

Resource Teacher Pillow
Resource Teacher Pillow

Above is the pillow for the Resource Teacher. She has been working with The Child for the past four years. She has made my life a lot better, because she gets The Child. She has provided support that I wasn’t getting from the lower school resource teacher (through no fault of his own).  I will be VERY sad not work with her anymore.

Every year I pull out the same fabrics and make a different block. Now she has a set. I am thinking of making a quillow next year. I have never done that, but my SIL is an expert and I can draw on her expertise.

I was surprised to see that lozenge design show up in the middle of the block. I amy have miscolored the blocks when I sewed the pieces together. The block is called Crockett’s Cabin in Around the Block. That lozenge shape is very appealing and I am wondering if it would work for a FOTY piece?

Literature Teacher Pillow
Literature Teacher Pillow

As The Child has moved up in the grades, I spend less time in the classroom, thus I know the teachers less and less. I try to get a sense of the colors of the teachers and it is very difficult when I have only spoken to them 3-4 times. The literature teacher, who also happened to be The Child’s homeroom teacher had a hard year this year. She was out for four months at the beginning of the year, because of the death in her family. I thought The Child would have a hard transition when she came back to school, but he took to her like a duck to water.  He liked her because “she doesn’t think she knows everything” and I found her to be a very intuitive teacher. I don’t know if the above colors or design are her style, but they are what immediately came to mind when I thought of her. I hope she likes it.

Literature Teacher Pillow-back
Literature Teacher Pillow-back

I force The Child to do a little drawing for each of his teachers. He had a hard time this year. He is getting out of creative practice and I have to get on him about that. (N.B. I blacked the names to protect the innocent!)

Making the backs fit is the most time consuming part. I couldn’t seem to get it right on any of them. This one is actually sideways on the pillow. I figured that nobody would care, if they even noticed.

Social Studies Teacher
Social Studies Teacher

I really hope she doesn’t sincerely dislike purple. This block, in Around the Block, is called Star of Hope. It looks to me like a basic Ohio Star. I don’t really believe that blocks should have different names just because they have been recolored. I haven’t taken the time to look this up in the Jinny Beyer’s new book, The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns.

Social Studies Teacher - back
Social Studies Teacher - back

The Child kind of got into his drawing after a bit. He has a subtle sense of humor. I thought this drawing was very funny. Do you get it?

Science Teacher
Science Teacher

I mentioned on Tuesday that I found some fabrics I didn’t really like while I was cutting FOTY pieces. A couple of the above fabrics are those fabrics. However, the Science Teacher is male and I have not had the opportunity to make pillows for many male teachers. I found these fabrics to be great for a science man. I think they look a bit like rocks. I only had a fat quarter of each, so I had to add some others and I don’t have any to match next year, but may continue with the rock theme.

Science Teacher-back
Science Teacher-back

You can see that The Child got on to a roll with his drawings as he progressed through them.

The drawings are done on an 8.5×11″ piece of paper. First I fold the paper into quarters and then I draw pencil lines to mark the seam allowances. I also make a note as to which rectangle on the paper goes to which teacher. This year I also put in the name and the year. The Child knows now to keep within the seam allowance

Math Teacher
Math Teacher

In the past, The Child has chose the blocks for each teacher. This year he didn’t really care that much, so I mostly chose them. He was adamant about what he wanted for the math teacher. He saw the piece of pie I appliqued on the Tarts Come to Tea piece. He was adamant that he wanted that on the math teacher’s pillow. This is the first time I have done applique’ for a teacher.

Math Teacher-back
Math Teacher-back

The Child kept with the Pie/Pi theme for the back. Again with the sense of humor!

So done for another! YAY! I am going to a party today, but am going to find a fun project to work on tomorrow. I am glad I soldiered through and don’t have this project hanging around for tomorrow, except for the wrapping and the card writing.

I have to admit that I am sick of this project. There is only one year left and I am finished. I am not doing them for high school. I don’t think it is really appropriate and would embarrass The Child, but there are also too many teachers.

It is funny how you think something is a good idea and then a tradition and expectations start, which turns the fun into a chore.

I do enjoy looking through Around the Block and picking out the blocks to use. I am tempted to make blocks for next year’s pillows while I have the fabric out and just tuck them away until April or May so I have less to do next year. We’ll see.

Auction Throw Pillows

NSGW Pillows
NSGW Pillows

My DH is an executive board member for a California organization called the Native Sons of the Golden West. In addition to supporting the preservation of California history, they raise money to help people suffering from facial deformities such as Cleft Palette. During their elections, each of the candidates opens a hospitality room. They do their best to raise the most money for Cleft Palette. To do this they display items, such as gift baskets, for sale. People purchase raffle tickets or bid on items. The competition to put out the best items is fierce, because each candidate wants to draw the most people to hospitality room. They get kudos for the amount of money they raise.

NSGW logo pillow
NSGW logo pillow

DH comes from a long line of ‘Brothers’ and his mother rallies her friends to make up the gift baskets. I told him I would make throw pillows. He found the designs and fixed up the images. When I was ready to make them, I printed them on fabric, and last weekend made the pillows.

California Flag pillow
California Flag pillow

The hardest part was the color. I needed colors to match the logos, which were slightly greyed. I used some older fabrics. I am pleased with how the pillows came out.

When I did the printing, the first print came out in greyscale. DH had selected, at some point in the process of fiddling with the images, to print in greyscale. I ended up with a black and white rendition of the California flag and NSGW logo. I printed again and gave DH some fabric pens and left him to coloring the first printout.

NSGW logo pillow #2
NSGW logo pillow #2

He did a good job on this logo.

Bear Flag pillow #2
Bear Flag pillow #2

He went a little outside of the lines on this one.

Bear Flag pillow #2 -detail
Bear Flag pillow #2 -detail

The bear looks a little angry. DH is off to raffle these pillows tomorrow.

I was very glad to be able to cross things off of my to do list and pillows are a big one. I feel like I am now geared up to do the 2010 Teacher Pillows.

Thinking about Throw Pillows

Some years ago I took a pillow making class at the Sewing Workshop. Sewing Workshop classes are fabulous: thorough, and inspiring. I am sorry to say that, although the class was fabulous (with Linda Lee, no less), the pillows are still part of my UFO pile. I recently saw Stitch magazine.

Stitch Magazine, Spring 2009
Stitch Magazine, Spring 2009
I fell in love with the pillow on the cover and may make some pillow covers using the pattern (or my version of the pattern) to brighten up some tired couch pillows to go along with the promised new paint job. If all goes well, I may discard the half made purple covers from the Sewing Workshop class and use the Stitch idea/pattern to cover those rather large forms (14″ or 16″) as well. For once I feel excited about throw pillows!
I also may make a pillow or two to raise money for Cleft Palete. MIL suggested using some poppy fabric for the centers. If I had some squares of that California poppy from a few years ago, it would be perfect, but I don’t, so I will have to make do.
Certain individuals are on a statewide board of directors for an organization that among other things, raises money for Cleft Palete. Each year, as part of the process of running for office, the nominees make gift baskets in order to draw people ino their suites/campaign headquarters. They raffle the gift baskets to raise money for Cleft Palete. Certain individuals came up second in the most money raised this year for his gift baskets.
The convention is always in May, so I, usually, cannot attend due to the demands of The Child. There is a small thing called school and another called food. Leaving him at home alone is really not an option. This has the effect of organization voters wondering if I support him in his volunteer endeavors. I think they might forget what it is like to have school age children. Anyway, I thought a couple of throw pillows would:
  • show my support
  • be something different that would draw the wives into the raffle
  • allow me to try something without having to commit to having it in my house
  • get some new readers to the blog

I might have showed this site before. I thought the pillows they show are similar to the Stitch magazine pillows and I could use their directions to supplement the Stitch magazine directions. More on Stitch magazine in another post.

clipped from sew4home.com

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