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)
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.
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.
We exchanged yesterday and everyone did a wonderful job. I am behind Christina, but you can see my pillow over my head.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We skipped last year, but are back in the saddle this year with more pillows.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Go to the conference and have people fling money at the raffle box.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
I made a Greek Cross (pg.72) block for the 8th grade Religion Teacher.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!