Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mod Girl Pinwheel Pillow

So last week R. asked me what I was making her for Valentine's Day this year and I quickly replied, "Well, its a secret!" Apparently because I made her and D. these fabric Valentine's last year, I have started a new tradition and MUST make her a Valentine's gift every year. I really did not plan on making her anything, but since I really didn't get around to making her anything for Christmas this year (guilty sigh here because last year I made her this sweet Waldorf Doll "Chloe"), I figured I better step up and get to sewing.

My first thought was that I might be able to whip out a small doll quilt to match the quilt I just made her (Drat! I should have saved her quilt for Valentine's Day, right?) but I wasn't going to be able to pull it off quickly enough, as these circle blocks take a while to complete.

Then I came across this fantastic pinwheel pillow tutorial over at Sew Mama Sew and knew I had to whip up one for R. in the leftover Sis Boom (Jennifer Paganelli) scraps from her Pinwheel quilt and Mason's quilt.

My friend and I usually get together once a week to craft while our kids play, so I sent her the link to see if she might want to make up the tops together. I can't tell you how much fun we had playing with fabrics and design options. She thought she might make one for her Grandson to match the quilt she just made him, and because he is only a year old she did not want to use a button as suggested in the tutorial, but came up with idea of using a yo-yo instead. BRILLIANT idea!

R. likes to sleep on her decorative pillows (and she has such cute pillowcases that we have made!) so I thought the yo-yo would be perfect for her pillow as well. This was my first time making a yo-yo and I have to say that I am addicted! Clover makes a little (actually, I used the "large" size) yo-yo maker that is easy and super fun to use. The yo-yo was glue basted to the pillow top and then stitched down using a blanket stitch (with two strands of white DMC floss).

The binding is another Sis Boom fabric that I had in my stash that R. loved, and I think it sets it off the appliqued pinwheel beautifully. The tutorial pillow does not have a binding, but I used three 2 1/4 inch strips of fabric to make it. As for the tutorial's machine applique technique using starch, it is truly GENIUS! I used my FMQ foot and some lovely variegated quilting thread in pink (King Tut thread) to do the machine applique.

And how fun is this pieced back? I used Kona snow along with two of the Sis Boom fabrics. I always make my envelope backs open to the side rather than the top to avoid the "droopy drawers" look. I used my zipper foot to machine stitch the 1/2 bias (not cut on the bias though) tape to both raw edges of the back. This pillow really needs a 20" pillow form to fill it out nicely, but I only had an 18" one on hand.

All in all, I am quite pleased with how this pillow turned out and R. is too! Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day!

Happy quilting,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just Right!

This sweet little quilt for R. is FINALLY finished and is just right to suit her personality...

a little bit of sweetness (girly)

a touch of tomboy (had to add blue, couldn't be too girly)

and a bit sassy (she insisted on that Zebra Print)

This actually started off as a quilt for my shop (someday I'll actually get around to making a few quilts for the shop!) and after I finished the pinwheels R. decided that it HAD to be for her. "You've been promising me a quilt since my Birthday last year (April) and you have made quilts for everybody else and not me!" Pouty expression and arms crossed, ha ha. So I let her take over on choosing the border, binding, and backing fabrics (It was so SO so hard to give up artistic control and let her choose...such a different direction than I was heading!!!) and I have to admit that this quilt really came out quite lovely and spunky, just like R ;D

The pattern is "Cowboy Baby" from the book "Material Obsession". The fabrics are from Sis Boom (Jennifer Paganelli), Tanya Whelan, Amy Bulter, and Joel Dewberry.

I ended up using this Quilter's Dream FABULOUS wool batting from Alewives Fabrics that I can't rave enough about! I quilted this using just a simple stipple and that little poofs created by the stippling on the wool were nice and fluffy. Also, the wool makes for a nice warm, but lightweight quilt. I'll definitely be using it for more quilts in the future.

Now R. is begging for a coordinating quilt for her doll bed, which will make for the perfect Valentine's Day gift!

PS - did you spy all of that SNOW???

Happy quilting,

Monday, February 7, 2011

What Did You Do?

Last night's Superbowl game was super exciting! I was rooting for the Steelers, but I can't complain because the Packers did play the better game :D For the first time in several years, we opted to skip a Superbowl party to stay home and watch it as a family. This was perfect, as I was able to snuggle up in my jammies with R.'s quilt and hand stitch her binding on. What crafty goodness did you do while watching the game last night???

On Saturday I was able to finish up the FMQ (I had run out of thread 3/4 of the way through ~ AAARGH ~ and had to wait for a giant spool to arrive via snail mail!) and got the binding machine stitched to the front.

Really, my favorite part of the whole quilting process is the point where you get to cut off the excess batting and backing from the quilt (It just all of a sudden feels almost finished!) and I simply lurve the hand stitching of binding. I usually whip out the binding super speedy in anticipation of getting the quilt washed up! I just love the way a quilt shrinks a bit (I do NOT prewash my fabrics) and gets all of those vintagey looking puckers after a spin through the washer and dryer! Sigh. I got half finished with the binding last night, and look forward to finishing it while I help R. with her schoolwork today ;D

Happy quilting,