Category Archives: pillow

grid pillow

As I mentioned in the previous post, as of recently, I have developed a “thing” for vintage sheets. I like the colorful ones that I have seen around the blogosphere – those being used in quilts, aprons, skirts, little girl dresses… but I am also drawn to those with small flowers on white background. Especially tiny flowers… something that might be called “shabby chic”.

So I pulled some of those sheets and pillowcases (both vintage and not so vintage) and some of my stash fabric:

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I also pulled out a tool I really like – the bias tape maker. I have three of those, and this is the smallest one – makes a tape 1/4 in wide (when finished). Opened, it measures 1/2 in. I made some tapes, but not bias this time.

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I had a cold this this week, and when I am congested and/or coughing, I cannot sleep very well. Sometimes, if the cough is very bad (like this time) I end up sleeping on a sofa because that is the only way I can sleep “sitting up” and not cough all night. So, during one of those sleepless nights, I had an idea – idea of making some strips from the sheets, and weave them together in a grid pattern. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the strips before they were sewn, but here they are all finished, on a piece of linen – which will become a quilted cushion:

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or in a closeup:

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I did not use all the fabrics from the first picture… that’s what happens. I always tend to pull out more fabrics for a project, and then some get tossed out. In this case, a few were too bright, and some just did not fit in.

Then I quilted the top – I quilted inside the little squares, between the stripes, and out from the stripes to the edges of the pillow top.

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For the back I used remnants of some Ikea curtains I used before – nice thicker cotton fabric. I used the edges that were already folded (a little shortcut) for the buttons:

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Buttons are covered with one of the fabrics used on the front.

I like the way it turned out – it is really close to what I had in my mind. And I like the combination of linen and vintage sheets. I might be using this combination more…

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Plo Pillow

I am calling this one Plo Pillow. This is all I could come up. And I am sticking to it. So here it is:

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I used 13 different floral fabrics, one of which is vintage french linen (only one square) recently bought at a thrift store. Squares are about 3 in square (I say ‘about’ because I needed to do some trimming after adding sashing), stripes about 1/2 in wide, making the pillow about 16.5 in square. It has an envelope closure, back made of off-white dec weight fabric (repurposed ikea curtains).

There is something special about this pillow… Notice the quilting?

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Free motion. Oh yes. The first time for me. Actually, I did practice a bit on a coaster that will never be. But, then I had enough of practicing, and did the real thing. It took a while, but it ended up being easier than I thought. And quite enjoyable. I did have to rest a bit, and remind myself to relax, because I realized I was gripping the fabrics too tight, trying to lead it under the needle in a constant motion. It did take more then straight line quilting would have, but it was actually more fun.

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It would have been a bit faster if I did the swirls s bit larger. See how quilting quilting lines are quite close? Very close. That works for a pillow sized quilt, but it would take waaay toooo long on a quilt, even throw size!

Overall I really like how it turned out. I wanted fabrics with no white, but then I could not pass on the white linen square. I think, with the pink thread, it blends more with the rest of the fabrics.

for new beginnings

Happy New Year to everyone!

I will not write a review of last year or predictions for new year. I don’t do resolutions – I found that they never work – they just make you feel overwhelmed and then you feel bad when you cannot accomplish them..

I will say that last year was no good: we lost a dear friend earlier in the year. Only 44 years old. Two daughters. Tragic. We also had three unsuccessful attempts at fertility treatments.

Last year was also good: we had more family time then ever before. Or it just felt like that. But we went on several really good trips. I also managed to focus on creating, sewing in the second half of the year.

As I said – no resolutions. A few goals though: I started running about two months ago. And despite tendon injury I kept at it – I cannot really run right now, but I average about 9 mi/day 3-4 days a week on a stationary bike. And as soon as the injury is healed, I will be back training for that 5k. I want to reopen the shop this month. And that’s about it – just keep on doing the things I did right last year. And if an interesting project comes up – I might take it. The biggest goal: stress less!

And now for new beginnings… of a new pillow. I don’t have a name for it, but the inspiration comes from Kaffee Fassett. I might use the same fabrics for a matching quilt, except I will use a different pattern.

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I just noticed it has been over a month since I wrote here last. That does not mean there has not been activity around here: I did finish a few projects (come over to my flickr page to see pictures) and traveled some. Hopefully I will update here more…

and now for something completely different: field work pillow

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Just a sneak peek of what I have sitting on my sewing desk since before Thanksgiving. A new pillow inspired by some aerial photography and fabulous work by Victoria Gertenbach. I have not had a chance to get into my sewing room for almost two weeks. This is almost finished – two more patches, already cut, are waiting to be sewn on and then just the back of the pillow to finish it off. Maybe today.

I have about two weeks before the school is out for the winter break and we are off for some skiing and family time (not really looking forward to freezing cold temps, but eh, what to we do for love… I don’t ski, it’s my hubby and now my son who fell in love with it last year) so there will not be much sewing going on during December. I don’t want to make huge plans, I will be happy to simply finish a few pillows for my little guy’s teachers. And maybe start a new knitting project (hey, I already made a swatch. what, I did not take a photo?!)

new pillows and some homemade fabric

This pillow top has been hanging on my design wall for over a month, waiting to be finished. This finally happened over the weekend:

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I like my quilted pillow with a border, but with this one, I felt it was too busy for a border. It is about 18″ square, envelope back in the same blue linen.

I like these little crosses, I might do a similar quilt soon.

I felt a bit nostalgic, so I made this pillow too:

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This one is about 16″ square, also with envelope back in natural twill. This pillow was inspired by some newly acquired fabrics with writing on it, some dotty fabrics and finally some fabrics I printed myself. I have been thinking about doing that for a while, but just did not get to it. SInce my shoulder is still hurting, and I am not supposed to spend too much time sewing (when, oh when will this stop) I thought this would be a perfect time to try this. I had some fabrics sheets I bought a while ago, I got a few random pictures off the web, and printed on my inkjet printer. This is what it looked like:

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This picture is actually after washing, drying and ironing it (to set the color – these are the washable sheets). This is what I think:

  • the color was the same as printed on plain paper;
  • the fabric sheet is supposed to be white, but it’s really off-white;
  • the color did not run or fade during the setting process (washing, drying, ironing);
  • the fabric is quite soft but has a little paper-y feel to it; especially when sewn – it makes that popping sound as if you were sewing through paper;
  • it’s $9.99 for 3 sheets – a little pricey: next I want to try preparing my own fabric for printing – both for the price and to see if the fabric will feel better.
  • it was fun – you could print anything to add to sewing projects.

finished projects – pictures

June Gloom is now officially July Gloom. The light is really crappy, so pictures are so-so, but here they are:

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The pillow is finished. It measures about 14×14 in, and of course, all my pillow inserts are either smaller or way bigger. So only a “flat” picture. The linen I used is not really great for a project like this. Is is very soft and a little stretchy. Very tricky to quilt. But overall I am satisfied how this turned out. By the way, it has an envelope opening in the back. I prefer them to any kind of zippers or buttons – the less hardware the better.

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I call this the Pink Quilt. Very imaginative, I know! Here it is, all finished. I have to say I am very happy how it turned out, and I am very happy that I decided on a smaller project. To warm up.

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A little clseup of the fabrics.Ā  The larger squares are all diferent fabrics, some quilting fabrics, some fashion fabrics that are either thinner or heavier than the typical quilting fabrics. Two also has some stretch to them, but this is patchwork, any fabrics will do. That’s the idea, right? The white fabrics is upcycled sheet that thad just the right weight – I added a 4in border all around – gives the pattern a bit more focus, I think. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had some challenges keeping the seam at 1/4in, so my squares are actually a bit smaller than 3×3 in, so the quilt measures roughly 26×26 in. The back is a simple red checkered fabric.

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And, of course, the “folded” picture. Now a dillema: I have many squares left from this project, as I scaled back. Do I start another “pink” project or cut some more fabrics. Maybe something blue this time?

pink quilt done

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but you won;t be able to tell. I just finished it a few minutes ago and scheduled the photo session for tomorrow. This is a picture from earlier today. I decided to do straight line quilting – it’s a little questionable whether they are straight or not – about an inch apart. When I took the picture half of it was done, you can still see the pins. Oh, the pins. My fingers are hurting – they are so thick that they would not go through the layers in some places. I really did not like doing the pins. I will try to find thinner ones, or try basting with thread. Even removing these as I was quilting wasn’t easy. I am really happy with this quilt.Ā  Oh yes, and I finished the umbrella pillow. Pictures tomorrow.