Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Candy Swirl Pillow

I’ve been promising myself time to sew for weeks, but have deferred it over and over again for housework.  After a frustrating experience last night I went to my sewing table not caring a whole lot about what the house looked like.

And this is what I made.

I’m calling it the candy swirl pillow because it reminds me a little of a huge lollipop, all wrapped up with bright colors.

This was a great scrap project.  I used lots of little strips of fabric from my scrap bin.  They’re sewn in a spiral on a natural linen pillow top.  The swirl finishes at just over 1/4 inch wide.

For the backing I used a piece of my favorite print from Pillow & Maxfield’s Whimsy collection.  I fell in love with this collection when I was making this baby quilt and later with this one. I think it works well with the whimsical spiral on the front and with the general color scheme as well.

As usual, I inserted a zipper in the bottom seam because I hate to store pillows.  A few years ago I invested in some high quality down pillow forms so I simply unzip and change them whenever I want.

I love the texture in this pillow; the linen top with cotton back.  When I sewed the thin strip on to make the swirl I sewed only down one edge, so there’s a little lip there that also adds dimension.

The only problem is where to put it!  It looks great in every place I’ve tried.  I’m super-pleased with the outcome.  It really wasn’t difficult to make, although the ironing and pinning to some time.  If you’d like a tutorial, shout it out and I’ll post one.

Do you see the cute little gray number in back?  I made that, too.  It’s up next.

Hopeful Homemaker

Blogger's Pillow Party

pillow submitted to this contest.

Postage Stamp Quilt Along

Phew.  I finished it.  Barely.

It’s a good thing there was a deadline of sorts on this project, or I’m not sure I would ever have finished sewing together countless rows of squares.  But the quilt top is now complete and I am very happy with it.

(The pictures are lousy.  I took them at sunset and have yet to invest time in learning how to really edit and manipulate photos.   I’ll take better ones when the quilt is finished.)

I was worried that I wouldn’t like this quilt, but it turns out there was no need for worry.

I love it.  It’s beautiful.  And it was made with fabric that’s been sitting in a drawer for too long.

I’ve become much better at straight line quilting, but have yet to learn free motion quilting.  I think this is the quilt to learn on.

If I can muster the courage…


Water and Sky Quilt

My first quilt of 2011 is finished.  I’m calling it Water and Sky.

I’ve wanted to make a quilt using this pattern for a long time, and this fabric was waiting for something wonderful.  The birthday of a dear friend was coming up, and I wanted to do something special.  She recently moved to the Pacific Northwest, a place where I lived as a missionary for 1 1/2 years.  When I think of it, I think of water and sky, all the shades of blue and green that so captured my heart while I was there.  I wanted to give her a gift of color, something bright and light during the cloudy gray winter months they get there.  Thus, the pattern and the fabric came together in the perfect quilt.

It’s my first quilt made using all solid fabrics.  I was a bit nervous about it, but I really love it.

I quilted it in wavy lines going horizontally across the quilt.  I think it added to the overall feeling of water, clouds, and ocean waves while softening the more geometric piecing.

For a binding I chose a dark gray with polka dots.  It’s from the Summertime collection by Barbara Jones.

I’m still working on machine binding.  The back still needs some work for me to be fully satisfied, but I love how the front turned out.  Instead of sewing in the ditch between binding and quilt top, I’ve begun sewing on the very edge of the binding.  I was also more disciplined this time and paused to pin each side, stitching on the slowest setting for my machine.  This quilt is definitely my best yet where machine binding is concerned.  Honestly, I love the hand sewn binding best but I simply cannot do it right now.  My elbow hurts too much when I try, and finding the time to sit and do it isn’t the wisest use of my time at this point.  So I’m going to perfect this… eventually.

I pieced part of the backing as well.  I’m pleased with how it turned out.  In fact,  I like the back as much as the front.  This quilt was a lot of fun to make.  It came together fairly quickly but was a great creative experience for me.  I loved working with the solids.  Because I added a wave of gray and some green from my stash, I have enough fat quarters from the same bundle to make a second quilt.  I’ve got the pieces cut and waiting for some time to piece it all together.

I feel grateful to have squeezed in time to finish this project.  It’s now in its new home, and I hope it can at least be useful.  Happy Birthday, Jana!


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