Stripey Pillows

Last spring, my mom bought some new furniture for her three season porch and requested some bright pillows. I made two big paper-pieced bird pillows for her last year (here and here) but the smaller oblong pillows languished in my closet bin. I wanted them to be scrappy to match the scrappy borders on the first block, use greens and blues with a bit of red, but I didn’t have much of a plan beyond that.

Then this spring, Laurie Wisbrun announced her latest holiday fabric collection, Holiday Sweet Tweets. My mom loves cardinals, and I immediately thought of her when I saw the cardinal stripe print. So there are my pillow backs!

Holiday Sweet Tweets

Once that piece fell into place, I got thinking and Pinterest browsing for front inspiration. I knew I wanted to finish them soon, because it is summer, the season of sitting out on the porch. A week ago, I saw these pillows by Glamscience Glittergoods on Pinterest and was inspired to make something similar. I sketched out a design, cut templates, and picked scraps out of my stash on Saturday (“the computer room exploded in fabric,” was my husband’s only comment). By Sunday morning, I had three cute foundation-pieced squares.

Stripey scrap blocks

Last night, something shifted in the atmosphere and all the humid soup that has been hanging over New England blew out and was replaced by delightfully cool, dry air. And I got to sewing everything together. Here’s the first pillow front, finished but not trimmed.

Stripey Pillow 1

I finished the pieced block of the second pillow and all that is left is to sew white sashing on the top and bottom.

Stripey Pillow 2

Here’s hoping I can finish these within the next few days! As usual, linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Cardinal Pillow

A while back, my mom bought some new patio furniture and I promised her a set of quilty pillows. I finished one back in June and look! Here’s pillow number two!

Cardinal pillow

Again, I used a paper piecing template from Liljabs for the cardinal. The original pattern is for the Cardinals baseball team and the bird is perched on a baseball bat. My parents aren’t really sports-following folk, so I edited out the “bat” parts of the pattern.

I was hoping to add a pieced border like on the first pillow, but I ran out of steam and scraps. And I like how simple it is – the two pillows complement each other.

And I foresee a lot of pillows in my future! I’m hoping to make one for the Banditos Misteriosos swap this weekend (Good idea? Not good idea?) and I’d like to finish the other two for my parents by Christmas. Time to ramp up the quilty time!

A Song for Sarah and a Pillow for Mom

My second year of grad school, an old friend from high school set me up with my roommate. Megan was getting married but had a friend named Sarah who had a spot opening in her apartment. Sarah invited me over, fed me delicious chicken curry, and after some weighing of options (for which Sarah still gives me grief), I moved in. The year was great – we often walked home together, cooked a LOT of good food, played Dance Dance Revolution, had friends over for late-night ice cream, read Harry Potter, and, most importantly, forged what I hope will be a lifetime friendship. She now lives in Louisiana with her husband and blogs at Harmless Color. I appreciate her optimism, cheerfulness, and whimsical outlook.

A week ago, we were emailing back and forth and we decided to send a song to each other once a week, which morphed into a new weekly feature, A Song for Sarah! Update! Sarah’s post to me is HERE, go have a listen!

Dear Sarah,

You introduced me to Ingrid Michaelson sometime during that second year of grad school. You had me look up “You and Me” on YouTube (or something, details are sketchy) and we listened to it several times that night. You thought I’d like it because Ingrid mentions giving people nice sweaters and teaching them how to dance. I tried to sing along with Ingrid when her flexible voice leaped that octave; what came out was a squeak. I sort of remember clapping and dancing around the kitchen but that may have been another night. Ingrid’s music has been a part of other great little moments in my life: speeding down the 15 towards San Diego with three of my favorite people and the windows down (“Be Ok”), my best friend sitting on my bed in my parents’ house and trying to wrangle “You and Me” from my sad and out-of-tune ukulele.

I have to tell you that I am in no way an Ingrid aficionado. I haven’t heard much of her stuff and I probably don’t realize how big she’s gotten, only that she’s seemingly everywhere. And you’ve probably heard this cut already. But if you haven’t, it’s good, despite (I think?) being about a difficult relationship. I heard it first on So You Think You Can Dance because I love that show and make no apologies for it. I love how the piano and orchestration builds and builds until it gets quiet right at the very end. I hope you like it!

I finished the Bluebird Pillow yesterday and it is now living in my parents’ three season room. The filler pillow is from Ikea – love it!

Finished Bluebird Pillow

Saturday Sewing

Just a little sewing here on a sunny Saturday. This is the first of four pillows for my Mother’s new patio furniture. I blogged about the bird center here and last night, I added the teal frame and the scrappy border. I pieced the scrappy borders with a 3.5″ piece of foundation paper and then Made it Work around the edge. I fudged the last corner to make the stripes go the right way. It is sort of obvious but I’ve decided that it doesn’t bother me.

Bluebird Pillow

On to quilt and make the pillow cover!