Initial Pillow No. 5

For this month’s pillow, I have taken my inspiration from Diane Gaudynski’s Guide to Machine Quilting.  I have owned this excellent, comprehensive book for many a year.

Diane is a very talented award winning quilter and I admire her work very much! 

You can find lots of eye candy and free motion quilting tips on Diane’s blog!

Diane is an elegant, traditional quilter and uses lots of feathers and echo quilting.  I saw this feather on page 69:

Diane Gaudynski

And on page 31 of Diane’s book:

Diane Gaudynski

I drew a version of it with a blue marker on a white tone-on-tone cotton fabric (I would have used silk, or sateen, if I had any, but couldn’t find any in my stash of fabrics.) 

Initial J Pillow

The ‘J’ is the initial of the name of a good friend to whom I will be giving this pillow.

A layer of batting is stitched with water soluble thread, and then carefully trimmed.

Initial J Pillow

I wish I were better at taking photos, especially of white on white!

Initial J Pillow

Since my friend likes pink, I am using a 40 weight pink variegated Aurifil thread for the feathers and the letter.  The rest of the wholecloth quilting is done with 50 weight white Aurifil thread.

Initial J Pillow

You can begin to see the texture forming!

Initial J Pillow

Finished and washed:

Initial J Pillow

Detail:

Initial J Pillow

Initial J Pillow

Like the other pillows that I have been making, this one is simple with a covered zipper.

Initial J Pillow

Initial J Pillow

Last look:

Initial J Pillow

I participated in QuiltShopGal’s 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge, so it would’ve been fun for me to repeat Diane’s lesson and compare the ‘then and now’.  I may do that yet.  However, I am doing Option 2 from this year’s Free Motion Quilting Challenge, and I will be linking up over there.

Previous pillows/challenges:

Joy Pillow

Initial Pillow No. 1

Initial Pillow No. 2

Initial Pillow No. 3

Initial Pillow No. 4

The Flycatcher Babies are Hatched!

The Flycatcher Babies are Hatched!

Western Flycatchers

Previous posts:

Bird’s Nest for Camera Day

Bird Nest Update

Western Flycatcher Update

Western Flycatcher Progress

Western Flycatchers Fly

Western Flycatchers are Back

 

Western Flycatchers are Back

[T]hese flowers, so fragrant, grew
And the birds and bees sipped sweet nectar
From the sparkling, morning dew.
God has blessed all beauties of Nature;
He’s set His approval and seal
On all of His small, winged messengers
That fly through the air with such zeal.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, “Honeysuckle” (1940s)

For the third year in a row, the western flycatchers have chosen to nest next to the front door to the house.

I love that they trust us enough to come back year after year. 

I love watching the little family grow.

The parents built up the nest:

Flycatcher Nest

There will be four siblings this year:

Flycatcher Nest

Previous posts:

Bird’s Nest for Camera Day

Bird Nest Update

Western Flycatcher Update

Western Flycatcher Progress

Western Flycatchers Fly

Initial Pillow No. 4

This month’s pillow is for my second granddaughter.

I used Cindy Needham’s Ultimate circle stencil to create a guide to free motion quilt.

Hannah Pillow

I didn’t want to use the larger circles, but I did start marking one by mistake. Oops.

Hannah Pillow

After marking the lines from the stencil that I needed, it is simply a matter of ‘connecting the dots’, in my case, for petals.

Hannah Pillow

Then it got complicated.  I had drawn s0 many lines that I really needed to concentrate on which ones that I was going to quilt on.

Hannah Pillow

I thought it easiest for me to outline stitch the lines that I needed, and fill them in later.

Hannah Pillow Hannah Pillow

I hadn’t decided how I wanted to fill the petals, so I quilted the centers and the background first.

Hannah Pillow

Now we are getting somewhere!  Love the texture!

Hannah Pillow

I used Wonderfil Invisifil 100 wt. to outline stitch the letter and the ladybug.  Aurifil variegated 40 wt. was used to free motion quilt the flowers, and Aurifil 50 wt. was used for the background stitching, as well as appliqueing the letter.

Hannah Pillow

The finished pillow:

Hannah Pillow

Just a simple covered zipper backing:

Hannah Pillow

I didn’t think that I would make it this month, but here it is the last day of the month, and I can still link up to QuiltShopGal’s May free motion quilting pillow challenge.  Yay!  I chose Option #1.

Be sure to check out Cindy Needham’s website and blog.  She is a fabulous quilter and teacher!

Hannah Pillow Joy Pillow

Initial Pillow No. 1

Initial Pillow No. 2

Initial Pillow No. 3

Hubby’s Walk in the Garden

“It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.”
–  John Galsworthy

Hubby took his little pocket camera out to the garden and I thought I would share a few of his finds with you.

Toad

This little fella was very willing to pose.

Toad

He is only about 2 inches in size, and oh, so cute!

Toad

Lots of his friends and relatives live here, and I am happy to see them!

Toad

These photos are all of the same little guy; I just couldn’t decide which pose to share, so I’m sharing several.

Toad

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May.”
–  Edwin Way Teale

The next photo looks like Autumn, but it is indeed a red maple in spring.

Red Maple

The peonies are showing a gorgeous blush!

Peony

And the bees are happily buzzing and gathering around the allium.

Allium
 “An optimist is the human personification of spring.”
–  Susan J. Bissonette  

Allium

“Green is the fresh emblem of well founded hopes.  In blue the spirit can wander, but in green it can rest.”
–  Mary Webb

*Clicking on any photo will show an enlarged view.

One Little Word Vision Boards

Back in January,  I wrote about joining Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class.

I chose Joy for my word of the year.

One Little Word Vision Boards

February’s assignment was to create a vision board.  Yes folks, I completed February’s assignment in April, and am just now posting about it.

Better late than never!

One Little Word Vision Boards

This does not mean that I haven’t been learning about my chosen word, or applying what I have been learning to my life.

I’m just slow getting assignments done.  That’s all.

One Little Word Vision Boards

The assignment was to create one board, but I was having so much fun, I created two!  It has been a long, long time since I played with paper and glue.  I had forgotten how enjoyable it is.

I found the time that I spent cutting pictures and words from magazines, then gluing into a collage, creative and relaxing.

One Little Word Vision Boards

There is the emotional and spiritual aspects of such an assignment, and I take those seriously, but for the moment:

It is good just to be a kid again!

Sunday Picnic 2

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poems

 

“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.”
― John Muir, The Wilderness World of John Muir

 

A chickadee was perched amongst the branches of the apple tree while I was snapping pictures of blossoms.

What’s he/she up to?

Chickadee

Aha!  There is a dead stump protruding from the side of the tree, and look what is deep in the hollow:

Chickadee Nest

Someone is preparing for a family!

The pines are growing:

Pine

For the curious, that is my home sweet home down there:

Home Sweet Home

Practicing the macro setting on the barbed wire:

Barbed Wire

The maple tree is budding out!

Maple

And the candytuft is blooming!

Candytuft

A beautiful crown imperial blossoming in the front garden:

Crown Imperial

The always lovely bleeding heart:

Bleeding Heart

Blossoms from the fabulous crabapple tree in the back yard:

Crabapple

I should have taken photos of the lilacs blooming.  Their fragrance greets me through every open window, and each day, when I come home from work.

Heavenly!

“Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?”
― Neltje Blanchan

 

*I suggest clicking on the photos for a closer peek.

**Click the link for more photos from my previous post .