Initial Pillow

I have decided to make one pillow a month.  One pillow for each of my grandchildren.

I think a pillow with their initial on it would be a fun and personal Christmas gift.

Totally doable for me.  So, yes, for the first time ever, I’m starting my Christmas list early.

Here you see the initial already machine appliqued onto a white background layered with batting and muslin.  I drew a squiggly machine quilting guideline with a blue washout marker.

Nathaniel Pillow

Next time, I think I should space that guideline further apart, but it worked out.

Nathaniel Pillow

The squiggly line was quilted first, then the rest of the filler quilting was done.

Nathaniel Pillow

Oops.  I missed a small section.  I hope the quilt police don’t find it!

Nathaniel Pillow

I made an 18″ pillow and filled it with an 18″ pillow form.  I think a bigger form might look better.

Nathaniel Pillow

I like the railroad tracks filler.  It is fun and wonky.  No rules.  Thanks Leah Day!

Nathaniel Pillow

The back of the pillow has a concealed zipper.

Nathaniel Pillow

I am linking up with quiltshopgal

The railroad tracks free motion quilting is from Option #1 from the February Pillow Challenge.

Nathaniel Pillow

 

 

Aunt Sukey Spins Off

The plan:

Aunt Sukey Spins Off

Coming to life:

Aunt Sukey Spins Off

This will be a bed quilt…I don’t have a good way to photograph it, but you can see that I am making some progress.

I had originally planned on this being a scrappy red and white quilt.  But then I won the gorgeous Island Batik fabric (so excited)!  Why didn’t I switch some of those half square triangles to flying geese?  It would’ve been easier.  Alas…I didn’t think to do that until after I cut the fabric.

Nope…not all my seams are lined up.  I’m okay with that.  Seeking perfectionism doesn’t make me happy.  My happiness is in the creative process, and one day, a finished project.

Speaking of slow stitching (you can’t be much slower than me), have you seen Mark Lipinski’s blog featuring the Slow Stitching Movement?  I find it quite inspiring.  Perhaps you will too!

Now, slowly on to the borders.

Aunt Sukey Spins Off Part 1

Aunt Sukey Spins Off Part 2

Aunt Sukey Spins Off Part 3

Something to Smile About

Human beings need pleasure the way they need vitamins. ~Lionel Tiger

 

Good things!

I have completed one of my New Year’s goals.  I went to the dentist!  Believe me, that is a big deal!  I lost a filling months ago, but have had no time to get a replacement.

Smile Clipart

Oh, happy day!  No more blackberry seeds, or any other kind of seed, getting stuck in the hole where a filling should be, and driving my tongue stark raving insane!

Hubby is recovering very well from his recent heart surgery.  Now that is reason to be very, very joyful!  I love this man, and I am grateful to a Heavenly Father that has blessed us so much!

Romantic Heart

And one more thing to add to my happiness:

Yup.  I’ve already got the seed for the garden!  Watching them grow will give me much pleasure and serenity (working on my word of the year…joy).  Hubby is researching drip systems to come up with a plan to make watering easier since the day job is so consuming of my time.

Garden Seeds

For those of you still in the grip of winter, do you have cabin fever?  Are you dreaming of your garden yet?

Word of the Year – Joy

My daughter signed me up for Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class (She did ask if I would like to try it first.).  My daughter is a creative, prolific scrapbooker, and I love what she does.  She has played with paper ever since she was a tiny tot.  I, however, am not a scrapbooker.  But she assures me that I don’t have to be to enjoy this class.

In fact, she bought a journal for me instead of a binder.  I haven’t written a word in it, yet, but I love it! 

Joy Journal 2015

I will write in it soon.

As you can see from the cover of the journal, I have chosen the word ‘Joy’ for my word this year.  I’ve had some tough times the past few years and I’ve lost my ‘muchness’.

I understand that joy is an attitude; a choice.  But it is much more than that, and I shall be exploring it this year.  I hope to be a better person by the end of this year.

I splurged and bought a reminder to wear everyday.

Joy Bracelet

I love this cuff bracelet!  It is hand made, well made, and I supported the maker in my small way. 

I had decided that I wanted a pillow, and then I saw the 2015 Free Motion Quilting Challenge.  For January, there are three options to choose from.  I’ve chosen a variation of Option #3.

I altered a design found in my Electric Quilt program and traced it onto my fabric with a blue water soluble marker:

Joy Pillow

Joy Pillow

I drew quilting ideas onto my paper pattern (it got a lot messier later):

Joy Pillow

Using water soluble thread, I sewed two layers of batting underneath the letters and the surrounding heart shape.  After sewing, I cut away the excess batting.

Joy Pillow

Joy Pillow

I chose a 12 weight orange Aurifil thread to outline the letters and heart shapes.

Joy Pillow

The filler was sewn with a 50 weight cream Aurifil thread.

Joy Pillow

All of the stitching is done with free motion.

Joy Pillow

I need a larger pillow form to fill out the pillow cover better.  It is on my shopping list.

Joy Pillow

My happy place, the sewing studio, is lime green and white.  Orange poppies and lime green (functioning as the zipper cover) make me smile.  This pillow will fit right in!

Joy Pillow

 

Gingerbread

It is that time again…the time when new resolutions and goals are being stated and written everywhere.  A time when one’s hopes are fresh and new beginnings bring brightness to one’s future.

So…what are my goals?

A haircut and a dentist appointment. 

I believe in reachable goals.  Don’t you? 

It has been months since I’ve had either of these.  Last summer, I think.  I lost a filling sometime back then.

I do have a long-term goal.  It is more elusive; at least for me.  I intend to find it.  My word for 2015 is ‘Joy’.  More on this later.

The first day of the new year, I spent baking and sewing.  How great that feels!  It has been a long time.  I’m not ready to share what I am sewing, but I can share what I baked.

My favorite gingerbread recipe!

Gingerbread Recipe

*Click on the photo for an enlarged peek.

It is from my favorite cookbook.  The American Woman’s Cookbook, published in 1947, and given to me by my mother-in-law when I was a young bride.

American Woman's Cookbook

American Woman's Cookbook

A very joyful New Year to you all!

Gingerbread

A Christmas Carol

‘There is a lot of buying and selling.’ -Ebenezer Scrooge
‘Is that all you can see?’ -Ghost of Christmas Past

A lot of buying and selling.  Yup.  To my discredit, that is all that I have been able to see.

Every Christmas season, either my husband, or myself would read aloud to our children the classic,  ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.  We would read a portion every night, and then, on Christmas Eve, we would watch the movie, starring George C. Scott.

It is a tradition that our children now practice with their children.

I am a US Postal employee.  I work six days a week.  That’s not a holiday schedule…that is my normal schedule.  Like many offices, mine is short staffed.  That’s just the way it is. 

However, I have been, and am, working 9 to 11 hour days.  That is the buying and selling that I have been seeing.  Perhaps, because I am so tired, I am not seeing the wonderful gift giving inside the hundreds of packages and cards that I handle every day.  Homemade jam, cookies, toys and more, shipped to those far away loved ones.

This post isn’t a rant, or a ‘pity me’ post.

Tonight, the words have come back to me:

‘There is a lot of buying and selling.’ -Ebenezer Scrooge
‘Is that all you can see?’ -Ghost of Christmas Past

I want to give a shout out to all of those postal drivers and workers, to UPS employees, to the FedEx employees, the retail clerks, the waiters and waitresses, to the bakers, and many more who have neglected their blogs, their families, and  their Christmas card list.  Those who couldn’t go to the Christmas parties and plays and concerts; who didn’t have time to bake holiday cookies and fruitcakes, nor go shopping and out to lunch.

To all of those who are working so diligently to bring a merry Christmas season to many others:

May you experience the love and joy from Him, of whom Christmas is really all about.  And may you be blessed with much peace in the New Year.

Thank you!  God bless you, everyone!

Tiny Tim/Anthony Walters

Color/Value Visual

I thought that you might like to see a visual experiment on what color/value can do in a quilt design.

I am using the Autumn Tints block in a straight set and with the same five colors in every design that you see.

The very first design is the Autumn Tints block set side by side with no sashing.  All of the other designs have sashing between the blocks (I wanted to see if I could introduce some perspective to the design).

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

I came up with even more variations just by moving the color/value around.  Sometimes there are very interesting effects, such as squares appearing to ‘float’.

There will be a visually appealing look just for you if you experiment with color and value!

I participated in the Around the World Blog Hop in this post from last week.  I encourage you to check out this week’s participants:

Cathi Godwin over at Quilt Obsession
Linda Jo Reed over at Upheld in the Battle
Amy Johnson over at Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures