Pillow Talk Swap Round 9 - off to the post office!

I am so excited to head out to the post office this morning, though I'm dreading the line :) I feel really confident that I've made something my partner will love for the Pillow Talk Swap and I'm super excited to ship it off. I know that at the very least that I love it!

Pillow Talk Swap - finished pillow

My Paintbox pillow is made up of nine 6" blocks, framed by one of my favorite Sweetwater prints, from Reunion, Town News in Cream (which is super hard to find, but I spotted it at an Etsy shop today!). Each block represents a color, ranging from pink to black, with five different print scraps and a solid used in each color. If you love these blocks, Elizabeth Hartman hosted a quilt-along right around when I started sewing and has lots of options for making your own painbox quilt.

Pillow Talk Swap - quilting close up

Each block is quilted in matching 50 wt Aurifil thread, using a safety-pin-inspired free-motion design in the solid parts of each block, and a concentric square in the printed part of each block. The quilting is super dense, which is just the way I like a pillow. I hope my partner likes it too! The outer border is quilted using a skinny figure eight design, in cream 50 wt Aurifil thread.

My favorite of all of them by far is the purple one...could be because the solid I used is an Oakshott cotton. It's so sparkly, I just love it.

Pillow Talk Swap - ready to send - detail

So, here's hoping that my package will make my partner's day. Fingers crossed! I hope you have a wonderful day! Happy Monday!

WiP Wednesday: The one with the mad dash

It's officially chaos in my sewing room now, as it's barely a week before Sewing Summit now, with boatloads of Sewing Summit-related deadlines approaching fast, as well as a few other non-Sewing Summit deadlines! Eeek! How did it get to be October 3rd already??? Didn't school just get started?? It's going to be a week with a lot of late nights and early mornings, clearing off my sewing plate this next week, but I know I can do it. Now I just need to stop signing up for more deadlines!!

Working on:
Red and white zig-zag - I spent the bulk of the last several days on this project, making 528 half-square triangles and then stitching all of them together. The quilt top is done and basted and ready for some simple straight-line quilting. Stay tuned for a finish on this one soon!



Sidekick tote - I really love how this bag is coming together so far. I'm waiting on some strap hardware to come, so I've saved this fun project for when I'm so tired of HSTs that I want to scream ;) Isn't that pocket just darling? Can't wait to finish this one off and put it to good use!

Sidekick in progress!

Sewing Summit class samples - I finished quilting all of the samples, and I'm really excited to share them soon. The binding is half on all of my four samples now, so I'm in the homestretch here. Just need to spend a few nights on the couch, catching up on TV with the husband and hand-stitching to wrap these projects up.

Time to pick some binding...


New this week:
Pillow Talk Swap - After sitting out several rounds, I'm back on the wagon for the ninth round of the Pillow Talk Swap. Every time I sit out a round, I watch from the sidelines and marvel over the things that are being made in the swap. I'm glad I'm participating this time around, it's going to be a lot of fun! I've gotten my partner's information and stalking has officially begun. I've got a good sense of what she's into, I think, now I just need for inspiration to strike. Here's the mosaic I made to inspire my partner, of some of my current faves...


4x5 Modern Quilt Bee - Now that the summer is over, the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee is back in session (and full), with shorter rounds, which I think will be nice. Short and sweet, but with plenty of time to make blocks. I'm excited about this one, it's always fun to see the amazing things that everyone makes in this bee.

Bee block for Katie - Katie sent some gorgeous Field Study and Indie fabrics this month for the {Sew} Beautiful bee, for feather blocks. I'm looking forward to working on this one this weekend, hopefully.

Bee block for Cindy - Cindy is working on a Halloween quilt in the Stash Trad bee, and we're all making Great Granny blocks for her, in shades of black, purple, orange, grey and lime green. I've never made anything Halloween-themed before, so this should be a fun one!

I haven't forgotten about these, but haven't had time for them either:
Washi tunic
Space Dust quilt

So now, it's back to my sewing machine, time is slipping away from me super fast this week!! What are you sewing this week? Write it up and share it at today's specially guest hosted WiP Wednesday, with host Debbie of A Quilter's Table.

Pillow Talk {Swap} Round 6 - Sent!!

I adore the Pillow Talk {Swap}, it's actually the first swap that I ever joined on Flickr three rounds ago.  It's always so much fun to see the wonderful things that people come up with in this group.  It is a phenomenal group!!  I was really excited when I got my partner this round.  I've favorited a lot of her work in my time on Flickr, so I was both excited and nervous at the same time.  Could I make something she would like?  Could I figure out her taste and get it right?  I'm hoping I've done all of that, because I just finished up her pillow and I'm off to the post office with it today.

Partner, what do you think of this?

While at the Sewing Summit, I felt really inspired after Jess showed us how to do improv curves.  Curves and I are pretty tight, after all the curves in the Single Girl, but I'd never actually tried an improv curve.  Once I nailed one of them, I kind of couldn't stop.  I just kept cutting from my stack of fabrics that I pulled and adding them together organically.  I started with a few fussy cut pieces, inspired by Amanda's love for all things fussy cut, and just went to town on this one.

PTS 6 - Finished pillow front!

I even got courageous enough to add a zipper to this pillow, rather than my usual envelope closure.  I love that zippers don't scare me anymore.  After all the fun zippy pouches I made for the Sewing Summit, I think I can officially call my zipper fear conquered.  I love the clean look a zipper adds to a pillow, maybe I'll even try an invisible zipper on the next one.

PTS 6 - back

So, partner, I hope this pillow floats your boat, I'm really kind of proud of it in a geeky way, and I hope that you'll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.  I'm linking up over at {Sew} Modern Monday today - hop on over there to check out other modern finishes!

A tale of a bunch of HSTs

Once upon a time, there was a gorgeous collection of fabrics called Central Park, made by the uber-talented Kate Spain, who's got one heck of an eye for color (have you seen Terrain?).   One little quilter bought a little bit of Central Park, only to forget to buy the rest of it before it became nearly impossible to find!  Fast forward several months, and that same little quilter decided to use the color palette from Central Park as an inspiration for the Pillow Talk Swap.

I started with this stack of fabrics, shamelessly inspired by the color palette from Central Park.

A stack for PTS 5

Then, after a few crazy days on something I tried to call a vacation but was really a bit more like an exercise in sleep deprivation, I decided to cut into the fabrics and make some HSTs.  I didn't really have a big plan in mind, so I just kind of played with the HSTs.  I started with a stack of 5" squares of my prints and some handy dandy Kona Coal, then I sewed a 1/4" seam around all four edges, and cut into four little triangles, making four gorgeous HSTs.  Never done that before?  Check out this video - you'll seriously have a lightbulb moment!

Anyway, so after I started with the HSTs, I started playing with the layouts.  I wasn't 100% in love with them at first, so I decided to shrink the size of my squares, and went down to 2.5" squares, and I really liked the change in scale, and using both sizes together.

PTS in progress

Then, I kept adding to it, and wound up with this, which I liked very much.   I also had a ton of leftover HSTs, so I knew a pieced pillow back was in order.


I stuck with some super simple straight-line quilting in white thread, to echo the design of the pillow front and I'm really happy with how it turned out.


After much indecision, I wound up going with an envelope bag - I used up the remaining fabric I had cut for this fabric - some strips of Kona Coal, some 2.5" squares, as well as some leftover HSTs.  In hindsight, I wish I had just done a zig-zag all the way across, but I think this kind of looks neat in its' own scrappy kind of way.

Note: That's just some dew drops on the pillow!

I'm going to be a little sad to pack up this pillow cover and ship it out - I really do love it!  But...I know somewhere out there, my partner is cooking up something extra special for me, so I think I'll survive.  I'm excited to see what pillow turns out to be mine, this group is full of such insanely talented women, I'm super honored to be a part of it.

I'm linking up with Fabric Tuesday today over at Quilt Story - off to see what everyone else has been sewing up!

Fresh Poppy Design

Pillow Talk {Swap} Round 4

Are you still recovering from Thanksgiving?  I know I am, that's why I retreated to do some sewing last night after all the festivities died down and the dishes were done.  I'm happy to say that I'm done with my pillow for the Pillow Talk {Swap}!

Have you heard about the Pillow Talk Swap?  I feel so lucky to be involved in this one, and I have to say, this swap has been a lot of fun to participate in.  There was an insane amount of talent in this group!  Check out some of my personal favorites...

1. Riverbend, 2. Pillow option #2, 3. PTS4 trial 2, 4. PTS4 pillow front, 5. pillow talk swap 4 - finished!, 6. pillow talk swap practice, 7. Sneak Peak of Front, 8. A Practice Pillow, 9. charity pillow, 10. of Earth and Sky, 11. Pillow talk swap progress, 12. PTS4 trial block 3

My partner's inspiration mosaic was pretty clear - she loves blues - and fortunately for me, I'm a fan, too, so I had some super ripe selections in my stash.  It seemed my partner was really into geometric designs, so I my first thought was triangles.  I'd been dying to try out some HSTs, so I thought a pillow would be a good, small scale way to give them a try.  The verdict?  I think I love them!

When I finished off this pillow and slipped it on my pillow form, I felt compelled to make my very own HST pillow.  Alas, I've still got a boatload of holiday sewing to do, so it'll have to wait for now.  Here's hoping the mailman brings me a beautiful pillow cover of my own real soon!