Tag Archives: home

Pillows for far away friends.

Two pairs of friends moved away in the last couple months and I wanted to make gifts for the both of them.IMG_1494 Jess and Ryan left North Carolina for Portland, Oregon (a place I’d love to join them one day!) so I made them a pillow from 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars, a combination of North Carolina star and an Oregon star in blues and greens from my stash.

IMG_1016I outline quilted parts of it in light grey thread


and backed it in a cute umbrella print I got from a friend with an exposed zipper. It fits an 18″ pillow form.

IMG_1018Sam and Amanda, whom I also made this quilt for, left us for Grand Rapids, Michigan so I made them a star from, as you probably guessed, part North Carolina and Michigan.IMG_1486IMG_1487The print on the border of the front, from Pat Bravo’s Indie line or Art Gallery Fabrics, is one I used in Amanda’s quilt so I pulled colors from there and mimicked the design in the quilting, too.IMG_1492

It’s backed in a Joel Dewberry print, has an exposed zipper, and fits a 16″ pillow form.


These are both in their new homes and I hope they will be loved very much!

I love making these stars so much.  I think it might be time to make myself a pillow with them!  Or maybe a small quilt of all the places I’ve lived.

Gift commission.


My lovely friends Sam and Amanda, who I made this quilt for last year, asked me to make a set of placemats and napkins for a wedding gift.  Amanda suggested grey and mustard yellow so I set off to The Little General and got a lovely stack.


Each of the eight placemats and napkins are different.  I roughly used this tutorial though I used fusible fleece, quilted the front with a variegated grey thread, and used the pillowcase method.



The placemats measure approximately 13″ by 18″ and the napkins, white on the other back sides, are 17″ square.


I wish I’d gotten better pictures but that’s what happens when you finish something 5 minutes before the deadline!  Sam and Amanda loved these and had a hard time giving them away.  I can only hope their friends Chris and Clair love them too! (Sam and Chris made a documentary together called Wagonmasters that’s super awesome.)

Lamp redo.

I recovered this lamp weeks ago and I’m just getting around to showing it off!IMG_0878

I found this lamp at the Rescue Mission Thrift Store and loved the shape of it but the base was a tan yellow color and the shade was cracked.  I swear I saw a photo from quilt market a few times back with a lamp similar to this in the background of Anna Maria Horner‘s booth, but I can’t seem to find it again. I loved it when I saw it and knew it’s what I wanted to do to this one.

I pieced three feathers using remnants of this pillow, and using a template I made by tracing the curvature of the shade, pieced turquoise sections to complete the circle. I stretched it over the old shade and using fabric glue, rolled the edges over the top and bottom. I spray painted the base a glossy white, and voila!IMG_0881

I love it!

Patchwork dinner napkins.

This is one of those projects that I’ve meant to make for years.  Whenever I go to Caitlin‘s house, I’m always pleased at all her homemade napkins used for every meal.  So much nicer than paper towels!  So, with a dinner guest coming last night, I decided now was the time.

I started with the Denyse Schmidt FMF bouquet fabric because I love it, I had a full yard, and my living room/eating space is grey and yellow. From there, I picked coordinating scraps, sewed some patchwork strips, and added FreeSpirit Arctic white.  I did my math a little wrong and they only turned out about 16½”, but that’s okay.

Now I want to make place mats, coasters, a table runner… all matter of useful things!

It’s done!

So it turns out that sewing on snap tape sucks.

It was definitely the most labor intensive part of this duvet cover, Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts’ long-overdue June project.  (You can see past projects from this book here.)

Now it’s finished and I’m happy about that, but I’m not sure I actually like it. I bought the Meadowlark by Denyse Schmidt print before I decided to paint my bedroom wall bright magenta, but hopefully the colors are bright enough that the combination will grow on me.

I don’t currently own a comforter, so I thought this would be a good motivator to buy one (and dream of colder days). The pattern made a duvet 80″ x 86″ but most of the comforters I found at Ikea were 86″ square so I made the outer borders all the same width.  I also varied from the pattern by top stitching two lines in bright orange around the outside.

Make sure to check out Caitlin’s beautiful duvet!  I love that Lotta Jansdotter print, I’d like to make some curtains from that (if it didn’t seem to be sold out nearly everywhere)!

Snippets of my house.

My new apartment is coming together, slowly but surely.  I painted my bedroom and living room in the last couple weeks and I love it so much.  Most of it is a pale grey called Grey Owl with an accent wall in the living room called Sunshine (maybe the brightest yellow ever) and one in the bedroom called Hot Lips (magenta).  I’m saving up for a trip to Ikea for a couple things and my friend Laura has very graciously given me three tables.  It’s definitely not done but I took a few photos this morning.

I thrifted this mirror for $2 and spray painted it.  It’s coincidentally nearly the same yellow as the opposite wall.

My favorite way to organize everything.

I thrifted this shelf with hooks, the mirror, and the brass candlesticks.  The candle is from my friend Sarah and the magnolia print is by the wonderful Andy Kurtts, whom I met at the Hand 2 Hand Market.This is art by my talented friends.  From left to right there are pieces by Liz Simmons, Zap McConnell, another one by Liz, Caleb Williams, and Molly Bolton.

Roanoke weekend in pictures.

I went up to Roanoke this past weekend for my best friend’s birthday.  Her apartment is one of my favorites.  She and her boyfriend went out one night and I stayed in, lit some candles, and read “Wise Blood.”  Something about the scene reminded me of Posie Gets Cozy‘s lovely shots so I took a few photos. (Please ignore the blurriness due to low lighting.)  The ever lovely Sarah also took a few photos at the party.

To lay on and to hold on.

I am in love with this new pillow.

I made this block in Jess’s wonderful Improv Piecing class at Sewing Summit back in October and as soon as it was finished, I knew it had to become a pillow.  So what if it only took me three months?  :)I surrounded it in Alexander Henry’s Heath in black, quilted it in a pale grey thread by following some of the natural lines in the block and sewing on on both sides of them, and bound it in white, and closed it with an envelope back.

I’ve also made a few bags and pouches recently for various things.Using Jeni’s wonderful and oh-so-popular lined drawstring bag tutorial, I made a bag for my herringbone cowl out of one of my favorite Aneely Hooey Little Apples prints, a red dot from my stash, and a DS Quilts print for the ties (I really should buy a bolt of that stuff!),

one for that portable speaker system I got a couple weeks ago (the first one, on the far left, was a little too small but the second one fit just right, both out of Jay McCarroll Habitat prints and coordinating solids),

and a triangle pouch for my binding clips from this tutorial, also out of a Habitat print.  Thanks Jeni for such a great project!

Reading, listening, and watching #8

I was sick last weekend with a head/throat cold that was not fun.  I slept a lot and while I hardly read at all or listened to much music, I did watch a lot of things.  My newest love (obsession) is Parks & Recreation.  How have I not watched this show until now?!  I watched everything up ’til now in just a few days and I’m crazy about it.  They make me want to work in that office, live in a small Midwestern town, and be friends with Leslie Knope.  I’ve heard that Louis CK is coming back for 4 episodes which makes me happy because I like him but a little sad because I like Adam Scott (from Party Down, another favorite) so much.

I also watched a lot of movies like Bridesmaids (loved it), The Adjustment Bureau (liked it), The Lincoln Lawyer (liked it), Tree of Life (mostly liked it), Source Code (liked it), and Kick Ass (really liked it).

I’m still making my way through Frankenstein.   There is, in my opinion, a really annoying review of it on GoodReads that makes me wonder if we’re reading the same book  And the 73 people that like that review?  I guess honesty has it’s place and we all have our tastes.  Although I like it enough to have read it an a few days, it’s taken me over a month to read.  I’ve only really been reading before bed which means I make it through 2-5 pages and then I’m asleep.  Maybe when the quilting/creating slows down in March, I’ll have time to get sucked into a book.  I did get three books in the mail from my Dad.  I know exactly what they are but I still want something to open on Christmas morning!

One year.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of me living in Winston Salem. Marcus had already lived in town since May but we moved into this house July 5th, 2010.

It’s been a really great year. It hasn’t been without it’s tough parts but I am so happy in this city. It’s a little bit Minneapolis, a tiny bit Roanoke, but all Southern. I work a job that I love and I’ve made some really amazing friends. Here’s to another great year!

We did pretty much nothing for the Fourth. We celebrated ‘Merica by eating crappy pizza and watching “Suicide Kings” while it stormed outside. The rain had stopped in time for fireworks around town, I could hear at least two different shows while walking the dogs. Maybe next year the weather will cooperate and we’ll do something more fun.

If I moved here a year ago yesterday, that means we’ve had Jackson for a year today. He’s such a good dog, well behaved (for the most part), handsome, and sweet. He’s been acting weird around new people lately which worries me but I’m sure it’s nothing we can’t work out. I never knew I could love an animal like I love him :)