Pillow for Z’s Grandpa

I’ve made another pillow for Z’s grandpa this year. He loves the other one I made him, and I thought he could use a second one. Most of the scraps are from the quilts I made for Z last year and the year before, so the colors for this pillow are still patriotic but the prints are actually more nautical.

I started with 3″ squares organized in a four by six layout:

I added 2″ wide red borders.  (I made them a little too wide for the pillow form.)  I’d actually had another border planned, but I did my math wrong and cut the pieces too short.

For the back, I fussy cut this center scrap, which is leftover from the Storm at Sea quilt I made for Z.  The white fabric is leftover from his “What So Proudly We Hail” quilt.  It’s got little sea shells on it.



I used this tutorial to make pillowcases for my goddaughter for Christmas.  One is made from a dinosaur skeleton fabric, and the other from Riley Blake’s Saltwater collection.  They both seemed perfect for a toddler!

It’s two-sided:

I love the turtles:


Drawstring gift bags

The long-awaited baby H, my niece, has finally made her appearance. She is already much-beloved, the first grandchild on both sides. Z and I went south for a couple of days to visit her and I brought along gifts: scotch to pamper the new daddy, a little bag full of nail polish and makeup (all in shades of pink) to pamper the new mommy, and some cute baby things to pamper the new baby. 🙂 I made drawstring bags for each gift.

I forgot to take a picture of the bag I made for the scotch, but it was like the other wine bags I’ve made. I used the green peacock feather print that I made their wedding quilt from.

For my sister-in-law I made this cute pink bag, which fit the small case I’d bought and filled with lip glosses and nail polishes. My sister-in-law, you may recall, loves pink and I’m happy to indulge!


For baby H, I broke out some brand new fabric. This is a far quarter of Riley Blake’s Saltwater collection. I got it from Connecting Threads. (Check out my next Sunday stash post to see that I went a bit overboard buying fabrics, after almost a year of not buying fabric unless it was for a specific project.)  This line is so cute. It has sea turtles, narwhals, mermaids, and little fishes, in delectable shades of pink, coral, sea foam green, yellow, and a lovely dark blue. I bought it on an impulse buy and decided I needed to use it immediately.  (I have a ton left.)


I took the pictures before I put the ribbons in for the drawstrings but you can use your imagination. 🙂

What I like about drawstring bags is that they can be reused. I made myself a couple of shoe bags and I think I should make more. They’re so useful.

Teal and Grey Quilt – Part II

Hi habibis! Welcome to part II of the teal and grey quilt I made for my friend M and her husband H.  I forgot to name the quilt so I’ve just been calling it the teal and grey quilt.

I had to go fabric shopping again for the back and binding. (I know! I was going to do a scrappy back but then I worried – at my guild we had just had a speaker talk about how she doesn’t like when the seams of a darker scrappy backing show through on the lighter top, and I got worried that it would mar the look if there were dark pieces splitting up some of my lighter blocks on the front. So I went shopping.) I bought this grey crosshatch – extra wide! – for the backing.


I got two fabrics for the binding, one teal and one grey, because I didn’t have the quilt with me and I wasn’t sure the teal would work. It was actually perfect, so I’ll save the grey for something else.

For the quilting my initial plan was straight line quilting in which through all the rows. I got bored about two thirds through the first row. So I decided I could change it up. I quilted some of the fabrics following the print. I did some of the end pieces with vertical straight line quilting. I used grey and blue threads.  It took longer but it was more interesting and I think it made for a much more interesting quilt. Every row is different.  In the pictures below you can see glimpses of the binding.





I did a little bit of hand quilting – the bride and groom’s names, in English in one block and in Persian in another. I reached out to the bride’s sister, since although Arabic and Persian use the same basic alphabet there are some differences, and I wanted to make sure I wrote their names properly. She sent me a sample in different styles, some simpler and others more elaborate, and I picked one that I liked and knew I could do justice to. I think it came out great. I did a better job spacing the Persian than I had the English!


Shots of the quilting from the back:





Thanks to my dad, for being such a great quilt model!

Here’s the finished quilt. Isn’t it gorgeous?


Teal and Grey Quilt – Part I

Hello habibis! I have a wedding quilt to share with you, a gift for my friend M and her husband H. They recently got married and I made a quilt to match their decor. They use a lot of dark teal and greys in their tiling and elsewhere in the house and I wanted to mirror that.

Do you remember the greys and teals I bought in August? Those were for this quilt. I wanted a brick-style layout. I cut them into 5″ by 10″ rectangles. I had to use pretty much all the fabric I’d bought, plus a little of what was in my stash. I think in the end I decided one fat quarter didn’t fit with the colors I wanted.


I went semi-random with the layout. I arranged them in piles for each row and then chain pieced, making sure only that each row had a somewhat balanced look.


Then I put all the rows on my bed and spent a long time rearranging them. I wanted, again, for the quilt to feel balanced. I ended up with some of the same fabrics next to each other in adjacent rows, but overall I think it’s pretty balanced. It was the best I could do.


At the time I wondered if I should have maybe staggered the rows more, but thanks to the semi-random distribution of fabrics it doesn’t look overly uniform. When I look at it now I think it’s fine.

Next week I’ll share the quilting!


“I Love Lucy” Pillow for Aunt D


My aunt D (the one who gifted me her stash) LOVES “I love Lucy.” Ages ago I bought a set of Lucy fabrics from keepsake quilting. (And by “ages” I mean probably six or seven years ago, which as far as my quilting goes is pretty far back.) I’ve used the fabric once or twice to make ornaments but I don’t think I’d ever made a pillow before. I decided she should have one!  I pulled the different fabrics and started planning.
The fabric is from the chocolate factory episode. One fabric has large blocks with stills/scenes from the episode. I fussy cut one and decided to make more patches of the same size. One is a four-patch, and the other two are also fussy cut with borders. I added the yellow strips to get the size I wanted – I believe I used a 16-inch pillow.
I pinned it to a piece a batting and started my quilting. For the yellow fussy cut patch I did just a square to frame it. I framed the other two fussy cut pictures of Lucy. Pretty much all the other quilting is straight line quilting – probably about 3/8″ apart. I used coordinating thread – pale pink, pale yellow, and mint green.
I used another print for the back, this one featuring Lucy and Ethel with Ricky and Fred. I bound it with a print of the I Love Lucy logo on a pink background. I’ve never bound a pillow before. I thought it looked cute but I found it to be harder to sew down. I was trying not to sew through all the layers but now I think I probably should have – it would hold better.
How cute is this?

Improv-pieced trivet/hot pad

My cousin likes to cook and bake, so I decided to make her a trivet/hotpad for her birthday. I had been playing around with leftover cream and pastel scraps from the bee block I made for Carla in August (see here).  I ended up with two rectangular pieces, blocks that were about the right size for a trivet.

I sandwiched them with two layers of batting between them to protect a table or countertop. I picked a side to be the “top” and quilted straight lines in the different sections, leaving the blue and white print unquilted.

In most sections I used white thread (or maybe cream? I can’t remember now but it looks white to me in the picture) and for the outer sections – the lavender and the pieces that complete the “square” I used lavender thread.

Here’s the back:

I bound it with a semi-scrappy lavender binding (because I ran out of the polka dot).  C likes purple.

I was worried that it might be too improv – maybe that’s not her style, you know? – but she liked it, so we were both happy in the end.