3 New Pillows with Wool Felt

Here are the first of the three new pillows to be added to Gracie May this week! I’m gradually getting them photographed and listed and I’ll show them here as well (but hopefully find some other things to blog about so you’re not overwhelmed with my sales pitch!). You can click on each of the photos to go directly to the listings for each pillow.

I have a lot of fun cutting out geometric shapes from wool felt and moving them around on fabric. It’s such a great form of applique since you don’t have to worry about the raw edges or anything. The second two of these also use linen, another favorite material. It means that these pillows will be slightly wrinkly, but I like a casual “lived in” look instead of furnishings that are too fussy and can’t be touched.

After asking on twitter and facebook last week, I’ve decided to sell these all as pillow covers, because not including the pillow forms saves considerably on shipping costs. Pillow forms are available upon request, though. I always make pillow covers with zippers so that the pillow forms stay securely inside since the few that I made with envelope backs seem to gape and show the pillow form, no matter how much the two sides overlap. Enjoy!

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pink & aqua quilt

Eventually I’ll have to move on from naming my quilts after the colors I’ve made them from, but I guess it works for now! This is the latest quilt that I’ve finished stitching down the binding on. I had the color combination for this one, hot pink, aqua, and gray, in my head for so long before I pulled the fabrics and actually made it. Does that happen to anyone else? Before I got married (or engaged) I would daydream about what colors my wedding would be more than any other aspect of the big day. I think I read wedding websites just to daydream about palettes (and I ended up choosing more of a theme than a color combo for my wedding, so I guess I’m getting it all out in quilts). One of the best things about having a fabric stash is to be able to pull out piles of fabric and see how well they coordinate. If only my co-workers knew the number of meetings I’ve frittered away wondering if I could get away with wearing a certain color combination from my closet. Maybe it’s my grown-up version of coloring books.

Anyway, so the quilt. This is another improvised one, just in case you were trying to find a pattern in the blocks there. I thought it would be neat if it looked like the yellow roses were climbing up through the frames, and just popping out wherever they could. I cut the rose fabric into rectangles based on where the design breaks were (my version of fussy cutting) and then added frames with the pink and gray. It was kind of time consuming, though, to get everything arranged and in straight-ish lines, so I was left without energy to make it much bigger. The two borders are Flea Market Fancy and another Anna Maria Horner garden party print, and the binding is a cake rock beach shot cotton. I think the gray is from Moda 1974 and the inner pink is from Tula Pink?

All told, I’m not sure what to do with this one now. It’s quite a distinctive color combo, so I’m wondering if anyone else will find it as striking as I do. It’s a little small for a throw- more of a baby quilt size really, but the design doesn’t strike me as juvenile in the least. It’ll go on the stack for now (don’t worry- I have a few coming up that I’m definitely giving away for Christmas).

Here’s the back, in case you were curious. Mostly kona white, the rest of the roses, and a better view of my wonky free motion quilting. I’m calling the design “beads on a string” and it was the first time where I’ve actually taken the time to remove a few rows and do them better because I had improved so much by the end compared to where I had started. Plus, they looked like cursive ‘e’s on the back, and I couldn’t get over that fact.

I finished sewing a pile of pillow covers for the shop today, but not while it was still light out, so no photos or listings yet. We’re going out of town for the holiday tomorrow, but should be back in time for me to get some photos done and have them listed before Cyber Monday! I do have an ad in a showcase on Saturday, so I’ll be curious to know if that works or not.

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Grateful week 3

Oops! Meant to post this last week, but somehow loading pictures got away from me. I’m thankful for our mini kitchen remodel, which so far has added a pantry cupboard found on craigslist and taken down the table in the kitchen (which let’s face it, we never sat down at because it was such a tight squeeze) and reorganized things in cabinets and on shelves. In my mind I’m a fan of the un-cluttered look and would love if we didn’t have anything on open shelves or out on counters, but it’s not yet meant to be. At least now I have a space for my potatoes besides out on the counter where hopefully they won’t sprout and turn green too quickly, and a new sunny spot for the houseplants under the window so they can survive the winter. Nothing too fancy, just a place for what’s what. Now if we could figure out a solution for the pesky termites gracing our lives, we might have ourselves a solid place to live!

I’m trying to stay hopeful about all of these plants, too. I’m good at the ones that work well in shady areas without too much water, but would like to add more succulents and the one there on the bottom shelf hasn’t done too much. It may not have enough drainage, though. The lemon tree on the bottom one doesn’t have leaves, but we’re saying it’s “gone dormant” for the winter. Um, right. I’ve had it for a couple years and it did produce one lemon, so it may be time to call it quits and say Virginia isn’t the right climate for lemons, especially ones that live indoors 1/3 of the year. But I’ll keep trying a little bit longer.

I’ve been keeping the sewing machine busy lately, so I have lots of things to share that I’ll try to spread out over the next couple days (the first few are on flickr already), and I’m working on a shop update for tomorrow!

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Grateful Week 2

If I posted every day, I could list what I’m thankful for every day, but I’ll just have to continue to post the list when I do write. It’s been fun being more aware throughout the week of all of the things I have to be thankful for. I took pictures yesterday and then the battery in the camera died. One day I’ll get a routine established.

The biggest thing to be thankful for these last couple of days is having a warm, dry, home during what the weather people are calling our “November Nor’easter”. We’ve gotten over four inches since yesterday, and there’s plenty still coming down. So far the wind hasn’t been too bad here yet, though, so we still have power. The puppy’s been napping a lot which helps me to get my work done, but I do have to go out in the rain with him when he goes out so he’ll brave the wetness and cool air. We have some puddling but are safely off the flood plain, which is good news too. 

I’ve also been blessed in the last week by lots of opportunities for sweet fellowship. Both in being a guest and in hosting, I’m glad to have the time and the chances to spend time with friends over meals and at parties. Coming up this Saturday is one of our favorite events of the year for our fellowship group (when we get around to scheduling it – February was the last one, and it’s not like it takes a lot of work to get set up). We call it “family dinner”, and it works to get to know people in a more comfortable setting then would otherwise be possible. While our group does a couple potlucks throughout the year during our normal meeting times, I realized a couple years ago that when we were up over 30 people in average attendance that people were becoming hesitant to invite the whole group to their house for a meal, since that would be  a huge number for most people to host casually. So instead, we break up into groups of 7 or 8 (and try to mix up singles, married couples, people who already know each other well and newcomers to the group) into dinner parties hosted at different homes. That way no one has to do all the work, and no one is excluded from the fun. I’ve learned things about people in this setting that I haven’t learned just chit-chatting before our after Bible study because sometimes it’s easier there to just talk to the people I already know well and stay focused on checking in about their weeks. This Saturday we have four hosts set up (all I do is find out who wants to host and then assign people to houses – the hosts arrange all the rest) and I’m excited for the time that we’ll spend together.

I guess this is the season, and for the next couple months more and more social occasions are getting scheduled around the Holidays, and I have to remind myself that these occasions don’t get in the way of life, that they build relationships and are the point of the rest of it. I’m lucky to have the friends that I do here, and to get a chance to see them all on a regular basis just adds to the blessings. I used to be better about keeping in touch with friends who were far away, and lately unless they’re on facebook I haven’t tried very hard, so that’s something to keep working on.

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A little ebay experiment

I realized a couple weeks ago that my closet is full of quite a few lovely things that I’m likely to never wear again. This is my first try with listing on ebay, and I’ve started with semi-formal dresses and formal gowns. Some of them I’ve worn in piano recitals, some in weddings as bridesmaids or as a guest. Most of them are pretty classic styles, but my closet is bursting at the seams. If I recoup my listing fees from this go-round I have some shoes and more casual things to list, too. If you’re local and interested, let me know so we can take away the shipping cost.

Go here and check it out!

http://shop.ebay.com/megrje/m.html

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out for a walk

In the month plus since we’ve had Trigger, I’ve been able to shed a few pounds just from going on walks a couple days with him. As he gets older, we go further and further, and even now that we have a fence and it’s getting chillier, I’m hoping to keep it up. It’s nice to have a reason to get up off the couch and spend some time outside.

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