Our niece was set to graduate high school this year and we were anxiously awaiting the announcement of which college she’d be attending in the fall. It wasn’t a snap decision, as she had a lot of great schools to choose from, but ultimately the she went with Judson College.
As I usually do, I went straight online and bought a couple of t-shirts to turn into dorm pillows for her graduation gift. Judson isn’t a huge school, so I didn’t know a lot about it, but I knew it was a religious institution and that their team mascot was the Eagles. I fell in love with the graphics on these two and quickly set about finishing up the pillows.
Yep, those pillows are for Judson University. My niece is going to Judson College.
In my defense, both are small, religious institutions and both have an Eagle mascot. I’ve since found out that there are FOUR institutes of higher learning with the name Judson, none of which are affiliated in any way. What are the freakin’ chances?**
I apologized profusely that her graduation gift would be late and got to work on turning shirts from the right Judson into dorm pillows. While I didn’t get them to her in time for her graduation party, I did get them finished before she leaves for college this fall.
Now that she has her quilted dorm pillows in hand, I’m super happy to say…
Congratulations, Kari, on your graduation!
And thanks for being so understanding 😀
**I was able to reach the Judson University Communications Department and offer them the original set of pillow shams. They are going to use them in a give-away so at least I know all that hard work isn’t going to waste!
Congratulations to our cousins’ daughter, Nicole, on her recent graduation! And you know what more graduates mean around here – more graduation pillows!
I love giving these over-sized pillows to recent graduates because they are SO perfect for dorm life – you can use them for extra seating when people visit, or to prop up text books while studying or just to scream into during finals 😀
Usually, I make these with college t-shirts, but Nicole is going to community college for a couple of years first (wish I’d been as fiscally responsible at such young age!) She’s a Cali girl through and through, though, so these will work no matter which university she picks in the end.
Got a recent grad in your life? If you know a young adult heading off to college this fall and are looking for the perfect gift, contact me for your custom set today!
Last year, we went on a weekend getaway just as I was trying to finish a few quilting projects. Even though I was supposed to be relaxing (what’s that? 😀 ) I brought my hand binding supplies along and promptly lost every needle, thread, clip and pair of scissors in my luggage. It was then I realized I needed a needlebook.
A needlebook, or sewing book, is simply a case that hold needles and sewing supplies, shaped like a book and usually made of fabric or felt. And when it comes to felt-y goodness, I know the perfect go-to person – my friend Steph at TwoKazoos.
We started discussing some ideas for the needlebook and a mutual love of the 1988 movie Beetlejuice came up. It’s one of my all time favorite films, and there are so many great quotes and visuals in the Tim Burton classic. One of which is literally a book – the Handbook for the Recently Deceased that drives much of the plot.
With that dead-on inspiration in mind (tee hee hee, dead-on inspiration, get it?) Steph went to work and this was the result –
Seriously, have you EVER SEEN ANYTHING MORE AWESOME?!?!?!? She nailed the detail of the book cover using THREAD and FELT. I have no idea how she does such incredible work in such a difficult medium. She’s the crafty genius with the most, babe.
Usually, a needlebook is just a couple of pieces of felt sewn together to make a book, but I wanted something with some depth to hold more supplies. We went with a pine wood book box with hinged lid.
On the inside, it’s not just awesome looking, it functions perfectly, too. I’ve got a pin cushion and ribbons to hold clips (those ribbons even kind of roll out like Beetlejuice’s carnival arms!) as well as spaces for scissors and thread. Everything I need for hand binding my quilt projects is organized and enclosed. I can “shake, shake, shake” it, Señora, all I want and nothing will fall out 😀
And the best part is I will never again have to deal with missing needles in my vacation jammies!
My work camera broke the other day, so we went to purchase a new one at Best Buy. The guy working there asked what we were going to use it for – selfies or YouTube videos?
I started laughing so hard!
I really don’t think I look anything like a person who takes a lot of selfies or a person who posts YouTube videos. On the other hand, I DO look like the kind of person who makes quilts and wants to photograph them.
Actually he was very helpful in the end and I got a camera that takes accurate color photos for my fabrics and nice, wide shots for large quilts (and it takes selfies and videos :D)
I wanted to practice dense embroidery AND
my friend is into Day of the Dead imagery AND
her birthday was coming up – –
so everything just aligned perfectly in the making of this pillow (figuratively AND literally – the stitching came out great, too!)
‘Til Death embroidery design from Urban Threads
I thought it might be fun to take a detailed look through the creative process I bring to a quilt design…
This is the fabric I fell in love with – it’s from a Michael Miller line called Garden Isle. The palm leaf print coordinates with the decor in our guest room beautifully and I thought a light-weight summer quilt for that room would be perfect.
This is the quilt design I ultimately decided was my favorite choice – but it took a long time to get to this point!
I knew I wanted to feature the palm leaf fabric, so this was my first effort – a large block of the print in the center surrounded by smaller scrappy blocks. But it’s a little too basic, too blah.
Building on that first design, I then tried breaking up the large center block of palm fabric. It’s still the focus, but there’s more white space, too, which outlines a path for your eye to travel through the design.
Next I tried a row quilt design. Again, the palm fabric is featured and there’s lots of white space which nicely sets off the scrappy blocks. This was a top contender, but I wasn’t quite satisfied.
After so many options with large areas of palm fabric, I wanted to try something different. Here the palm blocks are more seperated, but I felt their design got lost next to the larger scrappy blocks.
Another smaller palm block design – this time with a black and white stripe element (one of my favorite accents in a quilt.) But again, it feels like the beautiful focus fabric is no longer emphasized.
I got the right balance of palm fabric and scrappy fabrics in this one, but the only way I could make it work was changing the overall quilt dimensions from rectangular to square. Despite such a dramatic shift, this was almost my choice.
Once again, the winning design! You can see how I pulled a lot of the best elements from previous designs into this one and everything just finally gelled. I can’t wait to get started on this quilt!
Our first great niece will be making her way into the world any day now and, of course, I had to make a baby quilt to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Because her proud parents-to-be are known for their love of games, I thought that an “I Spy”/matching game quilt would be the perfect choice. That way baby can join in the fun right from the beginning…
I really liked the idea of a modern quilt design and this asymmetric pattern was something I hadn’t done before. The gray and white color scheme worked really well as a frame for the novelty fabrics (and once we knew it was a girl, I added in a pink accent to the binding.)
Going through my stash to find the perfect novelty fabric choices was so much fun! There’s a few in there that have personal meaning for my niece and her growing family – they are big Patriots fans, for instance, and great-grandma has a tea cup collection. Others I just thought would be fun for a kid to search for – Dinosaurs! Rubber duckies! Rocket ships!
I love how an I Spy quilt like this encourages family interaction and baby’s development. There’s so many learning opportunities here – searching for matching images, looking for specific designs, identifying colors, etc. Plus, it’s just plain fun 😀
Here’s hoping Briella and her parents enjoy a future filled with lots of warm and wonderful family game nights. Welcome little one!
I find it practically impossible to make a baby quilt and not include a tooth fairy pillow, too.
There was a long search for a tooth fairy embroidery that I could use for this baby and for future babies (after all, our siblings have 17 kids between them. I suspect there will be future great nieces and nephews. 😀 ) This super cute one from artapli on Etsy was perfect.
Additional scrappy gray fabrics that coordinate with the gray and white fabrics from the quilt – and that same pink accent – mean everything matches beautifully.
The added benefit here is that just as baby starts to age out of their baby quilt, having a tooth fairy pillow around means a little warmth and “whimzie” will still be part of their life!