Pillows and Pencil Rolls

The Modern Quilt Guild is having their 3rd annual fabric challenge and this year it is sponsored by Riley Blake and my local modern quilt guild is participating.  Yay!  That means that I have an excuse to play with pretty fabrics, not that I really need one.  Riley Blake was kind enough to provide us with 6 fat eighths from their Basics Collection.  We are allowed to add any other Riley Blake print or any solid to make a quilt to be entered in the challenge.  Fortunately, I already had several other Riley Blake prints in my stash (mostly from Geekly Chic).  I still felt that I needed a bigger variety of color so I ordered a fat quarter bundle of Riley Blake Cotton Dots.  While I waited for that to arrive I went to work looking for a pattern to use.  I was pretty sure that I wanted to do something with half square triangles.  That may have something to do with the fact that I’m anxious to use my new Bloc Loc ruler.  I just wasn’t finding any patterns that got me super excited so, for the first time ever, I dug out the kid’s old colored pencils and started sketching.  I use the word “sketch” very loosely.  What I mean by sketch is taking colored pencils and graph paper and coloring in squares until patterns emerge and things started looking pretty.  That’s the extent of my artistic ability when it comes to “sketching”.  I’m very good at coloring in the lines.   I came up with 2 possibilities for my quilt and while I’m sure they’ve been done before, I still had a blast coming up with them this way.   My only complaint was that it was a real pain keeping my pencils organized while I colored sketched.  So I decided a pencil roll was necessary, because I really did need another project to add to do {smirk}.


There are a ton of tutorials online for crayon and pencil roll-ups.  In the end I just sorta winged it.  I love that I can easily see all of my pencils at a glance and that they are super easy to put away when I finish.


I had 32 pencils, which was A LOT compared to most of the pencil rolls that I saw.  If I had to do it again I would make 2 different roll-ups and I would secure them with a button and elastic instead of the ribbons.  The ribbons look nice, but they are time consuming to close.



I used scraps for the colors and linen for the pocket and the back.  It was a fun little project to keep me busy while I waited for my Riley Blake dots to arrive.  Every now and then I need that instant gratification that quick, small projects give me.

When I finished the pencil roll-up and my fabric still hadn’t arrived for the challenge I decided to finish up another small project that was almost finished.  Awhile back I decided that I wanted to give hand embroidery a try.  I was looking for something that I could do in bed while I watch tv and get ready to go to sleep.  Embroidery seemed like the obvious choice.  So I hopped on Etsy and found a beginners embroidery kit (complete with floss, pattern, stitch guide and fabric) that wasn’t too childish.  It was the perfect little project to start with and I highly recommend it if you are interested in giving embroidery a try.  The only problem was that I didn’t really know what to do with the finished project.  It was cute, but wasn’t really my “style” for wall art.  I had recently seen a quilt that had embroidered blocks mixed in with the regular quilting fabric and thought that was really beautiful the way the two art forms came together.  So I decided to give it a try….sort of.  Instead of working my finished project into a quilt I made it the center of a pillow.


It was a happy coincidence that I happened to have fabric that worked perfectly with it.  Now I have a beautiful new bird pillow for my still “In Progress” bedroom.  I discovered that I really enjoy embroidery and have made one other project so far…..


I made this cute little clutch for my swap partner in the Secret Tote Swap – Round 2 Nature.   My partner just received her tote this week so I can share now that it was Lia, the swap organizer herself!  I had such a good time making the Super Tote for her that I mentioned a couple posts ago.  I had picked up on her fondness for sheep while I was stalking her and I couldn’t find a way to work that into the tote, this clutch seemed like a fun extra and gave me another bedtime project to sew on.  While I loved the embroidery and the sewing of the fabric for the clutch was super easy, I did not care for the gluing of the fabric into the frame.  I’m sure if made a bunch of them I would get really good at it, but this was my first time and it was definitely challenging.  Lia was thrilled with it though and that’s what really matters :-).

My RB Dots finally arrived and I made quick work of cutting and sewing my HST’s.  Now comes my least favorite, but most important step….the dreaded trimming.  Bloc -loc to the rescue!  This is my first time using my bloc-loc ruler on a a big project and WOW, what a difference!  I wouldn’t go as far to say that I love trimming now, but I’m no longer grumbling about it and I can already tell that the process is going much quicker (good thing because I still have about 200 more to trim).  These are pricey little rulers, but in my opinion worth every penny and there are a couple others on my wish list already.




Thanks for stopping by,


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