Throw pillow love

After repainting our bedroom I got the itch to pretty much remove everything unneeded from the room, only return a select few pieces, and begin redecorating. With Josiah beginning kindergarten and exiting the little kid phase, I'm feeling like we can finally begin creating a home that feels "pulled together" vs. "thrown together." 6 months later...the room is slowly still evolving. Two of my very favorite additions have been a throw size quilt to drape over the upholstered chair (which will be replaced at some point with something non squeaky and non floral) and 5 pillows for the bed and the chair. I actually chose the pillow fabric last summer to compliment a massive California king sized quilt I've been working on (currently waiting for it to come back from the machine quilter). I absolutely LOVE them! They look fabulous even when the bed pillows are stored under the side table. In a room filled with grey and other neutrals they add just the right pop of color. 

When Jim's away, the kiddies will play!

The running joke in our family when Jim leaves town for work is now... "So what room are you going to paint while I'm gone this time?" A few years ago I painted the kitchen when Jim was gone for three weeks, last winter I painted our bedroom, and this fall I would have painted our living room had I not gotten sick. I'm not sure why he whines about this habit since it means he never has to help and doesn't need to deal with the house being a mess during the process. He should be bragging that his wife paints while he is gone on purpose! Anyway...I've been meaning to post these pics since March, especially since painting our room has now led to several other projects and a complete bedroom redo, and painting has become just phase 1...

Photo series 1 --- Former furniture placement and wall color with the "I'm just going to paint a few spots to see how the color looks...oops! Better paint it all now!" splotches. And my little helper...

Photo series 2 --- All done! I love how warm the grey feels during the day, although it gets a little "grey grey" at night without natural light. I also moved the dresser from between the windows to next to the closet, which totally opened up the feel of the room. Now, instead of seeing a huge dresser once you enter the room, you see a chair and side table and a little wall. This area has been evolving and no longer looks the same, but more on that later!


Oh, what a stash!

Almost exactly 2 years ago I sewed my first quilt and promptly threw almost all of the remaining scraps of fabric away. It's taken this long for me to regret that decision, and now I'm totally kicking myself. At the time, that quilt began as at project to check off of my bucket list, and I was more testing the waters to see if sewing was something I'd ever want to take up again than anything. It didn't take long before I started pinning ideas for projects and purchased my own machine, but without a dedicated space for sewing, completed projects were few and far between and pretty simplistic.

It wasn't until this past winter when Modern Textiles opened their doors that I really became enthusiastic about sewing, and not really until this summer before I began making a point to make time for it. I've limited myself to mainly purchasing fabric for specific purposes or projects to keep my stash of fabric pretty refined and limited, and since I typically use most of what I purchase I have a very limited supply of scraps. Up until this weekend I considered that smart sewing, until I met Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts and my jaw dropped when I saw her scrap quilts and pillows. Wow, I wish I had her eye for fabric. Her style of mixing vibrant colors and a huge variety of fabrics creates the most beautiful effect. Clearly I need to become braver and step out of my comfort zone, and clearly I need to not be afraid to collect a variety of fabrics that I love, even if I don't have a specific project in mind at the time. And now, of course, I'm wishing that I hadn't thrown away those original remnants of the fabrics I used for Josiah's quilt, since they would have been PERFECT in this pillow for his bed!

Isn't that bold, beautiful, cozy, and modern all wrapped up in one? I have never had any intention of sewing anything with little pieces or considered attempting to machine quilt anything I make, but the vibrant colors and prints just suck me in and make me want to attempt a few things that are out of my current comfort zone. This pillow is just one of Amanda's pillows, as you can see here in her blog post. After visiting with her briefly at the shop this weekend and getting to see and touch her work, I'm feeling oh so inspired to try a few scrappy pillows to work my way into working with smaller pieces. Through watching her do some spiral machine quilting in the shop and listening to her talk about how to begin small scale, I think I've mustered enough courage to attempt this on my own. Hence...let the stashing of fabric begin...

I picked up "a few" fat quarters in both prints and solids to begin a collection of pieces to work with. The charm pack (bundle of tiny squares) will be my first project inspired by Amanda. Pillow tutorial on her blog here... Going to be going WAY out of my comfort zone on this one...putting together little pieces and lining everything up accurately, doing my own machine quilting, first envelope pillow assembly (red polka dot under the charm pack will be the backside of the pillow, envelope tutorial here...), and first attempt at making my own pillow form (her tutorial for that here...)...I just LOVED the weight and feel of the forms she made herself. Soft enough for napping on the couch, but much denser and heftier than the wimpy pre made ones. I'm sure no pillow fights would happen with these.

I am totally inspired to try quilting a few pillows to test the waters. Jim will "love" that! Piles of pillows are his absolute favorite. Lol! I just added 5 throw pillows to our bedroom on top of the 6 bed pillows. What's a few more, right? The living room and Josiah's bed clearly need a few.

If you are interested in Amanda's book, which I picked up (and had autographed!!!) this weekend, here is the link...

Happy stashing and sewing y'all!

Note: Credit for pillow pictures goes to Amanda and her blog. I snapped a few on my iPhone this weekend, but they just didn't do them justice.