Tag Archives: quilting

{No More Nevermore} Edgar the Poe Pillow

My pillow for the PTS9 (Pillow Talk Swap) is finally finished and out the door today to its recipient. I title it “Edgar the Poe Pillow”. I have liked the sort of freaky works of Poe since I was a little girl. I enjoy the traditional dresden mixed up a bit. I especially love hand appliquéing them down. Hand sewing has a calming affect on me.
I have decided to enter it in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. If you like my piece I hope you will nominate me (by November 4th) to be on the ballot that will then receive a second round of votes, November 5-8. My entry is # 185

Amy's Creative Side

Quilt Measurements-19″x19″
Special Techniques used – Hand Applique, Piping, Hidden zipper
Quilted by… Robyn of Coffee and Cotton
Best category – Hand Applique, Home Machine Quilted, Scrap Quilt

I loved making this Dresden quilt block into a pillow. I made a traditional Dresden block but enlarged the center circle to accommodate the size of the Raven. Before appliqueing the circle down I added some braided piping.

I then hand appliqued the Dresden onto some wonderful charcoal Essex linen. I love that fabric!

I added some borders to make it a finished size of about 19 inches square. The pillow front is free-motion quilted with Glide thread in the shade Prickly Pear.
I finished the back with a zipper that is hidden under a flap.

A great tutorial on how to make a hidden zipper flap for a pillow can be found here


I did it. Joined round 9 of The Pillow Talk {Swap}
I was creatively stumped for a bit.
…While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
I decided to do a Dresden Block but mix it up a bit. This is what I have so far.
…Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling…

Time to appliqué it down to the grey Essex linen. The fabric I am using for the center circle is “Edgar” from the Nevermore collection by Gillian Fullard.
…And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting…
The Raven needed some oomph so I responded to his caw for oomph and gave him some piping.

I plan on adding some print border. I sure hope my swap partner loves it as much as I do.
I’ll be back with more…uh Nevermore…when the pillow is completed. Perhaps…
…upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…


Quilters…Where Are We Today?

Bennington Museum and the Vermont Quilt Festival

In my time away from blogging I have thought…and thought…and thought…about a lot of things. Some thoughts are introspective and personal, some artistic and design related…all are pertaining to life. One thought path I have revisited over and again is where are we today? in respect to fiber creations––specifically quilts.
The Quilters of today have a plethora of tools, notions, gadgets and an abundance of fabric choices. Is that a good thing? I ask myself this question too as I have more than I need to bring my design dreams to creation. Several machines. Helpful tools. BIG items too. Enough fabric to clothe a village or possibly get me on an episode of Hoarders.
Please…hear my heart…I am not bashing or criticizing the quilt world nor fabric designers…I am just questioning.
Our fabric choices have led to fiber gluttony. Our final projects smack of the latest trends in color, style and technique. I love the newest fabrics. I love the designers and bloggers that are popular as well as the hidden jewels. I do know it must be hard to stay on top of the trends because they seem to be whirling past us like a category 5 hurricane. But I must ask, are we in danger of losing the unique in our art?
Previous quilting generations made do with what they scrounged and saved and turned those pieces of fiber into beautiful works. Items that made most of our hearts leap the first time we saw what their hands had crafted. Pieces that were laden with patience and time…that spoke history and told stories of joy and heartache. THOSE pieces are what captured us and made us want to know the stories behind the cloth and thread.
I know, they had to use what was available. Leftovers from clothing that was handmade. Pieces of clothing from a loved one no longer in their life. Fabric that once held food. Tattered wool from blankets. Today we don’t have to do it that way.

Gee's Bend Quilting Bee

Quilters also used their needles to give voice to the tension of their day… Women’s Suffrage, Slavery, Politics, etc.


Yes, they had patterns that were popular but still so much of the quilter shined.
I ask you and I ask myself…. Do we, today, put meaning behind and put ourselves into, what our hands create? Do we tell a story? Do we give voice? DO. WE. SHINE??

Getting Lost in Time

Dresden quilt block

©Coffee and Cotton

I have been hanging onto a stack of these Dresden blocks. I bought them at a vintage goods store. All are made from 1930’s/1940’s fabrics. Originals, not reproductions. Someone lovingly cut and pieced them together…unplugged. I think they were assembled incorrectly because I can’t seem to turn the edges evenly to applique {I think I may need to release part of their seams}. None-the-less they make me daydream.
Who was the woman or man that made the blocks? Was the clothing, that later became quilt material, worn by a farmer’s wife, a beloved child, a husband? Perhaps a more modern family dwelling in an urban area? Was the sewing interrupted by crying babies, cooking for family, heartaches? Why were they never assembled? Why did those related to the quilter not keep them?
See how my mind can go down paths and make up dreamy stories as I go? I did the same thing when I lived in 2 Victorian homes in the SF Bay. My mind’s eye would see women in long dresses walking along the beach or men in their Tweed pulling the horse and buggy up to the wood sided garage… all while I stood at my sink washing dishes.
Am I alone here? Does your mind easily wander go down paths of imagined history?

And what is life? A crazy quilt;
Sorrow and joy, and grace and guilt,
With here and there a square of blue
For some old happiness we knew;
And so the hand of time will take
The fragments of our lives and make,
Out of life’s remnants, as they fall,
A thing of beauty, after all

~ “A Crazy Quilt” by Douglas Malloch

C-c-c-COLD and Rainy

Having lived awhile in the Midwest {after leaving my City} I am use to feet foots LOTSA Snow but something about cold rainy weather chills your bones. That or I am turning Texan… Y’all.
I need some coffee… or cocoa… or a hot toddy… aw yes, I need to jump on a cable car going down Hyde St and jump off for an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco sipping it whilst watching the GIANTS WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS go by in their parade. Whoooooooo!!!! GO GIANTS!!!

This is a great scrap user-upper. I am going to make more.
Coffee Sleeve©Coffee&Cotton 2010

Java Jive

Good Morning on You!
Did a little mindless sewing yesterday… that’s what I do as I plan {or procrastinate} bigger projects. This is an overdue gift for an anonymous recipient. A Rug. A Mug Rug. Everyone needs one! Every quilter probably has one… except me. I want to keep this but alas I will be a Mug Rug Martyr and gift it away. I love the Moda Bliss fabric!

Do you have a favorite brand / type of coffee or tea? For Coffee my fave is Ruta Maya Espresso Roast… roasted right here in Austin. I buy the whole beans.
My favorite tea is Numi Organic Jasmine Monkey King

I also love peppermint tea and chamomile tea.
Have a fantastic Friday Y’all! I will spend the weekend wishing I had a pass to the ACL Festival. Austin is ALIVE with live music and I can hear quite a bit of it from my yard.

Java Jive Manhattan Transfer