Anka's Treasures, This & That

Feathered Friends Spring Pillows

After winning the February pattern for the Front Porch Quilt Shop Stash Buster contest last month (check out my previous post here), I got to work on the project in hopes of entering the next contest. With only two participants last month and my free pattern there was nothing to lose! The Feathered Friends – Spring pattern features that cute bird again, but this time sitting on a flower in a basket. I chose summery bright colors this time around.

One of the goals of the contest is to show creativity, so instead of making a wall hanging per the original pattern, I decided to turn it into a pillow. But, my couch needs a pair of pillows… and I didn’t want to make the same exact scene for each! Coincedently that week I had also received Anka’s Treasures Wildflower Sampler pattern which included a flower very similar to the flowers in the bird’s basket. I made two of the flowers for the second pillow and it rounded out my pair of pillows nicely!

I’ve made pillow covers before, but I wanted to try some new techniques this time. I had come across the idea to quilt the pillows, which strangely I had never thought of doing before! Adding the batting and quilting really makes a more firm cover and it turned out great. I also added yellow binding around the pillows courtesy of a technique I saw in the Pillow Talk book by Edyta Sitar. Having never bound my pillows before, I found I really love the look. All my future pillow covers will be quilted and bound!

I had fun trying out new quilting designs! I tried to go for a whimsical look on the background and petal designs.

The results of the February contest are in and I won first place! Besides winning some credit to spend at the quilt shop, I will be getting next month’s pattern for free. Expect to see Feathered Friends – Summer soon. 🙂

Finished Size: 18.5" x 18.5"
Pattern: Feathered Friends - Spring by This & That and Coneflowers from Wildflower Sampler by Anka's Treasures
This & That

Feathered Friends Winter Wall Hanging

I’m always up for a sewing challenge, so when I heard about a “Stash Buster” monthly challenge at a quilt shop and saw January’s pattern featured a bird I bought it and got to work! The idea is you make the pattern for the month using fabrics from your stash and you have creative free rein to make whatever modifications to the design you’d like. Then, during the following month, you post your picture on the shop’s Facebook page and whoever’s picture gets the most “likes” wins $20 to spend at the shop. I noticed only a few people submitted entries for the previous month, so I had a good chance to win something!

Choosing fabrics for this was quite different for me, as I usually make quilts from kits where the fabric is already chosen. I stretched myself on this and got to use some of my scraps. The mix of greens for the tree was fun to pick out. I decided I wanted a dark background so it would look like a midnight scene out in the stars. Well, I found some midnight blue glittery fabric scraps leftover from a dress I made my daughter and knew it was the one! I chose the blues for the birds in hues similar to the sky. I used neutral grays for the gift and borders because I wanted the focus to really be the bird and the tree.

I quilted subtle echos around the stars to try to bring them out and for the bird I did some angled lines. The quilting for the tree was my favorite part. I knew I wanted to represent the layers of branches somehow and when I came up with these curves I was so pleased! They add a bit of whimsy and make the tree more interesting.

In the end, I got second place (out of two total entries). No big prize money for me, but I did win next month’s challenge pattern for free. Coincidentally I also won $10 from the shop in a random drawing the evening of the contest results, so I came out good on this! The next pattern is “Feathered Friends – Spring” featuring this bird in a flowery Spring scene. Looks like I better get working on my next entry!

Finished Size: 22" x 23"
Pattern: Feathered Friends - Winter by This & That Patterns