Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Feeling Blessed. And Pillowy.

So one of the reasons I started this blog was to document some of the rad things I have been up to since moving back to the Portland area. Since graduating law school last year, life has certainly given me a few curve balls and I think it has been far too easy to focus on everything that is not quite right, instead of on the things that have been truly wonderful.

For starters, it has been a real blessing to be back home and to be able to spend so much time with my family (especially my nephews, whom I am sure I will write about often). I also really enjoy being back in the Pacific Northwest. The area is simply stunning with picturesque hikes within minutes in every direction, the coast and mountains are each only an hour and a half away, and I utterly adore the city of Portland. Did you know it's home to the nation's largest bookstore and largest fabric store??? How can you not accomplish great things living in a place like this? It's basically unavoidable.

One of the things I checked off my imaginary list recently was taking my very first sewing class! As a quick background, I started sewing almost seven years ago with a quilt for my nephew, Parker, and I have been winging it ever since. Over the years I have pored over blogs and gradually upped the ante, but I was hitting a wall with machine quilting. Probably for two reasons: (1) my $150 machine kinda stinks and (2) I had no idea what the H-word I was doing. Enter the amazing Elizabeth Hartman. I learned from her blog that she was teaching a free motion quilting (FMQ) class at Modern Domestic (an amazing sewing workshop I learned about from my cousin Alicia). Naturally, because I am Pinterest-obsessed, I pinned the class to my WISH LIST post with a heart-felt plea:

I didn't really think anyone would be game for buying me a $75 sewing class to make a pillow, but a girl can dream, right? Well, I should have had a little more faith in Mama Bruns, because she spied my birthday wish pin and bought me the class! Here is the finished product:

Finished Pillow

Isn't it gorgeous??? Sorry, I have zero modesty; I am so pleased with how it turned out! Elizabeth was an incredible teacher and I will recommend taking one of her classes to anyone who will listen. I was a bit embarrassed that I was fumbling so much with the fancy BERNINA machine that I was using, but Elizabeth was so helpful and encouraging. The folks at MD were also fabulous, and now have completely convinced me that I need a BERNINA. I pinned a 440QE to my Pinterest WISH LIST, but so far nothing has shown up on my door step. 

Want to see a close up of my pillow? Sure you do! This shows the dogwood quilting that Elizabeth recently posted a tutorial for on her blog. I used the BERNINA stitch regulator attachment, which costs almost as much as the machine itself and READS your stitches as you FMQ. If you don't sew, I hope you realize that that is completely nuts. Anyway, the close-up prettiness:

Close Up of Dogwood Quilting

Since I took these photos, I have washed up the pillowcase to remove the chalk lines and to create lots of crinkly goodness. I should post an updated photo, but now that it gets dark at approximately 2 p.m., we'll see if I ever get around to photographing it.

Anyway, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to take this class. Lots of thanks to Elizabeth and the lovely ladies at Modern Domestic for providing a great class, thanks to my lovely mama for giving me such a perfect birthday gift, and lastly, thanks to all of you who probably don't care about sewing but read all of this anyway.

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