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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Surrounded by Scraps

Filtering by Tag: flickr

Pillow Talk Swap Goodies

Linda Nussbaum

I told myself once before that I would not do another of these. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1. It takes away time I should be using more productively.... but it's so FUN!

2. I put undo pressure on myself to get things just so. And I've gotten burned in the past with not receiving the same in return (or not receiving AT ALL in return).

3. *and this is the most important* I only have so many seating options in my home and there are way too many throw pillows as is. Every time J sits on the couch, he tosses a pillow to one of the unoccupied arm chairs (or vice versa).

So, when I saw the sign-ups on Flickr for the 10th round of the Pillow Talk Swap I was wooed. Against my "better judgement." But so glad I participated, as there is a great energy among the other participants (as much as one can gauge energy over the internet, that is). And most everyone seems as excited and involved as I am, bringing their A game. 

But even if you bring your A game, sometimes it's hard to know if that will be the direction that the recipient wants. I am hoping that what I have come up with will find a happy home!

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Arriving here has been quite a journey. Several sketches, fabric pulls and further editing, reading all of the responses to all of the photos posted in order to glean the reactions from my secret partner. It weighs heavily on a person!

The first round of sketches

The first round of sketches

fabric pull #1 - partially rejected

fabric pull #1 - partially rejected

fabric pull #2 - mostly rejected, but helped immensely with narrowing down

fabric pull #2 - mostly rejected, but helped immensely with narrowing down

And the drafting begins

And the drafting begins

The paper-pieced units

The paper-pieced units

However, deciding what to use for the backgrounds was more of a challenge, for some reason, and held me up for quite a while. I've been going through some serious second-guessing issues lately. First on the commission I'm doing for my brother and B-I-L, and more immediately on this swap. And sadly, I was getting no answers on the site. Or rather, I was getting some lovely answers, but not necessarily from the right person.

And yesterday I decided it was up to me to decide.

So I have moved forward and finished the pillow to send with its little extras (including a hand-printed BINGO game about my fair city of Portland!!)

One of these things is not like the others...

One of these things is not like the others...

mellowing a bit...

mellowing a bit...

So I made my decision and got to the piecing. Have I mentioned that I have a lot to work on with curved piecing?? Not one of my fortes but better than some other options! And thank goodness for being able to finesse some of the errors with quilting!!

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Stuffed with the ONE 20" pillow form I have, usually occupying the cover I received from  Brittany  in the Pillow Talk Swap #4!

Stuffed with the ONE 20" pillow form I have, usually occupying the cover I received from Brittany in the Pillow Talk Swap #4!

And then there's the drastically different back...

Taking a little more sedate, sophisticated approach for the reverse (if a connect-the-dots print can be considered sophisticated).

Taking a little more sedate, sophisticated approach for the reverse (if a connect-the-dots print can be considered sophisticated).

... and the little extras. I'm excited to pass these goodies along, and it all fits in a USPS Flat Rate envelope! YAY!

... and the little extras. I'm excited to pass these goodies along, and it all fits in a USPS Flat Rate envelope! YAY!

I hope she loves this. Don't know what else to say about it. I'm glad I finished on schedule (barely) and only noticed 1 serious mess up, which I'll happily be pointing out to it's new owner, but don't dare to reveal to the public at large. ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

WIP Wed. - 4/24/13

Linda Nussbaum

I am happy to report that I actually got my butt to the studio EVERY day last weekend - and my definition of weekend here is Thursday through Sunday. Yay me! So that also means that I have a few things to share from this past week :-)

New:

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There's a new Pillow Talk Swap under way on Flickr, and I've decided to throw my hat in the ring for this round. I've only participated in one other round of this swap, maybe 2 years ago, and received one of the best swap items that have come my way, pictured here. And on a sweet little turn, though this is an international swap, my pillow-fairy was a local quilter whom I have since gotten to be friends with thanks to the Portland Modern Quilt Guild (I still love this pillow, Brittany!)

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It looks like you've seen this before, but really you haven't (unless you were at the PMQG meeting last week). In the neon challenge we were given the option to either do a block to go into a group quilt (or quilts), OR to make an item that we could keep. I chose to make that iPad cover, but was asked if I could make a similar block for the quilt, too. I have trouble saying "no" sometimes. I wish I would have had more of the polka dot to work with, but other than that I was happy to oblige. 

In Progress:

Made a couple more samples for next month's Simply Solids - Falu block, blogged about in my previous post here. I can already tell I'm gonna be happy with this one!

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Got this quilt top finished. I'm hoping to quilt it around the same time as my "By Air, Land or Sea" quilt. Now that I've begun organizing my strip scraps I had fun using selective colors for the piano key rows!

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And speaking of strip scraps... I started putting together strip sets and testing out some triangle units for this wedding quilt commission. I've got a long way to go here, but it will be an inspiring journey I have no doubt!

Quilting by Jolene Knight of Good Knight Quilts.

Quilting by Jolene Knight of Good Knight Quilts.

And last Thursday night I received this quilt back from Jolene Knight, a fellow PMQG member and longarm quilter (click the photo above to see her website). This is the first quilt I've had someone else quilt for me in several years, and I couldn't be happier with the results! (There will be a dedicated post about this in the next couple of weeks, I promise). I managed to get this 72" x 90" quilt trimmed and just bought fabric for the binding yesterday.

AND I am ticking more quilt tops off my list of needing quilting... revisited a classic quilting stitch that I haven't used in a long, long time – the good, ol' meander. That said, let's move on to the last category...

Completed:

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Phew! It's in the washing machine as I type this post. I actually marked the quilting lines on this one! (another thing I haven't done in ages)

and two more sets of pot holders.

No Progress:

navy/beige HST

Design Camp 2 Improv quilt

By Air, Land or Sea

Dollhouse quilt

and there are probably others I just can't think of right now...

Thanks for taking the time to visit, and please be sure to pop over to Lee's blog Freshly Pieced to see a whole lot more inspiring and motivating posts linked up!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Madrona Road Challenge late-comer

Linda Nussbaum

The Modern Quilt Guild has introduced its winter challenge for this year. Well, actually, they introduced it close to 2 months ago, but due to my inactivity with the guild last October and November I missed the first sailing of that boat. But, thanks to forums like Flickr, friendly blogs and the fact that the designer at the heart of this challenge, Violet Craft, happens to be a member of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, I got a deferred chance to participate. That is, once I could pick up a bundle of fabrics at our January meeting for PMQG.

Participating guilds were given yardage of certain prints from Violet's collection for Michael Miller, Madrona Road, which were then cut down to fat-eighths to distribute among guild members.

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From what I've gathered, the official challenge from The Modern Quilt Guild is relatively open-ended, the only requirement being that individuals may ONLY use prints from Madrona Road plus any solids they deem. However, each of the individual regional guilds were open to making more specific challenges within their groups. For instance, PMQG specified a size restriction and to use an inspiration word which should then be incorporated into the actual quilt. This challenge did not inspire me so much. But then, at our guild meeting earlier this week it was made clear that we did not HAVE to comply with those restrictions in order to enter the greater challenge category. Now we're talkin'! So, I picked up one of the last available packets of fat-eighths and started thinking.

And put fabric bits up on my design wall.

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Now, the real challenge here is the timing. Completed submissions are due on the flickr page by January 31. There is also a flickr page for the larger pool of photos related to this challenge including process photos, but it was emphasized to us that in order to be considered for display at the Michael Miller QuiltCon booth photos MUST be in that first group. I might end up with something smaller than I'd like simply by necessity. Ah well. I've started playing around with a design, but I can tell you now that it doesn't compare with so many of the great pieces already submitted! But part of the joy is just playing along, right?

A do. Good Celebration

Linda Nussbaum

Rachel Hauser, who blogs at Stitched in Color, began an amazing group over 2 years ago. She created a group on Flickr for modern quilters who are interested in lending their talent, time and resources toward making quilts to be donated to a variety of charities. There are now 21 "circles" of 10 stitchers and quilters each contributing blocks and finished quilts monthly to the selected organizations. I have been fortunate to be part of the Bliss Circle of do. good stitches since the beginning of 2011. 

About a month or so ago Rachel announced on her blog that she would be hosting a celebration for all of the people who have participated in the efforts of do. Good Stitches throughout the year. Her generous sponsors will be providing gifts and giveaways for dozens of lucky and talented quilters. For the details of the celebration and the prizes, please visit Rachel's blog posts, beginning here.

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Within each of the circles there are a number of designated "quilters" who are responsible in a particular month for choosing block designs, collecting the blocks from the other members of the circle and piecing them together to make the quilt top, then must quilt and bind it all before sending it along to the chosen charity for that group. Those of us who are not "quilters" per se, are considered "stitchers," piecing blocks each month to send to the quilter. I am a "stitcher" where this group is concerned, however I did get ONE opportunity to be at the helm, just over a year ago when our circle needed a substitute quilter to step in for the month of November. And the quilt pictured above is the result of that venture.

It was finished this past March and sent along to our circle's designated charity, Wrap Them in Love. What Rachel and her sponsors are doing is super sweet and thoughtful, but I am sure that most of the other members of this group would agree with me that just getting to take part and give such a little bit of time and inspiration toward something that can offer so much to so many others is celebration enough. 

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Most of the blocks I've made for the group over the last year or so... Those of you who have been following my blog had no doubt seen these in various stages of completion over time, but as the year draws to a close it's kind of nice to throw it all together in one eyeful. Thanks to all who have helped provide me with inspiration and motivation throughout this year. These celebrate you all as well!