Pillows and WIP’s and summer!

Hey everyone! I’ve been away from the computer for a while, but busy in the sewing room and the kitchen. We’re almost at the halfway point on the calendar year. The first day of summer is in a few days! How did that happen? I feel like I should have a lot to show for my time spent at home these past few months. But no. I think I’m creating more UFO’s than finishing the ones I already have.

I did just finish two 16″ pillows for my granddaughters. These were quick to make, and they turned out pretty cute. I didn’t use a pattern, just my own idea. Amelia picked out the fabric and I did the rest.

16" pillows have a pocket to hold books or small stuffed animals.  They also have a zipper closure at the bottom.  Made and designed by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter.

The pillows feature a center square made from the Shine Bright Panel by Katie Webb Design for Clothworks. It’s full of rainbows and unicorns and super cute for kids and the young at heart. I used Shannon Minky Cuddle Dimple fabric for the backs which makes them super soft to lay on.

16" pillows have a pocket to hold books or small stuffed animals.  They also have a zipper closure at the bottom.  Made and designed by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter.

There is also a pocket built into the front of the pillow to put books or a small stuffed animal. This was an afterthought, but it turned out well!

16" pillows have a pocket to hold books or small stuffed animals.  They also have a zipper closure at the bottom.  Made and designed by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter.

I added a zipper to the bottom of the pillows which was a little bit of a challenge because of the cuddle fabric, but not too bad. It’s actually easier to put a zipper in a seam as opposed to a hidden flap and so worth it!

16" pillows have a pocket to hold books or small stuffed animals.  They also have a zipper closure at the bottom.  Made and designed by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter.

I am co-teaching a block of the month at The Granary Quilt Shop via Zoom meetings. We’re using the Timeless Tradition pattern and I’ve got all of the blocks finished through month 5.

Blocks from the Timeless Tradition BOM by Bits 'n Pieces.  Made by Julie Cefalu.

It’s fun to see them all together. Now I need to get moving on the applique blocks. Below are the most recent blocks and one of the applique blocks which I’m still in the process of stitching by machine. You can check out my favorite tools for machine applique here.

Blocks from the Timeless Tradition BOM by Bits 'n Pieces.  Made by Julie Cefalu.

I’ve embarked on a sourdough bread making adventure that I might soon regret. I had no idea how much time (and effort) goes into making a sourdough levain. It’s a lot of trial and error, but I will persevere. My first two loaves turned out good, but not great. I thought after spending two days creating them, they would taste like the best bread ever. They were a little chewy for me, but so pretty!

Sourdough bread making adventures @ The Crafty Quilter

Now that I’ve invested the time in making a sourdough starter and the money on various equipment, I’m going to keep trying. I’m reading Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson which is really interesting and full of great information. It’s kind of cool that I live close enough to San Francisco that I could visit the Tartine Bakery and taste what a good loaf of bread should taste like. Maybe I’ll even learn a few tricks along the way.

I have started listening to A Quilting Life Podcast by Sherri McConnell and Chelsi Stratton. It’s a nice, 30 minute dialog of topics in the quilting world and they include a quilting tip and a favorite notion in each segment. I always tune into Pat Sloan for her weekly Fireside Chats, and now I’m trying to get caught up on my Bluprint classes before they disappear. If you hadn’t heard, Bluprint (formerly Craftsy) is closing. That’s a sad announcement in my world, but I’m sure another venue will fill the void.

How’s your summer going? It’s a weird time when we’re not sure if we can make a summer vacation happen or if we should sit tight for a little while longer. I’m hoping to go visit the grandkids in Austin before the summer is over. At least I have Cooper to keep me company (and Mr. Crafty Quilter) as we enjoy the long evenings of June.

In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging away at my UFO’s and coming up with new ideas to share with you. Christmas in July is on my radar. I have a few ideas for easy gifts to make and a roundup of others to pass along.

Remember, you have until the end of June to save 20% off everything at Purple Hobbies. The discount code is craftyquilter (no space).

Happy summer and happy quilting!

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  1. Another good sourdough cookbook is Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, by Emilie Raffa. LOTS of excellent tips and clear directions. Isn’t it a thrill to take the loaf out of the oven and see how beautiful it is? I’m having fun playing with scoring—bought a handmade wooden lame from Wire Monkey shop on Etsy.

  2. Hi Julie! Love the quilt pattern you’re working on. Checked out the link for it and it’s beautiful! Can you give more info on the quilt-a-long or have you done that already? Just wondering why the pattern is so expensive.

    1. Hi Cindy,
      This is a block of the month class that I’m teaching at my local quilt shop and it started in January. Usually BOM patterns are more expensive because of the amount of work that goes into them. Each month contains three different quilt blocks in the pattern along with many options for final size and layout. Sometimes you can find a pattern on the secondary market. I hope that helps.

  3. Sourdough seems to be on every ones radar during this “lock down” period of our lives. I did it in the 60’s & 70’s, so it’s like “been there, done that” to me. I had a starter that was 50 years old when I started. Talk about “sour”dough–it was awesome. Love the pillow pockets

  4. What fun pillows! And I like the pocket–I think my son would enjoy that feature. I have some firetruck fabric squirreled away, I might have to get it out and make one. Minky on the back is a great idea!

    My husband has been doing sourdough and it’s been great! If you need recipes for the cast off, he gets most of the ones he uses from the King Arthur Flour website. Our favorite are the sandwich biscuits, which we eat for breakfast with butter & jam. So delicious! The pizza dough recipe for the cast-off is also quite good.

  5. Hi Julie! Babies, Bread and Pooches, sprinkled with some quilts and flowers – the perfect combination! I am working on a small quilt for my teenage grandson, have two being quilted and just bought myself and my daughter, who is a new quilter, “Witches Night Out” quilt kits. Our quilt shop just made up the kits and can’t keep them in stock! I celebrated a birthday, and my granddaughters just graduated from H.S. so life is busy with lots of highs to balance the lows – sick husband. Thank you for always bringing light and joy to all of us. Be well and safe.

  6. Julie, love love love the darling pocket pillows! My twin great granddaughters are just three years old so maybe I will make a couple and put them away for Christmas. I made them each a bed runner with pockets on both ends for books and stuffed friends, but they just use them like quilts; maybe when they get a little older they will get the pocket concept. Minkie and zippers make for comfort and easy cleaning; great thinking. I have started some new UFO’s but very pleased to say I have finished seven quilts and added binding to four aged wallhangings during the quarantine. Updated my UFO list and gave away some that I will never finish. Staying home has been good in an unusual way…thank you for your encouraging posts.

  7. Have bought first class tickets for the Bay Area in September. Wonderful quilt stores and a baby coming!

  8. Julie, I love your pooch!! He’s adorable.
    I have a thing about zippers. It’s from years ago and I need to get going on my zipper phobia haha!
    Is there anything more wonderful than bread? Ahhhhh!
    Love your blog, as always! Keep safe.

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