My First Quilted Pillow

There are several firsts in this story about me making a quilted pillow. While being home more than usual for the past year, I have looked for things to keep me busy and because I like to do crafts and sew, I decided to try my hand at quilting something.

My grandmother used to make the most beautiful quilts. She give me my first quilt when I got married in 1984. That poor quilt went through hell and back. I wish I still had it or at least a picture of it, but unfortunately I have neither. A past mother-in-law also used to quilt and I got one of her patterns to make a quilt top, but never finished it and somewhere through the years the quilt top got thrown out with the trash.

While looking online at one of the local quilt shops in town I discovered a pillow kit, which I though went I purchased it included everything you would need to make the pillow. I was wrong. It only included the pattern and applique pieces for the kite part of the design. Being that I paid $26 for this I almost took it back to the store for a refund, but decided to just go for it and buy the necessary fabrics to make it and see how it would turn out.

So along with this being my first quilted pillow, this is also the first time I have made flying geese. I actually had to look that term up to see what everyone online was talking about when I was researching quilt sites and blogs. It was the first time I have every actually quilted something and used the straight line quilt method to do this. I wanted to do the free motion quilting on it, but after several practice sessions and many hours of YouTube videos I decided to straight line this one. Maybe I will attempt the free motion on the next one.

My flying geese made individually.

My flying geese after sewing them together.

Next one? Yes the pillow I chose was actually part of a series representing 12 months of pillows. They change with the season. The patterns are from KimberBell and can be found online or at your local quilt store. The patterns are for actual pillow covers that you change out each month so you only have to make the actual pillow the first time. The pillow cover is made to where you can slip it on and off through the envelope opening in the back. That way you can also wash it if needed. They are approximately 16″ x 38″. Making the pillow was definitely the easy part. I’ve done that several times before.

Another first was doing applique as I have never attempted that. Still not sure that I done that correctly, but chose to use a zig zag stitch all the way around the edge. I will do a little more research on this before I make the next pillow. At this point I think I will skip the April design and go for May as I have so many projects going right now that I don’t want to be overwhelmed trying to get one completed in just a few days as it is very close to the end of the month and I need time to get the pattern and fabrics.

The front piece after adding the inner and outer borders.

After adding the kite applique and rick rack that served as the kite string.

Upclose of the flying geese on the finished product.

My First Quilted Pillow

The one for March is called, Let’s Go Fly a Kit!”

I plan to make more for each holiday, but I don’t think I will be buying patterns as the background and border are pretty much made the same way, just use different colored fabrics and then you applique whatever design you want to use. I’m up for the challenge of learning how to do the applique myself. If your experienced in quilting or applique, please feel free to share any advice you might have.

Life After a Tornado

I’ve been trying to write about what happened in Middle Tennessee last Monday night for the past week but couldn’t bring myself to write about it as it still seems so unreal. When we went to bed on Monday night (March 2nd) we had no idea that the weather was supposed to get as bad as it did. The last thing we saw on the news was that Kentucky was going to get some bad stuff.

Where we live, we have tornado sirens that go off when a tornado is approaching and that is what woke me up as my phone was on silent, so I never heard the alarms on it. I remember the clock saying 12:57 am right before we lost power. The sirens were really load and kept going off constantly, so I knew something was wrong. I woke my husband up as he would have probably slept through it all.

Once I woke him up, we could hear the wind whipping and the RV started shaking as the winds picked up more and more. I’m sure it was only seconds that passed, but it seemed like several minutes as time seemed to stop. We could hear the winds getting louder and heavier and then we heard that sound that sounded like a train. There was nowhere for us to go as we do not have a storm shelter and at this point it would have been too late to try to get anywhere and living in the RV there was no place that was safe to hunker down, so we laid in our bed holding our pups to wait out what could have been our final moments in life.

I spent the time praying that God watch over my children and grandchildren and help them to get through whatever aftermath they might face if this was my last few moments on earth. I also prayed that God would let us go peacefully and without pain.

Once the tornado passed, the winds died down and everything seemed so silent. My husband went outside, but couldn’t see much at that time of night, but could tell that all the RV’s and mobile homes right around us were okay. It would only be a matter of minutes before we could hear the sirens of police, fire and rescue sounding through the night.

For what seemed like hours we sat in our bed thanking God we were still alive and wondering just how bad it was outside of our little space and just how many lives had been affected by what we were seeing online already. After what seemed like forever, we laid down to try and rest. It would not be until morning that we would see and hear more about what had happened in the night.

Our power was restored before noon the next day. We were one of the lucky ones. As of the writing of this post there are still people without power. The storm stayed on the ground stretching over 60 miles from the west side of Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee to Cookeville, Putman County, Tennessee. There are 25 deaths including children and many more injured.

The tornado strengths ranged from an EF-2 to EF-4 as it touched down in:

  • Germantown/North Nashville
  • East Nashville/Five Points
  • Donelson
  • Juliet (the town we live in)
  • Cookeville

Although these cities have endured much over the past week, the communities have come together, and people are helping people in so many ways. Volunteers have come from all over the US to help in clean up and restoration of power and so much more.

It’s times like this that make you really think about your life and how you live each day. It will take many months, if not years, for the areas affected to fully recover, but they will recover. I pray for all the families that have lost a loved one, their home, pets and more that they will have the strength to endure the days ahead and know that they are not alone in their journey.

My husband asked me if I wanted to move back into a sticks and bricks house after living through this and the experience we had being in the RV and hearing the winds and feeling the RV shake and not knowing if we would see the light of day again, and I quickly said NO. It wasn’t until later that I started to regret living in the RV, but that was only when I thought about what could have happened if that tornado had moved only ½ mile to the right, which is all it would have taken for us to be part of the devastation. I am so grateful that God looked out for us that night. I have to believe I still have a purpose for being here and that God wasn’t ready to call me home just yet. While I’m here I want to make the most of my life and I want to enjoy every day that I have because times like this show us that things can change in a blink of an eye.