Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

A Tale of Two Pillows

Pillow Gifts

I mentioned in my Sewing Summit recap post that on Saturday night I went to a great dinner organized by Jennifer and Elena. Well, besides all the work that goes into getting together a group of 20-something people you have never met before…they also put together swag bags for us with items donated by some very generous sponsors. When they gave them to us at dinner, I swear you would have thought it was Christmas! Lots of squealing going on. (Pretty sure the table of men next to us watching the football game thought we were nuts!)

Pillow for Jennifer

I wanted to make a gift for each of them as a thank you. First I was thinking a mini quilt but then opted for pillows. Because, as Amanda says, anything can be a mini quilt, even a pillow!

Pillow for Jennifer

In Salt Lake City, someone smart said that life would be a lot easier if everyone you made a gift for had a Flickr Favorites photostream. How.true. I did some snooping in Jennifer’s photo stream and noticed a lot of work by Stitch in Dye’s Malka Dubrawsky. Luckily I just took a class on Improvisational Piecing by Malka so I sort of knew how to start.

Pillow for Jennifer Embroidery

I made four improv blocks, each around 5 inches. There is a bit of curved piecing – yes, that’s on purpose! LOL A bit of adding fabric to the square to make it fit to the block next to it. Then I off-centered the block for the pillow. I’m 95% certain the tan is an Essex Linen. I wish I had marked it when I bought it! Then I embroidered Jennifer’s name on the pillow to personalize it a bit. I quilted the front with straight lines, about 1/2″ apart, in the sashing. I made a scrappy binding for the pillow, love scrappy binding!

Pillow for Elena

When I was looking through Elena’s favorites, I noticed she liked bright colors and stars…she had a lot of stars in her Favorites! Remember that tutorial on Y-Seams last week? I needed to learn those to make her pillow, which is a block from the Jazz Hands quilt in Material Obsession 2.

Pillow for Elena

I quilted Elena’s pillow using straight lines on either side of the diagonal seams. Then I also embroidered her name on the front. The binding and backing of Elena’s pillow are both from Erin McMorris’ Summersault fabric line.

Pillow for Elena Embroidery

Both pillows are a bit smaller than 18″ (I like the overstuffed look…I hope they do too!) Jennifer and Elena received their pillows this week so I’m not spoiling the surprise. Thanks again to both of you!

October 19, 2011   30 Comments

Adventures in Paper Piecing

Starry Path

I have had the bug to create some scrappy stars for quite some time. Since I had finished a few UFOs (unfinished objects), I felt like I earned the right to start another project…which may or may not become another UFO in the stack! I went online looking at all sorts of star blocks. I’m not really sure what I was thinking given my hatred for angles. I just love how they look finished!

I found this block called Starry Path 2 and it looked right up my alley. I sort of disregarded the fact that it was a paper pieced block. How hard could it be, right? First, I would highly recommend to those that have never done paper piecing, read some directions. Which I didn’t. I figured I would just cut all the pattern pieces out, cut the fabric 1/4″ bigger than all the pieces, and sew them together in the right number order. In theory, that works. In reality, things just did.not.line.up.straight. At the end of the day my block would not lay flat.

Attempt #2. I read the directions and did the paper piecing. It still took me an hour to make the block you see above and I was ripping stuff out left and right. And I wasted quite a bit of fabric. But my block actually worked! I’m not sure if I have it in me to make enough of these for even a small wall quilt. That was my original plan. Maybe over time. Maybe this is destined to become part of a pillow….

Any words of encouragement from paper piecing experts?

February 22, 2011   18 Comments