Tag Archives: pillows

Pillow Talk

Recently some visitors commented on the pillows in my living room. I realized that I’ve made a lot of them.

And these are just the ones I’ve blogged about.

Here’s a few more.

30 square for 30 years30 Squares for 30 Years was my response to a guild challenge in celebration of our guild’s 30th year.

modern pillow Japanese fabricI believe my Japanese fabric pillow is made from a tutorial by Alexandra Ledgerwood.

Why so many pillows? My upholstered furniture is covered in neutral fabric so pops of color are welcome, and pillows are practical ways to use practice blocks and pieces.  When a pillow becomes too shabby for display I often make a new cover and reuse the pillow form. Pillows as thank you gifts make a change from wall hangings. After all, most people can add a throw pillow to their decor more easily than a wall hanging.



Filed under Commentary, Completed Projects

A Sewn, But Not Quilted, Gift

As friends and relations of quilters have learned, quilters think everyone enjoys and longs for quilted gifts. However, I had gotten the feeling my brother has become weary of the quilted stuff. The latest gift I made for him involved sewing, but no quilting, and is even functional.

Many years ago my brother traveled to Tahiti and took wonderful photos while there. He shared them with me and I have mentally tagged some of them as inspiration for a quilt. One of his photos ended up being digitally edited and printed on fabric as part of a guild program. My initial plan to free motion quilt it never happened, so I decided to make a pillow out of it with pieces of our mother’s damask table cloth I had dyed. The flange is Marcia Derse fabric.

photo pillow front

I made the back out of fabric I had been given from the costume shop I volunteer at.

photo pillow back

I like the crispness of the image on cloth, but I find the feel of the fabric a bit stiff. I don’t know if it was the brand of fabric sheets used or if any fabric run through a home printer would be the same. If you have a favorite brand of fabric printing sheets, let me know.


Filed under Completed Projects

One More Pillow

Maybe I should call 2014 my Year of the Pillow.  While I procrastinated on a “serious” project I turned out yet another pillow using a tutorial from Crazy Old Ladies on machine appliqueing the orange peel design.

I scaled my block down to 3 inches and designed a peel to fit that size. This method has you sew lightweight fusible interfacing to your fabric right sides together, then make a slit in the interfacing and turn the peel right side out. You need to finger press only at this stage.

orange peels in processorange peels turnedHere are my peels turned and ready to arrange on the background fabric.  One glitch with this method is that it was hard for me to get the end points sharp without tearing the interfacing.  Perhaps a different interfacing might hold up better. Or the problem may have been that I scaled down the peel size too far.

At this point I decided to not bother cutting up the background fabric but just position the peels on a whole piece of fabric.  This was a real time saver.  Once I had everything positioned I ironed the peels down and machine quilted the edges.  Then I added more stitching around the outside of the peels and stitched a grid.

orange peel pillow 2I went with a button closure (finally used those buttons I bought at NQA in 2007) and a machine sewn edge binding.  Yes, a corded edge is lovely, but I didn’t have any cording and wasn’t likely to find any at 10:30 at night.

orange peel pillow back detailThe fabrics used are a mix from a Cloud 9 organic fat quarter bundle, Migratory Lace (one of my targets to use in 2014,) hand dyed solids, and a quarter yard cut no one else in my guild would touch. The yellow fabric I bought online, and was surprised it was so bright.

orange peel pillow detail


Filed under Completed Projects

This Candy Won’t Rot Your Teeth

I’ve continued with the Project Quilting challenge, which has a candy theme this week.  My sweet treat for this challenge is Necco Wafers.  They were my reward for being quiet in church when I was very young.  They lasted a long time if you ate each piece individually, they weren’t messy, and they were my version of communion wafers.

Necco wafer photoAs I’m not really a candy person I wouldn’t have done this challenge if I hadn’t wanted to try a new (to me) technique.  Oh, I enjoy fine dark chocolate and eat Twizzlers when my dark side comes out, but a month without candy is no big deal for me.

When I read Lucie Summers’ Quilt Improv I realized I had never made a chevron quilt.  Her method, based on Seminole piecing, seemed quick and scrap friendly.  So, I decided that strips of chalky pastel solid type fabrics would look like stacked Necco wafers and I started creating chevrons.

Chevrons in processAfter one attempt at a border didn’t work out, I decided to create a pillow with a flange and back in the blue and red-orange colors of the candy’s wrapper.

Necco Wafers trialI think the partial circles and sharp angles of the chevrons fight each other.

Necco Wafers

Here’s the finished pillow, which awaits a pillow form. I made a button closure on the red-orange back.

Necco Wafers back


Filed under Completed Projects, In Process

Home Dec Madness

Finally I figured out how to end a year with lots of finishes: make stuff for the house! My goal is to use up fabric that doesn’t lend itself to a quilt and UFOs that just aren’t worth turning into quilts. The results may not win ribbons, but they can be useful, certainly more useful than taking up drawer space.

A case in point are the place mats I just finished with two pieces of fabric that I bought in an attempt to work with different colors.  Although the fabric was bought at different times and at different stores, both pieces feature a flamingo/shrimp pink that I decided I really don’t like.  That color must have been popular the year I bought them. I also used up a piece of insulbrite batting to protect that wood table.

placematsThen there’s the piece of made fabric left over from an online class I took about 2007.  I couldn’t figure out how to add to it for a quilt and it seemed too small as it was.  So, since I was on a pillow streak and had finally mastered zipper insertion, I turned it into another pillow. A plus was I didn’t need to quilt it since the whole thing is backed with stabilizer. It’s on the right next to my leftover HST pillow.

pillowsThat brings the total number of pillows I’ve made this year to four. This is four times as many as I’ve made over the last four years. And I quilted another pillow cover that I haven’t yet found a pillow for. My husband is starting to worry that pillows will hog every seat in our house.


Filed under Completed Projects

Use Your Words

That’s the advice adults give to toddlers.  Quilters have taken this advice to heart and like to add words to their quilts.  Some, like Elizabeth Hartman, even break it down to just the letters.  And of course fabric printed with words is currently popular.

Even I caught the word fabric bug and bought a bit of Moda Noteworthy fabric.

Moda_Noteworthy_FabricI decided to combine it with “inspirational” words I had stenciled onto bits of old linen with Paintstiks.  Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m not the kind of person who enjoys those plaques emblazoned with words like Enjoy!, Breathe!, and Live! I hope I’m not yet at the point where I need a reminder to breathe. Yet I have stencils that say imagine, create, and dream.  No idea where they came from.


Anyway, I combined the stenciled words with strips of green scraps and then cut curved strips of alternating Moda fabric and my custom fabric.  The resulting 16 inch square seemed destined for a pillow, so I didn’t fight it.  A quick review of this SewMamaSew tutorial on zipper installation helped me add a zipper with a snazzy flap.


I am worried, though, about the slippery slope to cuteness.  What’s next for me, angels?


Filed under Completed Projects