Thursday 27 November 2014

Pillow Talk

Steadyyyy....if you are visiting from a casual surf, sorry to burst your bubble, this is a quilting blog.

And if you are reading from across the Pond, Happy Thanksgiving!
We have a saying here in the UK along the lines of - when America sneezes, the UK catches a cold - well, over here we still have Christmas as our main turkey fest but seem to have very suddenly adopted Black Friday, it's all over our Press and Internet. Happy Days.

But I digress. Today I wanted to show you a cushion /pillow that I have just finished as a Christmas pressie for a young nephew. It occurred to me along the way that many reading here will not be familiar with my "fully quilted" technique that I now teach all the time in my I took a few pics and thought you might like a look.

Basically what I do is construct the front of the cushion, if it to be pieced. I then add sides, large enough to cross over, envelope style, on the back, before layering up & quilting. If the front of the cushion is to be appliqued then this can be applied to one single length of fabric.
I usually work with the width of the fabric, around 42" - 44" x about 1/2m (about 20")

Below you can see my "Death Star" cushion in the making. I EPP'd the actual Death Star, courtesy of Melinda's pattern at Quirygranola girl..
I decided I wanted it slightly off centre and applied it porthole style to my background fabric.

From this stage it's time to layer up & Quilt as Desired..........

Trim after quilting, just as you would for a quilt. Measure the depth of your cushion, let's say it measures 19" (variable according to your cushion front style). Cut two binding strips to this length, by 1.5". Theses are to bind the short ends and I like to sew them right side of binding onto the wrong side of the cushion. See below.

Press away from "quilt" and fold the long raw edge to the edge of the quilt.

and then fold over onto the right side of the quilt. This then allows you to machine stitch on the right side and I like to do this with an applique stitch.

Now, remember we have an estimated cushion depth of 19"? You will lose an inch here once the final seams are sewn as I recommend a 1/2" seam allowance for security! So we need to work towards a cushion width of about 19" (I always think when making a 3D item like a cushion, a wee innacuracy here and there is ok)
Lay out your quilt/cushion with right side facing up. Fold one side over the other until you achieve about 19" width. At this stage the width will look a little narrower than the depth - that is ok.
Pop a couple of pins along each fold. You can see my pins in the next pic.

Now, leaving the pins as they are, re-fold with the right sides together. Now you are ready to stitch top and bottom seams. Be sure to use your walking foot here and make those seam allowances about 1/2" Where you stitch over the multiple layers reverse stitch a couple of times as these are the points that will be stressed most when stuffing.

Clip corners.....................

and turn doesn't this look luxurious on the back, it just makes for a more substantial cushion cover, do have a go.

Poke your corners, I do like a neat corner.

Insert cushion pad. My actual cushion measured 17" square and took an 18" feather pad.
Result - one Death Star cushion for a Star Wars obsessed 7yr old.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Schedules and Countdowns

I swear as soon as someone mentions the C word, time takes on a different speed. Suddenly people talk in "days until Christmas" instead of weeks and we all feel a sense of impending panic.
 I haven't posted so much this month so I thought you might like to see progress so far on my Modern Sampler class.
Although I teach weekly, my students attend on a fortnightly basis and I have been giving out new block instructions every second class, once every four weeks. (Sorry if this makes your head hurt). This has created quite a relaxed pace with pretty much everyone keeping up.
I am making another quilt, along with my ladies, it's a very different palette for me.

In the first month we did the following blocks with a sort of cross feature, for those who wanted to stretch themselves a wee bit, I added in an Ohio variation and called it Ohio Cross. In my own blocks below I did not pay attention to colour value and am disappointed at the results. My star points are lost against my dark background...........and I am the teacher, doh!!

In month 2, the block was called Susanna - basically an Economy block in the centre surrounded by squares. I was trying to encourage a scrappy look and anyone who wanted something a little more challenging could FP a more complicated centre. My lesson in this month was how difficult I find it to be totally random.

Block 3 was really a choice of two different blocks, one a challenging FP block - Morning Star - and the other, Rolling Stone, or Broken Wheel depending upon placement of fabrics. I was trying to offer blocks where the patchwork results in circular appearance. I learned that I wasn't in the mood to do a 3rd Morning Star and tossed in a total variation - well it is a sampler, and my ladies are allowed to do variations too!

Next week I will be teaching what has become one of my favourite blocks, the Granny square.

Here is a sneaky peek.

This weekend, I had a little help in the sewing room - my threads were "tidied" up. Now this is someone looking forward to the "C" word in a big way. Hurry up Santer......


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