Monday, March 19, 2007

Is it a Willow or a Wallow?

As promised here are more details about the new pillow I had on display for the QA show.  
I started in the middle and log-cabined outwards, but instead of working “in the round” – adding rows in a spiral – top, right, bottom, left, top, right bottom left.  I worked from side to side.  Adding left and right, then top and bottom, left and right, etc.  If I had added corner stones to each row it would have been more of a Courthouse Steps which you might want to try as well.
The top of my pillow is made entirely from our Jacquard ribbons and Westfalenstoffe, all imported from Germany.   (You’ll find a supply list below.)
The first step was to make a sandwich of muslin, batting and muslin.  This allowed me to quilt as I went, giving my pillow a nice firm feel.  All fabric strips were cut 2” wide.
I started with my initial in the middle and slid a strip under each side, pinning it so that 1/4 inch of the tan stripe was under the ribbon and 1-3/4” was still showing then top-stitched along the sides of my ribbon.
My next strip was added along the top and bottom by placing the cut strip right-sides together with the tan stripes – J – tan stripes and sewing an even 1/4” seam.  The next strips were added vertically in the same manner.  Ribbon came next, both top and bottom, so I pinned these in place, leaving 1-1/2” finished width showing from my previous horizontal row and top-stitched in place.  Then came another horizontal row tan on top   
and red/white stripes below.  These were again slid under the ribbon, leaving 1-3/4” unfinished width showing.  
After the next next vertical row of red/white stripe I got a little creative as not every row was symmetrical and the vine ribbon was mitered in the top left corner.  But this is where your imagination and individuality comes into play.  
After adding all my rows, I trimmed the top to 19” square.  I also quilted my back flaps, then added buttonholes before pinning the flaps over each other and trimming the back to 19” square.  Then I placed my top and back wrong sides together and zig-zag these layers together around the perimeter.  I was using my Featherweight and don’t have a walking foot but would recommend the use of one as my fabric want to pile up and ripple more than I would have liked.  
Rather than putting cording in my pillow I bound it.  The two layers of batting and 5 layers of fabric were thick enough that when I added a bias-cut double binding, my pillow has a weighty finish that really topped it off.  I cut my binding 2-1/2” wide and sewed it with a 3/8” seam.  My pillow form was 18” giving it a lovely filled out look.
I’m really pleased with the result and can’t wait to try more.  If you make a pillow, I’d love to see pictures.  I know some of you chose different color combinations and it will be fun to see how they all turn out.
                                                Enjoy!     Jovita
Oh – my question about it being a Willow or a Wallow?  Whenever I make a wall-hanging for a friend I aim for a standard pillow insert size . . . then add a pillow flap to the back, a hanging sleeve and I bind it as I would a quilt.  My friend then has the option of hanging her gift on the wall or using it on her sofa as a pillow.
What will you need to complete your pillow?

Pillow Front
Bullet   1 packet of Five Westfalenstoffe Fat Quarters (Red-Tan)
Bullet    Two 21” squares muslin
Bullet    One 21” square thin batting 
Bullet    Thread - I used Beige for everything so I could top-stitch without having to change.

Bullet    One Alphabet
Bullet    9” Spring (Red)
Bullet    9” Poetry
Bullet    26” Vine
Bullet    16” Spring (Beige)
Bullet    18” Itsy Bitsy Vine (Tan)

Pillow Back
Bullet    Two 21” x 12” batting
Bullet    Two 21” x 24” backing fabric
Bullet    Three fun buttons
©  Jovita Goldschmidt
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