Tag Archives: pillow

Arrow Point Path True Love Pillow Finish

Today I’m sharing a finish that has been completed since early May as a gift for my husband’s birthday, but could not yet be shared since the pattern hadn’t been released. Now that the pattern has been released, the pillow has been gifted, and it has lived in our rough and tumble home for a month, I thought it would be fun to share all the details, as well as a sneak peek behind the scenes of my quilt photography process!

libs elliott arrow point path pillow giftMy husband has been requesting a pillow made with Libs Elliott fabric for a while, and so when the latest round of Quilt Theory pattern testing came around, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get his pillow made. I tested Cheryl Brickey’s pattern Arrow Point Path, and the pattern struck me as the perfect choice for the bundle of True Love fabrics I had patiently waiting for a project.

libs elliott arrow point path pillow giftI made 16 quick blocks using the white heavy fabrics and black-heavy fabrics from True Love, Libs Elliott‘s first fabric line for Andover Fabrics as the color/background pieces, and added a few pops of the awesome neon print. I love the way this pattern looks as a pillow, and it’s also really fun to see the pattern in a completely different aesthetic style.

libs elliott arrow point path pillow gift detailI quilted it with straight lines on my Bernina 560 using my walking foot and 50wt Aurifil 2600-Dove thread.

libs elliott arrow point path pillow giftI threw in a few sharp angles to help keep the edge, and staggered the distances between lines for some fun.

libs elliott arrow point path pillow gift backI used the large scale Wound Up in Bright for the pillow backing, and closed it with my first ever side-seam zipper.

libs elliott arrow point path pillow gift zipper detailI love how this magenta zipper I had on hand coordinates with the pink from the Wound Up print. Perrrrfect. I do need quite a bit of practice with sewing zippers, but we won’t focus on the wobbles and such. The pillow was well received and lives happily on our couch. Now I just need to make about 5 more to cover the rest of our *cough-cough-ugly-cough* couch pillows, and then redo our living room decor to match our more modern design aesthetic. All in good time, right? (haha laugh with me here).

libs elliott arrow point path pillow giftI did enjoy making this pillow, though, and I’m happy I can finally say I’ve sewn something for my husband. Today is our 10th wedding anniversary, too, so it seems fitting that I share this true love pillow gift!

Behind the Scenes at a Quilty Photoshoot

Just for fun, I thought I’d share a little peek at what goes into getting the perfect quilty photo, since while I absolutely LOVE these photos, I very easily could have gone home without them.

Rather than photograph this pillow on our couch, which is brown and doesn’t coordinate *at all*, I wanted to photograph it out in the wild, as is my preference. I again borrowed this awesome chair from my friend Emily, and requested that she bring it on our Mommy hiking club hike yesterday. While trying to get it into her trunk, one of the legs snapped pure off. Yikes! Fortunately, the leg was able to be propped on, AND it seems like something that should be able to be fixed. Talk about a wrench thrown into the day, though!

After that rough start, we all met at a hiking spot with our babies and toddlers and went on a 3 hour hike up a mountain. There was plenty of fun, plenty of whining and crying, and a good dose of bug bites and skinned knees. Overall, though, it was a fabulous day and my boys got good and tired out. My plan was to find the perfect photo shoot spot along the way home, and because I wanted to photograph this pillow in more of an urban scene, I stopped at the one town between the hike and our home, in search of a good alley or building face in the shade. Not so easy to find in Maine at 1pm on a bright sunny day!

libs elliott arrow point path pillow photoshoot try 1The first spot that seemed like it could potentially work was the shaded side of a cafe. The dark blue-grey surface first attracted my attention, and the fact that it was in full shade was a big plus. However, it seemed flat. Above you can see try #1. I did a full photo shoot here, just in case I didn’t find anything better. Fortunately my nearly 5 year old son was asleep in the car, and my 2 year old was content to watch from his carseat. After the shoot, I drove around a bit more seeing if I could find a better spot.

libs elliott arrow point path pillow photoshoot try 2The second spot I tried was a rusted metal shed in a back parking lot, which I spied while turning around to get back to the main road after my first attempt. This was a bit more of the urban feel I was looking for, but still a bit flat. A bit of graffiti or added interest would have made this potentially a winner, but still, I felt there had to be a better spot. While running back and forth from the shed to the trunk of my car, I spotted the back of a red brick building. The big concrete slabs and tall seeded dandelions are what attracted my attention most. Rather than move my car again, I simply carried everything the extra 50 feet to this next, winning location and had at it!

libs elliott arrow point path pillow giftDefinitely my favorite of all of the attempts, and the photo shoot location winner of the day! The moral of this story? When seeking that perfect photo location, don’t be afraid to experiment and try a few different spots! That perfect shot will come.

If you’re interested in learning ALL about how to take epic quilt photos, you’re in luck! I’ll be teaming up with Michelle Bartholomew to teach both Basic (MSC 101 or 102) and Advanced (MSC 300 or 301) Quilt Photography at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena in February! You can see the full Quilt Con 2018 Catalog here, and I do hope to see you there!

I’m linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Make Earth Day Every Day: Grow Pillow

Earth Day has always been one of my favorites days. I strive to fully embody the “Earth Day is Every Day” ideal with my day to day life, from adopting a whale in third grade and frequent stream clean ups as a child, to majoring in environmental science in college, to aiming to instill a love and respect for the earth and all its creatures and functions in my children. The earth is our home, and it is our responsibility to help nurture and care for it. Today seemed like the perfect day to share my newly finished pillow featuring my bean sprout foundation paper pieced pattern.

grow bean sprout pillow finishI’m calling this pillow “Grow” and it will be donated to a fundraiser auction/raffle at our local school. The theme for the fundraiser is “Growth & Gardening” so it fits perfectly!

grow bean sprout pillow finishI used my coveted Carolyn Friedlander bright green Architextures fabric (Robert Kaufman) for the sprout, with little leaves of lime linen leftover from a previous project and a dotty聽dark green that was in my stash, but has no selvedge.聽A light turquoise modern Indah batik by Me + You (Hoffman Fabrics) makes a perfect summer sky for the background. Alison Glass Sun Prints 2016 Sphere (Andover) as the border rounded out the pillow nicely. It’s bound in the remainder of the lime linen blend and backed in that same mystery, beautiful dark green fabric. I quilted the pillow front with coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread in 2800-Mint Ice, since it blends right in with both the background and the green bean sprout.

grow bean sprout pillow finishI was hoping to release the Bean Sprout Pattern today, too, but lo… life got in the way and it’s not quite ready yet. Soon, hopefully. The pattern finishes at 12″ square so I added 2″ borders all around to bring the pillow to 16″ square.

grow bean sprout pillow finishgrow bean sprout pillow finishI also inserted my very first hidden zipper in the back of this pillow, which is SO exciting! I used a聽fabulous tutorial by S.O.T.A.K. handmade and it worked like a charm. I am definitely installing hidden zippers in the backs of all of my pillows from now on.

grow bean sprout pillow finishNow that this pillow is finished and photographed, it will be delivered to my daughter’s school for their annual fundraising auction/raffle. Last year’s donated project taught me a lot about the art of giving, and this year’s gift seems no less serendipitous. A quilted item was needed for a growth-themed fundraiser, right as I had tested my bean sprout pattern–perfect! I’m curious to see what next year brings, and I hope this pillow is able to raise some money for our local school!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday, and TGIFF, since a finish ALWAYS warrants celebration! Now, off I go on a hike to celebrate this gorgeous Earth Day! Head on outside and love your mama!

 

Autumn Dusk Kaleidoscope Pillow Tutorial

Today I’m going to share a quick tutorial on how to make your very own Kaleidoscope pillow using the Sizzix BigZ L Kaleidoscope die and six fat quarters (I used my Autumn Dusk blogger bundle from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply). For those of you who do not have a Sizzix die cutting machine, I will also include a printable foundation paper piecing option, so read on!

kaleidoscope pillow tutorialA month or so ago, I selected a blogger bundle for my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, and called it Autumn Dusk. The colors made me think of the calm at dusk, and I thought it would be a perfect palette for a pillow. Our couch doesn’t have a single handmade pillow, and that needed to change. In thinking about pattern ideas, I came across my Kaleidoscope die from Sizzix and decided to play. Do you have ANY idea how many different patterns you can make with the Kaleidoscope pattern!? It boggles my mind. Peek at the results from a quick “kaleidoscope quilt” google search HERE to give you an idea of the potential.

fiddlehead artisan supply autumn dusk kaleidoscope pillow sizzix tutorialTrust me when I say the most difficult part is deciding on fabrics and fabric placement.

autumn dusk kaleidoscope pillow tutorial sizzixThis tutorial will include cutting instructions for the same arrangement of nine (9) blocks made from six (6) fat quarters of fabric as I used, as well as assembly and finishing instructions for an envelope-backed 18″ square pillow. If you want to make an identical pillow, you can buy the Autumn Dusk bundle from Fiddlehead HERE, or enter to win a bundle by commenting on yesterday’s post HERE. I have included some affiliate links in this post so that if you click through, I will get a small commission. I only share products I love and use.

Let’s get started!

TUTORIAL- Kaleidoscope PillowMaterials Needed:

If you are creating your own kaleidoscope version, print out this printable provided by Debby at Quilter by Design and start playing with color combinations. Note that you can emphasize a windmill shape, a star shape, or a circular movement depending on where you position your colors and values of fabric. Once your design and fabric choices have been made, it’s time to cut!

Kaleidoscope fabric numbersFor this pillow, cut the following (refer to the photo above for fabric numbers):

Fabric 1: 36 wedges and 12 corners
Fabric 2: 8 wedges and 16 corners
Fabric 3: 8 wedges
Fabric 4: 8 wedges and 8 corners
Fabric 5: 4 wedges
Fabric 6: 8 wedges

sizzix kaleidoscope pillow tutorialFor quick and easy cutting with your Sizzix fabi, cut fabric strips 4″ wide for the wedges and 2 5/8″ wide for the corners.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialThen you can accordion-fold the fabric over the die and cut 16 of each at a time, since the die has 2 corner and 2 wedge blades and you can layer fabric 8 layers thick. That’s 32 pieces cut per pass, if you plan your fabric cutting wisely! (Note that the image above is to demonstrate the accordion-fold, not the uber efficient cutting!)

autumn dusk kaleidoscope pillow tutorial sizzixOnce your pieces are all cut, lay them out in your desired pattern. Tip: Take a photo with your phone or camera once you’ve decided on a layout. Having this photo handy during piecing will make getting everything in the proper place the first time so much easier!

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialNow let’s sew the blocks together!

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialFirst, sew the corners onto the appropriate wedge blocks.

Kaleidoscope Lining up notches from sizzixThe notches cut by the Sizzix make accurate piecing easy. Center the corner piece right sides together with the bottom edge of the wedge piece as shown in the inset photo above. Then use the little corners sticking out from the bottom edges of the wedge as a sewing guide. Set seams and press open.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialYou will then have this.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialNext, pair each cornered wedge with a background wedge. Be sure to sew along the same side edge for each pair, and begin sewing from the corner edge and not the center point. Set seams, press open. **Note that assembling this block is a perfect time to practice pressing and NOT ironing. Even a little wiggle might stretch sections enough to result in a ripple when the final block is assembled. Press: up, down, up. NOT ironing. Got it!**

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialDouble check your arrangement with the photo you took before sewing pairs together.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialYou will now have two halves. Aligning the notched corners and pinning just after the center seam match, sew the halves together. Set seams and press open.

sizzix kaleidoscope tutorialTa-da! You have a kaleidoscope block. Make 9 total.

kaleidoscope block chain piecingFeel free to chain piece these blocks, but have your layout photo handy. Lay out your pieces and confirm arrangement before sewing each step.

joining rows of kaleidoscope blocks tutorialArrange your blocks as desired. Double check that all fabrics are in the proper place.

joining rows of kaleidoscope blocks tutorialThen sew the blocks in each row together. Finally, sew the three rows together to complete the pillow top.

joining rows of kaleidoscope blocks tutorialI love how the notches cut by the Sizzix help with every step of the piecing process–from piecing to matching points in the final assembly. When joining your rows, you can use the seam line as a guide to make sure you don’t lose any points.

kaleidoscope tutorialOnce your kaleidoscope pillow top is complete, baste it to a 20″x20″ piece of batting (or fuse to fusible fleece), find some coordinating thread and quilt as desired. I used Aurifil 50wt 2560-Iris since it was a nice gentle purple and matched my light colors while providing great contrast with the dark background.

Once your pillow top is quilted, square it up with a rotary cutter, being sure to leave a 1/4″ seam allowance from the outermost points.

pillow envelope backing tutorialNext, we’ll make the pillow’s back panels. Cut two (2) pieces of 13 1/2″x19″ background fabric (my finished pillow top actually measured closer to 19″ than 18 1/2″ square. Adjust accordingly based on the measurement of your pillow) and two (2) pieces of 12 3/4″x19″ batting.

pillow envelope backing tutorialLayer the backing panels wrong sides facing the batting, and lining up three edges. The backing fabric should extend about 3/4″ on one side.

pillow envelope backing tutorialFold the extended edge in 1/4″. Press with a hot iron.

pillow envelope backing tutorialFold over again, flush with the edge of the batting (approx 1/2″) and press. Pin or clip in place.

pillow envelope backing tutorialPin along the edges of the backing fabric and batting to help keep them together if you want to, although I found that they stuck together just fine without any pins. Alternately, you could fuse on fusible fleece instead of batting, although this is a great project for using up batting scraps. With the backing fabric right side facing up, top stitch 1/4″ from the folded edge. Sew again 1/8″ from the first stitches. Repeat for the other panel.

pillow envelope backing tutorialNow it’s time to sew the pillow front to the back panels.  Lay the quilted pillow top right side facing up, and place the back panels right sides facing down, with the raw edges aligning with the raw edges of the pillow top and the sewn hem edges toward the center of the pillow.

pillow envelope backing tutorialThere should be about 6″ of overlap.

Pin securely and sew around the entire edge of the pillow. Be sure to reinforce where the envelope edges meet, sewing back and forth multiple times, since they will receive the bulk of the wear and tear as the pillow form is put in and taken out.

Clip the corners, and turn right side out through the envelope opening, carefully pushing out corners with a blunt chopstick. Insert an 18″ pillow form, or one of your old couch cushions, and enjoy!

kaleidoscope pillow tutorialtula pink poniesMax quickly discovered that there were ponies on the pillow, so he had to run and get his best friend, aptly named Pony.

pony and kaleidoscope pillowpony and kaleidoscope pillowThis pillow apparently now belongs to Pony, since, well… ponies!