Thursday, September 17, 2015

summer's over!!

HELLO Everyone!!! No, I am still alive and kicking! I just got a little distracted over summer! ;-)

I did not expect to get distracted from blogging for so long, though! At the end of the school year, things were getting hectic, no more time for sewing, party here, party there, taking on new official sewing projects, finishing up the old ones, and had simply no more time to post! Well, I am back again. The kids are in school now, and I have a little bit of me time for myself. So, I wanted to get back to posting on a regular basis. Yes, I really do! Please forgive me! The summer was fantastic, and now I am ready to "get back to work!"

Thinking about summer, I would like to share with you the pillow I made for my summer swap partner from our group, Pillow Swap Four Seasons. I kind of stepped out of my comfort zone and started using a lot of low volume (LW) fabrics. I tried to create something in the same style as her inspiration mosaic with lots of different rainbow colors, low volume prints and symmetrical design. You can see her design here:

I have to admit, my style is a bit more "low key" using more solids than LV so it was a little challenging to sew how I could design and sew something for her that I could really poor my heart out into. I took the idea from her six-pointed star and made a circle of them which is typically called "Seven Sisters." You will usually see this pattern and design made using English Paper Piecing (EPP). But, I love to piece on the machine, so I wanted a "simpler" way to make the stars and decided to make them using 60° triangles instead.

Design: I started playing around with the below design in EQ7. I usually design all of my quilts using this program. My first design hat a border, because I like a "clean" area to attach the backing fabric when sewing pillows. In the end, I changed my mind and added another row of LV triangles.

My first challenge was finding low volume fabrics! My friend, Mara, in Greece helped me out with those fabulous LV you see in the picture below. I didn't have any, and she was kind enough to offer me those beauties from her personal fabric collection. The solids are from a Kona rainbow charm pack.This was my initial pull and starting point.

After I had the design, I broke out my Mini Hex N More ruler I bought from Quilt et Textilkunst at last year's Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe. I cut 2 1/4" strips and broke my ruler in! These are so cool!! You really have to get one! (I also have the large Hex N More ruler, but haven't put it to great use yet.)

I pulled a few other coordinating fabrics for the stars. Once again, this was my first choice that I really liked. I didn't use all of the fabrics and changed my mind throughout. ;-) If I made the pillow over today, I think I would have used this yellow print in the middle instead of the one I used. I think smaller prints work better with the 2 1/4 inch triangles.

I laid out my stars to see if they had the right contrast and "pow" appeal. I was content with these fabrics. I let them stay on my design board for a day or two.

Next phase, cut out over 200 pieces from over 30 different fabrics (!).

Sewing: I carefully layed them out on my flannel design boards. I didn't have room for all pieces on one board in the beginning. ;-) Then I started sewing the rows carefully together one after another. Triangle quilts are really rather simple. I have sewn four or five already. The true key is to sewing successfully is to sew every odd row to the right starting from the left. Start your even rows by taking the last triangle in the row and sew them to the left or upside down. Then they will always nest!

After the rows were finished, it was easy street from there. ;-) Do you see the turquoise star? What is your opinion about it? Does it work?

I wasn't so sure about it. I looked at the setup after dark and noticed it was rather light in value.

The next day I found a better coordinated for the blue. Now all outer stars are brighter than the middle star and equal in value.

Of course I didn't throw out that lovely star!I used it to make a mug rug! Every pillow needs a matching mug rug, doesn't it?

Quilting: I first wanted to do an inner outline quilting on the whole pillow, but thought I wanted to bringing another design element and made 60° angles through the middle of the pillow. I am happy with the end result, but I am not happy that I chose to use Vliesoline H640 on this pillow! It gives it way too much depth. I learned my lesson here. ;-) Today I might even be brave enough to use black thread for the quilting too.

Seven Sisters Read the Newsprint for Rita
For the backside, I wanted to make something more in my style and went with Rita's idea of the hexagon, pulled through my scrap bins for yellow fabrics, improvised pieced until I got those great triangles, and sewed together in strips until I got even bigger triangles. I sewed the different solids in from the front as a border, the added the black until it was big enough for the backing. I offset the star on purpose if you were thinking it went wacky by mistake. ;-)
Back Side of Pillow of Seven Sisters Read the Newsprint

Bottom Zipper for a Two-Sided Pillow
And I love the label I made for Rita! I transferred the design onto t-shirt transfer and ironed to a white piece of fabric and sewed it into the inside of the pillow.

All in all, I am extremely happy with the way Rita's pillow turned out. It wasn't exactly my style (meaning low volume prints), but it challenged me to be creative. I truly hope she loved the pillow, because if she doesn't she can always send it back! ;-)

If you are inerested in swapping pillows with a fabulous group of ladies, we still have a few vacancies open for an energenic and creative patchworker. More information under the tab "Pillow Swap Four Seasons" above. We have an online form in the pillow swap Flickr group.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope to be around more in the future as well!

Big hugs,