Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hugs All Around

I love making pillows!  When you don't have enough time for a large project and need some instant gratification, a mini charm pack pillow is a great, quick project.  

I recently got on board with a project planner, and I'm so glad I did.  Choosing a planner wasn't easy. There's so many good ones.  I ultimately chose the "Scrappy Project Planner" by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet.  Not only can you plan and design your own projects, Lori also included patterns. There's a great section on Tips & Organizing, too!

So the other night I grabbed my new planner and a Coney Island Mini Charm Pack and sketched out a simple design I'm calling "Hugs All Around". With a little help from my calculator, I did the math.  Some times the calculations are trial an error, but you can always add to the border if the "calculator" didn't work. (wink wink)

I like to lay out my mini charms and take a photo once I find what looks good to me.  There's no right or wrong to this step.  It all depends on what looks good to you. Having the photo saves a lot of time if the mini charms get mixed up while stitching.  I like to chain stitch when I can and most times the layout gets messed up.  Just refer back to your photo and save lots of time! 

Once the top was pieced came the decision all quilters struggle with.... How do I quilt it? 
I, personally, love straight line quilting and crosshatching for pillows, but this pillow will be used in my quilt show display among other pillows with those types of quilting.

I wanted to do something different this time to make the pillow, and display, stand out. I tried circular quilting once before and it was a disastrous fail.  I didn't think I would ever try it again, but I felt my quilting skills have steadily improved enough to give it another try.

I've been asked several times how I did the circular quilting.  I started by making a small circle in the center.  I actually used the bottom cap from a spool of Aurifil thread.  Did you know the bottom cap comes off?  I didn't know that for the longest time.  That's where the end of the thread is to start the spool. (ugh)  I traced around the cap for my starting circle.  For the next circle, and all the circles after, I followed the previous stitches as a guide for my pressure foot.

You have to go slow and ease your project into the curve. Don't lift your pressure foot and turn the pillow.  It will give you jagged points. Have patience and go slow. This pillow took more than 4 HOURS to quilt, so I quilted it over 2 days.  

Once the quilting was done, I squared it and made a simple envelope back.  I didn't have any Coney Island yardage yet for the binding, but rather than wait, I chose a complimentary print from Strawberry Fields Revisited I had in stock.  It had most of the colors in Coney Island and matched beautifully. 

Hope you like my new pillow pattern "Hugs All Around"  

I would love to know if you are interested in a free tutorial for this pillow pattern.  
Please leave a comment and let me know.  Thanks!! 

Fabric Shown:  Coney Island
Designer:  Fig Tree and Co.
Manufacturer:  Moda Fabrics
20" Pillow Insert:  IKEA $6

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