Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ikea pillow progress..

Not too much happened today with the cover, but I did get my quilt sandwich laid out and pinned. Above you can see my sandwich: pieced top, batting and backing. I laid it all out on my bed, my largest work space currently.

I hold the sandwich together with quilter's safety pins. As you can see, they have a bend in them to facilitate getting the pin in and holding all of those layers together.Quilt Safety Pin-Nickel Sz3

And here is the whole thing all pinned. Pin placement is about every 6 to 8 inches all around.

Placement is a little irregular, but this will do. All ready to quilt now. Needle is changed out on my machine, feed dogs are lowered, and its threaded with yellow embroidery thread. Now I just need a little time!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The cylindrical Ikea pillow

After many moons, I've stepped into my studio again to get a little home decorating sewing done. A couple of weeks ago I made a voyage to our local Ikea (looove that place: and picked up several small odds and ends including a cool cylindrical pillow or bolster. A great shape and, of course being Ikea, a great price. Unfortunately, there was only one pillow case available for it which had drawstring treatments on the ends and was plain white.

Yuck to both! I knew I could do better. First I sewed an inner liner that would permanently cover the foam. It was good practice in dealing with the difficult ends. Circles stretch when you sew them so I ended up fusing some interfacing (Pellon Shir-Tailor, my absolute favorite; its easy to work with and adds just the right amount of stabilization without excess goop that accumulates on your needle) to stabilize each circle so that I could sew it to the central tube. Worked like a charm and you can see what I ended up with above.

Days were spent going through all of my fabrics. I wanted to coordinate with my new duvet cover and shams from Pottery Barn ( and was having a tough time choosing a single fabric from my stash. Finally I realized I had to piece something together to get the colors and effects I wanted. Here are the fabrics I came up with; each one has a story behind it.

Measurements: the pillow is 31" around. I'll add an inch on both sides and shoot for 33".

And 31.25" wide. I'll add some extra dimension there too.

Before any cutting or even sewing, the first step is always ironing. Like my Tante Elfriede, the seamstress, says: "Gut gebügelt ist halb genäht" which translates as "well ironed is half sewn" or, more loosely: "The iron is the best tailor". Well, she's soooo right.

Next, time to cut some strips. No blocks for this pillow, I decided simple strips would yield a pleasing striped effect.

And here they all are.

A pleasant afternoon was spent sewing the strips together and when they were all attached, I laid the top out on the pillow to get an idea of the final cover.

Hmmm. Not too bad! The pink is a little bright--it should really be a little more in the salmon range. I'll tone that down by using a red thread when I quilt the pink strips. All of the other color strips will be quilted with matching colors. Enough for today! Tomorrow: quilting the top.