Monday, February 16, 2015

February FMQ Challenge

Hi all -

It's time for the February FMQ Challenge and I've finished my pillow. This month's challenge was to use Leah Day's fill patterns in a pillow and I chose option 3 -- selecting fillers from her Craftsy classes.

First, I had to design my pillow. I had gotten a pillow form that was 14"x28", so that's the size of pillow I decided to make. I wanted some different areas for different fills, so I decided to improvisationally piece fabrics strips on a diagonal. I found a fabric that I liked and then picked some other fabrics to go with it. I cut a piece of tracing paper to 14"x28" to give me a base for doing the piecing to make sure that the final panel was big enough. I didn't add seam allowances because I had watched a Nancy Smith Craftsy class a long time ago where she said that she makes the pillow covers a little smaller than the pillow form size to get a more filled pillow. I decided to try that. Here is what the piecing looked like:

I forgot to take into account that I needed extra fabric on the top because of the angle of the fabric when folding it over, so I had to put a little extra fabric at the top of one of the sections:

Oops! Can you see the extra seam? I only had to make that mistake once to be more careful the rest of the time! (This picture is from after I did the SID quilting, so that's why you see the extra stitching lines. I didn't think to take a picture when I made the mistake.)

Once the piecing was done, I pulled off the tracking paper, sandwiched it with batting and backing, and started the quilting. First I did some SID quilting to stabilize everything and give myself a stitching like for traveling. I used a brown thread that I would also use for the rest of the quilting so my travel stitching wouldn't be noticeable. Then I just started picking filler patterns and putting them in the different sections. Here's how it turned out:

Since it's hard to see some of the stitching on some of the fabrics, here's a picture of the back of the quilting:

The patterns I used are (from left to right):
  • Echo Shorthand
  • Sharp Stippling
  • Pearled Feather
  • Poseidon's Eye
  • Basic Maze
  • Frog Eggs
  • Echoing of the fabric pattern (not a Leah fill)
  • Heat Wave
  • Trailing Spirals (with added straight lines0
  • Lollipop Chain
  • Curvy Mosaic
I added the straight lines to the Trailing Spirals fill because I didn't like how my version of the fill looked in that prominent area. They really stood out and didn't look good. Adding the straight lines took the emphasis off of the spirals and toned down the bright solid fabric a bit. Here is what the final pillow looks like:

I really like how the pillow form fills the pillow, so I'm glad I made the cover a bit smaller.

We've had a lot of spring-like weather lately, but winter returned yesterday:

What a change! It's still snowing now and it's supposed to continue overnight, but then should stop tomorrow. We've gotten about a foot of snow so far. Looks like I'll be doing some shoveling tomorrow! But it's still nothing compared to what they're dealing with on the east coast!



  1. Your variety of stitches on your pillow are gorgeous! I'm so glad you showed the back where they are more visible. I love the diagonal pattern too!

  2. Gorgeous pillow! Love the colors and the quilting!

  3. Absolutely love your pillow! Great variety of stitches. Not sure where you are in Colorado - do you have lots of snow this year? We lived in Basalt many moons ago and now spent lots of time in the Estes Park area. Enjoy your gorgeous state. ~Jeanne

    1. Thanks! I'm actually just about 30-45 minutes south of Estes Park. We've had really spring-like weather this winter so not a lot of snow yet. But I just finished shoveling over a foot of heavy snow, so I have to remember the warm weather we had just a couple of days ago! Spring is still ahead so there's still a lot of chances for a lot of snow!

  4. Brilliant your idea of laying out the strips on an angle. Very effective and the different quilting designs really work together. Nice!

  5. Your quilting is stunning, beautiful pillow, well done!!

  6. Nancy Great pillow! Love your diagonal use of fabric, and your quilting is fantastic. It must have been hard to decide which side to have as the outside of the pillow.