Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Circles Pillow

Hi all -

This weekend I finished my April FMQ Challenge pillow. Our inspiration this month was Christina Cameli. She showed a pillow in her Craftsy class that I really loved, so I decided to make something like it. Her pillow has a circle in the center that's quilted with pebbles in a colored thread. I liked how the pebbles reflect the circle shape and how the circle shape is made just with the fill, with the edge itself not quilted. For my pillow, I decided that I wanted some diagonal motion so I put my circle more towards the upper left-hand corner. And I added a smaller circle inside of the big one that is also off center towards the same corner. To start, I used some templates to draw the circles on my base fabric:

You have to look carefully to see the marks, but they're there in white. Then I made a "Frankenstein" batting to use up some of my smaller pieces:

It always feels good to use some of these pieces! Now, how should I quilt the background? I know! Straight diagonal lines should help with the diagonal movement. I picked a darker thread so the lines would show up and quilted the lines about 1/2" apart. I figured I could add more lines if I ended up needing them closer together (but I ended up liking them the way they were):

I really like the look of the lines! The center is a bit puffy, but I should be able to control that with the quilting. I wanted the quilting in the circles to really show up, so I chose a couple of melon-colored thread -- a lighter one for the inside circle and a darker one for the outside. I chose the melon color because it's the complement of the blue fabric color. Yes, I actually used my color wheel to make this decision! Here is the outside circle quilted (Wesley thought I needed help with the picture):

I was able to tame the fullness pretty well with this quilting and only ended up putting in one small pucker. Then I added the inner circle:

I like the contrast of the thread color to the background fabric, but was hoping there would be more contrast between the two threads. It looked like there would be when I pooled the thread on the fabric. But it's also kind of cool that it's subtle, so I ended up liking how it turned out. The other thing I did to try to add contrast between the circles was to quilt smaller circles in the inner circle and larger circles in the outer one. Here's a picture of the back, since that's easier to see the quilting:

For the outer circle, I mixed these cool, curvy pebbles of Christina's in with the plain ones:

And in the inner circle I used her straight line motif to match the straight lines used in the background and to contrast with the outer circles:

The quilt was a bit wavy when I finished, but I was able to block it completely flat and then sew it into the final pillow:

This one I'm keeping for me!