Monday, May 25, 2015

Flower Pillow

Hi all -

I just finished my May pillow for the FMQ Challenge. Just in time, huh? It was a busy month and I had some trouble getting inspired, so it came down to the wire. This month's inspiration was Cindy Needham. She's one of my favorite quilters so it's a bit strange that I had such trouble coming up with an idea, but you just have to wait for your muse when she isn't forthcoming.

I decided to go with Cindy's new ultimate stencil for my pillow this month. I don't own the stencil, but I have one with a bunch of concentric circles that worked for me. Here is the design that I drafted, based on Cindy's flower from her youtube video:

 I drew one side of each of the two different petals, then folded the paper on the different axes to trace the curves to form all of the petals. That way I could just come up with a pleasing curve without having to have a stencil or ruler to match that curve.

I traced the design onto the pillow fabric rather than redrafting it with the stencil:

I decided to put feathers in the outer petals, so I drew in a little center motif so I wouldn't forget what I was planning for that area. Here is the first part of the quilting:

I was able to do all of the petals in a single pass using this strategy:

- start at the center, quilt around the outside of the petal around the bottom edge and back to the point where you touch the inner line on petal
- stitch the inner line back to the original line. For me, it was easiest if I quilted the motif in the center of the feathers when I got to that point
- stitch the feathers up one side and then down the other
- stitch the edge of the petal down to the center of the flower
- repeat for each of the petals

Once I had the outer parts of the petals quilted, I decided that I needed some more color in the petals. I decided to do straight lines and marked a smaller petal shape in each petal to use as the end point. I then just free-handed the straight lines using my darning foot.

Here is the final pillow:

I really like how this turned out!



  1. Your pillow is very beautiful. I love your flower motif.

  2. Wow, this is a striking design! I like how you improvised to find a way to create it without the stencil.

    1. Thanks! I felt bad about not getting the stencil, but I really don't do a lot of stuff where it would be useful. But maybe someday.....

  3. Beautiful quilting and very pretty design. Love it.

  4. Reminds me of redwork embroidery! I wouldn't mind cheering up my space with your pillow for the summer! :)

    1. I hadn't thought of redwork, but you're right! I see it now. Thanks!

  5. Your pillow looks so fantastic

  6. wonderful... lovely design and it is so effective...