This is my second finish for this quarter – No. 10 from my FAL list!
My Dad decided, that he just doesn’t want a quilt but would love some new couch pillows – but as I can’t do those, that he doesn’t need something. Well, of course I had to state that if I can sew quilts, I can finish some pillows, all though I have not done that yet.
I put the pillow first on my FAL list for Q3: “I would love to gift those at his birthday end of July. But I guess that’s way to unrealistic so I will put them on here so they might be finished in time for Christmas?”
Even that was a close call. Which probably surprises no one who knows my time managing “problems”. A 80×80 Chrismas quilt top got in the way this time. But back to the pillows… I am really glad I had another talk with him early on in my Christmas gift prep, because I was planning to sew the fish as in the quilt pattern. Colourful and on a low volume background.
He had other ideas. He wanted the background to be like is old pillows. So I bought my Kona Color card and started matching fabrics… “No, not exactly!”, then he picked three himself. Let’s just say, I really hope he likes the pillows, because it was hard to sew with the not-my-colors. It appears I have some trouble “thinking” in other peoples likes… At least the motive was to be scrappy & bright… but only the warm color spectrum as the photos above the couch… I was really glad we had clearified things further, all the work for a not well received gift would have been annoying.
Soon after that planning day, I downloaded the folksy fish pattern. Reading it, it sounded daunting and way more complicated than I expected. So instead of jumping in of course I delayed. The I saw the Fish Food pattern by Quarter Inch of Quirk. A straight forward fpp pattern sounded fun, even with the gazillion small pieces. And I love the design!
So this was my first pillow. Without real quilting design ideas I stuck with orangic wavy lines. Fish are in the sea so waves sounded right :)
Then I started on the butterflies. Why?, you ask… He commented he would not only take fish but also (add animal of your choice) and (add animal of your choice). So butterflies for his wife and fish for Dad!
The butterflies are made using a free pattern by lillyella called Butterfly Charm Block. I enlarged it to 230% and sewed “Cricket” and “Pepper”.
Because of the comfortable size I added an extra fabric with “Cricket” and drew an additional line for an extra piece with “Pepper”.
And then I finally had the currage to start on the folksy fish. And they were easier then expected. I used this technique from a nightquilter tutorial. It’s the second time I tried it and I love it! This way the fish were no problem at all.
Now on to figure out how to quilt the rest. I decided on dividing the pillows: One each in wavy lines, one each with a more intricate quilting pattern. Trying something new on a tight deadline project was a stupid idea. It took me a while to transfer my “wind design” to the butterfly. In blue watersoluable marker because the chalk pen didn’t show enough. Then I tried quilting it with my walking foot. Not possible, way too many and tight curves. Ok, maybe I will give FMQ my first shot? On a deadline project you ask? Well why not… Remind my future self in case I have an equally crazy idea.
I am a perfectionist and I was not happy with the stitches. For a first try it was probably ok. Anyway it took me another valuable hour to take out all those stiches. And come up with a simpler but still more intricate walking foot design. At first I was not totally happy with that either but it grew on me. And I kept reminding myself of something I had read or heard by Angela Walkers. That it’s not that important how a small section looks as long as the density and overall design are consitent.
I “washed” the pillow top to remove the marker by streaming it with lots of water in my shower and put it to dry overnight. And yes, finally the pillows are finished, last stiches on the 23rd of December. I only needed them on Christmas Day so that was in plenty of time, right?
Hope you all had lovely Christmas days!