Thanks for stopping by on the Festival of Half Square Triangles blog tour!
Do you want to make a pillow like this one? It's a biggie - it ends up at 24"square, so it's perfect for a big snuggly bed pillow or for lounging on the couch.
I think the 4 arm like shapes look like scythes, so that's what I'm calling this pillow.
The Scythe Pillow (how's that for imagination?)
Will you make one with me? You will? Oh great!
Well, let's go...
You will need;
2 different F8s* of prints (*fat eighths)
1/2 yard of solid for background and borders (you will have leftovers)
FQ print for binding
1/2 yard fabric for envelope back
fusible fleece or wadding at least 26" square
pack of 3" thangles
Finished pillow - 24" square
things to remember
- use a 1/4" seam throughout unless otherwise mentioned
- measure twice, cut once!
- read through the directions before you start to make sure you understand what's going on
I used thangles for the first time ever in this project. I've had a whole heap lying around for the longest time and I figured if not now when would there be a great time to try them out?
They are pre-printed papers that you sew onto strips of fabric, cut and end up with half square triangle units, with the dog ear bits already removed. Cool, huh?
First up cut each of your F8s into 8 3.5" x 9.5" strips and cut your background fabric into 16 3.5" x 9.5" strips. Layer the strips with the lightest colour fabric on top - right sides together. Pin your thangle paper to the strip sandwich and sew on the dotted lines USING A SHORTER STITCH THAN USUAL. (note - my printed fabric is poking out from the ends of the paper because I was lazy and didn't cut it short enough - ignore that, yours will look neater)
You need to sew 8 strip sets for each print (16 HST units for each print - 32 HST units total)
Cut on the solid lines between the thangle units, on the diagonal lines, and also any overhang you have at the top and bottom of your strips (basically - wherever you see a solid line)
Press open, trim the one little dog ear that is left on one end and tear away the papers.
tear tear tear....
Cut 4 3.5" squares from background fabric and lay out your block as below (please 'scuse the weird wonky photo, I had possibly been drinking a sneaky gin or 3 when I took that!)...
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SET YOUR STITCH LENGTH BACK TO NORMAL! Sew those rows together, pressing your seams open to reduce bulk. Give it all a really good press. I like to use a bit of spray starch.
From your background fabric cut 2 strips 3" x 18" and sew to the top and bottom of your pillow top. Press seams out towards the edges. Cut another 2 strips, 3" x 24" and sew to the left and right side of your pillow top. Press seams out towards the edge again and trim off any overhang.
Layer your pillow top, right side up, to fusible fleece and press well to set with a hot iron, or baste onto regular batting with pins. Whenever I make small projects like pillows I use vilene H630 fusible fleece (or pellon 987F). It is fusible on one side, which, when you press with an iron, becomes set. I love the way it makes quilting so much easier as there's no battling with pins, and really does make the finished pillow or mini quilt look flatter and helps me avoid wrinkles and bumps. I don't line my pillows either, I find the fusible fleece works really well and I haven't had any issues with pillows that have been washed and dried and the fleece going all bobbly or anything. There are 2 cats in my house and they shed fur all over, so my quilts and pillows get washed often!
I quilted my pillow with regularly spaced straight lines, about 1" apart, using a medium grey aurifil thread in 50 weight. This thread works really well for me, as the stitches become almost invisible and you just get the texture of the quilting.
Once you've quilted your pillow top you need to make it into a pillow by adding a back of your choice. I made mine with an envelope back, because zippers are scary and I am a big girly wuss.
Want to know a really cheaty cheaty way of doing your envelope back? Here it is. I use the selvedge edges of my fabric instead of hemming it. I LOVE how it looks, and it's fast. Sometimes selvedges are the best bit of fabric, all those cute little dots on them. For this pillow I used some home dec weight fabric by Anna Maria Horner. The weight is a little heavier, so it gives slightly better support than just using regular quilting cotton. My husband doesn't like the look of selvage edges, but I ignore everything he says unless it's along the lines of 'would you like my bank card to buy yourself a whole pile of fabric'.
Cut your fabric into 2 pieces - each measuring the width of your pillow top (approx 24" - but measure yours to make sure because it might have shrunk a little with quilting) x 15" and layer it wrong sides together on the back of the pillow top. Make sure the overlap is nice and straight and pin all the way round. Take to the sewing machine and stitch all the way round, backstitching where the 2 pieces overlap to add a little strength.
I like to do this step with a zig zag stitch for added strength, but a regular straight stitch is fine too.
Now to finish you need bind your pillow. You can find binding instructions in the tutorials section at the top of my blog if you need help.
And that's it - your pillow is all finished. Stuff it with a 24" pillow form so it's nice and fat and admire your handiwork.
Denyse Schmidt, flea market fancy - fizzy dots in pink and medallion in green
Moda crossweave in natural (out of print but Kaufman essex yarn dyed linen in flax is a good substitute)
Elements ovals in parfait pink by Art Gallery fabrics
Anna Maria Horner drawing room, plume in green (out of print, but can be found if you hunt on etsy)
Don't forget to join the flickr group and make your own half square triangles projects and check back with the all the other half square triangle project on the Festival of Half Square Triangles tour by looking at who was when here! And the linky party for you to submit your own entries for the festival starts on Monday April 16th with a heap of prizes courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop
Want to win a prize because you can't be doing with waiting til Monday and are feeling too lazy to make anything? Heck yes, those kinds of prizes are always good!
Claire at Patch Fabrics (which is where I teach classes!) has sent me this great prize for one lucky winner;