Thursday, February 20, 2014

seaside pillows

It's nearly auction time again! This year I decided to make pillows rather than a baby quilt for my sister-in-law Lisa's school fundraising auction. She is the principal of the K-8 segment of a wonderful Lutheran school in central Illinois.  This is the perfect occupation for her since she's one of the most caring, loving, and positive people you'll ever meet. Her enthusiasm for education and for the Lord is boundless and infectious. She's also one of my biggest cheerleaders :)

So back to the pillows... I chose these colors because they make me think of summer and warm breezes on beautiful beaches, and Lisa loves the beach!

I paper-pieced 18 blocks using the free download-able economy block pattern found here on the Red Pepper Quilts site. The block can also be traditionally pieced, but since I recently gave a demo on paper-piecing at my guild meeting, I decided to make these blocks part of my demo project.

This block pattern is just perfect for quilters first learning the technique, and it's also great for using scraps if you happen to have a large quantity of those. Or you can use charm (5") squares, which is what I did for this project. The fabrics I used are primarily from the new "Sphere" line by Zen Chic for Moda. I used nearly all of two charm packs (84 squares) plus some extra fabrics from my stash to total the 90 5" squares needed.

Paper-piecing is not something I do very often. It involves a LOT of trimming and some fabric waste, and I'm not a big fan of fabric waste.

And then you've got this bit of tedium - tearing away all the paper from the back of your blocks after you've finished sewing them together. Ugh. This is the main reason I don't paper-piece very often. There are several specialty paper options available that will dissolve in water or tear away more easily that plain old copier paper, but I'm cheap so I haven't tried those yet. If I ever get knee-deep in a paper-pieced project, you can bet I'll be spending the money for that dissolve-able paper!

But here's the payoff! Perfectly sewn sharp points in all the corners! Ahh... Such satisfaction for a little bit of tedium :)

No decision yet on how they will be quilted. (I guess that's a running theme here this week, huh?!) Probably something simple - the patterns and colors are busy enough already. Zippered backs for sure on these two pillows finishing at 16" square.

There are several free video lessons on paper-piecing available to view on YouTube. I particularly like these two by Mary Fons from Quilty Magazine.
Paper-Piecing Basics, Part 1
Paper-Piecing Basics, Part 2


  1. Fabulous cushions!! I really like the fabrics you've used. It's ripping the paper out that I have about paper piecing but you're so right that the accuracy makes it all worth it.


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