Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Crazy Quilt Pillow Features Peacock

Pillows can be purely decorative but in making my latest Crazy Quilt pillow I wanted it to be functional as well. To that end, I did not add a lot of surface embroidery, beading, or embellishments. My goal was to include some colors I would normally not go out of my way to use such as a lime green fabric that has pink and orange butterflies, and a bright pink fabric with various size dots, as well as another bright neon green fabric with tiny triangles, and a very modern-looking fabric with bright circles.

Crazy Quilt Pillow by Patricia Cummings

Designer fabric with water lilies and lily pads graces the back of the pillow

I chose all-cotton fabrics for the design, a designer print of lily pads and water lilies for the back and an appliqué of a peacock that is sewn onto a piece of hand-painted fabric. In keeping with an Oriental theme, I includes a landscape/waterscape fabric with Oriental figures and a black background.

The bottom line is that I had fun putting this pillow together. It is sturdy and contains an 18" pillow form that is sewn in. In a household without pets or small children, my pillows rarely need washing. Some folks like to make pillows that have an open backing but I have become accustomed to sewing the lower edge shut and so that is what I tend to do. The exception was a travel pillow that was made as a result of taking a class on Scrap Quilting with Pepper Cory on That particular pillow is one that may potentially require washing sometime in the future.

The drawback of using a pillow form is to not be able to distribute batting to the far reaches of the corners. In the case of the pillow I just made, the result is corners that look a little bit wonky. That is alright with me. This is a strictly utilitarian object and one that I will use in my favorite rocking chair.

With other projects underway that require a lot of doing such as the queen size wholecloth quilt that I am still hand quilting, it is refreshing to have small projects that have a quicker turn-around time. I guess that is one reason I wanted to make this pillow. Another reason was to have a place to "show off" the peacock appliqué that has been hanging around my sewing box for at least five years! I like to collect findings, lace, etc. that will come in handy for future projects. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my latest creative attempt!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Inspired by a design that appears in a book, I constructed this four-hearts Victorian pillow cover with silk and cotton fabrics and cotton velveteen, some years ago. The feather stitch in variegated purple pearl cotton surrounds the circle of hearts. A metal "finding," a shamrock, is placed in the center to remind us that St. Patrick's Day in March will quickly follow St. Valentine's Day in February. Among the stitches used to create the pillow are: chain stitch, buttonhole stitch, couching, and herringbone stitch. As always, the fun was in choosing the fabrics and the embellishments.

Happy Valentine's Day!