Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My First Pillow Cover! (And the lessons I learned)

I love getting mail, and swaps are the best mail to get! I joined a swap on a quilting group for mug rugs and pillow covers.  I prefer my pillows naked, so I asked for a mug rug, but my swap match up asked for a pillow cover.  It seem that to get mail, you have to send something in return, and I always worry that my stuff isn't as good as what everyone else is making.  In an attempt to make something "AWESOME", I went overboard and tried to make a 61"x61" quilt pattern downsized to an 18" pillow.  Given enough time and quilting experience, I'm sure it could be done, but I like to wait for the last minute panic to set in, so I gave up on that idea after I had already cut 80+ tiny triangles and sewn a third of them together.  It would be an awesome pillow, but I think I'll try it as a quilt first.  When I have some free time. ;)

(Here is the pillow top on the recipient's quilt, much better than anything I managed to take!)

 My swapee said she loves Bonnie and Camille fabrics, the corals and aqua shades especially, so I raided my stash and found the last of my vintage modern fabric.  I really love it, but after having it for at least a year (possibly 3) and doing nothing more than pet it as I shuffled it around to find other fabrics, I took a deep breath and cut into it.  There's something a little scary about cutting into a pretty fabric that you know you can't find more of that makes me cringe and hold my breath.  Worse was realizing that I wouldn't be using the first stuff I cut and hoping I had enough to make my second choice pattern!  I used Kona for the background, and the pop of coral is a quilting fabric I found at Joann's that matched perfectly!

The one I finally picked was an actual pillow pattern from a book I found at my library.  My design assistants helped me pick out the pattern and approved the final fabrics.  My youngest assistant also tried to claim the pillow for herself, but I think the promise of a my little pony one in the same style distracted her enough to let it go.  She probably will be just as happy if I make her a simple square one with the pony fabric!

(In progress, late night work doesn't give great lighting!)

This was my first time doing flying geese and I only had issues with 2 seams matching, but after ripping and trying to fix them twice, I gave up and hoped it was good enough.  With enough washing and use, I'm sure the seams will blend in eventually.  Also, my sewing machine decided to try to eat the edges when I tried to finish the seams nicely.  I gave up on that since it would be inside, but I did feel bad about it!  Not bad enough to take pictures to share, but why ruin the illusion of how awesome I am?  ;)  I also threw in 2 little bows made with another Bonnie and Camille fabric, and her girls snatched them right away! 

So, lessons learned: 
1.  Don't wait until the last minute.  (no promises I'll stick to that rule though.)
2.  Don't go crazy picking a pattern that will be AMAZING, unless in fact, you are AMAZING.  And have a lot of free time.
3.  The first time you try something new, you should probably follow a pattern made for that new skill.  i.e. pillow case pattern for an actual pillow case.  ;)
4.  Swaps are made to be fun, not full of stress, so enjoy the experience!

(Finished pillow cover - picture taken the night before it was mailed out)

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