Patchwork Pillow for Mother’s Day

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day. I hope you already have your present and the card for your  mother’s special day ready. But if not – don’t despair. Here’s a lovely throw pillow that can easily be done over the weekend. Get out your rotary cutter and raid your stash and soon you will have a pretty and self-made gift for your mom.

The finished pillow will measure 22 x 22 inches (50 x 50 cm).

All the measurements include a seam allowance of ¼ inch (0,75 cm).

If you are working in centimeters don’t compare to the measurements in inches (and vice versa). They are not the same because of the different pillow sizes available in the US and in Europe.

For the ninepatches you need
25 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6 x 6 cm) in red and
20 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6 x 6 cm) in green (or in whatever colors you choose).

For the flower patches you need
4 squares 6½ x 6½ inches (15 x 15 cm),
scraps in red, yellow and green for the flowers and
some fusible web if fusing is your preferred way of appliqué.

4 border strips (green for my pillow) 2½ x 23 inches (6 x 53 cm).

1 square 23 x 23 inches (55 x 55 cm) of thin batting
1 square 23 x 23 inches (55 x 55 cm) of thin cotton fabric

For the backside of the pillow 2 pieces 23 x 17 inches (55 x 42 cm).

And of course you need a pillow insert 22 x 22 inches (50 x 50 cm).

Make 5 ninepatches.

Download the pattern for the flower by clicking on the picture of the flower (left) and print it out. Check that your printer prints at ‘actual size’. Check that you like the size of the flower on your 6 ½ inch (15 cm) square but don’t forget that there’s a seam allowance all around the fabric. If you don’t like the size draw the flower a little bit smaller or larger (you might even add a leaf). Appliqué the flower in your favorite method.

Join the ninepatches and the flower blocks as seen in the picture above.

Sew two border strips on opposite sides of the pillow and shorten them to the right length. Join the other two border strips and shorten them as well.

Make a quilt sandwich out of the top, the thin batting and the thin cotton fabric. Quilt by hand or by machine (depending on your favorite method and even more so on the time available). I suggest to quilt at least in the ditch around the ninepatches and at the inside of the border strips. Cut the batting and the thin cotton fabric to the size of the top.

For the backside of the pillow measure your top and cut the 2 pieces 23 x 17 inches (55 x 42 cm) to the width of the top (that should be 22½ inches or 51 cm – a little bit smaller or bigger is ok as well).

On one 22½ inches (51 cm) side turn the edge ½ inch (1,5 cm) to the left side of the fabric, iron, turn another ½ inch (1,5 cm) and iron again. Machinstitch this seam. Do this on both backside pieces.

Layer top with right side up and the 2 pieces of the the backside left side up on top of it. Align the edges of the top and the backside pieces. The backside pieces will overlap in the middle – that’s where the seams are. Sew all around the outside of the pillow, backstitching at the beginning and the end. Turn the cushion right side out und put your pillow into your beautiful cover. Done!

I hope you like this idea for a perfect Mother’s Day gift.

I would love to see your finished pillow. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

The 100 Days Project

For years now I’m discussing with myself if I should participate in the 100 days project. It’s about committing yourself to 100 days of doing something – painting a picture, cooking a soup, sketching a flower, … And of course a lot of quilters take part. The project usually starts in April but this year it was advanced to end of January. It’s a great way to work in series and to grow in whatever you are doing.

The last years I always had an idea about what to do but my inner monkey always told me about to much work, about not being able to finish and about a lot of other reasons not to start it. And in 2021, as in all the other years, I did not take part but looked at all the great projects on Instagram (#the100daysproject2021) with envy. I especially love the project of Wendy Gratz who does a patchwork bird every day (@wendygratz).

So today – without much thinking – I decided to do the 100 days project as well. As today is day 101 of the year it’s a good starting point with the project running from day 101 to day 200.

I wanted something easy and fast, something with one theme but different possibilities. And I chose leaves. One leaf each day. 100 leaves that may or may not end up in a quilt.

This is my first leaf

Each day I will post the leaf to my Instagram account (@thequiltingspace) and each Sunday there will be on overview of the week’s leaves here on the blog. Wish me luck and persistence.

 

A Quilt of Significance

Once upon a time …. or to be more precise in 2017 the “Through our Hands” textile art group had a great idea: The Portrait Shuffle.

One could sign up for a kit including a canvas, create a portrait of any kind (person, animal, flower, …) in any way (draw, paint, collage, patchwork, photograph, …) and return it to the organizers. All the portraits were exhibited at the prestigious Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England in August and they all were all shown on a blog created for this special event. After the show, the portraits were shuffled and randomly sent back to the participants meaning you got a portrait back, not your own but somebody else’s. So, you got back an original work of art by an artist from somewhere in the world. You could be the lucky receiver of a portrait/quilt by Alicia Merrett, Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, Jette Clover, Linda Barlow, Sandra Meech or any other celebrity of the quilting world. An exciting idea and I wanted to be a part of it.

I was thinking about my portrait for a long time. It should be a kind of quilt not a drawing and it should be in the bright colors that I love so much. I was thinking about a Picasso-like face or a Venetian mask – but no idea was really that appealing. And then I looked down where my dog Felix was happily snoring away under my desk. How about a portrait of Felix? In bright colors?

I looked through my photos of Felix and found a suitable one.

I traced the outline and divided the forms, the lines mimicking the fall of his fur. I fused colorful fabric to the background trying to leave very small gaps between the fabrics. In these gaps I hand-embroidered black lines. (From pre-school on, this was always my favorite way of coloring – black outlines filled with the brightest colors.) I glued batting to the canvas to get the quilty feeling and mounted the portrait. It looked fabulous and exactly like Felix.

And then it happened.

Just for the records: I am not a sentimental or romantic person. I don’t collect things from my childhood, not even things from my daughter’s early years. I have no problem when my husband forgets our wedding anniversary or if somebody doesn’t call me for my birthday. When my grandmother died, I didn’t keep anything from her stuff as a memento and when my father died, I only took over his BMW because it’s a really nice car and I’m an only child and my mother couldn’t use it.
The same goes for my quilts. If I make a quilt for someone, I don’t care what they use it for. Fine if they wrap the baby in it (as intended), equally fine if the dog sleeps on it. Really! I couldn’t understand my friend who was heart-broken when a quilt she gave to a friend was nailed to the wall (with really large nails, producing holes the size of a penny).

And then that all changed.

I was not able to put the portrait in an envelope and send it to England. It was impossible for me to send my own dog away. What if the portrait would have gone to someone who doesn’t like dogs, to someone who would throw it away? For the first time in 30 years of quilting I understood the meaning of “I put all my heart and soul into it”.

For several days I tried to convince myself to send the quilt but I couldn’t bring me to do it. As much as I would have liked to own a quilt by Alicia Merrett or Annabel Rainbow, Felix stayed at home. I really would have loved to be part of that exhibition – next time I will make a portrait of an unknown horse.

 

BOM 2021: STAR #3

 

This is a fast and easy star. So you can either relax with one star or make a whole quilt with a lot of them.

Cut (all measurements include ¼ inch (0,75 cm) seam allowance)
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in yellow,
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in lightblue and
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in darkblue (background fabric)
Cut each of these 12 squares diagonally to get 24 triangles.

Cut 4 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) in darkblue

Join the triangles to get squares again. Sew
4 squares lightblue-darkblue,

4 squares yellow-darkblue

and 4 squares yellow-lightblue.

Press and cut off the dog ears.

Lay out the star as shown on the picture below.

Tipp: Do this layout as close to your sewing machine as possible so can take the pieces, sew them together and put them back at the appropriate place so that the pieces don’t get mixed up.

Sew the squares together to make 4 rows,

then join the rows.

Take 4 of the strips 11 x 1 inches (28 x 2,5 cm) that you cut from the background fabric previously (see introduction to the BOM here) and sew 2 of them to opposite sides of your block. They are a little bit too long – shorten them to the block size. Sew the 2 remaining strips to the other sides of the block and shorten if necessary. Finished!

As I told you – fun, fast and easy.

If you just found this BOM you can find the general instructions and the previous stars on the Free BOM 2021 page on top.

I would love to see your finished star-blocks. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

See you in April for star #4.

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.