Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday finish - log cabin pillow

Look at what we've been doing in the Shush household.  

You might be thinking that's a pretty cute pillow we've been making. The sort you'd whip up for a fourth birthday present for the little best friend of your Princess. Quick and easy, but pretty and useful.  And having the upside of wowing the little friend's non-sewing mummy. All good.

What you don't realise is that this pretty aqua blue pinky red log cabin ensemble is in fact the devil in disguise. Yes siree. A wicked pillow designed to tax the most patient and gracious of sewers.* You'd never believe it to look at it, right? A 3.5" centre block with 2.5" strips finishing 23" square. How hard could it be?

One new pillow.

Well, not so hard at first, I guess.  There was lots of fun choosing some fabrics.  Not so much fun cutting them up - but entirely bearable. And the sewing of the top went well enough. Princess announced it wasn't big enough, so I added some more strips. Not so bad either.

Then the quilting commenced. A small snag arose. This is mainly because I know in my heart of hearts that I can quilt as well as Angela Walters. There is just the small matter of getting some practice under my belt. Sometimes I forget that I haven't had that much practice. Or in the case of this quilting - any practice at all.  I thought I would do some cute little swirls with flowers interspersed, just like Kristyne's example at Pretty by Hand

Because you are all my quilty friends - I'll give you a hint. It's a really good idea to try new quilting patterns on some scrap fabric AT LEAST ONCE before you launch on to your completed quilt top.  And then, if it turns out you're not a massive fan (minor understatement) of your crappy quilting,  it is not a good idea to do even more swirly whirly quilting over the top of it in a wildly prominent colour. 

Nope.

You know why?  Because instead of finishing your pillow, you spend three hours inside on a sunny Saturday afternoon unpicking your really bad bright blue thread quilting so that only the original not so noticeable but crappy quilting remains. 

Enough said. 

Obviously I was going for a more subtle rustic look than Kristyne's tutorial imagined

Having learned a little from that exercise, hubby was then nominated to pick the binding fabric so the whole damn nightmare could get finished before the Sunday morning party.  And, just to top it off, you'll be pleased to know that one of the seams on the binding ended up on a corner.  Yeah - I should know better. But after some very slow stitching and finger crossing, I managed to get through it without breaking a needle. Yippee. 

So here it is all finished.  It has an envelope back. It needed a couple of press studs to help keep the back closed, but given I was speeding back from Spotlight with the pillow inner 15 minutes before the party started, there was no way that was going to happen.**  It didn't even get wrapped. But Princess was very proud carrying her ginormous pillow into the party, announcing "this is my present". So all's well that ends well.

Artsy glamour shot of evil nemesis log cabin pillow

There had been a prior brief moment of crisis when Princess had informed me that she didn't think it should be given to her friend as a gift. However this passed when she clarified that was because she wanted to keep the pillow for herself. What better endorsement could there be?

Next time I'll be straight line quilting. 

Happy weekend!  Linking up to the end of week linky parties. Howdy visitors. 

* to be clear I am neither patient nor gracious.
** this is not a dramatisation for comic effect. I've also missed out the significant yelling match with Princess to get in the car so we could get to the party before it was finished and all this sewing agony was in vain. Because, naturally, this was all about me. 

20 comments:

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Liz! I love your pillow and can understand your daughter didn't want to give it away. Quilting is great and more fun than straight lines. I know that 'the easy' project can end up most difficult. x Teje

Kristy @ Quiet Play said...

Lol! Oh dear Liz - the things we do for our kids hey!! Despite the dramas it's a lovely cushion and I'm sure the birthday girl loved it!!

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

Tehe we had a similar drama last weekend too - I didn't even attempt to quilt my cushion! Love the way your turned out :)

Adrianne said...

Hehe, sounds like Murphy's Law was out to get you. By the way, I tried that flowery meandering pattern the other day, and found it really quite difficult. I'm not an extremely experienced free motion quilter but I have FMQ'd maybe 7 or 8 quilts and found other designs much easier than that one. So I would either suggest you persevere with that design because it really is all about practising, or try something else and see if you find it easier.

DeborahGun said...

so sorry to be laughing :-) Aagh - sometimes projects are just difficult from start to finish. Glad it all worked out okay in the end.

Gemma@prettybobbins said...

I love the colours, it's such a cute cushion despite the dramas ;)

audrey said...

Oh, this story seems so familiar...probably because the exact same thing happened to me! The cushion is lovely though! I'm sorry it gave you so much drama!

sarahquilts.com said...

Well at least it turned out adorable in the end! I love that strip of blue.

~Diana said...

I'm laughing WITH you :) Oh the hell we mom's pay for being "crafty". Thanks for sharing this...gave me a good Friday morning chuckle!

Kay said...

O Sweetie!!! I had a quilting disaster today and am dreading unpicking it to start again. It looks great and I am sure will be adored.

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

Congrats! You have passed another quilting endurance test! Not to laugh at your experience but...

PS The pillow is lovely.

Ava said...

Your post is hilarious, and of course your pillow looks AWESOME!

Glinda ♥ said...

Chuckling away, Liz, I'll do you a swap - you do my straight line quilting (ugh!) and I'll do your flowers (yay!)

miss jamee said...

what wonderful inspiration for crafty moms everywhere. it was a wonderful gift. practice more free motion by making another one for your daughter! it really is fun, once you get the groove. practice with pen and paper.

pandchintz said...

Tee hee hee - it still looks great! And I'm sure the recipient is very happy!!

Susie said...

It looks fabulous and I laughed hard cause I know I would do the same thing.

Pinspot said...

Awesome. Thanks for keeping it real in quilty blogland! I think we can all relate!

Leonie said...

Oh i laughed and laughed and laughed - not at you but with you! Sounds like my weekend last weekend!! It still looked fantastic x

hydeeannsews said...

that was a way funnier report than the sob story you sent me. you can always get good comedy, at least, out of these mishaps! anywho, it turned out lovely and she must be a special friend indeed because i see some liberty and that darling ballet print in there.

M-R Charbonneau said...

Very sweet and funny account! Keep up with the quilting though -- seriously! It will get better! I'm glad you linked up to TGIFF!, but to be eligible for the OctoberQuest2 prizes, you need to link back to the party in your post. When you do that, I hope you link back up. We'd love for you to be eligible!