Apr 23 13

I am a Quilter, I am a Quilter, I am …

…a Quilter.  I’ve been repeating this phrase for the last few days after I spent a frustrating weekend trying to make a simple pillow and had to put in a  zipper.  I do this (put in a zipper) about once every 5 years so it’s a task that feels pretty new every time I do it, and it always takes me much longer than it should.  These are the moments where I have to bolster my confidence by telling myself that I know how to make quilts, and most of the time, that is enough!


It all started very innocently.  I have a new class to teach people the basics of MEA using die-cut shapes and using a technique where you never hoop the fabric but instead “float” the fabric on top of the stabilizer.  Besides avoiding the hassle of hooping the fabric and getting it centered, this technique is kind of cool because you can take a file and do multiple different designs with it, depending on how you place the fabric on top of the stabilizer.  As an example, you can start out with a simple heart and make something basic like a pincushion:
Learning how to make this single appliqued heart really gives you the basic skills you need.  Once you learn the basics of how to do that (it’s very easy), the you can create other designs like this mug rug:
The mug rug is fine, but I wanted to have another option for something a person could make from that trio of hearts, so I came up with this pillow:
After the hours I spent putting in the zipper, I forgot to partially open the zipper once I finally sewed the front and back of the pillow together, so I had no way to “get inside” of the “pillow-cased pillow” to turn it inside out!  I tried to gently force it to open but it wouldn’t so I ended up having to rip out one of the side seams and open it that way!
The quilting on the pillow was fun but you can’t really see it in the photos.  Here are shots from the backside of the pillow front as the quilting was going in:
and then the final version:
This was the first time I hadn’t carried a quilting design through the 4 corners and I actually like how this came out.  I thought it would look kind of “fractured” but I guess I like that fractured look!

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  1. Betty Jo Tatum Says:

    Patsy, I love your heart projects. You do such beautiful work it seems a shame that zippers should be a problem for you. Really, though the secret is putting in a zipper longer than you need and before you sew the side seems for a pillow. That method makes it really easy. But you have to remember to put the zipper slide in the middle before you sew the side seams and cut off the zipper tape or you have to take everything out and start over (ask me how I know…LOL). Cheers, BJ

  2. Cyn in S. Calif Says:

    Cute pillow, Patsy. The ruffles are a nice touch and go so well with the hearts. Your quilting, applique is sew top-notch! Sorry about the zipper difficulty, but I’ll bet if you put one in more often you’d develop a trick or two of your own!

  3. jean Says:

    The pillow is very cute. I always make envelope backs on pillows, then I can get them out and they are very fast to do. No zippers!