Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Concentric Squares Pillow

Project #5 from  1, 2, 3 Sew, here I come!  I am still in the pillow chapter and am going to try to tackle the concentric square pillow.  Many of my Halloween fabrics have a larger scale prints so they would not work well for these squares.  I do have this awesome hexagonal purple Halloween fabric that I plan to use for all three squares.  I fell in love with this fabric online and couldn't wait to incorporate it into my Halloween decor.

Cutting, cutting, cutting.  I am more worried about the cutting in this project than i was the last few projects because I really want to make things square.  I plan on cutting one piece of purple fabric and getting the smaller squares from the center of it.  Wish me luck!

The book suggested folding the square into four to cut out the inner pieces.

When the moment of truth came (opening up the pieces), I was rather pleased.  I am at least starting with something that looks relatively square.

Now the next part is going to come down to my pressing abilities.  Can I fold under the edges (with mitered corners on the outside edges) and still have things look square?

I don't think it looks that bad.  The edges aren't exactly square, but since the pattern is hexagonal I think it is pretty forgiving.  Stripes or something more linear would make the imperfections more obvious.

Now it is time to pin the fabrics to the back piece to stitch things together.  I'm not sure what the best strategy is here.  I started by pinning the largest square to the back, trying my best to square it up.  I want to make sure the pattern is all in the same direction as I'm adding these to the pillow front.

I purchased some invisible thread with this project in mind, but then I heard that you shouldn't press it with an iron because it can melt.  I know that I will need to press this project after sewing on the applique, so I decided to use a blanket stitch (stitch #28 on my machine) and the black thread.  I'll stitch in the ditch so there will be very little stitching visible on the applique itself.

I didn't really like the blanket stitch, i thought it looked heavy.  I then switched to stitch #13 with .6 amplitude and .8 stitch length.  This is a zigzag/straight stitch.

I shouldn't have really worried about the clear thread.  Surprisingly (to me anyway) this didn't require pressing after the addition of each piece.  It laid really nice and flat.  I'm really proud of what I was able to do in an afternoon here!  In theory I could have finished the whole pillow this afternoon, but since we are catching a plane later today and I've never attempted button holes I want to wait until I'm fresh to learn how my machine can help me with this technique.

This project has another new technique, adding button holes.  I tried to make a buttonhole with my machine but quickly realized that I need to switch to another foot.  I wanted to practice on a scrap piece of black fabric before attempting this on my pillow.

I already had some really fun pumpkin buttons in my stash.  There is no orange on the front of the pillow but this will add some fun Halloween whimsy to the back, right?  I like that there are a variety of sizes in case I mess up the button hole sizing somehow, then I will have some options to choose from.

I kept running into errors when I tried to start my button hole.  I got some "bL" or "6L" and I couldn't figure it out.  The following video helped me out and I discovered that the buttonhole lever was NOT part of the foot, but part of the machine and needed to be lowered.

the first attempt seems a little narrow and long.  I shortened the hole a bit (you can size the button on the foot!) and made the hole a little wider.  Increasing the width (buttonhole #16) to 6.0 made a width I felt comfortable cutting.  

Next I realized something about these buttons.  These buttons are directional and I would like them to face the top of the pillow.  This means that I need the buttonhole width to match the width of the pumpkins, not the length. I'm really glad that I took the time to play with adding buttonholes with my scrap fabric before attempting on the real thing.  

You can barely see the marks I make on the fabric with the air soluble fabric marker, but I still marked where the buttons should go.  I didn't really like how far from the edge the pattern wanted me to place the buttons, so I decided to start them 1" from the hemmed edge. 

Sewing the pillow together was so fast!  

I made the pillow form myself out of a standard sized bed pillow.  I slipped the pillow into the form and buttoned the buttons and it was completed!  

The pillow is done!  I love the surprise of the glitter jack-o-lantern buttons on the the back.  I considered adding three buttons, but I thought that it might look a little too crowded.  I remember being so nervous about the arrangement of these squares but I actually feel like it turned out pretty even.  I'm super happy with how it turned out!

This pillow is a perfect little addition to Lucky's Halloween Birthday Party.  One more pillow to go and then I'm onto projects from 1, 2, 3 Sew that actually require patterns.  (I think the next one has a circle pattern piece, but ultimately it is still a pillow!)  

Project started 9.25.2015