Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Skyline Pillow - My First Applique Project

I finished the simple hemming projects from 1, 2, 3 Sew and I am now on the 4th project, the Skyline Pillow.  I'm going to be playing with applique!

There are many customization options in this project, but I am going to follow the instructions as intended (with raw edges) so I can see what that ends up looking like.    I am calling this my first applique project, but I have used fusible interfacing before.  In 5th grade I made a poster quilt where I made a replica of Jamestown out of different fabrics.

I'm not the biggest fan of this black fabric, Premier Prints Indoor/Outdoor Dyed Solid Black (which seems to no longer be available under the item number I purchased). It seems to get dingy really fast, and shows some marks from where I knelt on it while cutting.  I quickly did the folded hems on the back pillow pieces finished that sewing.

Since this is a Halloween pillow, I have 8 really fun Halloween fabrics for these 2" strips.  Some of the fabrics I bought by the quarter yard at a local fabric store and others I purchased by the yard at  (This is the reason why some of these are repeated in so many projects!)

I purchased some two sided fusible adhesive, Pellon LIte EZ-Steam II.  Each side has pressure sensitive adhesive so I can attach it to the fabric without pressing, but then strengthen the bond with pressing.

I used the applique (which i cut out with scissors) as the pattern to cut out the strips using the rotary cutter.  I then nervously applied them to the front fabric canvas.

LOOK HOW AWESOME THIS LOOKS!  I am tooting my own horn here a bit, but I'm very proud of my cutting because all of the pieces fit on the pillow form.  Plus the patterns look really fun.  Now I just have to iron them on and then do the applique stitching.  I ironed on the cotton setting for 10 seconds in each place and then allowed the pillow top to cool completely before taking it downstairs to my sewing machine.

To stitch down the applique with 1/8" margins I used the straight stitch (#2) with the needle on the left.  I kept the edge of the fabric in the center of the foot and I found it super easy to follow these straight lines.

The book has a great tip:  When sewing a project with a design on front that you want squared up, sew with this side facing up.  I pinned the back pieces (right sides in) to the pillow front and then stitched around with a 1/2" seem.

The finished size of this pillow case is just over 16"x12", right on target for the project.  Even after clipping the corners I couldn't poke them as square as I'd like, but the fabric is pretty bulky there.  I can't believe that I completed this project in under 3 hours (including breaks.) I am feeling amazed that even with more complex projects, sewing a completed project is much faster than knitting something.  I am also realizing that I should really try all of the projects in this book, even the ones that I'm not excited about, because the act of making something is improving my skill set so I can be more confident when I find a project that I really want to do.

I am in love with this pillow case, and now I just need a pillow form to fill it out with.  Sounds like another project for nap time!  I'll tell you more about how I created a pillow form out of a standard bed pillow in the next blog post.

Project started 9.18.2015