Sunday, March 6, 2016

Circles Floor Pillow

It is time for another project from 1, 2, 3 Sew!  I can't believe that I'm already on my 6th project from this book!  I am so happy that I decided to stick with following as many patterns as possible to learn how to sew and didn't worry about how much I'd like the final product.

The base of this pillow is cut from the same fabric as the Concentric Squares Pillow and the Skyline Pillow.  However, right before I started cutting in the previous project I realized that I purchased a 26" pillow form for this pillow (from Ikea) and now a 24" pillow form.  I have two choices here.  1) I can reduce the size of the pillow to fit the pattern or 2) I can expand the pillow base dimensions by 2" in either direction (1" extra width for the back pieces) and see if I can make it fit in the fabric.  Therefore I drew out the cuts I wanted to make before cutting since it doesn't look like I can order any more of this exact fabric.

I cut the base fabric in three pieces as follows: 27" x 27", 20" x 27" and 10" x 27".  I started out with a 54" wide x 72" (2 yard) piece of fabric for all three projects so hopefully there is enough for my planned pieces.  Since my cutting mat is only 24" wide at the largest point, I drew lines with a White Water Soluble Dritz Marking Pencil that I plan to use when it is time to mark the circle locations.  This helped the cutting go really smoothly.

Next I cut thirteen 6" squares.  I did 4 in two patterns and 5 in a third and spaced them in an arrangement I thought would look pretty on a pillow.  I was supposed to cut these squares into circles, but that seems like a lot of extra effort when I can try to focus on pinning the squares squarely (haha) in place to make sure the patterns are on grain.  

I drew the circles onto the pillow front with my white pencil.  I folded the fabric in half twice to mark the center, but other than that I eyeballed the placement.  

I didn't want to hand embroider the circles in place, so I played around with a bunch of decorative stitches on my machine.  I thought about doing different decorative stitches for each fabric type, but then decided that this might draw too much attention to puckering. In the end I selected #24 which was a zig zag variation.   I like the stitch I've been using so I'll stick with it.  (Even though on the fastest speed it is SLOW since there are so many tiny stitches.) 

I did not buy basting glue for this project, and maybe that was a mistake.  I pinned the squares of decorative fabric onto the wrong side and then stitched a decorative stitch onto the right side.  The problem is that sometimes the bottom fabric didn't pull the same so it ended up not laying perfectly flat.  We'll see how much of a difference this makes when I make the raw-edged applique and wash the fabric.  My fingers are crossed that I can press and maybe even do some tiny stitches to stretch things out.  (The decorative stitches would be a NIGHTMARE to take out.

Sewing along a curve is much easier than I had expected it to be.  I like sewing in circles and am looking forward to some of the quilting projects in future chapters.  After each circle was complete I trimmed the back corners so they would not get in the way of the neighboring circles.  

I was nervous before I started cutting the front.  The goal is to leave 1/4" by the stitching.  We'll see what I can do.

The cutting went much easier than I thought.  Pull the layers apart, snip in the center and the cut around the edge.  I now have these circles that are cut in the middle.  Should I keep any of these as scraps or get rid of them?  I have a lot of black small rectangles and so I decided to just get rid of these scraps, as much as it pains me to throw any fabric in the trash.  Please tell me in the comments - how large or small of scraps to you hold onto?  Would you see any value of circles cut through the middle?  

Thoughts before the cutting:  Most of the pencil wiped off during sewing, but I wanted to wash this pillow top anyway.  I think that some machine washing will fray the raw edges nicely plus remove any residual pencil.  Thoughts after the cutting: I love it!  I don't want to have to clip a million loose threads.  What if washing it ruins it? It shouldn't, but I love the clean lines and maybe I don't want any fraying.  I will wash the pillow when it requires washing.  I'm going to see if I can rub off the rest of the white marks with a damp cloth.  

I wet one of the circles I cut out to use as my damp cloth and attempted to wipe off the pencil. Waiting for it to dry was hard so I could see if it worked.  (It did!)

Sewing the velcro closures onto the back pieces doesn't feel like it'll be hard.  This isn't my first time sewing velcro (see Lucky's Halloween Costume), although this is the longest piece of it I've ever done.  I think I prefer button closures on pillows, but I want to challenge myself to do the exercise as written.  

I was going to press the top before stitching the pillow together but then realized that the might highlight some of the puckering on the circles so skipped it.  The reverse applique is cool looking, but I think I'm much more interested in traditional applique techniques.  I can't wait to learn more in the future.  The Ikea pillow form is not as fluffy as my handmade pillow forms so this pillow case is a little loose.  I still love the look and it will bring some great fun to my Halloween themed birthday party!  

Project #6 from 1, 2, 3 Sew is now complete!  I cannot wait to see what I'm going to learn how to do next.

Project started 10.15.2015