Monday, November 14, 2016

Kaffe Hexie Pillow Finish

In the spring, I created this neck roll pillow as a teaching sample for an introductory EPP workshop using a random assortment of Kaffe prints on an architectural background print.
There were leftover hexies, all basted and ready to play so when I began to redecorate my living room this summer, I decided to finish them into another neck roll pillow.
 That pillow shape is very comfortable for resting my left arm when I'm stitching on the couch plus it looks nice!
I took the hexies along on a late summer trip and pieced them into this motif.
I decided the motif I created would not fit on a neckroll pillow form but that was okay because I found a 14" by 28" rectangle form which I liked!
That meant the quilted cover was not large enough or the right shape but I have lots of fabric.
A couple days of "intuitive" auditioning and I was ready to finish the pillow cover!
I added fabric (and batting and backing) to both sides, then more to the top and bottom to make a quilted piece large enough to cover the pillow.
While this isn't a route I would encourage for making a pillow cover, I wanted to share how I enlarged this piece after it was quilted.  My process is an adaptation of techniques gleaned from Marti Michell's book, Machine Quilting in Sections.

I began by adding more backing fabric -- in this photo, I've pushed the top layer and batting to the left to stitch it in place.  I pressed the backing away from the finished section pressing the seam towards the new piece of backing.
In this photo, I'm adding batting. I've trimmed the edges of batting straight with a rotary cutter and butted them together.  This "butted seam" is to the right of the backing seam about 1/2" to minimize bulk and I used my walking foot with a wide, long zigzag to stitch the batting edges together.  The stitching goes through the backing fabric which wouldn't work on a quilt but is fine for a pillow.  If I were doing this on a quilt, I would use a fusible batting tape to join the seam.
Finally I added the "border" fabric to the sandwich to expand the size of the top.  Notice that this seam is to the left of the batting seam.  I've learned through trial and error that having the three seams -- backing, batting, and top -- staggered rather than piled on top of each other makes a better finish.
I quilted the side border sections.
And repeated the process to add top and bottom borders. 
After these were quilted, I was ready to finish the pillow cover. 
At this point, my completed cover is 29" square. 
I used my serger to finish all four sides of the piece. 
Then I inserted a 22" zipper in the back seam just the way I learned to do it in a dress 50 years ago.  I stitched the quilted piece into a tube from end to end, switching to a basting stitch for the section where the zipper will fit and then back to a standard stitch length. 
At this point, I realized I was taking the awkward route -- stitching the zipper in place inside a tube was a bit of challenge. 
After the zipper was in place, I took out the basting stitches and pulled the zipper open before centering the zipper on the back side of the pillow cover and stitching the ends of the tube closed.
Happily, it worked!!  And now I have two new pillows for the couch!  There is third piece in this set that is still in progress -- check out my fourth quarter Finish Along list HERE.  It too won't be what it was intended to be and I'll share that with you next week!
I made another apple cake, too!  It will be donated to the refreshment table at a club meeting tomorrow evening.  I tried reducing the oil to 3/4 cup and used only 1 1/2 cups of sliced apples, but added 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries.  It's nice!!
If you missed the recipe last week, you can find it HERE.  If you copied the recipe last week, be advised that I left out "1 teaspoon of baking soda" -- it's corrected in the blog post but be sure to add it or you'll be irritated with me and my recipe!!

Tomorrow I'm committed to doing some "good deed" stitching -- very utilitarian and not at all interesting.  Vinyl covers to hold upholstery foam in place on some metal poles in my church's fellowship hall.  I hope it goes smoothly and doesn't take more than the day!!

I hope your week is off to a good start!!



  1. Hello, Mary

    Your apple cakes looks great. Hard to tell what size of pan you baked it in. A square cake pan or loaf pan? Thanks

    1. Thanks, Wendy -- it's baked in a 9" by 13" pan.

  2. Sometimes, starting without a plan is a good thing as it forces us to be creative. Right?

  3. This is a beautiful pillow, I bet you love using it. Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts.