For the blog tour, I decided to make the Apple Tree Pillow. Autumn is hands down my favorite season. I grew up on the East Coast of the United States and have lived a good portion of my life enjoying the spectacular fall season that the East Cost delivers. Now, my family resides in the southwest dessert of the United States where fall isn't the splendor to which I'm accustomed. I make up for that by decorating my home in oranges, yellows, browns, all the cozy colors I can once this time of year rolls around. Now, these colors aren't my typical color palate, but the fall season brings all these colors out in our home.
1. Cut the Background Linen Fabric
I used a Moda Mochi linen. Depending on the type of quilting you do, you may want to increase the size of the background fabric. This will account for any shrinking that may occur as you quilt. I cut my background fabric 1" larger than called for in the pattern. In the end, my background only shrank about 1/4". After quilting, I trimmed my quilted background piece to the size called for in the pattern. Since I wanted my cross hatching pattern to remain centered, I cut an even amount off from each side rather than trimming all from one side.
2. Baste the Background Fabric
This process is the same as preparing any project for quilting. I usually baste pillows on my kitchen island, but you can use any hard flat surface. I use basting spray, so I baste in an area I can clean and wipe down afterwards.
Tape the backing down with the wrong side up, pulling it taught but not tight. Next, place your batting on top of the backing. Lastly, add your pillow top with the right side facing up.
Note: You certainly can use basting pins if you prefer. I just prefer basting spray with pillows because it's quick and makes the quilting process much quicker.
Pull back approximately half of the pillow top and batting so you see your backing. Clear the area of any threads or lint. Spray the area with basting spray, then place the batting on top and smooth out the batting with your hands beginning in the middle, working towards the outside. Repeat with the bottom half of the pillow. With the pillow top still folded back, spray on top of the batting and place the pillow top on top of the batting, smoothing again using the same method.
3. Mark Quilting Lines
While the project was nice and smooth, I marked the quilting lines for a cross hatch pattern. I used a straight acrylic ruler and a Hera Marker. Start by marking one diagonal line down the middle from corner to corner. Then mark 1.5" from the center in both directions across the background fabric. Next, mark a long diagonal line going from corner to corner, intersecting the previous lines. Continue in the same manner stated above. Having the lines 1.5"apart was a great measurement because the lines weren't too close together.
4. Remove the Tape and Quilt as Desired
I used my walking foot to quilt my straight lines. For a cross-hatch pattern, begin by sewing on one of the center diagonal lines. Then, sew the remaining lines to the right. When you get to the edge, return to the center and sew out in the other direction. Then sew on the remaining center diagonal line and repeat the process again.
Your background fabric is now quilted! (I forgot to take a picture at this step, but you can see it in the applique stage below.) I thought of this later, but there is pre-quilted fabric available at big box fabric stores. I am not sure about the colors available, but if you didn't want to quilt on your home machine, that may be an option for you.
After your background fabric is quilted, continue on with the rest of the project as outlined. If you'd like more tips for perfect pillows, checkout my blog post here. I've made dozens of pillow over the last few years and am constantly asked to share tips! I always say if you can make a mini quilt you can make a pillow! It's just a mini quilt with an extra layer of backing! Even if you've never made a mini quilt, a quilted pillow is a great way to get a taste of quilting without a large project.
Another project that I made from Keri's book is her sweet Little Red Riding Hood Doll. However, I added a twist to these dolls and made them Christmas Pixie's for Tasha's booth at Quilt Market. The dolls feature her new line of fabrics for Riley Blake Pixie Noel. Maybe one day I'll get it together and share the variations for these dolls, but sadly I don't think it will be anytime soon.
As you can see Keri's book is full of delightful projects for your home, friends and family. Keri's projects are perfect just as she designed them. I love that you can easily add your own personal flare to make the project your own. You'll love adding this book to your collection and you'll be sure to use the projects time and time again!
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the other fabulous makers who are participating in this fun blog hop!