Happy Monday all, and HAPPY EASTER!! I hope you were able to find some time to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior! What a beautiful way to start off the week.
Last week, I spent a few nap times sewing this scrappy quilted pillow cover. This was one of those projects that I wasn’t so sure about. You know, a project that seemed to work in your head but completely failed when executed. I’ve been there plenty of times before…especially when it comes to sewing.
This one, though, actually turned out well (I think)! If I had a little girl with a sweet white and pink room, it would sit on her bed. Alas, I have two little boys who love tractors and anything else with wheels.
I have a scrap bin of fabric overflowing with oodles of scrap pieces…some too tiny to use for anything and others scraps that I think I could possible use for something. This pillow ended up being that something. (Because I am the type that will figure out a way to use the scraps…I can’t bear to just throw them away.)
I have never used up scraps like this in a completely random fashion with no pattern or method of execution, but IT WAS SO FUN! Not having to follow a pattern was so freeing and relaxing. Talk about sewing with pure joy.
I did learn a few tips along the way, and I thought I would share them with you. If you want a great fabric scrap buster, this is a good one. 🙂
1. First off, I don’t recommend using any pieces of fabric that are less than one inch wide or long. That gets too tedious, and unless you have utmost perfection when you sew, it is hard to make the seams appear straight and flawless when sewing with tiny little pieces.
2. Square up your project almost every time you add another piece of fabric. Since I was working with completely random sizes of squares and blocks, I could see my pillow cover grow a bit wonky, even though I was being careful.
Once I started re-squaring it up periodically between piecing, my pillow cover stayed much nicer and less wonky.
3. Enjoy the freedom of using no pattern. Don’t restrict yourself with rules and symmetry. That’s what surprised me the most with this project. I could add pieces at a whim and had no pressure to match corners or find the middle or draw lines. Nothing had to be exact. This was so fun for me.
4. With this project, I made an envelope cover with essentially three different small quilts. (Be sure to check out this tutorial to see the three basic parts of an envelope cover.) Because the pillow ended up being thick, cozy, and a bit bulky, I sewed a 17 by 17 inch cover to fit a 16 by 16 inch pillow form. (Usually I recommend sewing the cover small than the pillow for a tight fit, but because I feared the batting adding too much bulk, I sized it up a bit.)
5. I also highly recommend putting in a new needle before sewing finished pieces together. With an envelope cover, you have three parts: the front and the two pieces that make the envelope in the back. When sewing around the perimeter to stitch all three pieces together, at one point, you are sewing through three layers of batting and six layers of quilting weight cotton. That is a good way to break a dull needle.
6. And last of all, I recommend going twice around the perimeter if you are giving this pillow cover as a gift or want some extra durability. Since the quilted pieces give almost no flexibility when you are stuffing in a pillow form, I think the extra stitching will add some strength to ensure nothing comes loose. (Or, you could use a zipper if you are proficient with zippers.)
Most of this fabric is a few years old so much of it cannot be found. The little girl reading is part of Aneela Hoey’s posy line (adorable!). The mustard yellow flowers are from a Lotta Jansdotter line. The yellow geometric flower patter is from V&Co’s Simply Color line.
Low volume quilts have been a favorite of mine for years. It just took me a while to realize that. I was always drawn to them, but whenever I walked into the fabric store, I would up coming home with high volume prints and nothing to pair them with. Since learning about fabrics and combinations, I have had more fun quilting and I have been able to buy more wisely at the quilt shop.
My newest favorite line of low volume prints is Sommer Fabrics by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller. It’s sweet, feminine, and charming. Here is a little preview of some of her fabrics. 🙂
What are your tips for sewing with scraps? Or, better yet, what are your favorite ways to use up your scraps?!?! Because I have lots to use!
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