I first discovered quillows through an experienced quilting friend. I was fascinated when I saw her reach inside a patchwork cushion and pull out a quilt! How cool is that!
Phoebe Moon gives a good definition of a quillow at the start of her tutorial:
A quillow is a quilt with a reversible pocket strategically sewn on the quilt so it can be folded up to fit inside the pocket, making a pillow.
A little bit of transatlantic translation is required at this point. In the UK when we hear ‘pillow’ we think specifically of the soft, generally rectangular, pad we lay our heads on at night. We use the word ‘cushion’ to describe the supportive/decorative additions we add to our sofas and chairs. Cushions are generally square, ranging from 14″-20″ in size and I think I’m right in saying these would be defined as ‘throw pillows’ in the USA. A ‘cushion’ in the US describes the padded seat of a sofa or chair.
So, here in the UK think, ‘a quillow is a quilt that can be turned into a cushion’. Hope that helps? I’ll probably tie myself in knots writing the rest of this post as I mix up the wording right, left and centre! 😀
I am so happy with the progress I made at Jo Westfoot’s ‘Mix It Up Improv Free Motion Quilting Class‘. 🙂 I’ve dabbled in the past but you know I have a love-hate relationship with free motion quilting. In a recent blog post I went as far as to call it a battle! Anyway, in the spirit of GROW (my word for 2020) I booked myself onto the class. I’m so glad I did.
Jo took as through quilting a series of motifs and filler designs with plenty of time to sit at our machines and give them a go. I particularly enjoyed stitching out the whimsical flowers.
Since the class I’ve tried designing and stitching my own flower motifs. Doing that is a clear indication that my attitude to FMQ has shifted, I now have a ‘can do’ attitude rather than getting bogged down in the fear of spoiling a patchwork with my imperfect quilting. No doubt there will be occasions in the future when the ‘mind monkey’ chatter will stop me in my tracks BUT at least I do now have my practice sandwich to wave at them!
When I booked the class I had in mind a long abandoned UFO which has some large setting triangles, ideal for decorating with improv FMQ. Last week I went looking for that UFO. Could I find it? Uh!Uh! I looked through boxes of fabric, partially finished projects, class samples…. I dragged more boxes out from under beds… No sign of the quilt top *sigh* I repeated the hunt. I was getting a bit anxious: What if this UFO was stashed away with a whole lot of other UFOs that I had completely forgotten about?! Still no sign of the quilt top! A few days later I tried again. This time I armed myself with a torch and lay myself flat on the floor next to each of the beds in the house. Success! Pushed way to the back of a space I found the quilt top, in a plastic box and *phew* it was on it’s own.
I am ashamed to admit that the eight 12″ blocks date back to Amy Gibson‘s 2016 ‘Sugar Block’ BOM series on her blog stitcherydickorydock! The large block is older – a sample for sofa cushions that were never made. The fabrics are fabulous, such gorgeous deep, rich colours. Actually, looking at the blocks I’m quite impressed with them. Thanks to Amy’s clear instructions I managed to negotiate some fairly complex cutting and piecing including my first attempts at Foundation Paper Piecing.
I’ve had to search through the Gallery section on my phone to discover that it was September 2018 when I cut sashing strips and stitched the top together. And then I guess I was gripped by fear of FMQ and relegated the project to a box and the dust under our bed. Please don’t judge me – I’m sure I have dusted under our bed at least once since Sept 2018… And since then just forgotten about the UFO lurking there.
There are a few projects in the queue that I need to work on before I I can turn to quilting this re-discovered UFO but thanks to the skills learned and practised at the workshop I now feel excited by improv FMQ rather than fearful.
Have you worked through a fear/can’t do attitude to gain a patchwork quilting skill?
Ho! Hum! My word for 2020 is GROW. This week I have been experiencing GROWing pains! 😀
It’s my on-going battle with developing Free Motion Quilting skills vs. Perfectionism! Of course it is impossible to become a skillful crafter without tons of practice and the production of less-than perfect quilts along the way. Even
Today is an atypical Bank Holiday Monday. For one it is sunny and VERY hot! Being British we plan for cool, rainy holidays….
Secondly, in our household we are waiting, waiting… To hear from our eldest son who was admitted to hospital last night and is undergoing emergency hernia surgery as I write. To occupy our anxious wait I have retreated to the relative cool of my sewing room while my husband is in the sitting room watching the hi-lights of yesterday’s dramatic Ashes Test match.
Yesterday evening, blissfully unaware that our son (who lives across town) was writhing around in agony, I managed to complete all the fmq feather swirls on the first Square-in-a-Square quilt. My free motion ‘skills’ produced a variety of swirls – some with just seven feathers others with ten. But I am content with the overall look.
Now. with my heart beating a little faster than is necessary for the activity involved, I am squaring off the quilt and preparing to attach the binding. Thankfully neither job requires my full attention 🙂
I am so thankful to our God for the gift of prayer. Yesterday morning we sat with both our sons in Church, we sang God’s praises together, prayed together and shared in Holy Communion together. Our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow 🙂 We can trust him through the good times and the difficult times.