Sunday, December 2, 2007

Buttery Toasted Patchwork Pillow

I'm having trouble coming up with new words to describe these yellow and brown wool pillows - toasty is first and foremost on my mind when I look at them. I'm working my way through two stacks of felted wool I bought from the City Quilter. They have quite a nice selection - I actually bought a teal/blue spectrum stack as well, but I I've been holding back from starting to work on it, as I feel like I'm on a roll with the yellows and browns.

I designed this pillow while on the subway, but had to improvise once I was actually executing it. These wools are bought in stacks containing beautiful but slighly mishapen pieces - it's not like I have even full fat quarters of any of these, so they almost force you to do patchwork.

I had hardly any light yellow fabric yet, and a lot of brown, so the rows containing yellow pieces ended up being 2" tall while the one containing solely brown pieces were 3". It's very hard to see this, but the corner pieces are a slightly different yellow than the others, again, improvised out of necessity due to not having enough of either yellow color.

I was also planning on having the rows and colums of brown (except the 4 dark pieces) be the same shade of brown, but I discovered that was not to be either. However, I enjoyed the troubleshooting process and was relieved that ultimately I was able to come up with a combination that worked - both in sticking as closely as possible to my original vision, and in having enough fabric to execute it.

These wool projects take longer than the cotton ones, because pinning and pressing are absolutely key. Pinning is just about the same in difficulty (show above) but the pressing of the wool seam allowances is a bit challenging. In order to prevent bulking up the patchwork, I pressed open the seams.

You really have to presss the hell out of it, and put some elbow grease into it to make it work.
Overall, I'm glad with the results - it lays flatter than my previous wool patchwork project.

The next step was that I hand embroidered the contrast stitching. It's fun to do this with the wool fabric. First of all, I love embroidery. And you don't have to use an embroidery hoop, because the fabric is nice and thick and a little stiff.

And here's a picture of the final product again!