Have you had a chance to purchase a copy of Kerri Horsley’s new book Lovely Little Patchwork yet? I was fortunate to get my hands on a copy of the book prior to its official release date thanks to the kind people at Tuva Publishing and so I have had plenty of time to absorb and be inspired by Kerri’s lovely little projects.
When I was asked if I would like to sew something from the book and share it with all of you as part of this promotional blog tour I was quick to say yes! When I first browsed through the pages I was pleasantly surprised by how many projects appealed to me. For this blog tour I chose to flip to the Winter section of the book (since it has been cold and dreary in my part of the world as of late), and I decided to make Kerri’s Ice Skating Girl Pillow.
While the original design calls for an embroidered centre piece I chose to forego that element both because my embroidery skills are a little subpar at best, and also because I wanted to use the pillow on a sofa in a family space where I know sweet delicate handwork wouldn’t fare too well ;). But that is one of the things I love about the projects Kerri has designed – they can easily be adapted, personalised or simplified for all skill levels and taste.
I have wanted to create various red and aqua pillows for my sofa for sometime so I decided to stick to the original colour scheme and raid my scrap bins for red, pink, aqua and low volume fabric, but because I haven’t been quilting for very long my scrap fabric is rather limited and I was worried that my narrow scrap choices might make the end result a little too busy.
For the primary colour prints I decided I had a reasonable mixture of small scale, medium scale and geometric prints. Since I was making a pillow and the pieces were to be relatively small I decided not to include any large scale prints in the selection. As an added bonus, at least one print from each of the colour categories contained an accent colour that linked backed to another colour creating a cohesive feel to the overall palette (eg. there is a pink fabric that has red strawberries on it and similarly there is a red fabric with aqua flowers on it etc.). While the low volume assortment of fabric meant there would still be a ‘busyness’ to the scrappy feel, I decided that the fabric selection felt harmonious and I began to piece the block.
I followed Kerri’s instructions precisely and had no difficulty in constructing the block. Kerri generously oversizes the cut pieces in order to ensure there is plenty of wiggle room for trimming – a method I am always grateful for because it practically guarantees a successful outcome.
One of the things I did do by following the instructions which I normally wouldn’t do is press all the seams open. As a general rule I only press my seams open on very limited occasions so this exercise caused me to stop, think and pin way more than I would usually. I can definitely see why pressing the seams open was an advantage for this particular block – there are many intersecting points and this method ultimately reduced the bulk at those intersections, but I’m certainly not going to be an ‘open seam convert’ anytime soon since aligning open seams can be slippery work – ;P!
Do you prefer to press your seams open or to one side? I am interested in hearing what others like or don’t like and think about either method… (I asked the same question earlier today on Instagram and have found the comments insightful!)
After an afternoon in the studio I had 2 completed blocks ready to be quilted – I decided that if I was making 1 block then I may as well make 2 (and give 1 away), after all it seems reasonable to assume that it takes as much time to make 2 identical blocks as it does 1! At least that is what I tried to convince myself of, even though it is completely untrue – twice as many points always takes me at least twice as long – I am SO slow – LOL!!.
Using some 1.5″ blue painter’s tape as a guide I quilted 45° diagonal lines across the pieced block creating a simple crosshatch grid. It’s easily my favourite way to quilt small projects.
While I was initially tempted to use a red or aqua print for the binding I found the calming influence of the taupe stripe to be the perfect finishing touch.
I only really detoured from the instructions when it came time to make the pillow back. Kerri uses an envelope closure for her pillow forms, but I personally like to use a zip – purely personal preference!
In the end I was really happy with how the pillow and mini turned out – I love the kaleidoscope feel to the overall design :). What do you think?
A few weeks ago I also made the Cross Stitch Sewing Book from the Spring section of the book and shared some of my progress on Instagram. Here are some progress images in case you missed them earlier…
It was another fun and successful project that wasn’t too difficult and yet still allowed me to learn a few things along the way.
If you like fun and light-hearted projects with a touch of whimsy, then you will most likely love this book – it’s a great one to have in your collection.
Thanks for stopping by today – I truly appreciate it! While I am not going to win any awards for ‘most frequent blogger’ any time soon I am diligently working behind the scenes to create a website that functions as it should and has content worthy of your time. This website has been a long term project for me and while I am happy that I am at least now ‘live’ there are still lots of issues to be resolved that I am slowly working through and so I appreciate those of you who overlook the flaws and drop by to see what I have been up to.
My goal has always been to provide content that is valuable and informative. I try to share my thought process and the behind the scenes choices and actions that lead to certain outcomes as a way to help and encourage others. What I would love to know is what sort of content you like to read about on quilting blogs? Are you just scrolling through the pretty pictures or are you in search of ‘more’ – and if you are in search of more then what exactly would you like to find?
Leave me a comment and let me know what you love most about blogs, what you would most like to see on this blog, who your favourite bloggers are or how you like to press your seams and one lucky person will receive the mini quilt I made as a thank you for your input.
There are still lots of blog stops left on the Lovely Little Patchwork blog tour and you can follow along on Instagram too by searching #lovelylittlepatchworkblogtour or by following the makers below :).
Here is the info…