Finished: striped four-patch pillow cover

OK, I have to admit, as much as love sewing and crafting, there are just some days that I feel like calling this blog “One million mistakes …”

On those days, I could take every last scrap of fabric, yarn and floss in my stash, not to mention my extensive collection of patterns, books, needles, scissors, thread, a sewing machine, a serger, a brand new fabric cutter, and my $15 iron and throw them all in the muddy, polluted river that’s about two miles down the hill from my house.

So imagine my surprise when yesterday afternoon I was able to finish a pillow cover with fairly minimal effort and only a few mistakes, none of which were irreparable.

This does not happen in my universe. Ever.

The story begins with a pillow I wanted to recover so I could get rid of the awful, 20-year old fabric on it that hasn’t been my taste for probably 19.9 of the years I’ve owned it.

DSC_0004I mean, seriously, what was I thinking back then?

So, I took some of the leftover fabrics from the plus-sign quilt I’m making for my bed (that is if I ever finish piecing enough leftovers to make the ginormous back) and threw them into the fancy new cutting machine I paid way too much money for to see how well it worked.

Even without using the correct size mat this baby cut perfect 2.5-inch strips. Hmmm. Guess that’s why they charge so much for the darn thing.

Then I sewed a bunch of strips together, decided it looked boring, so I cut them in half, turned one set and wound up with a pretty cool striped four-patch block.

DSC_0002I knew I wanted to do some straight-line quilting on this puppy, so I got out a few scraps of leftover crappy batting and zigzagged them together because I was too cheap to cut a single piece of the good stuff.

Why use the good stuff if you think you’re only going to ruin it by ripping out 9,000,000 stitches?

I was also lazy and basted the layers with a few straight pins. Didn’t get stuck. Not once, though next time I’ll probably do things the right way just to be safe. Easier to cheat on a small piece.

Here’s a photo of the front and shock of all shocks, for my second time quilting with this method it turned out pretty well.

DSC_0009If my photography skills were better you might actually see the quilting. At least I rememberd to take a photo of the back:

DSC_0010Not too shabby. Definitely not perfect, but good enough to make me quite happy. For a recovering perfectionist, this is saying something.

I won’t bore you with all details on how I made the envelope back and finished things, other than I was able to use some more of the black toile I recycled from an old comforter. I did serge around the edges for a little extra protection when I wash this. A quick press and voila!

DSC_0015And the back:

DSC_0016A couple more photos, because the natural light was great this afternoon.

DSC_0024DSC_0025Before I go, I want to say thank you to everyone who signed up for Stephanie‘s and my Supernova Friendship Block Swap, as well as to my new followers. You guys are so great to follow my shenanigans here.

We’ve got a few more singles to pair up, and then we’ll be set. If anyone still wants to join the fun, we’d love to have you, but we’ll ask you to find your own partner.

Do what I did. Make some comments on someone’s blog you admire and when they email you to thank you, take a chance and see if they’d be willing to participate. With four kids at home, I totally expected Stephanie to say no and was thrilled when she agreed. She is also the one who thought it would be a great idea to open our swap up to others and has gathered the terrific prizes we have so far.

Thanks, Steph, for being my new quilting friend. I can’t wait to get to know you better.

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day. I’ll be thinking of my sweet mommy who got me started on this crafting journey many years ago. Thanks, Mom.










15 thoughts on “Finished: striped four-patch pillow cover

  1. the pillow is great! and you know that i’d love to join your block swap, but i just don’t have the time. looking forward to seeing you next week.

    1. Awwww. Thanks, Erin. And I understand about joining. FYI, I originally asked Stephanie to do the swoon block because I loved the quilt you made so much. One of these days … 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Ramona. And thank you for all the support on my blog. It really means a lot. By the way, love your new profile pic. Very lovely.

  2. Isn’t that just the way it goes? You think its not going to turn out or you’re just practicing and it ends up perfect. I think its because you take the pressure off yourself and just have fun with it.

    Love how your pillow turned out! And I’m looking forward to the block swap.

    1. Thanks, Laura. I think you’re right. Certainly I wanted this to work out, but I really thought of it as a practice piece. When I saw the lines not being perfectly even, I didn’t care. Really took the pressure off! Glad you’re going to be part of our swap.

  3. Hi Sandra, Love the results and I really enjoyed reading about your journey on the way to that pillow cover. I know the one million mistakes feeling. Sometime when I try to push thru those days and sew when I am tired I hit the one million one (or ten.)

    I think I have the same chair you used for the pillow..a vintage chair from my mother in law. I love my chair but the upholstery not so much. (Like the drawings on a toile but with all the colors filled in.). I mention this because I have often thought about getting it redone and love the grey you used on yours. Any pillow, any style will look good.

    Have a beautiful day. Trudy Brule A 20+ yr quilter from McFarland, WI

    1. Hi, Trudy. What a sweet comment. You are exactly right about pushing through. I stopped after quilting the first side to have lunch and with the second half, I couldn’t wait to get done so it definitely isn’t quite as good as the first. It’s good enough though, so I’m learning that’s what matters. 🙂

      Good eye on the chair. I inherited it from my mother, and if memory serves, she bought it sometime in the ’80s. I’m actually thinking of stripping it down, painting the wood white and recovering it in something fun. And I’ll let you in on a secret. The pillow is covering badly frayed armchair fabric. But it’s not gray, it’s actually a creamy off-white. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

  4. The pillow turned out great–glad it wasn’t too much of a hassle! I really like the straight line quilting and how close together the lines are.

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