Glad to report that I am back on the sewing machine! This time, I decided to tackle a simpler project, an actual beginner-friendly project and with some help from the trusty sewing wizard, Meli. I really wanted to make a pillow this time with an easier block from the #AGFquiltblockcollection, and I landed on the Linking Block tutorial, which was perfect for someone like me that just started sewing. Learning from my first block that I did, I choose fabric prints that were harder to “mess up” on, so I didn’t have to worry about the way a print was facing, and fewer chances on me sewing on the wrong side (spoiler alert: still ended up doing, haha.) With my fabrics selected and tutorial on hand, I was ready to begin!
*Fabrics used: Pure Solids in White Linen and Night Sea, Squared Elements in Navy, Decostitch Elements in Reflection.
Going in on this project, I already started to enjoy it because of how easily you can customize the final look! I decided to make these big decorative pillows, so I added 4” inches extra on the fabric requirements for a final size of 18”. The second greatest thing about this tutorial is that you will have cut out double pieces, so you have enough fabric to make 2 pillows!
As I was cutting the pieces for the pillow, I already realized how much more relaxed I was doing it, my pieces were coming out more precise. Putting the HST’s were getting easier as I learned from the first time, there really isn’t too many pins when it comes to sewing your pieces together!
Before you know it, I finished my pillow top! As I showed the girls at the studio my progress, they asked me the forbidden question… “Why don’t you quilt it?” I just started sewing, am I ready to start quilting?! After some encouraging words from the girls, one thing led to another, and I was ready with some backing and batting! I made sure my seams were all going the same direction so the top was laying flatter against the batting than I started pinning away.
The moment of truth, I decided not to get crazy and begun with quilting straight lines that were supposed to be even but as you can see in the pictures, that’s not what happened. I mistakenly moved the needle all the way to the right, so when I was alternating sides, it would be closer to the line I sewed previously. I embraced my mistakes and I went on with that look, which I ended up really enjoying! Luckily, I gave myself a lot of room on the edge of the pillow top to have one continuous quilting line.
Ladies and Gents, we made it! The first time quilting something and I am pretty happy with it. My corners aren’t matching exactly but I would say it’s still an improvement from my first block.
With the leftover HST pieces, I made a second pillow and played with the design to make a totally different look. I even gained some confidence and I quilted the second one with a square motif in mind. I learned a new sewing technique when I arrived at the end of quilting my swirl, where I would raise the needle, grab the thread and transfer it to the other side and tie it off with the bottom thread.
Here are the final results! This was a very fun project, I got to learn a bunch of new things, and just practice on my sewing skills. Even for the back part of the pillow, I did some first-time topstitching! Still making mistakes, but I am getting better on this sewing journey and I plan on sharing all of it right here on the blog. Here are some quick takeaways:
- First time quilting- give yourself a lot of overhang with the batting.
- Use the diagonal on the ruler!! I will make the world of the difference on squaring your pieces.
- FEED your machine- sometimes as I was quilting, the stitches were shorter than other because I was not helping the sewing machine guide through.
- Make sure the right sides are together when sewing the pieces together.
- Pin closer to your seams, I was afraid at first but it's crucial for your fabric not to move
- Start with basic prints, our Pure Solids have no wrong side which made this process easier.
- Embrace your quilting mistakes!
That’s it, for now, my quilty friends, thank you for those who commented on my last post, your encouraging words made me want to keep this going! These would be great beginner pillows to make for Father’s Day as well, for anyone looking for a project. If you are new at sewing it would probably take you all day, but handmade gifts are always worth it. Don’t forget to embrace your mistakes, I believe they make gifts, extra-special. But of course, any tips or advice are always appreciated in the comments below!
‘Till next time,