Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quilted Envelope Pillows and Tutorial

I had so much fun quilting these panels and making pillows for my sister Janet and her DH for their 10 year anniversary!  I bought the fabric months and months ago and wasn't sure what to do with it.  The fabric is "Nest" by Valori Wells for Free spirit.  When Janet saw it she immediately said "Oh, those would make beautiful pillows for our living room!"  What a great idea!
The panel started out like this:  In the picture (below) I am testing thread color.  I have a bunch of #Aurifil and some Precencia thread and was able to find colors that worked perfectly!
I used a Hobbs Poly Batting and a cheap cotton backing (it won't show in finished product).
First I quilted around the birds, flowers, branches, and sprays of green. 


Then I stopped and contemplated... Should I keep quilting or should I stop? 

My main concern was that the yellow and blue negative space was very poofy and I was fearful that it would get snagged and/or dirty over time.

So I solicited a few opinions of which only one gave me the answer I was hoping for.  

I emailed Wendy Sheppard author of Ivory Spring Blog and Annie's Learn to Machine Quilt class and she suggested McTavishing the negative space.

Oh boy!

I've never done that!  Thankfully Wendy has a wonderful "Thread Talk" on the topic. If you're at all interested in McTavishing on your home machine you should check out all of Wendy's Thread Talk posts!

I read and re-read the Thread Talk, pulled out one of the panels that was a short cut, and practiced (after I practiced on paper and gained some confidence that I could do this).  

McTavishing is very forgiving and
*** 
I love, love, love the way the #Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt thread allows me to quilt densely, with lots of backtracking, and NO thread buildup!!   Aurifil is my "go to" thread and it worked perfectly for the McTavishing <3  ***
Once I completed one of the panels I couldn't wait to see what it would look like as a pillow. 
I cut two pieces of backing the same size as the panel...
I folded, pressed and top stitched one end of each of the backing pieces.   Use a LARGE 1+ inch fold twice - and be sure to top stitch near the top and bottom of the fold.
I then layered the 2 backing pieces with the front (quilted) panel with right sides together.
You can see (above) that both backing pieces are right side down to the quilted top.  The size of backing piece I cut will make a large envelope backing so there is no seeing the inside of my quilted top piece.

Once you have layered and pinned the two backing pieces and the quilted top, then stitch the layers together with a normal 1/4 inch seam allowance.  No need to leave any opening, the envelope back will allow you to turn the piece right side out !!
After stitching and before turning right side out, be sure to trim the corner fabric away without cutting through the stitching.
Now, turn right side out and push out those corners !!  

Stuff with a pre-made pillow form and you are done !!   I love these pillows and wish they matched my decor.... ; )
I want to give special thanks to Wendy Sheppard (of Ivory Spring Blog) for encouraging me to quilt the negative space with a McTavishing approach and for providing the tutorials (Thread Talk) to help it happen. Thank you Wendy!

Hope you've all enjoyed this really lengthy post -- thanks for stopping by today !

To see more images of the quilted envelope pillows visit this post written in Oct, 2014 for the Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Hugs,
Karen



PS Linking up to all my favorite blogs... Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday, Freemotion by the River, Esther's Blog, Richard and Tanya's Link a finish Friday and Leah Days Freemotion Friday!  

Check them all out on my sidebar !  Awesome projects to see !!

53 comments:

  1. Well I just have to say if that is your first go at McTaveshing you are an amazing quilter. Those pillow are just beautiful.
    I am also a fan of Wendy Sheppard she is an amazing lady.
    Thanks for sharing your work just beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Bunny! Aren't we lucky to have ladies like Wendy and Esther giving us inspiration each new day? I'm very excited about the McTavishing and can't wait to find a new purpose for it! Have a wonderful day...

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  2. These are beautiful. The quilting is amazing.

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    1. Thanks so much. I really had fun doing them. It helps that they were so small... Easy quilting with my Supreme Slider! Fun, fun!

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  3. Your use of the negative space is awesome! You have done Wendy proud for sure!!! Such panels/whole cloth pieces are "addicting", now that you have so beautifully/successfully completed those pillows!!!!! I look forward to future testimonials to your "addiction"....LOL! Hugs.......

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    1. Awe shucks... Thanks Doreen.... I only hope to produce pieces as wonderful as yours. Thanks for the encouragement and your kind words. Hugs back....

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  4. Oh my goodness! I love your pillows...I have the same panels that I bought when this line first came out...I had no idea what to do with them...I just loved the colors and birds so I brought them home with me...now I will be making pillows with mine also...thank you for sharing these lovely pillows and the links with us.

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    1. Wendy isn't that funny? I fell in love with the birds too! Don't tell anyone but I buy everything birds even if they don't match my decor (hahaha)...

      I'm glad you stumbled on my post and I would love to see your completed pillows. I purchased the oblong pillow forms at Joanne Fabric and they were the perfect size !
      Send me a message if I can help at all.

      Thanks for the kind words...

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  5. Karen those are really, really beautiful pillows and your McTavishing is so neat!! I always enjoy Wendy's great blog also! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

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    1. Thanks Connie! I'm so appreciative that you host the Linky Party and continue to inspire us with your fabulous work. Hugs, Karen

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  6. that is a really great way to practice quilting yours is wonderful

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    1. Thank you Lisa! I just finished scrolling through your wonderfully creative blog! Just love your projects, photography and awesome cakes. Great stuff! And those feathers from your recent class are the best! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Karen,

    Sorry for the late visit - I actually came the day you sent me the link and typed my comment, but I guess I was distracted before I could hit the post comment button. Your pillows are PERFECT, and the quilting is yummy-licious!!!!!

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    1. Thanks Wendy... I appreciate that you continue to inspire and encourage... Quilty-hugs... Karen

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  8. Your pillow is stunning. That's enough to make me want to start quilting!!! Have a lovely day.

    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life
    www.abrightandbeautifullife.com

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    1. Awe.... Thank you Lori! It really is so much fun... Let me know when you're ready to get started ;)

      Karen

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  9. Beautiful pillows. Thanks for sharing how you did them. I would love to follow your blog but can't seem to find where to sign up for emails. Am I missing something?

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    1. Thank you Vickie! I had sew much fun making them... ;) About the blog... I don't have an email option (sorry I don't know how to do that) but If you scroll near the top of my blog on the right hand pane you should see a section named "Followers" and immediately under it a button that says "join this site". If you click that button you will be given choices for how to follow. Let me know if this doesn't work ok? Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Karen, I do love your blog, and all the things you are making and quilting. Especially love your quilting on these pillows, and how wonderfully the McTavishing looks. Thanks also for the tutorial. I have always wondered how to do a cushion cover like that... and now I have the perfect example.!

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    1. Thanks For stopping by Joan and for the wonderful comments. I really loved making these pillows and putting together the quick tutorial was fun! Hugs, Karen

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  11. What a luscious post to go with those fabulous pillows! I recently discovered Wendy at Ivory Spring and look forward to reading all her Thread Talks. You did a marvelous job on these - and thanks for linking to Applique Tuesday - love this eye candy!

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    1. Thanks Angie! Don't you just love Wendy's inspirational blogging? She shares and shares and shares. I was very nervous about trying the McTavishing but I must say that it being very forgiving helped tremendously. Thank You for hosting a great Linky party and for sharing your eye candy! Hugs, Karen

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  12. oh, those are beautiful! I was drawn to the birds at first but that quilting work is amazing! great job and happy anniversary to your very luck sister!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Melissa and for the kind words. They were sew much fun to quilt!

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  13. Love the birds and blooms. Your quilting is great too. I love the texture you get with so much stitching.

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    1. Thanks so much Autumn... I fell in love with the panel when i found it in a shop.. I just love how they turned out and that the blogging world enabled me to learn something new and fun. Appreciate you stopping by and your kind words...

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  14. Your pillows are so lovely! The panel is pretty. Your quilting though, brought it to a new level of fantastic. Well done! :)

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    1. Awe... Thank you Heidi! I really enjoyed making these pillows and learning something new... Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by...

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    2. PS... I hope you've found your camera! Hugs, Karen

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  15. These are fantastic! Your McTavishing is the icing on the cake - perfect!

    Thanks for the tutorial on the pillows. That is great!

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I had a blast with them. Can't wait to do some more! Appreciate you stopping by...

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  16. Those pillows are fantastic! I love the quilting - awesome job! I might have to add something similar to my list of "to do's" lol.

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    1. Thanks Vikki! Don't we all need a few more wish list items... Mine is soo long! Thanks for your kind words, Karen

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  17. Wowzers! You have given my stacks of panels hope for a beautiful finish! Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this delightful creative process. Inspiring.

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    1. Awe... Thanks so much for your kind words. I love to FMQ on my domestic... Always a learning process for me but so rewarding.... Hugs, Karen

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  18. Gorgeous! These are fantastic!

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    1. Thanks Mellie! They were such fun. I want to start another set someday soon... Thanks for your kind words.

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  19. Wow, Karen! This is so amazing. The quilting really turns the already beautiful fabric into something absolutely stunning!

    I'm so glad you shared this at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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    1. Thank you Kelly! I was really excited when I finished and saw how pretty they were... My sister LOvES them... Thanks for your kind words. Karen

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  20. Hi Karen! Your new pillows are so beautiful! Lovely idea and so adorable result! x Teje

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    1. Thank you Teje! Some days it pays to get pushed outside of your comfort zone! I had a blast... Thanks for stopping by. Karen

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  21. Those are great pillows. I have gotten to the point where I can free motion pretty well, but quilting on a line isn't as forgiving. You did a great job there.

    The McTavishing is pretty amazing. I need to go and look at the link you suggested.

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    1. Thank you Stella...I had sew much fun with the,. Let me know how you like Wendy's Thread Talk... It helped me tremendously. Thanks for your kind words...Karen

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  22. Karen
    These are gorgeous and you'd never find anything this nicely done in a store!

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    1. Thank you Kimberly..... I had a blast making them and just loved learning to McTavish! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words...

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  23. I love how this turned out! I swear I have that same striped material on a couch I recovered last summer :)

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    1. Hi Jennifer ! i believe the green stripe was a Lakehouse fabric that my sister and I both bought on clearance at a LQS. The color was perfect for sisters living room! The panels were just sew much fun to work with and what a great learning experience. Thanks for stopping by... And for the great Linky Party! Hugs, Karen

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  24. These are simply beautiful, you did a great job!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Susanne... And for the kind words. The pillows were great fun! Hugs, Karen

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  25. Just found your site and am so impressed! This is gorgeous and I love the cardinal sm. quilt u did for Moda! Makes me want to go out and find some bird printed fabric and pillow it! :)

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    1. Thank you Irene -- I'm so glad you stopped by. You let me know if you decide to quilt a pillow - I would LOVE to see it! Karen

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  26. Just stumbled upon your blog post about these pillows. I still have this panel and had considered quilting around the lovely birds, etc. but somehow never did. Now, I'm doubly inspired to dig that panel out & get started on pillows of my own....if only all my Christmas projects weren't piling up around me! Your pillows are gorgeous!

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Thank you for your Sweet comments!