Monday, 18 November 2013

Falling Softly - a low volume cushion cover

Have you caught the modern maples madness that seems to be doing the rounds at the moment?  I think it was started by this Modern Maples Throw Quilt which has gone viral!  Check out the flickr group which is jammed full of inspiration.  I caught a bit of modern maples fever myself, but since it's spring here and I'm already working on an autumn quilt (my Midnight at the Oasis Quilt), I didn't want to go overboard.

low volume 

So, I was restrained and instead made a cushion for the X-Factor Pillow Swap.  I've been lurking in this group for a while but hadn't actually participated before.  This swap is a little different to traditional swaps in that a theme is set (this round was low volume) and everyone makes a cushion but you are not allocated a specific partner.  Rather, once your cushion is finished, you send a photograph to the administrator and she uploads it to flickr so that no-one knows who make which cushion.  Then the cushions are voted on by the participants and the person who made the cushion with the most votes gets their first choice, the person who made the cushion with the next most votes gets to pick next, and so on.  I really enjoyed this format - it was a lot less pressure than making something for a partner and it was really fun to see all the different cushions.

Falling Softly Pillow 

Each maple leaf block in this piece finishes at 3" square.  I essentially used the same method as in the original pattern, but scaled all the sizes down.  It was actually rather fun making these tiny blocks (probably because I only made 9!).  I'm pretty sure the background solid is Moda Bella Snow - a nice creamy fabric.  I really wanted to add texture to all that solid go I free motion quilted the cushion cover with my go-to flower design (of course, using Aurifil 2021).  The quilting is really dense in the centre and then the design gets a bit larger to the sides - a simple way to add a bit of interest.

I was a bit sad about sending this cushion off to someone, until I got told who was getting my cushion.  It has now arrived with the lovely Rachel - a fellow New Zealander and the creator of so many gorgeous quilts and swap items (really, go and look at her flickr photo stream and swoon).  We are yet to meet in person but I'm sure it will happen one day!

Falling Softly Pillow 

The back is a random Japanese cotton/linen blend fabric from Spotlight - with text and writing instruments and hints of gold I thought it was sort of appropriate for an autumn cushion.  I have been enjoying using slightly heavier weight fabrics (like a drill or a duck) for the back of cushions lately and I looked for something suitable but couldn't find anything.  This lighter weight fabric is fine too, especially since the front of the cushion is so heavily quilted.

Falling Softly Pillow

I added a lapped zipper to keep the back really neat and tidy - I think this is my new favourite way to make a cushion back.  I find it quicker and more economical with fabric than the covered zipper technique where you add a contrasting strip and I think it looks more professional than an envelope back.  I'm planning a tutorial on this technique because although its easy to do if you work through instructions step-by-step, it is seriously non-intuitive!

Now I'm just waiting for the pillow I've been allocated to arrive.  I don't know which one I'm getting, but given how difficult I found it to rank the entries in order of which one I preferred, I'm very confident I'll love whatever shows up!
Linking up with finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.

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17 comments:

Julie said...

Your cushion is lovely Adrienne, Rachel was a very lucky recipient.

Leanne said...

I was admiring this one in the group, it is lovely. I hope to participate in that swap again, maybe this next round.

Leonie said...

I just finished 3 cushion covers over the weekend so would love to see the tutorial on the back :) It's a lovely lovely cover you've made and the quilting is gorgeous.

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

This was the first time I participated in XFactor and I loved it! I really loved your cushion - absolutely gorgeous!!!

Dominique said...

What's not to love about this cushion? And great quilting!

Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures said...

Looking forward to the zipper tut! Nice pillow

Rachel said...

Yay! My beautiful pillow! I love everything about it! I definitely feel lucky to have received it! Thank you again Adrianne! :-D

dutchcomfort said...

I love your cushion cover, it’s so beautiful!
Every new round of the X factor pillow swap I intend to take part, but I never managed so far.
Looking forward to the zipper tutorial!!

Flying Blind... said...

I am an X-factor lurker too - maybe next year!
Love this - lucky partner whoever she is xxx

Suze said...

I love the pillow. I can hardly wait for the tutorial on the zipper. It is perfect. I used to put zippers in pillows ages ago and haven't done in it years because I haven't made any in a long time. The only quilt I have remaining that my mom made is a Maple Leaf quilt. We had a few maple trees in our large yard so that is very meaningful to me. She used scraps for her leaves. She had made me a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt which was stolen. I'm slowly hand piecing (not EPP) one to "replace" it. So now I'm thinking of making a Maple Leaf quilt from the scraps. I often have to buy 1/2 yard for of a fabric. Some I like enough to do that. Of course, I have prints and solids. I could make some the size of the original block and maybe some 1/2 size to utilize other scraps, if that's not too small. Thanks for sharing. I follow you on Bloglovin',

heart of charnwood said...

What a beautifully understated cushion, I love it, and I'll bet Rachel does too! :o)

Stephie said...

Such a relaxing palette - and fab quilting. Love it!
Stephie @ Dawn Chorus Studio

Kirsten said...

Such a beautiful pillow - looking forward to the zip tutorial too:)

Paula@TheSassyQuilter said...

Love these little cuties! They are taking over for sure. Fabulous job!

quiltswithpersonality said...

Gorgeous cushion ....looking forward to the tutorial. Marie (mlismore@optusnet.com.au)

Deb said...

Love this cushion Adrianne. The pebble quilting is perfect.

Nat at Made in Home said...

So pretty!