Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Hexagon Pillow Tutorial
I recently joined the most current pillow talk swap on flickr. We all get to make a beautiful pillow for our secret partner and tease them with pretty pictures while simultaneously being teased with dozens of pictures that just may be for you! It's a little intoxicating to see all the beautiful pillows being made in one place. Pillows are great to make because you use a technique or fabric or quilting style that are all out of the box because you are just making a 20" or so square.
I can't tell you who my partner is because it's a secret. ;) But I will tell you that I think she should really like this...in fact, she may have even commented on it. But I'm not saying a word...
What I can tell you is how I made this pillow. It took a lot of work, but I used some great tools to do it. Some of you might remember that Accuquilt recently gifted me with a Go! Baby cutter. And one of the dies that I chose was the Hexagon die. I chose this die in particular because hexagons can be a bit annoying to cut out...all those sides. ;) I also had a lovely Kona Solids Charm pack that I was given when I lived in New Orleans as part of the Modern Quilt Guild's challenge with Kona solids. I wasn't able to make anything before I left, but I've been planning on something for a while. Regardless, I was quite happy to discover that with careful placement on the Hexagon Die, I was able to quickly cut the whole charm pack into a lovely stack of rainbow hexagons.
I wanted to hand sew the hexagons together using the English Paper Piecing Technique. But since I have the accuquilt cutter and will be able to make this size of hexagon easily over and over, I chose to make some plastic templates to wrap my fabric around. With the help of another hexagon template, I was cut enough templates for a charm pack. I believe I ended up with 3.5" hexagons.
Using some lovely Aurifil thread that I was also given (boy I'm a lucky gal!), I made fairly quick work of basting the fabric around the plastic hexagons.
My little stack grew and grew!
I then played around with the fabrics until I found a layout that I liked. I did end up tossing two green charms and adding in a few other Kona solids to make this work...but that's just because I'm picky like that. I hand sewed each piece together. Such a small sentence for the most work! lol
You might notice that at this point, the hexagons are not square. Hmm...what a concept. That's what that a math major gets you. A keen eye. ;) So, the next step is to square up the pieced hexagons. You might think that you can just slice up the piece, but you need to be a little more careful to account for the seam allowances.
I lined up the edge of the hexagons so that there is a quarter inch past the folded finished edge.
Then, I use some small scissors to snip some of the basting threads to undo the folded edges adjacent.
The adjacent sides could be sliced and diced because of the measurements...20.5" I believe. I marked a line and cut!
You should now have a squared up, hand pieced rainbow hexagon design. From here, you can use your favorite technique to turn this into a pillow. I spray basted some batting on to this piece and then quilted the hexagons with another geometric pattern. Here it is partially quilted so that you can get an idea of how I did this particular design.
I was being all fancy dancy, so I also quilted a pieced backing for the pillow as well as lining the pillow cover and adding a hidden zipper. All of that adds up to one pretty pillow!
Lining and Zipper:
This is one rainbow that should have gold at the end!