Feeling like Spring is in the air? Tulips and daffodils starting to brighten up your garden yet? I suppose it depends where you are, but when I lived in the UK I loved to see my garden burst into life this time of year with crocus, and all the spring bulbs and bright colors.
Last year I made the Spring mug rug – remember that one? I actually gave a pair of those away as a prize and then felt bad about it so I made myself a new Spring project to cheer myself up. Love the bright colors, the bold flowers and butterflies.
I used a new product from Shabby Fabrics, their pre-fused laser-cut shapes. They have a nice range of flowers, butterflies, letters, hearts and more, all in different sizes and different colorways. I used the medium printed daisies and the small pindot butterflies for my Spring Applique Pillow Cover.
First I started with a background in a nice bright yellow and fused on a wavy piece of green using Heat N Bond Lite. I really wanted it quilted however my free-motion quilting skills leave a lot to be desired. I always seem to back myself into a corner or try to make things smooth and still end up with them jagged.
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So I drew on my organic pattern in a Frixion Heat Erasable Pen and used that as a rough guide to make sure my quilting was smooth and didn't end up in a place I couldn't recover from. Then just a quick once over with the iron and the pen marks vanish! Love these pens 🙂
Then time to plan the placement of all the pretty colored pieces. I found it hard not to over do it and cover the whole thing in flowers and butterflies, but sometimes, less is more. Plus it means I have some of the pretty shapes left over to create something else in future too.
A quick blast with the iron and everything was fused in place. for some reason my camera is a little off with the colors here, I think because I'm using my cutting mat as a background. We all know its green, but here it looks blue! But still, bright and cheerful as they are, I still wanted my flowers to have some more definition.
I had read some time back about ‘sketching' with your sewing machine and I thought this project was perfect for that. I used the free-motion foot again, started out with the leaves and stems and using a black thread, roughly outlined them in a straight stitch. I went around the leaves two or three times and added a vein up through the middle.
I wanted the flowers to have some more definition, so I added a couple of layers of quite lofty poly-batting to the back and then free-motion sketched roughly around the outside 3 times with the black thread.
Then I cut away the extra batting, cutting right up close to the stitching line around the outside of the daisy. This resulted in the flower being more ‘lofty' than the surroundings and give it more of a raised up and puffy look. So pretty!
Once all the stems, leaves, flowers and butterflies were outlined, I added some buttons to the inside of the flowers. I got some great floral buttons from JoAnn in a really big collection that were perfect for this. I sewed them on with the machine.
Check out this tutorial on how to sew on buttons with your machine.
And that was it, the front of my Spring Applique Pillow Cover was completed.
I made a simple back with a center back zipper using the same nice bright yellow fabric. I'd never done a zipper like this before, but actually it was pretty easy and went in nicely. The pillow has an obvious front and back so I wasn't worried that the zip was across the middle instead of at a side seam. The pieces of fabric I had determined where the zip had to go.
I also found some awesome bright spring green bias tape at my local store which went with the pillow covers perfectly so I cheated and didn't make my own bias tape for the piping, although I did make the piping using a length of washing line. Want to make your own piping? Check out this tutorial on how to make and use piping.
Sew it all together and tah-dah, a bright floral pillow (or cushion for the UK readers) cover for Spring. I love it. Makes me smile every time I look at it.
You need a mortgage to buy a ready-made pillow form here so I made a quick pillow form from some cheap fabric remnant and stuffed it. Stuffed that inside the cover and now this is ready to throw on my bed to give the room a bit of a dash of Spring color.
It was quite a bit of work but totally worth it. I got to try out some new materials with the Shabby Fabrics Laser-Cut shapes and some new sewing techniques too.
This pillow cover was developed as part of the Blogger Challenge organised by Shabby Fabrics who were kind enough to send me the daisies and butterflies to try out. One of the benefits of being a sewing blogger!