February 27, 2011

365: Day 36 & 37 I Wanna Be a Cowboy

That's what the fabric was telling me: "I wanna be a cowboy." Actually that it what I told the fabric it was gonna be or else partner! Today I finished the John Wayne Pillow that I made for my Dad. The pillow did not turn out as expected--it was much better.

Here was the original plan:
The pillow was going to be 15" square. I watched the video on how to make a 3D Faux Cathedral Window square (the diamond in the middle) on YouTube by Kris Driessen of Quiltbug.com. I took copious notes, well maybe somewhat cryptic.

What follows is the basic description of how I put together the pillow. If you just want to see the pillow, then scroll to the bottom of the page. I don't mind.

The basic method is a four square pattern with the accent piece (in my pillow its the blue fabric with gold stars) cleverly sewn in to mimic lead cames. The four squares and the picture that goes into the middle are all the same size. According to Kris, the accent piece or came equals (one square X 2 - seam allowance). In my case (6 3/4"*2) -.5" or 13" square.

As you can see from the schematic, John Wayne's head would be at the top point. I have no idea why this simple fact escaped me, but I kept thinking that the points made by the accent would be on either side of his head. I didn't figure out my happy accident until I was ready to sew in the celebrity, despite my daughter's attempt to clue me in.

First I found a photo that I wanted to work with and printed it out on Avery T-Shirt transfer paper. It was what I could find and it turned out nice.

Next step was to cut out the main fabric pieces. I wanted a western look to the pillow so I chose browns and blues. The first photo shows how to put together the four squares (brown) and the accent fabric(blue) for sewing all at the same time. If you click on the image you will see more notes. Sure wish I had this before starting. I had sewn everything together backwards--twice. Doh! Time for the frog stitch. The pics show the correct placement of fabric.
This is what it should look like when sewn correctly and the square opened up.
Happy me until...
Now the four squares need to be aligned so that the open edge (not the fold edge) can be sewn. The video does a great job of showing that part, so please review it. Thank you Kris!! Realizing that I had done this part incorrectly, twice, I stopped taking pics and started concentrating more on what I was doing.

Once the four squares and the accent fabric are sewn together and the accent fabric opened up (it will look like a puffy diamond in the center), the next step is to insert Johnny and pin him down! There is a square of batting underneath the pic. Looks good eh? I also realized that I need to change my design if John was going to be seated correctly in the saddle, I mean square.

As you can see from the finished pillow I had to change the diamond shape in order to make the pillow square. Because I didn't have enough of the golden rose fabric for the triangles, I added black strips along the diamond shape and then cut an inch off each point of the diamond. I placed paper under the diamond in order to make a pattern for the added triangles. This allowed me to make sure of the measurements before cutting the precious little bit of fabric I had. Batting was added to make the pillow top puffy.
The pillow back is an envelope style with the black and gold flower fabric as a border for one edge.

My Dad said "Wow!
Mom said "Oh boy." It looks great on his couch and he loves it. Happy Birthday Dad!!

BTW: Do you recognize the fabric? It's the same stuff I am using for the Dead Parrot Pirate. My goal this week is  to finish that art quilt.

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