Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wishful thinking...

Last weekend the winter blahs took over so I tried to inject a touch of spring into my living room.

I made new pillow covers for all four tired throw pillows on the couch. My daughter helped with the striped one until she pricked her finger on a pin. That rather dampened her enthusiasm for the actual sewing part. She did choose all the fabric strips and line them up in order. "We" sewed them directly to a backing and batting sandwich, sort of like foundation piecing, doing the piecing and quilting all in one step.

I made the swirl pillow the same way. I found measurements for a 9" Snail's Trail block here. I wanted mine to keep swirling a bit more so I calculated the triangle size needed for just one more round, cut one out and found it much too small. I had been quite sure all my logic and use of geometry and Mr. Pythagorus' theorum were correct. I'd allowed for seam allowances and everything. I puzzled quite a while before I finally found the problem. It turns out that all my reasoning was correct after all, but it would seem that 6.72+0.35=7.07, not 6.07. Sigh. So proud of all my fine reasoning, then tripped up on simple addition. You'd think I should have noticed that my sum ended up smaller than one of the parts! In case any of you want the dimensions, cut that largest half-square triangle from a 7-1/16 inch square.

Since the backing is hidden inside the pillow covers I didn't care what it looked like, so I used up more of this fabric. I'm not sure what possessed me to buy a couple of yards of it for a quilt backing a few years back. I'm sure someone somewhere has made a quilt with it that they absolutely love. there's a fabric for everyone! This one just isn't for me, and I never could bring myself to back the quilt with it, so I've been using it up piece by piece anywhere that it won't show. So far, it has been backing for several quilted pillow fronts, and inner bags of rice heat packs. I'm sure I'll find more hidden uses for the remaining yard or so.

Incidentally, though the new pillows have brightened up the living room, they didn't do much to hurry spring along. The kids are home today, yet another day off due to "inclement weather", an ice storm to be precise. So far, they have 5 days to make up at the end of the school year, and the novelty of having surprise days off is wearing thin!


  1. What a nice touch of spring with a secret skater inside! I do the same thing with my math too- I can do the hard stuff but simple addition is where I slip up. Hopefully you'll have some warmer weather :) Christine

  2. Your pillows look great; I love all the contrasts --- shapes and colors! I couldn't see what the "backing" was until I clicked on the picture and enlarged it. True, I can't see it on most of your projects, but I'd think a boy would love it! Oh well, you gave me an idea on how to use those unwanted fabrics! Glad you figured out the math. I should use my calculator more! ---"Love"

  3. Love the snail's trail pillow. I want to use that block on one of my embroidered kids quilts. I would really like to see the striped pillow behind it. Can you post a pic?

  4. We've had snow, more than usual and the whole country came to a halt. Gets boring after a few days though! I have ugly fabric too :)
    Karen xx

  5. Your pillows are fresh and spring like. I'm sorry to hear your part of the country has such inclement weather... you'd never know it was winter here... I even noticed a primrose blooming in my garden today! Very March (spring) like weather here on the usual Wet (West) Coast!


  6. Your pillows look terrific - what a shame they didn't have any effect on the weather. We are sweltering in the heat here but an ice storm is probably more than we need. I think we all have some fabric that we bought on a whim (or on special) that we later regretted. Could be a theme for a post? At least you have found a thousand and one uses for it! Stay warm, Ann :-)

  7. Ugly fabric....I have stuff that I have to ask myself "What was I thinking??". It gets turned into utility quilts, backings for utility quilts, or donated to the local quilting charity. But, you have come up with some creative uses for it. With the state of finances for alot of people, that saying "waste not, want not" is sure applicable to us now;) It let's us save our money for something really pretty;)
    Happy Quilting!!


Thank you for visiting. I truly appreciate your comments and will try to reply to comments by email if your commenting staus is not set to "no-reply".

If you have a question, emailing me directly at will ensure I have your address to respond. I promise I will not share your email address and I will not use it for any purpose other than replying to your message.