At Plum Loco Ranch, Door County, WI.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I tried something new...

In the midst of being busy and bringing more fabric into my stash, I decided to try a new technique.  Last fall author Ann Fahl talked to our guild about her fmq and, more interesting to me personally, her free motion embroidery.  This is how she embellishes her fusbile applique before quilting. 

Those of you who have visited my blog have seen my Be Merry BOM blocks (this post).  Several of those have fusible applique details.  When I saw Ann Fahl's free motion embroidery, I knew I needed to try it and use it on that quilt.

First things first....must read the book (from the county library) and practice the technique. Very handy for discovering what bobbin thread I liked best.

Also for trying the free motion zigzag - that is the black square - not looking so good.  Ann tells you to adjust your bobbin tension, but that is one part of my machine I do not touch.  Good thing the straight stitch works fine for my needs, huh?

The Sew Mama Sew blog is having a pillow contest this month, today is the entry deadline actually, it snuck up on me.  I was inspired to do a little pillow with a word that speaks to me - "OM."  It reminds me to be mindful (i.e. stop multitasking) and to live in the present.

How was I to stitch down that odd shape with it's gentle points? Free motion embroidery, of course.  For this project I bought a cheap plastic hoop at Hancock's, some purple Superior thread from my LQS, and some nonwoven interfacing to use as stabilizer at Joann's at 75% off (b/c I used the tiny piece left on the bolt).

All the rest are scraps from my batik Yellow Brick Road quilt that I call my Yoga quilt.  I call it that b/c I spent a lot of time selecting the 12 fats to use - they had to speak to me.  It was also the first quilt that I entirely fmq'd.

I also quilted OM in each corner of the border.  Can you see it?  My fmq skills aren't what I would like them to be so I tend to use thread that blends.

I've already made one matching pillow from the scraps but I didn't envelope it due to it's odd shape.

For this new one I also decided to use Julie Herman's basic pillow tutorial and bind it, to make it look sharp, since it is so small (just under 11" square).  I like the look, good way to practice binding.  And, also a first, I quilted the top to make the OM pop (and b/c Julie recommended it for binding!).

So, here it is...

I made my own pillow form - grabbed some muslin, cut two 11.5" squares and FI-NAL-LY used the scraps I started saving years ago to put into a pillow.
before (sorry about the sideways angle)
There are teeny slivers and selvages and larger, bit not large to use, pieces in the bag in addition to batting scraps.  These two bags were in the bottom of my closet.  There's a smaller bag sitting by my sewing table.

Do you see any difference in the before and after?  Not much - guess I need to make more pillows! Or bigger ones!!

A big thanks to my son for giving me about an hour yesterday afternoon to finish this up.  He watched PBS's Dinosaur Train on streaming Netflix while I bound and stuffed.  Then he jumped for the pillow and helped take these pictures.


  1. Your son is a cutie pie! You did great and are very brave...I am working on that.

  2. Great job - it's very pretty! Love the yoga quilt, too! So sweet of your little guy to give you some time to sew (smile)!

  3. Great pillow! I'm dying to try that binding technique on the edges - soon!! Whoop whoop!!

  4. Great pillows and a gorgous quilt. I love the looks of batiks.

  5. Very nice! I need to make some quilted pillows too. Also, I love your little boy holding it. Adorable!


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