Paper-piecing pillow – WIP

I am at them again, these addicting hexagons! I can only do a little at a time, but this project is coming along. I am using a flower Boy’s grandmother had sewn, and decided to make it a pillow for my craft room. I think… I mean, I haven’t bought a pillow form just yet but my little couch needs something cheery.

First, I am using this handy template again. I love it because you can make your own custom size, which was important since I am matching a piece already sewn.  Her methods were not as precise as mine, so the edge sizes varied from ¾ of an inch to just over 1 inch. I split the difference and made my hexies ⅞. You’ll see in a photo below that there is slight puckering, but I have a plan!

paper_piecing_pillow

I know, that looks really tedious. I suppose it is, but it is super relaxing for me, and I have been rewatching Star Trek : The Next Generation through Netflix. It is a wonderful way to sew away the stress. (How does one still experience so much of that when one is currently unemployed? I do wonder about the choices I continue to make in my life, ha! (It’s all good.))

This is how far I am currently. I have not taken the basting stitches and paper out just yet. I think I will try to keep the flower in the corner a little, rather than center it. And I have found that sewing two hexies together gives me just the right amount of perimeter to sew with one go of a threaded needle. (That probably doesn’t make any sense, but what I mean is I sew two hexies together, knot it, and cut the thread. Then I start at one edge of the hexies to attach them to more hexies, and my threaded needle can usually easily get me to attach the next pair of hexies – I make the thread about as long as my arm.)

paper_piecing_pillow1

Here you can see that Grandmother’s technique is quite different than my own. I have explained this process to several people and this is a great piece to illustrate the variances. She didn’t use paper, nor did she make baste stitches. I want more practice before I dive in with freehand like that (and the paper comes right out, once you cut out the baste stitch – which is just one snip with the scissors for each hexie – if you look long enough, you can see where I did this for one hexie to demonstrate to a friend).  She cut the fabric into perfect hexagons; I’d rather rely on a paper template. She used a running stitch; I am using a whip stitch. No matter your choice, these suckers are great for packing along wherever you go for whenever the time comes to craft a little. It is a *great* travel project.

paper_piecing_pillow2

In the closeup below, you can see that the original fabric is a little puckered here and there. My plan is that I will also quilt this piece on to some batting, see if I can get the flower to puff up some. That should help remove the puckered look, and make a really neat detail.

Remember, the plain fabric currently sports basting stitches, but these will be removed (as will the paper). And it will get a nice visit from the iron too.

You can also see here how I store the thread between sessions. I read somewhere once about how to keep headphones from getting tangled in your bag – it’s the same process. Just make a figure 8 (over your index finger and thumb) and secure your needle over the center! Works like a charm, I tell you what. No knots!

paper_piecing_pillow3

I have a plan for the back of this pillow too (if, indeed, it becomes one). The hexies will be bigger (to save time!) and I want to quilt them also, although I am going to pick just a few here and there and use the colors from the floral fabric to make the seams pop. That will add a bit of a modern touch to it, I think. You know, jazz it up a little.