Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Cushion for Christmas Tutorial - Martini and Weave Wednesday

So when Midge rang me up and said, "Molli. Seriously, what are you doing right now? I need your help."

"Well Midge, it's Wednesday, so I'm having my afternoon martini--dirty, of course--and I'm about to blow out weaves number three and four. But what sweetie, may I help you with?" I knew that if Midge felt compelled to interrupt Martini and Weave Wednesdays, it must be important.


"I've got an open spot on my Cushions for Christmas Blog Hop, and I've signed you up for today. Okay, thanks, bye!"

"What? Whadya … Wait, wait, wait, WAIT, but, but, I've never made a cushioooonnnn!!!! …. " Radio silence even after I left her 17 voice messages. Can you believe the nerve.*

And like that, I was roped into her little cushion party, and set about finding some inspiration. I was hanging my head in desperation when it hit me. My shoes were pretty fab (albeit a bit dirty) that day, and I decided to see if I could make a cushion inspired by them. 


I knew I didn't have much time, so I thought scraps were the way to go. Plus, I knew I had a lot of them left over from the #MSBHQAL and No Value Does Not Equal Free quilts, specifically 2.5" x 16" strings. I dove into the scrap box and pulled every pink, white and purple 2.5" string I could find, and then proceeded to cut them in half into 1.25" x 16" strings (but really just about any length of string would be fine as long as they are consistent).


I may or may not have pretended to have had a pink, white and purple side pony tail after I had cut them into 1.25" x 16" strings.


So after I had these fantastic pile of strings, I grabbed my String Piecing Without a Foundation tutorial and went to work. It basically just tells you to sew all your strips together in a row, and then in one big swoop iron those seems down. (I know, it's a complicated tutorial!)



The kicker is some handy-dandy cutting charts at the end of the tutorial that I encourage you to use however you like. They show you how to make 3.5" squares with some available string options you already have. Because I like to complicate things for myself (and I had forgotten I had made those, Captain Obvious right here), I decided I wanted 5" blocks using my sheet of 1.25" x 16" strings sewn together. If you want to make an 18" pillow like mine, you'll need 16 blocks measuring 5" square each. Can you tell I like flying by the seat of my hot pants?! 


The chart I made above gives you the measurements needed to achieve this, and you'll have one block left over (pin cushion?!) Keep in mind now that you don't have to use 1.25" strings, or the same width of string throughout. So following the methods of madness in the tutorial I linked above, cut out your squares from your sheet of strings and you're ready to sew them together!


After that was all up and ready to go, I made myself a quilt sandwich and ran lines down either side of each seam. You could FMQ here, or do some more creative quilting, but my martini was calling, and it was time to just K.I.S.S.!


I'll remind you here that Ms. Molli ain't made no pillow before, so when it came time to actually make it functional, I was a bit stumped. So if you are like me, let me just show you this:


Kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it? It's the quickest, easiest way to throw an envelope closure on that sucker and call 'er a day. I could have made you a tutorial for that, but why reinvent the wheel when the one you've got is already round?! Sew Mama Sew, and Julie Herman from JayBird Quilts know what they're doing!


I knew that purple Collage fabric would come in handy!


And there you have it. If I can make my first pillow in a day, with a martini in one hand and a weave in another, so can you! (Maybe try it without the weave in hand though, because you definitely don't want that winding up in your drink). If you do decide to go all stripper crazy, I'd love to see what you make, so send me a photo and don't forget to link up at MsMidge on December 14!


After seeing this tonight, my 13 year old quickly claimed it as her own. Whew, at least someone likes it.

Now Midge, can you answer your damn phone already, because it's soon to be Twinkie Thursdays, and I refuse to be interrupted for that golden goodness. Mmm. Hmmm! Snap.

For full Cushions for Christmas madness check out the complete roster below:


Sunday 1st December - Midge at MsMidge
Monday 2nd December - Gemma at Pretty Bobbins
Tuesday 3rd December - Kristy at Quiet Play and MsMidge
Wednesday 4th December - Joshua at Molli Sparkles
Thursday 5th December - Rachel at Little White Dove
Friday 6th December - Fiona at Finding Fifth
Saturday 7th December - Abby at Things For Boys

Take a breath……

Sunday 8th December - Lauren at Molly & Mama Makes
Monday 9th December - Jodi at Tickle & Hide
Tuesday 10th December - Adrianne at On The Windy Side and MsMidge
Wednesday 11th December - Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts
Thursday 12th December - Gina at Party of Eight
Friday 13th December - Jane at Quilt Jane

*This didn't happen at all.

36 comments:

  1. this is absolutely fab, and exactly what I am looking for to make a birthday present for a friend. Very timeous, young man!

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  2. Cool. It's always fun to read your post.

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  3. Gorgeous! Obviously a cushion was going to be a breeze for someone who can do crazy string block math! ;-)

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  4. Gorgeous pillow, and perfect for the pile of strips I have left over from the MSBHQAL. But do I really need to state the obvious?! Your leftover square should not be made into a mere pin cushion, but a fab coaster (aka mug rug) for your dirty martini! If you were really hip, you'd make it circular, but that might be too much of a PITA to sew at that size. Side pony tail, lol. I need to remember to not drink my coffee as I read your blog. I could totally see doing that, and the eye roll my almost 13-year old would give me.

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  5. I love your pillow!! And your tute too :)
    Your pillow looks so perfect. I made a string quilt once and it didn't exactly turn out flat. I think it was all the bias edges. How were you able to avoid that? Starch? I want to try again, and your pillow tute is a perfect test project.
    Love your blog and I'm following you on bloglovin :)

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  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I am going to try your tutorial. This is awesome and no foundation needed is a bonus.

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  7. What a fun post and tutorial, your pillow is beautiful! I've never made a pillow but you showed it's not that hard, or perhaps you made it look too easy? hehe. You did an awesome job and thanks for answering your phone when Midgge called. New follower via BlogLovin.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Perfect inspiration for me, I was just wondering what to give one of my friends for Christmas! Thank you!

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  9. So pretty! I've got several pillows on the docket for Christmas, but I have to finish writing a dissertation chapter this week first (see how disciplined I am, reading quilt blogs instead). I could definitely use a martini or seven for that. :( I love the colors you used here! Maybe it's just me, but I just don't see a lot of purple floating around modern quilt blogland. Thanks for the reminder that it is indeed a beautiful color. ;)

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  10. Fabulous cushion debut! Love it! Thanks for answering the phone…..now check your voicemail! :)

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  11. Excellent shoes! The cushion's not bad either ;o)

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  12. Luv it, luv it, luuuvv it :)

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  13. Looks fabulous! Well done tackling your first cushion and all in one day!

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  14. Love your cushion! And is there any other way to have a Martini?! Ooh, it's Wednesday *runs off to liquor cabinet*

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  15. Gorgeous cushion! I do quite like the idea of Martini Wednesday, might have to wait until all the smallpeople are in bed though!

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  16. Thank you for a method of making string blocks that looks fast and fun. Lovely pillow.

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  17. Totally not surprised you managed to whip this beauty out in one day and base it on your shoes at that. Gorgeous work, as always!

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  18. I'm always in awe of your work - your instagrams really *pop* on my feed. Love the cushion and thanks for the tip on how to do string blocks without foundation piecing!

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  19. Lovely and the Colors are mine ;-)

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  20. Love your cushion so much! and thanks for the info on the great way to make string blocks.

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  21. Wahahahahahaha! I'm sorry your daughter claimed it but I'm willing to arm wrestle her for it. :D I also have never done a cushion but feel one coming to join my must-do-sooner-than-later list too. Sigh. Go on then. Join the list. :-) Thanks for the laughs & the strippy advice too. Well done!

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  22. Very nice pillow and your string tutorial is very useful.

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  23. Fabulous! But I'm going to try it with a G'n'T

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  24. I love how you made that string pillow! I have never seen this done like this and it looks so much easier! Thanks!

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  25. I love it! How big is each block before putting the 4 blocks together? I mean what is the size of the 16 blocks?

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  26. love your inspiration, and the conversation, LOL you where a champ. thanks for sharng.

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  27. Loving the purple. Loving the cushion. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  28. I feel the urge to do cushions for xmas now, wow love the inspirational shoes :)

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  29. Love it so much, but then it's purple and I do so love purple. Yet another great use for the string blocks. Hope you finally got to enjoy that Martini.

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  30. Well, you learn something new everyday. Not being a quilter, these are some fabulous tips. Thanks for sharing.

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  31. So fun! I've made 8 pillows for gifting this year. They are very gratifying, quick and easy! I'll be linking up at the end.

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