Anna Maria Horner & Aurifil Showcase Project

If you have followed me long, you may have noticed that I love a good challenge, so when Aurifil offered their Artisans an opportunity to make a project using Anna Maria Horner’s fabric and Aurifil thread, I was excited to sign up!  It is hard to commit to a particular project without knowing what exact materials you will be given, but based on Anna Maria Horner’s  overall design aesthetic, I thought that a pillow would be a fun project.

Three fat quarters and a spool of Aurifil were provided for the challenge.  I had requested 12wt thread because I intended to incorporate some large stitch hand quilting into the cushion.  I didn’t even think about the design of the pillow until the fabrics arrived because I knew I wanted the fabric to be the key inspiration for this project.  As soon as I saw the large floral inspired print, I was sure that it needed to be the focus of the design.

I had just enough large floral motifs to use one for the center of the pillow and a half motif for each corner.  To start, I marked where the center circle would eventually be cut out and placed the  corner motifs based on that mark.  I then used 80wt Aurifil to hand appliqué the motifs.  Once this was complete, I cut out the center circle and machine pieced the center circle into place using 50wt Aurifil.  To finish the construction of the top, I placed the central motif and used needle turn appliqué to secure it.

With the piecing and appliqué complete, it was time to begin the quilting process.  I selected a wool batting so the pillow top would have a bit of poof to it and really show off the hand stitching.  The quilting on this project really embraced decorative stitching, and I used it as an opportunity to try out several different techniques since the back of the quilting would be enclosed in the pillow.

I started by machine quilting around the circle and each floral motif.  I had 12wt thread on top and 50wt thread in the bobbin, and I loosened the tension slightly so I could have enough give to the stitching to wrap each stitch by hand with a strand of 50wt thread.  This resulted in a stitch that looks like a whipped backstitch, but it took a lot less time!

The rest of the pillow top is quilted using a total of seven colors of 12wt Aurifil that I selected to accent the colors in the fabric.  The bronze color was sent for this project, the light green came in this year’s Aurifil Artisan box, and the remaining colors had been used in previous projects.

I used a standard running stitch and several embroidery stitches to quilt the pillow including the closed fly stitch, French Knots, seed stitches, and variations of cross stitches.

The back of the quilted panel shows off how much stitching went into this project.

A yo-yo in the center of the floral motif completed the pillow top.  I thought that it would be fun to finish the center of the motif with the background print the motif was cut from!

To make the pillow cover easy to remove for cleaning, I inserted a lapped zipper into the backing fabric.

The final touch that I wanted to add was a piped edging covered with the remaining striped challenge fabric.  I love how the bias cut fabric looked with all of the angle changes within the fabric design.  This would make amazing quilt binding!

I selected a feather filled pillow form, and combined with the wool batting it creates a delightful feel for a throw pillow.

Sashiko Mug Rug: Mini Quilt #30

Hand quilting is something I haven’t done in many years, and I have never given Sashiko a try, so I thought that this would be a fun thing to experiment with for this mini.Sashiko Mini Quilt

The central hexagon was the first thing I have cut using my Hex N More ruler.  I have much bigger plans for this ruler, but I was still excited to take it for a spin with this project!  Sashiko Mini back view

The quilting is the real star of this mini.  I chose simple prints with the hope that the stitching would be visible, but any uneven stitches wouldn’t be glaringly obvious.  When I first learned to quilt it was OK to machine piece a quilt top, but actual quilting stitches were done by hand.  You were supposed to aim for 10-12 perfectly spaced stitches per inch.  For me, part of the challenge in Sashiko is allowing myself to take larger stitches.  To help accomplish this, I chose 12wt thread and a slightly longer needle than I would normally quilt with.  Sashiko Mini detail

There is blue variegated thread in the outer portion of the quilt and orange thread throughout this mini.  The orange binding of this quilt helps the orange quilting thread to “POP!”

Quilt Stats

Title:  Sashiko Mini

Size:  7-1/4″ x 8-1/4″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Sashiko

Quilting:  Sashiko style hand quilting

Fabric:  Prints from Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe and Botanics lines

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with 100wt InvisaFil by WonderFil in light grey; Quilted with 12wt Cotton WonderFil in orange and variegated blue

Binding:  Orange “Botanics” print cut on the bias in a 2″ wide strip, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new?

Sashiko stitching

First hexagon cut with a Hex N More ruler

Quilt 30 / 50

Quilt 30 / 50

Goal #7 is finished!

Goal #7 is finished!