I’ve written about Ernie’s pillow earlier. Here’s the back story. Whenever Ernie is seated, except at table, he’s in his recliner, with a heating pad against his aching back.
That wasn’t quite enough to relieve the pain, so we tried all the small pillows we had. Since none was comfortable, I made a pillow by sewing a rectangle of old bed sheeting and stuffing it with fiber fill. It took some adjusting of size and amount of stuffing to satisfy Ernie. Now he has a Goldilocks pillow—not too fat, not too small, just right.
Shortly after I’d made the pillow, I decided to make a cover for it. At the same time, I had been thinking that I needed a background, a venue, for using TAST 2010 stitches. Of course: Make a crazy patchwork and use TAST stitches as seam embellishments. This is intended to be a utilitarian pillow, not a decorative one. It will spend its life behind the heating pad, behind Ernie’s back. It has to be durable and comfortable, so nothing too dimensional, or too fancy to take the wear.
Ernie’s favorite colors are green and blue. In my stash I found plenty of pieces of denim and chambray, which are remnants of old clothes, as well as various print fabrics—all cotton, and old sheeting for backing. (I may soon have to declare a sheet “old” so that I can put some more of that fabric in my stash.) Of course the patchwork couldn’t be just blue and green. It had to have some hot color for me.
I’m lousy at piecing by machine; I’ve done so little of it, and then only very small pieces. This seemed like a good opportunity to work on my machine-piecing skill. After doing one side on the machine, and having to finish it by hand-basting, I just hand-basted the other side. I wish I could whip out pieced blocks, several at a sitting, as others do. Haven’t learned how to do that. Here are the two sides, pieced.
Now I had something on which to use TAST stitches. All the seam treatments I’ve done so far are on Flickr, but here are a few.
This is definitely not traditional crazy quilt seam treatment. For the most part, I resisted the temptation to add more decorative stitches to the TAST stitches. Further, the seams are almost exclusively stitched in #5 pearl cotton, not a variety of threads. The next shot is WIP, not all seams covered:
When I’d covered all the seams, the large patches were too blank. If not stitch embellishment, then what? Appliqué? You may have already read about this process. Back to my stash and cutting some small shapes from various print fabrics—still all cotton.
After fusing these shapes to patches, I had places to put more stitching—on and around these shapes. A few examples:
Spiked knotted cable chain stitch
Flowers, stitched over and around. Raised close herringbone for the leaves, from TAST
Tight, or tailor’s buttonhole, not from TAST
Don’t remember this stitch. Anybody recognize it?
For stitching these appliqués, I used DMC cotton floche and #8 pearl cotton.
Shown again, here’s the finished first side of the pillow cover.
Now I’m working on the other side, still using TAST stitches. Here’s a scan of part of it.
Back to work. Because I’m pushing to finish this pillow cover, I made a list of previous TAST stitches that I hadn’t used on the first side. I’m working my way down the list, putting them on this side. This time I’m documenting the stitches as I go, so there won’t be any I can’t identify. And each Tuesday, I add the new TAST stitch.