The tale of the three pillows

So I decided that I needed some new decorative pillows for the new sofa I had ordered… That was last December! I bought the fabric, admired it, thought about it, but did not sew with it. Maybe I was a bit afraid to work with different fabric than I was used to. I had bought several meters of very luxurious home decor fabrics, that I almost accidentally bumped into on market day. The lady selling it told me that the fabrics on her stall were all remnants of fabrics used for a “home make-over television show”. I got them ridiculously cheap, lucky me!

So I decided that I really needed to sew these pillows before the next December was knocking on my door.

This gorgeous fabric reminded me of the late ’50’s and early ’60’s colour scheme and design esthetic.  The blue and orange threads are shiny and lustrous. I went with large FMQ pebbles. I was trying to make more circular shapes instead of my normal “pebbles”, and ended up with a lot of “eggs”! I am quite happy with that.

The FMQ itself was not very “happy”. The thread kept breaking. Mayor frustration! This has never ever happened to me on this scale. I came to the conclusion that the thread I was using was very old and weakened by age. The cone even said “Made in West Germany”…. yes the thread was too old! When I reached half way the rest of that cone, the quilting went back to normal. Like the thread deeper on the cone was not affected by age.

The next pillow on the list created the Ultimate Frustration! The thread kept breaking there too! Even more!

The cone was new, the needle new (size 80), clean bobbin case, everything rethreaded…. I could not figure it out!

The fabric I was quilting on ( you are seeing the back of the quilt sandwich) is thick and a bit lumpy, so I came to my second conclusion of the day that the lumpiness of the fabric was breaking the thread. I tried a jeans needle, but that stupid needle hit some part of the bobbin case and I did not even want to try it out in fear of damaging my machine. So… I tried a thinner needle (size 70)… and it worked!


The front:

With all of that thread breaking I was scared to run out of thread too, but I just made it!

Turn it into a pillow, add a label and take a picture!

In this picture you can see the true colour of this fabric: it is a dusty blue, also very retro!

Oh, and the third pillow? That came together within half an hour! No problems at all!

This very autumnal brown-and-green fabric is my favorite I think. It reminds me of the wall paper in my grandparents’ house:  the beige vertical thread just feels the same as that wall paper.


Just a reminder: my patterns “Blurry” and “Take a Bow – C” are still on “It’s My Birthday”-sale until next Wednesday!


Thank you all for your kind words for my 37th ( Yes, I am saying this out loud, proudly! 😉 ) birthday! You all made my day!!!


I will have a wonderful week planned with a quilt show, some shopping with friends, a trip with my sister and her two gorgeous boys and lots of sewing!

YAY for autumn break!


p.s. I am linking up with “Crazy Mom Quilts” and “The Free Motion Quilting Project”.


24 thoughts on “The tale of the three pillows

  1. Beautiful! I love the simplicity of your FMQ, it lets the texture of the fabric shine. I have to admit that the colors made me think of the TV series “Call the midwives”.. they always wore cardigans in those colors. Technical question on the threading problem: Do you use the “foot pressure button”? Do not know what else to call it .. would have to dig out my instruction manual.
    Have a great week.

    • The pressure is controlled by the machine as it is on “automatic” as is instructed in the manuel. This sewing machine is more of a computer, actually, 🙂

  2. Love your pillows! I must practice free motion quilting soon. I only know how to straight line so far and I want to learn so bad. Guess that means I need to take the time to practice huh?!

    • Yep! Practise practise practise! And have fun with it, too! I started with “stippling” and “pebbling”. Drawing on paper, endlessly! That worked very well! Make sure have have some kind of slider on your machine to keep the fabric moving smoothly and get quality threads to work with. Good luck!

  3. Wonderful cushions, love your ingenuity and determination 🙂 sounds like you’re going to have a super week … have fun!

    • Hello Jennifer!
      I am so exited to do all of these things this week, but I have to start with cleaning my house ( not much fun) and lots of baking ( much more fun) as I am having friends over tonight!
      Okay, now where is the vacuumcleaner and the trash bag? LOL!

  4. I so “feel your pain”!! But your 3 finishes are wonderful and a proud addition to your retro setting! I have given up trying to figure out why some things happen…..can be a bit frustrating. I am so glad the last one came along nicely….always good to finish on an “up” note…..blessings….

  5. Those pillows are gorgeous. I love the colours and the quilting…. Awesome! Sorry they were giving you such a hard time. Glad you overcame and conquered because they are so sophisticated. Thanks for sharing all the details on what you had to endure.

  6. Very cool! I don’t know why anyone ever buys throw pillows; I about choke when I see a simple square pillow go for upwards of 40$. And I definitely feel your pain with the thread breaking. I once accidentally bought some beautiful Sulky rayon thread because of the color (I got home and looked at my receipt and realized I had paid 11$ for a tiny spool of thread!), and my bobbin winder wouldn’t wind it and my machine would not sew with it without it breaking every few inches. Didn’t matter what I did, and every other thread worked. Sometimes machines are picky. Glad it worked out for you in the end. 🙂

    • Hello Jessica!
      You are so right! Sometimes those store prices can be rediculous!
      I bought a “bucket load” of Aurifil today on a quilt show. So glad I was able to find that. I hope that the thread breaking issues will be gone forever!

  7. Pingback: Pillow Talk | ipatchandquilt

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