It has been a long time since I’ve done any quilting, well, besides my “daily temperature quilt” which is chugging along, but when I was on Pinterest this week I saw this darling vintage quilt (photographed in an antique store) which was made from a modified log cabin and I KNEW i had to throw together a block just like it. I wasn’t going to make a whole quilt, but I thought it would be a great block for a pillow. The problem was that I didn’t feel like sewing and a pillow cover.. I only wanted to make the block. And that is when I turned to my Ikea stash. I have used blank Ikea pillow covers before (like for my sea shell stamping project) but I’ve never actually sewed on them.
It turns out, however, that the process worked GREAT! I am so excited about it actually, that I may start making more of these covers since the Gurli blanks only cost $4! YES FOUR BUCKS. (I could barely make one from scratch for that price). And you can even get the interior cushion for $2.99 (although in our house we only use the duck feather ones since I like them more.. especially since they are only $6)
Okay.. I’m getting off on a tangent. Back to the tutorial.
To create the actual block I just googled “log cabin heart block” and found lots of examples.. but what I finally ended up doing was using this pattern from Feverish Quilter on Craftsy. I mean, sure I could have figured out the blocks on my own, and calcuated the seam allowances etc. but her tutorial (which included yardage requirements, step by step assembly instructions, cut list for rotary cutting (which is my favorite) along with paper piecing templates etc) was only $4. It made it so easy for me. My time was worth way more than $4!
Her pattern even comes with plans to make this cute wallhanging (which would be perfect for Valentine’s day)
You may have noticed that she made her design out of only three colors to make it more log-cabin-y (and her instructions are super clear about what blocks to cut out of which color), but I just changed it up and cut every piece out of a different shade of red or pink to make it more scrappy (and to use up my scrap stash)
I also was very careful to make sure my background fabric matched the pillow exactly, since I only wanted to see the heart. I lucked out since some muslin in my stash was perfect.
I am not going to go over the block assembly, since.. well, her tutorial is better than I could write, but I will explain how I attached the finished block to the pillow.
First I used a fabric glue stick (did you even know there is such a thing!? I learned about them in my old hand applique days and I have never gone back to spray starch again.) It is water soluble and acid free so it doesn’t damage the fabric. I have, in a pinch, even used archival grade regular glue sticks.. as long as you wash it out, I am guessing it is the same thing! Just make sure they say “acid free” and “washes out of fabric”
I glued the outer 1/4 inch seam allowance down and then pressed it with the iron so it was perfectly flat:
Next I pinned the block to the center of the pillow cover. (Lots of pins is good because you are really going to twist and pull on it to get it into the machine. Also. make sure you only pin it to the FRONT OF THE COVER! You will probably have to unzip it and stick you hand inside.
Now, the tricky part (and a reason the Ikea Gurli pillows work so well). You need to make sure you are only sewing down to the front of the pillow cover. Luckily these covers have a zipper opening that is the complete length of one size of the pillow, which meant it was pretty easy to open it up and not catch the back side of the pillow in the stitching. BUT YOU HAVE TO BE SUPER CAREFUL. I did get off track once and had to rip it out during my attempt…
As for the appliqué stitch type, I’m lucky since I have a Pfaff Sewing Machine designed specifically for quilting, and so it comes with tons of fantastic appliqué stitches. I used the “hand quilting” stitch for this project. If you have a regular machine, a blind hem, blanket stitch or even a zig zag stitch would work great. f
Once you are done, you just want to iron the pillow case, since it will be all crinkly from stuffing it under your sewing machine.
Add your pillow form and VOILA! Instantly cute little pillow that looks like it has been quilted. (you could go back and quilt the block or stitch in the ditch if you wanted an even more authentic look, but I wasn’t that into it!)
This worked so well, there are so many possibilities for other quilted pillows.
I love the scrappy feel, and the mixed appliqué and pieced quilting is the best of both worlds.
A different type of Ikea Hack!