The Carpenter’s Wheel block (from Pam and Nicky Lintott’s book Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts), that was on the design wall a few weeks back has now been turned into a finished cushion.
I added a purple border to the block, picking up on the purple in the wheel, as it has been my experience with patchwork cushions that without a border around the block you loose the effect of the block as it disappears in the curve of the cushion pad (learnt that the hard way!).
This time I didn’t baste the top, batting and back together, but pinned them with no. 1 quilting pins (with the little plastic backs to save your fingers). The batting is Hobbs Heirloom Cotton and the back of the sandwich is unbleached muslin. Then I machine quilted the central purple star and purple diamonds of the block with purple YLI quilting thread, 1/4″ in from the seam line of each patch. Then I did the same with red thread for the red patches. Quilting the central diamonds in this way has really emphasised the star shape in the middle of the block, just as I wanted.
You can see the quilting lines in this view of the back of the cushion front before the lining went in.
To stabilise the block before adding the cushion back, I also sewed around the edge 1/4″ from the side.
I made a pieced double thickness backing (see the post about the Blackford Beauty cushion for more details of this technique), using a leftover bits of fat eighths in coordinating colours (purples). Piecing the backing was a bit more work, but I liked the look and the thrift aspect and joining the segments was simple with my serger (a Pfaff 4872, that I keep threaded up with medium grey thread for precisely this sort of job). The finished back on the outside has three colours of purple, and another three different prints on the inside. The purples on either side of the back are actually quite similar shades to the purple on the front, but have come out a bit bluer in the photos.
I sewed the back to the quilt sandwich on the sewing machine and then used the serger to finish of the edges on the inside. The cushion back opens in the middle with an overlap and fastens with Velcro. I also sewed on a label: blurred in the photos.
This whole cushion has been a bit of a getting-to-know- you project with my new sewing machine: a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 that I got just a few months ago. I am gradually getting a feel for what it can do and how. Spot the dog (currently on the design wall) was my first pieced project with the Expression. This was the first time of quilting, I pieced this on my old Pfaff. So far so good! Going through a lot of thread though, as it takes different bobbins to my existing Pfaff, which of course I have kept, meaning that I have to wind two bobbins a lot of the time.