I had the opportunity this past week to stitch up a wonderful paper-pieced pattern by my friend Kitty Wilkin, who blogs at Night Quilter.
Here’s the beautiful photo she took of her new pattern, Love is the Key, which she posted last week.
I’ve mentioned before that Kitty and I first met a couple of years ago when we happened upon each other’s blogs, and realized that our blog names, and our lives, were very similar. We quickly became close friends, and now we communicate every day by text.
Kitty knows that it’s been awhile since I have had time to sew, and she sent me her new pattern, Love Is the Key, just in case I needed a little project to get me back in the groove.
Have you ever had this experience? You’ve taken a break from sewing, and when you’re finally ready to get back to it, you have no idea WHAT to sew!
There were so many ideas for potential projects swirling around in my head, I was completely overwhelmed. So I was relieved when Kitty emailed me her pattern; it was just the assignment I needed to get going. I haven’t paper pieced in over a year, but it slowly came back to me, one little scrap at a time.
Love is the Key is a foundation paper pieced pattern that measures 9″ square, but with an option for a 4.5″ wide by 9″ tall version. It features a heart-topped key and is a very easy, beginner-friendly paper piecing pattern. It’s very fitting that I sewed this pattern this week, because the pattern was first conceptualized and sketched almost a year ago, on Kitty’s flight home from QuiltCon, the day that we took the snapshot above.
The 9″ square pattern, makes for a perfect throw pillow, once you add some negative space on all the sides. Here is my version.
I used my favorite Robert Kaufman Quilter’s Linen for the background, and some blue from my stash. The paper piecing went smoothly, but after I finished, and quilted it, I found one little error. Can you see it? Check out this close up….
I often sew in 20 minute increments; I always seem to be leaping out of my chair to get someone a juice box, or to tell someone to get off the roof of the playhouse in the backyard. Apparently, interruptions like that can cause a person to forget pieces 7 and 8 in the pattern (in the upper right hand corner of the heart).
At least I finished it, and I really love it.
I quilted it with diagonal straight lines on my new Handi Quilter Avante. If you’ve ever used a longarm, you know that long diagonal lines are a headache. So I used a tried and true longarmer hack: I loaded the fabric for this pillow diagonally, which allowed me to stitch horizontally in order to achieve the diagonal look I was going for. I used my channel lock, which locks the machine in the horizontal position, for stitching straight across.
After I finished all the matchstick quilting around the key, I planned to go back in and stitch the center of the heart. But then I heard someone scream that they spilled juice all over the laptop (I knew I shouldn’t have stopped to get that juice when I was piecing the darn thing), so I ran downstairs and completely forgot that I had ever planned to finish that center heart.
I mopped up the juice, we averted disaster, and I ran back upstairs with an exciting idea to attach the envelope backing of the pillow right on the longarm!!! Talk about saving time!
When I put the pillow on the sofa to admire it later that day, congratulating myself for achieving the envelope backing trick on the longarm, I was crushed that I had put the entire pillow together without remembering that last bit of quilting.
Quilting is a humbling sport, isn’t it?
But that open heart is kind of growing on me now. It’s sort of cute, even if it’s not perfect… In fact, it’s the imperfections that make something beautiful, to quote the wise Bob Ross.
Hope you have a great weekend! I’m off to a Handi Quilter teaching event tomorrow. See you Monday!