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    Ormen Lange Bargello

    Pattern for the Ormen Lange bargello quilt

  • Mosaic Circles

    Downloadable pattern for Mosaic Circles

  • Bargello Flame

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Flame

  • Bargello Dancing Flames

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Dancing Flames

  • Somerset Pillow

    Downloadable pattern for Somerset Pillow

  • Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

    Downloadable pattern for Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

  • Downloadable pattern for Autumn Bargello

Transforming a Pillow

The mention of shoddy in my previous post, reminded me of a pillow I rescued from the bin when sorting out things at my parents’ house last summer.


I think it originally came from our grandparents’ home, and I remember sleeping with that pillow when I was a little girl. It was very lumpy back then, and even worse now. Nobody else wanted it, and my first thought was to toss it, but then I rather liked the two fabrics it was made of, and since it would also be good for supporting the breakables during our drive back home, it went into the car instead of the bin.


Back home I opened it up and emptied the filling into a plastic bag. This is what shoddy looks like after it has been inside a pillow that has been used for more than 60 years. Very lumpy indeed.


Shoddy is made from old woolen garments, like the socks in my previous post, which have been shredded and carved into fibers, and then carded and made into fillings for pillows and duvets. Close up, one can see some of the original threads and many different coloured fibers.


I washed the fabric and put it away in a plastic bin.

Then we bought a new sofa, and I needed a couple of new pillows. I had seen one in a recent quilting magazine which gave me some ideas, and when looking through my stash for some background fabric, the old pillow came to mind.


I brought it out, and decided to use both fabrics, and I could even keep the old seam. I cut it one ruler width from the seam on both sides, and then cut the length into two parts, one for each pillow.

Then I added strips of a blue cotton damask fabric, which I had dyed myself many years ago. The two backgrounds are a bit different in size as the inner pillows I had available were of two different sizes. I also turned the stripes horizontally on one, and vertically on the other.


Then both backgrounds were layered and quilted with a wavy, on point, grid.

teikn sirklar

Next, I drew lots of circles in three different sizes on paper backed fusible web. They were ironed on to the back side of many different yellow, orange, red, and some purple scraps.



Then I placed my “flowers” on the green and blue background. I moved them around till I was satisfied with their placement, then ironed them down.



I sewed around each circle using the satin stitch on my machine. Since the background was layered and quilted, there was no need for a stabilizer.


I drew some stems with chalk, and then sewed them using a wider satin stitch.


In order to make some leaves, I ironed strips of different greens onto fusible web. Then I drew some leaf shapes in different sizes, and made some templates which I used to draw on the paper side of the fusible web already ironed to the strips. I cut out lots of leaves so I would have some to choose from when distributing them on the background.


When I was satisfied with the placement, I ironed and sewed around all the leaves using the satin stitch.


Then I only had to make backings for the pillows. Since I did not have zippers available, I made the envelope style backing. I use that a lot.


And onto the sofa they went.



Quilt Education 5

In my last posting about this project, I was searching for a suitable border fabric. I tried several colours, including some that were suggested in the comments to that post, but in the end I chose the green one.


My plans were to make this into a round pillow, so at first I cut a piece that was a bit larger than the pieced hexagons.


The papers were still in the outer row of hexagons, so I pinned next to the outer ring all around, and then tacked down each corner of the outer hexagons.


Then I sewed the outer edge of the hexagons to the border fabric, – a bit like appliqueing.


When I had finished sewing all around, I cut away the centre part of the border fabric.


When cutting through only one of several layers, I always use my duckbill scissors. The bill shaped tip goes underneath, and keeps the scissors from cutting into the layers below. (The scissors are actually hand made, and I bought them at a quilt show at Ascot in the UK 15 years ago, – they still work fine).


When the centre of the border fabric had been cut away……..


………..  removing the last round of papers was easy.


After that, I layered and pinned the quilt top…….


……… before I committed the deadly sin of machine quilting it.  My hands do not agree with hand quilting, so although I hope for forgiveness, I cannot promise not to do it again.


The quilting was very simple, – just one seam for every circle of patches, and then an echo seam into the border.


Then I made a back piece for the pillow, with a hidden zipper in the centre.


Next, I marked the circle on the pillow, using what I call “the poor man’s compass”:  a pencil on a string…..


….. and then cut out the circle.


The circle was placed right sides together on to the back piece, pinned, and sewed all around the edge.  Luckily I remembered to open the zipper before sewing.


After that, the back piece was cut even with the front, the raw edges were zigzagged, right sides were turned out through the unzipped opening, and…..


……….. voilĂ : the finished pillow!

If I had wanted it to be even more cutesy, I could have added a pink ruffle around the edges. Maybe on the next project, ….. because:


…. now I have even more remnants to make into new hexagons.

Patchwork is a never ending hobby!


Quilt Education 1

Quilt education 2

Quilt education 3

Quilt education 4