Fabric Scraps Obsession, Quilt Retreats, Studio, What's on the Design Wall

The Pillow Project

Continuing my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.

Pulling Out the Old UFOs

For this May’s annual quilting retreat I pulled out some old unfinished objects/projects (UFOs) or as my blogging buddy Shirley @ handmadehabit calls them – “STRANDED” projects.

Those of you who have followed my blog a long time (I mean a long time) – do you remember this project and post from August 2016 “What’s on the Design Wall (Need Your Help)“:


As well as the follow up post: “What’s on the Design Wall: Your Ideas“.

So many readers provided great suggestions on the color of setting fabric for these “log jam” (freestyle log cabin) blocks. Alas, I could not make up my mind and eventually put the blocks away.

I bought the blocks to the retreat to make them into pillow covers!

In Need of Pillow Covers

We have four (4) cozy fleece pillows in the living room that we used in the late Fall, Winter and early Spring but they would be strange to use in the late Spring and Summer:


I decided to use the log jam blocks to create Summer pillow colors for the four pillows and started assembling the pillow tops at the retreat:


Between the retreat and last week, I completed four pillow tops:


Next step is to quilt the pillows tops and then add envelope backs.

I have some already quilted fabric left over from another project to use in the back:


Here is one of the pillow tops awaiting quilting:


I used up all my already pieced blocks from 2016 and used the rest of the remaining batik fabric scraps from the project to make additional blocks for the four pillows, each made with 16 blocks.

I will of course share photos in a future post of the completed pillow covers, covering the existing fleece pillows!

UPDATE 05/29/18 – one reader asked the size of the pillows – they are approximately 23″ x 23″ each


Another pillow in the “Pillow Projects” – here is a follow up to the posts Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul  and  The “Planning Fallacy”.

I completed the pillow top from scrap 2.5″ squares:


I decided not to quilt the pillow top but instead added fusible interfacing. I made an envelope style back and here is the completed pillow on my studio chair:




41 thoughts on “The Pillow Project”

  1. You (as in WE quilters) just can’t go wrong with log cabin blocks or half-square triangle blocks! And after some intensely creative or detailed work, these can be the most satisfying to work on. And can I steal your term “logjam” for improv pieced log cabin blocks? Perfect! Your pillows are awesome.


    1. Thanks Martha! Both were a great way to use up scraps and in a very colorful way. You can definitely steal “log jam” as I stole it from the class I took a couple of years ago at the Stitchin Post. It is actually, according to the instructor for the Log Jam class, an African method of sewing where you just sewing scraps around and around without precutting them to size like in a traditional log cabin. You trim after you sew.


  2. Great use of the log cabins! Are the pillows very large? I find it a bit difficult to get an idea of their scale. It’s been ages since I made a pillow, perhaps I should do another one soon since they’re relatively quick projects and so gratifying to make.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes Tierney! You have inspired me once again to get sewing and put my scraps to good use! I desperately need new couch pillows and I have lots of scraps and left over blocks that will make work just fine for pillows. Also, I think I might make a few pillows for Christmas gifts…just over 6 months away…what am I waiting for??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yay! I am honored! We inspire each other 🙂
      Looking forward to seeing your new couch pillows in a future post (just putting the pressure on with my expectations – ha!) 🙂


  4. Great pillow covers, Tierney!! I like that you will be able to change the covers for seasons or just because:). Isn’t it fun to resurrect a project? The cleaned out storage space is like a cleaned out mind that, in my case, usually gets filled with two more projects! Lol:). Danger, Will Roberts!❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and yes I am putting an envelope back that I can easily remove the covers and/or change them when I grow tired of them. It is fun to resurrect a project (unless it is one of those projects you should just put to sleep forever ha!) “Danger Quilt Projects!” 😉


      1. I taught TTQH to make his own scones for strawberry shortcake and I will have to do a future post on that – I forgot when you are teaching someone to bake you have to get real basic on steps – we had an egg wash disaster!

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  5. I’m loving all of the pillow work here! Isn’t it great when a project starts out one way, evolves, and becomes something quite different from what was planned? I’m glad to hear that this formerly ‘stranded’ project now has a new life and is brightening up your living spaces! I so enjoy the pillow top made from squares. You’ve used colour and value so beautifully. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I have knocked out three total and have 2 more remaining, then I will post an update with all the completed pillows! There is something very exciting about pulling out a stranded project and completing it! Thanks for your thoughtful comments 🙂

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