Monday, April 14, 2014

Hex N More Pillow

I recently purchased a Hex N More ruler by Jaybird Quilts.

There are lots of patterns available, and because the ruler is so well designed it is pretty easy to figure out what shapes you need to cut to make a design.

I was excited to try it out, and made a pillow.

For the 'flower', I used a fat quarter that I have had for a while, with a bold, directional stripe. I always find these prints hard to work with (and there always seems to be one in a FQ pack), this seemed to perfect opportunity to use it. I marked lines on the ruler to correspond to the fabric when I cut the 'jewels' out. The triangles and jewels were cut with the Hex N More ruler.

For the 'leaves' I used a regular ruler, and the 60º angle.

All the pieces went together so well - I pressed the seams in opposite directions which helped.

 I added a cut 1+1/2" border around the block.

The quilting was done with 100Wt thread and a #80 Microtex needle. I used a layer of cotton batting with half a layer of wool batting on the top (more on this further down).

 To make it into a pillow, I made the back piece with buttons and button holes.

I made the binding a bit wider than I usually do (cut 2+3/4" wide, folded in half), I find that this works best with the extra layer of the back piece. The pillow is 21" from point to point and 17" top to bottom. I used leftover bits of wool batting to stuff a pillow form that I made for the inside of the pillow.

Wool Batting

I love wool batting! Silk and wool batting are the only types of batting I use for bed and lap quilts.
I am strongly attached to Hobbs Tuscany Wool batting, but I was told that it was the same as Hobbs Heirloom Premium Wool batting - just different packaging. So I thought I would see-

They seemed different straight out of the package. Maybe because the Heirloom was really jammed in the bag.

The Heirloom was definitely thinner and stiffer.

They were both creased. The Tuscany wool creases usually can be smoothed out when I pin the layers together.

The Heirloom wool creases seemed really set in.

I tried steaming the Heirloom wool batting to see what would happen.

It made a huge difference! It puffed out a lot and became flat - that's the beauty of wool. After steaming my family couldn't tell the difference between the Tuscany and Heirloom.

I tried a different wool batting once, that I bought at a local fabric store off the roll. It was so disappointing! The wool bearded through. I have met lots of people since that have had the same problem with the wool batting from that store - that is why I stick to Hobbs.

It is wonderful to sleep under a wool quilt - it conforms to your body and seems to keep you at a perfect temperature, especially in summer. I also accidentally 'cooked' a quilt with wool batting in the dryer, it didn't shrink or change in any way.

I had a couple of questions yesterday about the 'half layer of wool on top of a layer of cotton batting' that I use for wall hangings etc.

Starting at a corner, 

gently pull the two layers apart.

A piece of wool batting will divide into two layers pretty easily. I place a half layer of wool on top of a piece of cotton batting.
This is a technique I learned from Cindy Needham. The cotton adds weight and stiffness, while the wool shows off quilting so nicely - the best of both fibres. The half layer of wool adds very little bulk.

This is a close up of a piece I made over a year ago (shown here), you can see the nice puffs the wool creates in the feathers.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!


Maryjo said...

Most creative and so informative! Loved this post and what you did!

Sue Daurio said...

Wow amazing with the 1/2 wool batting. I will definitely give that a try.

What Comes Next? said...

Thanks Joanne - this is really informative. I've had problems with bagged wool batt being very creased, (it was the Heirloom), and tried tossing it in a cool dryer with a damp towel. It helped some, but next time I'll try steaming it!

Fran said...

What beautiful use of that striped fabric! I was interested to note that you put a quilt with wool batting into the dryer as I would have assumed that would ruin it. I would love to hear more about caring for quilts with wool batting and how much shrinkage do you expect when you wash them?

KatieQ said...

Thanks for the informative post. When you steam the batting, do you just hold the iron above the batting?

belarmina said...

que gran entrada !!!
gracias por las explicaciones tan importantes y practicas

Raewyn said...

Our cuchion turned out great and it is neat to see how you used the stripes, etc. Intersting about the wool batting - none of the wool ones I have found here in NZ are able to be pulled apart like that; any wools we have are a mix with either cotton or poly. One of my Craftsy classes suggested leaving the batting spread out on the table while you make a drink, hang out the washing etc, so that it relaxed to its natural state before starting to baste up.

Me and My Stitches said...

I bought a little sample piece of wool from them once at a quilt show and am just using it now on a small wall hanging. In the past I have used a lot of poly batts for hand quilting - but I do like the feel of this wool. Thanks for the info!

Sunna Reyr said...

I have wanted to try wool batting for so long, but have never checked if it sold here in Iceland because I've only heard negative voices about it. Mostly how expensive it is and that due to our cheap heating (not so in the cold areas which happens to be where I live) it's to warm. (Icelanders over heat their houses) Well, I like warm and plan on asking around the stores about it now instead of listening to nay sayers.

Myra said...

A lovely pillow Joanne, and good tips on the batting!

zenuwpees said...

Un beau coussin et très bien expliqué Marie-Claire

Chris said...

Hi Joanne, greetings from Northern Ontario. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day and a Happy Easter. Hugs, Chris

Sandi said...

Great post! I have been trying to find something on line on how you split wool batting (being just to chicken to just try it). Thanks for this.

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