WIP: Swap Pillows


I’ve recently joined the Modernista Homemade (a sewing swap), but this one is a bigger swap, so the finished items we send are more involved.  There are fewer of these swaps around to join partly because they take longer and are more work.  The zipper pouch and small swaps I’ve been joining are fun, but they’re over so quickly because the items are small and less time-consuming projects.

In this swap, we make one large item for the living room (the theme for this swap), and one small item of our choice, both made to suit our partner’s tastes.  My partner requested a set of pillows for her sofa, so I’m working on making those first.   She had a picture of cathedral windows in her swap mosaic picture, and then I found several other pictures like that in her favorites.  I’ve made a practice swatch of these before, so I decided to go with that.


At first I was planning to make the entire pillow out of that, but cathedral windows involve a lot of hand sewing, and since she wanted two pillows, I thought I would do them for part of the pillow and then add other fabrics to finish out the pillow.  It also uses a lot of fabric (two pillows would have taken over six yards of the solid gray!), so I thought an accent piece might be better.  As it is, my accent piece will be just over a third of the pillow front in the middle.

I love the color combo I’m using.  She told me about the colors in her living room, but it’s hard to know what shades are there, so the blue might be too dark, but I still love the way it looks, so I’m just going with it.  I don’t think pillows like these need to be matchy-matchy with the room décor, anyway.  Sometimes I think it looks better if accent pieces like this stand out.


I’ve learned a few things about cathedral windows this time around.  When I did my little swatch a while back, I only put fabric in the “windows” and didn’t use the extra square underneath.  In this piece, I’ve used two different fabrics, and it’s a bit trickier to keep raw fabric edges from showing on the orange.  I’m not sure how stable this would be if it were to be washed repeatedly.  To fix that, I’m planning to stay stitch at the points where they’re peeking out and then sew a button on top to cover up the stay-stitching.  I improved this  a bit on my second piece, but I still think you’d have to do some fancy fabric folding to prevent raw edges on something like this.

I’ve also learned that I simply do not have the patience to make a large quilt like this.  I’ve always wanted to as I love cathedral windows, but I just despise the pressing/ironing part when folding the fabric.  The hand sewing part doesn’t bother me a bit, but I’m SO happy to have all of that ironing done!  So, as a compromise, I might make myself a pillow like this sometime.

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