Thursday, March 23, 2017

Canada Pillow Challenge

In the fall, each member of the Elgin Piecemakers was given a 10" square of fabric and a pillow form for a 20 by 20" pillow.  We were challenged to make a pillow using all of the fabric we were given along with whatever other fabric we wanted to add to our project.  The pillows were to be done by our March meeting, which took place tonight.  I actually finished my pillow a week ahead of the deadline!

I decided to make a simple pieced leaf and spend my time matchstick quilting it with the word "Canada" left unquilted across the middle of the pillow.  I used freezer paper letters which were traced from a printout from my computer.  

I added a few lines of red thread but ended up taking them out and just using beige thread for all of the quilting.  I was really pleased with how well things were coming along as I quilted my pillow over several evenings.  It takes a long time and a lot of thread to do matchstick quilting.  

I started with following the edge of my walking foot for each row of stitching and then dividing each interval in half two more times.  When I took the paper off after I had finished all the quilting, I realized that I could not see the letters on the printed fabric.  Ugh!  Lesson learned!  The C shows up at the beginning and the "a" at the end... I think that I will only do this on solid fabric from now on.  

All of us wore red and white to the meeting to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.

We had a Canada quiz while our guest judges picked their favourite pillows.  There were Canada themed snacks including bacon with chocolate drizzled on it, butter tarts, Canadian cheddar cheese and cookies shaped like maple leaves.   Everyone was given a jar of maple syrup to take home at the end of the evening, 

The winners of the judges and viewer's choice awards were given gift certificates from Cherished Pieces in Tillsonburg.  

Here is a picture of all of us with our pillows.

We each wrote a short note about the symbolism of the fabrics and patterns depicted in our pillows.  

Of course, we all brought in our yellow, gray and white blocks for this month's comfort quilt as well.  

It was a fun meeting!  Thanks to Joanne and Julie for organizing the challenge and tonight's gathering!  


  1. Sounds like a very fun and patriotic evening!!

  2. what lovely cushions everyone made

  3. Oh, wow, looks like lots of fun and good food! I love your matchstick quilting! Gail, when you reached the paper letters, did you make a U-turn and quilt back? Or did stop, continue on the other side and then bury the threads? I haven't tried this, but want to one day. Great job!

  4. Your group is very ambitious and it must be fun. I think quilting words is a wonderful idea.

  5. Great to see everyone's special cushions and to read what Canadian people like to snack on!! A fun evening indeed.