Monday, May 3, 2010

Promise Stitching 3

Well, don't fall over in a faint! I have PICTURES! I finally got the camera (with batteries and SD card), my projects and me in the same room together. For a while there, I thought it would never happen. So, now I'm back with progress to report.

First of all, this is my first Promise Stiching (PS) project completed. It is the pillow I started a couple of months ago. I got stalled in the process because the PS teacher was busy opening her quilt shop here in town. But I kept plugging away at the parts I knew how to do, until she had time to tell me how to finish.

You must remember that, in PS, everything is done by hand. Which makes me even more proud of my pillow. This project is supposed to teach some of the basic techniques in PS. Remember that each seam is reinforced by the promise stitching, the topstitching on the side of the seam allowance. Then, when the quilting is done, it is stitched along the other side of the seam. The front of the pillow is pieced, starting with the block with the turquoise button. "You don't know where you are going unless you know where you started." Then the borders were added. Flannel and muslin are the batting and back.

The lace is hand crocheted (by me, of course). I also made some of the same lace for a friend of mine (that doesn't do the small crochet) for her pillow. Sometimes the lace is crocheted directly on the pillow, using the railroad stitch, used for closing, as the base of the crochet. I'll do that next time.

The back of the pillow demonstrates the "on piece" method of sewing strips to a flannel foundation. Each seam is again secured with the promise stitching.
The applique I used was inspired by a quilt from the 50's that I saw in a book. The bird is similar to the one in the quilt, but the rest was just made up as I went along. The fabrics I used in the strips were special--some were from several quilting friends and the butterfly fabric is to remind me of my mother. I randomly arranged the strips, but when I see that red slash across the middle, I think of the sunrise and the birds singing.

I used muslin behind the flannel and then quilting along the lines I had not promise stitched. The applique is added last.

My last picture for today shows a detail of the quilting and the lace on the pillow. The back and forth meander in the border is done by making big loops around your thumb as you go along and is called "mashed potatoes quilting" (maybe it resembles the shape of a potato masher?) or "chicken tracks".

Items made in PS are meant to be used, not just for show. Besides being a sample to learn on, the pillow is then a place to support your arms when you are sitting down sewing on other projects.

I'm so proud of my pillow because every stitch was done by me and the colors and design represent me and the things I like.

It really didn't take me long to do the actual sewing. It was waiting to be told the next step that kept me from getting it done. Oh, yes, and the troubles with getting the camera. Sigh... But it's good for us to learn patience.

I am working on my next PS project, a Snowball and 9 Patch quilt, that is a lesson in volume. It is the second of the 3 projects that have to be done first when learning Promise Stitching. I am so glad my quilting friend and teacher Jo Crace is patiently teaching us. And Jo learned all she knows from Linda Lee Peterson, the original Promise Stitcher.
So I'm glad to be back in the blogging saddle again. I have several posts planned, so stay tuned for the next installment!


  1. I just love your pillows and the crochet is a lovely touch.

  2. I love the way you added crochet edging - it really gives it a nice finish! I'm enjoying reading your progress on the PS. The back of the pillow is really pretty! Good Job!