A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

Starry Skies cushion


Before I get onto the ‘Hey look what I made’ moment, I’d like to ask if it’s just me that can’t seem to find a speed between stop and 90 mph on my sewing machine. It doesn’t matter what angle I place my foot at on the pedal. Or what height I have my chair. Or how gently I ease my foot down. It hums gently as my foot increases the pressure…

…and it’s off like the clappers. 90 mph, every time. Oh, I can get it to slow down occasionally, to a very slow pace that gradually eases to a stop. Then as soon as I try to get it going again it whizzes off as if I’ve floored it.

Is there some special technique? Some knack that you learn at sewing machine school and isn’t available to us ‘learn as we go along’ folk?

Just be aware that some of the seams you’re about to see aren’t quite straight and I’m blaming that on trying to keep up with that blasted machine.

So, my latest creation. I mentioned recently that I was having fun with Foundation Piecing. This is the result. Look what I made!


It’s the cushion from issue two of Love Patchwork and Quilting and the designer is Holly deGroot. She also designed the other cushion that I made so I guess I must like her style. Once again the instructions in the magazine were brilliant and I found the Foundation piecing really easy. I loved how precise it was and can’t wait to have another go at it.


And with the piecing finished


The magazine example was in completely different colours.


I had that lovely Batik fabric and thought it’d look great with a dark navy background and I’m very happy with how that turned out. The colours really pop against the navy.

I do know that I should have paid more attention to how the navy fabric was lying but I didn’t realise it all had to run the same way until I noticed that some pieces looked different shades and looked it up online. I’ll know next time. So much to learn!

I decided to Stitch in the Ditch for the quilting and not attempt the squiggly quilting in the example. I think that must be free-motion and I’m not even sure if my machine can do that, let alone me.


I used fabric from the same range for the back.


And now it’s sitting on the sofa.


That’s a terrible photo as the light in our living room is bad at the best of times, but in the winter it’s non-existent. Maybe I should have put the light on. Something else to remember for next time šŸ™‚

The quilting went a bit wonky in places and not all the seams are dead straight apart from the pieced ones, but other than that, I’m chuffed to bits with it. I love that fabric and I loved learning the piecing technique. This is so much fun. I can’t think why I didn’t try all this years ago.


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

21 thoughts on “Starry Skies cushion

  1. Really like your starry skies cushion using the Island Sun Batiks. I also wanted to thank you for your kind comments about purchasing the fabric bundles from my online store – Secret Garden Quilting. We are putting on new bundles all the time at:


    Many thanks Lucy


    • Thank you šŸ™‚

      I’ve been back to your store a couple of times for a look and as soon as I’ve used a bit more of my stash, I’ll be placing another order. Good prices and service, and a terrific range.

      Thanks for stopping by šŸ™‚


  2. Pingback: Our First Fab FEB Entries – Prepare to be WOW’ed | woolhogs

  3. Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!


  4. Amazing cushion, and I especially love your choice of fabrics. I have never dared do that wibbly wobbly quilting either, I a ditch girl too šŸ˜‰ The 90mph is not right, it should be just like a car accelerator, if you can drive ok the machine should respond to your varied pressure…have it looked at! Fiona x


    • Crikey yes, it’s a good job my car doesn’t do that. It’d be much better if the sewing machine behaved like my car’s accelerator pedal.
      I don’t think it’s worth taking it in anywhere, even if I could find a place that’d service my brand as it’d probably cost more than I paid for the machine.
      I’m thinking if I’m very good this year, maybe Santa will bring me a new one…


  5. It’s a beautiful cushion! I like the pattern and your fabric choices too šŸ™‚ My machine goes very slowly all of the time because if I put my foot down, the belt jumps off LOL. It’s a bit perished and slack. I really must replace it but I’ve learned to live with it. One day it’ll surprise me and snap.


    • Thank you šŸ™‚

      You have the opposite problem with yours then. Bet that gets a bit tiring when you’re sewing long seams. Hope that belt doesn’t snap before you get around to replacing it.


  6. Very nice pillow! I’ve got a dial on my machine that I can use to adjust the speed and pushing the foot pedal lighter does also result in slower speed. I don’t think the quilting in the picture is free motion. Probaly some organic line quilting very close togehter with a walking foot.


    • Thanks šŸ™‚

      I would love a speed control whotsit but my machine is a very cheap one and doesn’t have clever things like that. I’m going to make sure that my next one does, that’s for sure. I think there may be some problem with the foot as light pressure just results in a humming noise most of the time, rather than any movement.


  7. Your cushion is gorgeous. I have the exact same problem with my machine. It’s not an especially cheap one although it is a bit old now and definitely needs servicing (it’s a Brother). If you find the solution please let me know. It makes free machine embroidery very difficult!!


  8. I love that cushion, and I’m deeply in love with that dark blue batik – it’s gorgeous!. Can’t help with the sewing machine sorry, mines in storage and has hardly been used!!.


  9. fabulous cushion -the colours work perfectly and I love the back too ^^
    I also have the same problem with my machine (a real cheapo) and find it helps if I’m barefoot.


    • Thank you šŸ™‚

      Maybe it’s just something that cheapo machines do. Sigh.
      I also sew barefoot. Well, in socks. My craft room is like the arctic and I’d get frostbite if I went completely barefoot šŸ˜‰


  10. How old is your machine? Time for a tune up maybe?

    I love paper piecing and I love your pillow. When I first started, I drew everything on freezer paper and everytime I sewed a seam, I would spray it with spray starch – I was determine to have those seams meet!

    Keep up the good work!



    • Thanks šŸ™‚

      It’s not that old and up until a couple of months ago hadn’t had much use. I’m pretty sure the problem is that it’s a cheap, obscure make that I got online. It sews, but it has its quirks.


  11. I think it looks fabulous, I love your fabrics.


Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment - I love to read them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.