Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Gypsy Pillow

The Summer Gypsy Pillow

I have always loved seeing  projects using hexagons, but had only made 2 small projects using these little fabric shapes.

My first hexagon project... 3 hexies appliqued per side on an eyeglasses case

My second project...  the  Hexagon Eye Glasses Case:  design by Liesl Made blog
blogged here

I had a lot of fun making these hexagons, so I knew that I wanted to make a bigger project, someday,  that used hexagons. 

While looking for patterns and ideas,  I ran across this pattern.
It is called, "Summer Gypsy Pillow"      designed by   Helen   of Bustle and Sew blog , out of the  August 2013  Bustle and Sew magazine
Summer Gypsy Pillow is in this Aug 2013 issue
Helen writes that she was inspired by the English narrow boats, in which gypsy families lived and worked to transport goods.   She says this  about her pillow :    "  Combine bright colours and a cheerful scarlet geranium - pom-poms and hexagons to evoke something of the feeling of the old English narrow boats travelling up and down the waterways of middle England. "

A few days later,  I got this beautiful photo in an email:

Inside a narrow boat...  .photo taken by Amanda, The Patchsmith
My dear friend, Amanda , The Patchsmith, sent me this picture from a trip she made this spring, to the Cotswolds,in the UK.   I recognized the "narrow boat"  and  I took it to be a "sign" that I had to make that  cushion cover!

Some more  inspiration!      photo by Susie's Sunroom

And so  here is my version of the Summer Gypsy Pillow~

Summer Gypsy Pillow                       Susie's Sunroom

Summer Gypsy Cushion Cover         design by   Helen   Bustle and Sew magazine  Aug 2013
Fabrics:        Vintage Summer    by Little Yellow Bicycle

                Moda Essential Dots  Aqua      for backing
                Green felt-    leaves
                Ginghams-    from my stash  
Hexagons:    41 -   with  1 1/2 inch sides
Buttons:  61   from my stash 
(I left out the poms-poms.)

The pot and leaves-   fusible applique'  and machine stitching

After the leaves and the pot were ironed and sewn onto  the fabric, it was time to add the little  Geranium flowers.  I decided to try drawing them in , using my new Frixion gel pen (by Pilot).   I LOVE IT!!  My marks were simple to fill in with the satin stitch and embroidery thread.  How did I remove the markings?  Iron them off!  That easy ! 

 (Note:  I tested my fabric first!!  )  
(Confession:   I drew the whole design on at first.  When I ironed my leaves on... DUH....  the flowerettes disappeared by the heat!  I simply drew them on again and began to hand sew the little red flowerettes.)

The geranium flowers were hand embroidered ....  satin stitch.  The stems were added  by machine
Next,  I placed each hexagon around the central  potted Geranium plant and pinned them in place

Zigzag stitching around each hexi

In the directions, Helen hand embroidered the Feather Stitch  around each edge of the hexagons.  
I experimented, and found a stitch on my Viking Topz 30 that was similar to the Feather Stitch, and went with that!  I used a light aqua Rayon embroidery thread for this decorative stitching.  It blended nicely, and  covered up any gaps  slight imperfections between the hexies.

The cushion cover layout before feather stitching the hexies

After all of the hexagon sides were sewn, it was time to add the buttons!  

I sewed on 61 little buttons!!  (At this point, I split this task up into 3 days!)  They added such a nice sparkle to the cushion top.

The pillow cover is 16 inches square... I put an 18 in pillow insert inside of it
The back..... I made the Covered Zipper  , from the fabulous 
 Amy Made That! free tutorial

I just love this little bluebird with the flowers!!  from Vintage Summer fabric (by Little Yellow Bicycle)

I couldn't resist making one of the hexies in patchwork!!

I love my Summer Gypsy makes me happy to look at it each morning!  I feel like I have a little touch of England in my home...

I'm off to my sewing room!
I am linking up at: 
         Can I Get A Whoop Whoop!  @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict  and   
           ASWCT Linky Party @ And Sew We Craft        and
          Inspire Us Thursdays @   The Inspired Wren   and
             Fabric Frenzy Friday   @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio       and
            Sew Darn Crafty @  Sew Many Ways                and
             Sew Jo Saturday @  My Go- Go Life


  1. Prepare for a lot of LOVE ....
    Love the hexagons - especially the bluebird hexagons (reminds me of a little purse I was given)
    Love the buttons at the corners
    Love gingham pot (of course I do!)
    Love the stitching on the geranium leaves - just enough detail - perfect
    Love the embroidery (I knew you wanted to try different stitches - and here is the ideal project)
    Love the back (Amy's hidden zip cushion back is so quick and easy yet looks so professional - that girl is a gem).
    Love that my photo helped in some small way.
    So, to sum it up in just three words ...... LOVE THIS CUSHION.

  2. beautiful cushion Susie!!! i have some of the Vintage Summer print you used for the backing and your cushion makes me want to use it!! the bluebirds are so sweet, too. the hexies and buttons sure did add up quickly in this project!!! Everything about this project is perfect!!!

  3. This is gorgeous Susie! I followed your link over from the ASWCT Linky Party and I'm so glad I did.
    The fabric choice, the embroidery and the hexies are all beautiful and the buttons are a great finishing touch.


Thank you for visiting and taking time to write a comment!