Two small pieces today, made as special gifts for two amazing women in my life.
I started with this angular block design:
For the first gift, I wanted to use the colors of Autumn leaves.
For the second, I wanted to use black as a focal point. The black was a little more difficult to figure out. At first I tried translating the design straight over, as I'd done with the browns, but dark to dark and light to light just didn't work right with a black background. Finally I realized that the colors needed to be reversed. Changing the white background to a black background meant that the new "dark" was now the lightest color, the yellow. Once I'd figured that out, the design fell into place.
I made the blocks about 18 inches square, with borders all around so that the block design would "float" in the center, and be more visible on a throw pillow. These were made to fit 20x20 inch IKEA inserts -- although next time I would make them a bit smaller, for a snugger fit on the inner cushion. Maybe 19 inches square or 19.5.
I made the blocks a bit larger than necessary, so I could cut them down, then backed them with batting and some extra muslin, and quilted them together. The brown one was quilted with a coordinating cream-colored thread, and for the black one I used some of my new clear nylon thread. It's strange to work with, like loading your machine with a strand of hair, but I thought colored thread would be too distracting, especially with the high contrast fabrics.
Each panel was quilted first, then I assembled the pillow.
I sewed a 20" covered zipper between two pieces of the background fabric. I've never done a zipper this way before, but it was surprisingly easy. I'll definitely be using this method in the future for throw pillows.