by Reene Witchard
I was delighted to get the chance to design a project using Nel Whatmore’s new range, Katharine’s wheel. The brief was to design something with a firework theme, so after about 10 seconds brain storming I got to work. I went with my usual ‘go-to-project’ and created a pillow. To be clear on this, I mean pillow as in the thing that you lay your head on to sleep at night rather than a poofy thing you throw on the sofa.
The colours that Nel has used in this range are really vivid so I paired them with a deep purple solid as I felt they could hold their own against that backdrop. The pillow top comprises 2 Katharine wheel inspired blocks, one English paper pieced (EPP) and the other raw-edge appliquéd.
For the EPP firework I drew an octagon with equal length sides and cut Dresden blades to fit the sides of the octagon. Once the fabrics were basted to the paper shapes I hand sewed the blades to the octagon. I removed the papers before machine sewing the finished firework to the purple solid.
For the raw-edge appliqué firework I drew a simple curved blade template which I traced around onto double sided fusible web. I fussy-cut a central circle from one of the fabulous prints and used the other fabrics for the blades. Arranged on the solid in a pleasing manner around the central circle the blades make up the Katherine wheel.
Once the fireworks were fixed to the solid I backed the top with batting and hand quilted with large straight stitches in complementary perle threads.
I used the purple spot print and more of the purple solid to make the envelope for the back of the pillow.
Hey presto, a finished firework pillow. It’s a really quick and simple project to run up.
A huge thank you to Reene for this fabulous tutorial and gorgeous pillow.