Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover

August 3, 2021
Published 

I recently purchase the new Stay Gold fabric Panel by Melody Miller for Ruby Star Society.

It’s a forty picture piece of glorious pop-art style images, celebrating Melody’s journey of design over the last ten years.

Each square measures 8” with a large image on each block of colour.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - Ruby Star Society Stay Gold Panel

I bought this panel with the idea of using these blocks individually.

So I thought I’d just be brave and cut my panel up.

So I gave myself permission to let loose and play with my panel, and let each block image inspire me.

I like a lot of different styles of fabric, and so each idea will look quite different.

Some will be bold and punchy, some will be softer and more neutral.

How many projects do you think I can use my panel for?

I thought I’d share some of the behind-the-scenes process of how I put my fabrics together, and how I rationalise my decisions.

The idea is to inspire you with confidence to plan projects that are unique to you, and that you absolutely love.

When you can point to each piece of fabric that you’ve chosen to include and understand why it’s there, you can move on to your next project with ever increasing confidence and a growing certainty that you're growing as sewist.

The Modular Fabric Box

Medium Pattern

A quick and sturdy storage solution to help busy sewists and quilters efficiently catalogue, store and find their fabric stash.

I’ve started with the top right block of flowers on my panel.

Yes I cut it out!!

It’s a dark blue background, with a bold bunch of flowers in the centre.

I cut it out to separate it from the other blocks, and just let it sit quietly for a bit while I thought about which direction to go.

For my first project I decided I wanted to design a cushion front with this, and hand quilt it with large stitches to highlight parts of it.

Sometimes though, I really take my time with this.

For me it can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of weeks!

There’s nothing wrong with either, particularly if it helps you to get a project that you love in the end.

When studying your block, the first step is to identify the main colours in the main fabric.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - Identify colours

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover

There are 6, not counting the neutral cream, but I did note that the cream is there.

I pulled out my scrap bins and started searching for scraps that had some element of each of these colours.

Auditioning fabrics is super fun, but also messy!

Lay them out and around the block and take a few photos. Seeing the prints together on the screen is a great way to decide.

Five of my choices are Liberty fabrics, and the bold orange is from the Purl range by Ruby Star Society.

You can choose as many as you like, but for a simpler look, I’ve stopped at 6 prints in total.

The inclusion of the white backgrounds on a couple of the prints echoes the centre of the flowers beautifully.

Modular Liberty Fabric Storage Box

Medium Pattern

An elegant and super functional solution to storing your Liberty stash - use just two Fat 16ths of Liberty

1. Natural Light

Choose your coordinating fabrics in natural, well-lit light so you can see the colours clearly. You might find if you do this at night by artifical light that they don't match in the morning.

2. Repeat the Colours

Incorporate prints that have at least one colour element from the central print and repeat these colours in your coordinating prints.

Try to have each coordinate have at least one colour in common with another print.

Below you can see where each of the colours is repeated in the prints I've chosen.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - Yellows
Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - Oranges
Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - Pinks
Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - light blues
Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - navy
Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - find the burgundy
3. Vary the Size

Choose a range of large and small prints for extra interest and places for your eye to rest.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - small scale prints
Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - larger scale prints
4. Vary the Style

Choose a variety of different styles of print, like tiny florals, bold stripes and even a hand drawn whimsical print, so that the overall look is not super busy. Giving your eye somewhere to rest is a good tip to remember.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - name the fabrics

I’ve paired central block fabric with Liberty lawn prints Navaho B, Pepper K, Tatum N, Walter B and Rhapsody B.

The orange coordinate is from RSS Purl called ‘Yarn Florida Flash’.

The Modular Fabric Box

Medium Pattern

A quick and sturdy storage solution to help busy sewists and quilters efficiently catalogue, store and find their fabric stash.

Once you’ve chosen your fabric pull, assemble in a random looking style.

Then fuse to a piece of fusible fleece, or baste to batting.

Choose a range of coordinating perle cottons and plan some stitching patterns.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - choose perle threads

I let the fabric patterns dictate somewhat how I’m going to stitch.

You can highlight some areas, and simply blend in with others as much as you like.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - luscious hand quilted texture

I didn’t want to overwhelm the focus block here, so I’ve quilted quite widely up to the image. I’ve stitched around the edge and left the rest stitch free.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - highlight the image with stitches

Why not play around with different stitches here?

Let your imagination run free...try crosses, rows of vertical lines, or changing the direction to highlight different fabrics.

The Modular Fabric Box

Medium Pattern

A quick and sturdy storage solution to help busy sewists and quilters efficiently catalogue, store and find their fabric stash.

After you’re finished with your stitches, press, and trim your pillow front to size.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - use your fancy machine stitches as a feature on the back

Mine has ended up at 15” x 10” which is a nice size to be a focus pillow among other square ones.

Decide whether you want an envelope back closure or insert a zipper at the bottom.

I thought this would be a fabulous time to try out some of the fancy stitches on the Janome M7 I'm trialing for Janome Australia.

I cut a piece of fabric a couple of inches bigger, basted it to batting and stitched a row of fancy stitches, followed by a row of straight stitch.

It makes for such an interesting piece on it's own that displaying the back of the cushion means it will be just as stylish as the front.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - fancy quilted back
Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - lush rose gold feature zipper

I’m a big fan of showing off the zipper and like to make it feature.

For a custom size pillow like this, I make my own pillow insert to fit by cutting [2] rectangles that are approx. 2” bigger on the length and width, and stuffing to a good firmness.

I like to over fill my cushions to start with, so as they get used and the filling collapses it doesn’t look sad so quickly.

Stay Gold Panel Challenge Project 1 - Scrappy Pillow Cover - texture and sheen

Here's my first project finished infront of the remaining panel...I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out!

Look at the texture and sheen on there. I'd say Liberty and Ruby Star are a perfect match...

I hope this inspires you to try a project with your Stay Gold Panel!

Share your project using #StayGoldPanelChallenge and tag me on socials!

Happy sewing!