Spring Celebration -- So Many Colors!

I'm so excited to introduce you to my next participant in the Spring Celebration. I would certainly not be surprised if the Seminole Patterned Pillow in bold Spring colors is the first prize to be taken. I love the way So Many Colors uses colors and patterns in this and all of her work in her Etsy shop of the same name here. She also keeps her Facebook page very up to date about her work. You can also find handdyed knit fabric and handmade handbags in her shop.

As part of the Spring Celebration you could win the gorgeous pillow above valued at over $50. Glenda gave a step by step tutorial on her blog showing how the pillow was made using the Seminole Patchwork technique. I found it quite fascinating and I'm going to share the abridged version of it with you. You can find the entire post here. But first here is a description of Seminole Patchwork from So Many Colors:
Seminole patchwork is a piecing technique originated by the Seminole tribe in Florida after the introduction of sewing machines in the early 1900's. The technique consists of sewing strips of fabrics together, cutting the strips into smaller pieces then sewing them back together to create beautiful, repetitive patterns.
First I selected the five fabrics to be used in the pillow, all very vibrant! Then I chose one of the band or strip set patterns from Basic Seminole Patchwork by Cheryl Greider Bradkin. This particular band pattern uses four strips but I wanted to use one strip of each color so I added one. All of the strips except the very narrow one are 1 1/4" wide so adding another strip was easy. I also decided that I wanted a wider finished band so I added 1/4" to each strip.

First step is to straighten up the edge of the fabric. Then carefully cut one strip from each of the fabrics. Accurate cutting show up in the quality of the finished band.
With the adjustments I made to the strip widths I ended up with four strips at 1 1/2" wide and one, the yellow, at 1". Then I tried the strips in various arrangements until I was happy with the look. This is not the arrangement I ended up with.
Sew pairs of strips together using 1/4" seam or as close to that as possible. More important than the seam width is the consistency of the width for the length of the strip.

Don't sew more than pairs of strips together at one time. Each pair should be ironed flat then ironed open before adding another strip. This helps to minimize stretching when ironing, again helping with accuracy for the finished band.

Continue sewing strips together, ironing after each seam. Usually all of the seams are pressed in the same direction.

Even with careful cutting, accurate seams and careful pressing you can get a wavy edge.
The next step is to cut the strip set into strips. Some patterns use straight cuts with offset seams. This pattern uses a diagonal mirror image cut so the strip set can be folded in half and cut.

Now the strip sets are sewn together, matching seams a closely as possible. This is the part where I often rip seams out. Small mismatches don't bother me but more than a tiny bit will interfere with the finished pattern. Here's the finished band sewn but not ironed from the front.
Now we're ready to put banding strips on the edges and assemble the pillow.
SoManyColors on Etsy
SoManyColors on Facebook
SoManyColors on Blogger

See the contest rules here to find out how you could win the Spring Seminole Patchwork Pillow!


Lin said...

As a quilter, I really appreciate your accuracy and making sure that your points meet! Nice work--it is lovely!!

Ann said...

The colors in that pillow are fantastic. I'm dieing to see what she has in her shop now so I'm off to go check it out. have a great night

Split Rock Ranch said...

Wow - fabulous colors and what patience she must have to do all that intricate work! Beautiful!

Waterrose said...

Beautiful pillow and I love the color and pattern.

Raige Creations said...

this is a gorgeous pattern! Patience is an understatement - not sure I have enough to do that. Nice work!

Alterity Button Jewelry said...

Wow...that is so much easier than it looks! I will have to try it over the weekend :)

starcakeastrology.blogspot.com said...


lorenabr said...

Great :) fab work

Micah-Noel said...

Wow! That's really neat. Thanks for sharing about it. :)

Sesenarts said...

Love the colors and intricacy of the patchwork (oh for patience!)Thanks for dropping in to my blog to check out the beads. I don't think the hoes would be quite big enough to thread a scarf through, but I could definitely see them on a wrist cuff. Good luck Julie


(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD