myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Beauty is You cushion

Here’s a little comfort stitching project I have been working on recently. 
You will probably remember how excited I was by Cori Dantini’s Beauty Is You fabric line. I was desperate to do something with it, so taking one of our FQ bundles I embarked on a little EPP.
I’ve recently started teaching my classes again, and one of the first was a half day in English Paper Piecing. I’ve taught this before with hexagons, but after seeing the beautiful work that Tasha and Brioni were doing at the FQ retreat I decided to make something a little more intricate to inspire my students.

And looking through my retreat copy of Fat Quaterly I found Brioni’s EPP placemat pattern along with templates that I could just print out! A whole sheet full of them! So much easier than drawing around one and cutting out a hundred times (I am so old-school).

But I really wanted a pattern that was a bit more continuous, and then I came across Katy’s gorgeous Spring Carnival cushion and realised I could make this using the same FQ templates by omitting the diamond. I printed the templates on to some thin card and off I went!

This was such a lovely, enjoyable project and the fabric works so well. I have never made ANYTHING using one fabric line before! But I think this is such an original collection that it deserves to be seen together as the artist intended.

I loved fussy cutting the ladies and flowers for the hexagons too

And then, of course, I had to hand quilt it. I can never bring myself to machine quilt anything that has been hand pieced – it just seems wrong!

So I got my perle 8’s out and used them to accentuate the circles that the pattern had made. With smaller stitches I picked out the pretty ladies and flowers.

I have recently taken a huge plunge and finally upgraded my poor old basic Brother sewing machine for a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.
OMG, what a difference!! I totally LOVE it, and that’s before I have even tried the machine quilting/FMQ!

But I did tackle piping and button holes to gives this cushion a few extra touches. That’s Kaufman Essex Linen in natural on the back (as recommended by VeryKerryBerry!). I have this in stock now (in the Edinburgh shop, but coming to the website soon) with unbleached and grey arriving very soon.


  1. Well done hand quilting certainly is nicer isn't it? I don't like that really large stitching that you see so much of though at the moment.

    What a lovely cushion that is, you have made it beautifully.

  2. It is absolutely gorgeous, Jo! I love the fact that you hand quilted it as well.
    I'm working on a Spring Carnival quilt and love that hand stitching is so therapeutic.

  3. Crazy awesome! Looks like a watercolor! Fun how just quilting around the circles totally quilts everything!;) So much easier to keep track of what you are doing too!
    Yeah…I love that linen. I think that's the stuff I used for your piece in Hoop Up!;)

  4. I'm trying to locate the templates and directions for making this pillow. I looked on your website and couldn't locate it. I have all the fabric and would love to start making it. Thank you for the help

    1. Hello Bowbailey, I tried to reply to your comment but you are a no-reply commenter – aaarrgh!! Anyway if you come back here to check I would suggest you visit I'm a Ginger Monkey blog and go to her tutorial page – she has downloadable patterns for this cushion there.

  5. hi there…
    i have NEVER seen my fabric used in such a perfect fashion! thank you so much for making this insanely beautiful pillow out of my first collection of fabric. (i think you are a genius!)

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