RinAlong – First Finish

quilt along

This is a long three-day weekend for my husband and I, and we have been enjoying time at home. We typically cook meals together, and the past few days I have even been able to sneak in a bit of needle turn applique work on my RinAlong project while things simmer on the stove. Which meant I quickly had my first block finish for the RinAlong!

RinAlong - First Block
RinAlong – First Block

The block looks so much better after the basting stitches are removed (which were bright orange).

RinAlong - Back of First Block
RinAlong – Back of First Block

I found it very satisfying to turn over the block and see the neat lines of stitches. After finishing the first block, I immediately changed my mind on what I wanted to make. I had originally thought I would make 4 blocks to make a baby quilt. And while I may still make 4 blocks, I decided that I would rather turn these blocks into pillows.

RinAlong - Envelope Pillow Backing
RinAlong – Envelope Pillow Backing

I decided that since pillow making is also a new experience for me that I would avoid zippers for a while longer and go with an envelope backing. I had just enough of the background fabric and chemical reaction fabric to make a nice backing. I did add a velcro closure (which is perhaps unnecessary), and for the time being this pillow is stuffed with a lot of batting scraps. I found a tutorial by Jann of Newton Custom Interiors for how to make the envelope pillow backing.

RinAlong - Finished Pillow
RinAlong – Finished Pillow

I added some crosshatch quilting to the Rin block at a 1-inch spacing using 50wt Aurifil 2735 (Medium Blue) which blended in beautifully with the background fabric and added a fun texture to the front of the pillow.

All in all, I am really looking forward to making a second Rin block and pillow. What did you work on this weekend? If you are also enjoying a long weekend and day off today, is there anything special you are doing with your time?

Linking up with Main Crush Monday and Finish it Friday.


  • Wow, that is a great finish, and in my eyes, better than a quilt. love the back too. Down here, I finished a knitting needle holder for a very long time friend, over 63 years!!! Photos will go on my blog after it is posted to Auckland. And I finished and gave another to a friend for her 70th. Fabric for both was dress material, not cotton, and boy, did it fray!!! Never mind, all done for now.

  • It looks awesome! I admire your newly acquired skill. I never took to applique very well, and keep it pretty simple. Enjoy your Monday off!

  • The pillow is an excellent choice for a finish. If I were hanging at your house, my eyes would gravitate to it. It’s bold and restful at the same time. Looking forward to your next one. And I just finished quilting a lap size quilt for a friend. The binding is on it, so hand stitching it down is on my agenda for the next couple of days.

  • Beautiful finish!! Give yourself a job well done pat on the back. Love the blue and black/white colours. Very striking. Today a friend and I are going for lunch and coming back here to do hand stitching. I’m going to be burying thread on my OMG for May and she will be working on her EPP.

  • Fun to see the pattern in a pillow — I’m tempted to make one. Nothing big going on here today, I’ll be in my sewing room and my husband will be varnishing the barstools he’s made for our kitchen counter. We’re expecting rain too, so sewing time should be plentiful.

  • Well done with your needle turn appliqué , you would think you’d been doing it for years . What did I do today ? Two charity bee blocks and two blocks for my month as queen bee . And finished quilting my freefall , just the binding to flip over and hand stitch now . Enjoy the rest of the day

  • Great job. I like the contrast of the black and the blue. When I made sampler quilts for family, the extra blocks went into pillows and I used the envelope back closure with velcro. The looked so nice on the bed. Your needle turn looks great. I admire you for stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new. I’m making a small are quilt (wall hanging) for a group I belong to and am working with Derwent water color pencils using a matte medium as the liquid. Not an artist by a long shot so this is outside my comfort level. Will embellish with hot fix-it studs

  • Yvonne, I LOVE your applique block! Where did you find that cool chemistry fabric? I’m curious about your orange basting thread, too. What method are you using for your applique? I’ve tried the starch and press preturned edge applique as well as pinning and needle turning the edge as I go. Are you doing back basting, and if so, by hand or by machine? I tried that method once and wasn’t very successful with it, but I’m not 100% thrilled with the other methods I’ve tried, either.

    Also, fear not the pillow zipper! I think an in-seam invisible zipper closure is actually easier than the Velcro envelope closure that you’re doing now. As long as you have an invisible zipper foot for your machine, it’s a piece of cake and you end up with a fully reversible pillow that can feature a different block on each side. If you’re really nervous you can even hand baste the zipper in place before machine stitching. You sew the zipper to both pieces of your pillow first , then pin it RST and sew the other three sides. I promise, it’s faster and not nearly as bad as you’re anticipating.

  • This made a great pillow! Sometimes it’s just nice to try a small version of a project – so much satisfaction!

  • Perfect finish! You did a great job on the appliqué – no doubt all the bindings helped prep you for this kind of hand sewing. I love your quilting and your back too. Pillows don’t always last as long as quilts, and I often do the envelope closure. You will conquer your fear of zippers soon!

  • Beautiful job with the applique and the pillow making. I’m still avoiding zippers at all cost even though I have a bin full of them. I love the idea of using batting scraps to stuff the pillow. I’m glad to hear your husband and you are enjoying some holiday time together.

  • Pillows are such fun! I love that you turned yours from a baby quilt into the pillow. Beautiful hand appliqué; with my eyes these days think I’d need to appliqué under a magnifying glass, sniff, that or remove my glasses…

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)