These Celtic Knot Pillows (hand quilted and embellished with beads) started out as a single pillow and project. They started with the purchase of some historical looking metallic trim that I hand sewed small white beads within the design. I had so much fun making one that I did a second one.
The hand quilting and embellished trim really made for a one of a kind item.
Mixing large quilts with smaller projects is fun and allows me to have several projects going at the same time.
The navy blue fabric is silk and made for easy hand quilting. I drew the design with a white chalk pencil using a stencil. Then I carefully machine sewed the trim to the fabric – I had to be careful to go slowly so I did not catch on the beads. The pillow is finished with the envelope (see below) and off to a local auction it went.
This same stencil was also used in this Irish Chain quilt on this post.
The burgundy pillow is also silk fabric and again hand quilted so easily. This one is a gift for a local woman who helped me sew some clothing (in my opinion, complicated compared to quilting). The method was the same for both pillows.
Most of us don’t think of embellishing quilts with beads is very practical. But I really wanted to try my hand at beading for embellishment with hand quilting. This pre-printed square was the perfect choice for this experiment. It is the Queen’s Crown #1 (small quilt with beads – hand quilted). I would later make another mini quilt using the same technique.
Glass beads in your choice of color (I used gold/yellow)
Quilting thread (I used dark green color)
Binding fabric (I used dark green cotton)
I found that thread basting this very closely in a bright thread that would not blend in to the background was easier than safety or straight pins. It was easier to roll the fabric up in my hand then to use a hoop or small frame. Start the quilting in the center and work on it in quarters. I used shorter lengths of quilting thread (about 15″) than normal because it was easy to get the thread caught in the beads that were already quilted on.
The beads are quilted on – every time the needle came up through the top, I put a bead on the needle tip and I then completed that quilting stitch. Time consuming, but makes for a beautiful finished project. The texture as I run my hand across the top is a mix of soft and hard.
The binding is solid green that matches the front of the small quilt.
When I completed the small quilt, I washed it by hand and laid it between two dark towels to dry flat.
Queen’s Crown #1 small quilt has been part of my Christmas decorating for many years.
Lesson learned –
Don’t be afraid to try something different in quilting. I get many, many compliments on this mini quilt. However, it appears to be unique to me and that is just fine.