Best in Show Pillow

I have been an active exhibitor in agricultural shows since I was in elementary school. That first ribbon - and it's prize money - got me hooked! I'm guessing I've been in at least 35 shows during the past 30 years.

Best in Show Pillow

When I was in high school, I had the idea of making a wall hanging with my ribbons, but I never got around to it. Now that I'm making custom quilted items for people, and I will have booths at several fairs and horse shows this summer, I needed a sample to show some possibilities of what I can do.

au naturel

I used the ribbons from the last two years' entries to my local fair in Warren, Ontario. I was especially lucky to have won the fancy Bernardin Home Canning award in 2014 and it makes a great finish to my pillow!

I believe it took 42 flat ribbons and the rosette to make this pillow. I sorted the ribbons by colour and width. Originally I wanted to have just a red and white pillow, but the math wasn't going to work out (and I didn't have enough ribbons!) so I used the blue ribbons to make the corner to corner "X".

I used some recycled white fabric from an old sheet as a foundation to build my ribbons onto. After drawing lines from corner to corner, I sketched the seam lines for the X so I could make sure each of the underlying ribbons would be cut long enough to be secured. The white ribbons were too short to reach from the side to the centre, so I added the off-cut ribbons and top-stitched them with the finished edge overlapping the white ribbon.

I sewed each quadrant starting from the corners to the centre line, appliqueing each ribbon over the edge of its neighbour. I then sewed the white ribbons to make the plus shape. Four blue ribbons were sewn end to end for each arm of the X, then appliqued in place.

I didn't use any pins to secure while I was sewing because I didn't want any holes in the ribbon. I wasn't sure if ironing the ribbons would melt the ribbon or the embossing, so I didn't use any heat fusible to secure either. I tried using a glue stick and it worked OK, but I need to be more patient to allow the glue to dry before rushing to the machine because the first ribbons are less straight than the others. I dare you to tell me which side is the bad one :)

ribbon pillow back view

The backing fabric is a fat quarter from Connecting Threads. It was in a Christmas sampler pack I picked up two years ago, but the selvedge didn't have any writing on it. I like the diagonal stripes! This side is just as pretty to me as the front :)

Best in Show Pillow

This pillow is finished a week before my first show of the season, so I'm super happy about that! I hope that's a sign of a great summer of sewing for me :)

Linking up with TGIFF and Can I get a Whoop Whoop.

Have a happy weekend!

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