I wanted them to have a bit of texture so I decided to quilt a grid on each between the dots. Even though this approach required multiple turning, I chose to quilt the backs on my Pfaff with the feed dogs engaged. I had to go to a meeting and thought I could knock this out beforehand, but alas it took longer than I anticipated and I had to complete it when I returned home.
Quilting the animal panels was not as mindless as the grid and I had to decide a quilting density. I prepared each panel the same way as the polka dots, with layers squares of bamboo batting and flannel and then used Heidi, my HQ Sweet Sixteen sit down longarm, to free motion the curvy lines on the pillow fronts. Not wanting to go overboard, I chose to outline only the lion and the two clouds so they would puff up a bit. Using black thread, the stitching lines do not show readily but I like that the texture is there. I also accented the central vein on the leaves and the wavy spine in the border, but left the dandelions and small pink flowers untouched.
I could not resist playing with the daisies on two of the lion's legs. They positively begged to be accented.
On the lamb panel, I planned to outline only the large items: the sun, leaves, cloud, sun, bushes and hills. I wanted to do the lamb with loops but was unsure if I could pull it off. For reference, the following photo is of the unbacked lamb panel before quilting.
I was glad I stretched my comfort zone to try loops. The panel had printed the lamb outline as mini-scallops but I think my loop version spiced it up a bit. The outline has a nice nubby feel to it, too, just right for a toddler's chubby finger to trace.
I outlined the large pink flowers only.
The backing shows off the quilting better.
I inserted a zipper at the base of each pillow. The contrasting colored long stitch length lines were just guides to help me press under the correct amount for the zipper insertion. I removed them later. I was also fussy enough that I sewed the black pillow front side of the zipper with black thread and the polka dot back of the pillow with ivory thread.
I was proud that I also remembered to open the zipper at least somewhat before I sewed the other three edges together. After one time trying to unzip a zipper from the wrong side when it is closed and there is no tab to grip I learned my lesson. Here are the completed pillows from the polka dot side – green for the lion, pink for the lamb.
Here is the pillow front with the lamb.
Now that my granddaughter and her mom (who faithfully reads my blog) have seen the pillows, I can publish this post and share it with my online friends at Let's Bee Social #171.