Sunday, 15 April 2012

Pillow Projects


I've been busy doing lots of springy things - more light for longer during the day mean lots more motivation for me to get projects both started and finished! Aside for growing a proper vegetable garden for the first time in over six years, I've taken on our sad little guest room. Because we have a small house with no convenient storage space, the guest room tends to be the room we use to chuck unused suitcases and extra piles of seasonal clothes that are between our drawers and the attic.


Slowly, I found a better spot for our suitcases, which are actually in constant use with my husband's business travel. Then I began stocking my Pinterest boards with ideas I wanted to put to use for our new day bed. A new sized bed means a happy excuse to make another quilt! And perhaps even a pillow or two to liven things up.


I've been saving some retro print fabric I bought a few months ago from an Anthology fabric line. I was inspired by the modern lines in a few chevron patterned quilts I pinned from some of my favorite blogs and flickr members, so I decided to combine the folksy 70's prints with a stark white Kona cotton to get a fusion of folksy and minimalistic design.


This is the quilt top so far. I decided to order a solid tangerine fabric for the backing, and I plan to use a dark navy for the binding. My plan is to quilt along with the main chevron pattern to emphasize the lines.

And that brings me to the pillow I made with the leftover fabric scraps! The author of A Cuppa and a Catch Up had some great patterns, but the Pillow Pocket pattern really inspired me.  I happen to have a little girl who loves hiding little toys in any pocket she might find, so this just had to be - even if the pillow wasn't strictly for her.


The pattern was brilliant. Absolutely no hiccups, everything was well explained, and all measurements were perfect! The whole thing probably came together in 3-4 hours, all told. I machine stitched everything into place, including the appliqu├ęd Dresden "flower", but added hand quilting around the flower itself, and just outside the yellow center (all done within a single Skype conversation with my inlaws - now there's multitasking!).  The only modification I made was to make the center of the flower 1/2" smaller than in the pattern because I wanted more of the petals to be exposed.


I really like the contrasting fabrics on the back and loved the simple and quick lined quilting of each piece. The fact that there is cotton batting in each layer of the pillow case means that the pillow has a nice stiff body to it, and the end result looks very professional. I'm thrilled with Nova's patterns and couldn't recommend this particular pattern more - her explanations were far simpler than many of my pattern books by more famous authors.



I'm so delighted with the success I've had on Pinterest. I think moderate pinning is the key to not feeling like an inadequate housewife in the face of amazing, yet unrealistic pins you may find on there. There are so many talented, creative people online - I'm constantly grateful for all of the tips and inspiration!



I decided to include another pillow I made a few months ago. My daughter made this sweet little drawing that I wanted to preserve in a unique way. I've seen blog posts on replicating children's artwork on textiles, but I feel like I haven't seen anything quite the same. I tell my husband that this is her "soul" drawing :).


I took her original drawing and darkened the lines with permanent marker so that I could trace the illustration onto the cream colored fabric. Using a washable tracing pen, I exactly traced the drawing onto the cotton, making sure to include all of the shaky wobbles made by her then three-year-old hand. Then, I embroidered over the pen marks using a thick split stitch, my favorite.  I usually keep this on the couch in my living room and I never get tired of looking at it.