Patchwork Pillow Color Study
I had temporarily forgotten how much I love patchwork and patchwork pillows. Much like Goddess dressing to my food, I think everything sewn can be made just a little better with patchwork. Patchwork can satisfy my need to buy smallish cuts of pretty fabric, and it creates a brand new piece of fabric that I never get tired of. Fabric that I only like a little bit on its own is suddenly so much better when grouped into patchwork.
Malka’s Tuesday Pillow on the cover of the Spring 09 Stitch magazine set me off on a patchwork tangent that still hasn’t quite passed. I follow her blog, A Stitch In Dye, because I love the hand dyed and stamped fabric she creates and love the way she combines them into beautiful quilts and pillows. I misplaced the magazine after I initially read through the how-to for this pillow, so I just did my own thing through most of it, which is why the binding on mine is nothing like her directions (mine came out fine, but different, and I like hers better.) The placement of her fabric strips were based on warm and cool colors, meant to make a “T” shape in one of the corners with the warmer colors. That part I remembered.
To quilt the front, I did a simple straight stitch, starting in the middle of the pillow front, and gradually making larger and larger squares around the pillow front. One day I will plan ahead, make a test piece, and actually give free motion quilting a go. I really like the liveliness of the patterns all together in this one. Ian now owns this one, to prop himself up to read in bed. His room is such an explosion of color, this pillow seems as if it was meant to be in there.
I wanted to try to second version, playing with the color placement a little differently. I cut the strips larger and slightly more uniform for this one, so the log cabin blocks (there are nine of them) came out more uniformly shaped in this one.
And then came the third, just straight strips pieced from light to dark, just me playing with colors. You can see the way I quilted all of these best in this photo.
Anyone who’s been in our house knows that the family room in the back of our house is kid central. Its where toys and art supplies are kept, where the wii is played, books are read, board games are played, beanbags are plopped down on, and puzzles are assembled. The furniture has been laid on and used as a trampoline for far too long, so these pillows will live here, to help to brighten it all up a bit. These are big, 20″ x 20″ pillows, by the way. Small pillows are meaningless in here. We need big and squishy.
But this is a cautionary tale. If you are thinking of doing patchwork today, beware that your work area will be completely covered in strips of fabric when you’re done. Completely covered.