Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PTS3 ~ The Evolution of a pillow

pillow swap talk - ROUND 3 Sign ups!
Partners were handed out for the 3rd Pillow Talk swap. A totally fun event whereupon you are given a partner (they don't know who you are) for whom you are to make a pillow according to their specifications (if any) and then you in turn receive a pillow from someone else (who you don't know) etc etc. This swap is run by the fabulous Heather (a la mode fabric) and the amazing Kerri (Sew dearly loved) and hosts a whole cast of amazingly talented quilters and sewists.

This whole process was a complete blast! I highly recommend it.

So after partners were handed out, it was time to do a little cyber-sleuthing/stalking? I had received my partner and checked them out from afar. Feels a little weird to be trying to figure out someone I don't even know. But stalking commenced, I checked their blog, checked their photostream on flickr, and tried to get an impression of their tastes. Then, I had some ideas ready to try out.

The Palette ~

My partner had specific requests, but also left it pretty open. Taking some inspiration from their mosaic I came up with this design. Influenced, by circles, colors, and modern art ~ cubism. This is my spin on all of those elements in pillow form.

The basic design ~ although the final version was a little different

I decided to do a specific grid of changing colors for the pieced fabric going from one color to another because I'm all about color fade-in and fade-out lately - I don't know why, I just am. It's a kick I'm on. I decided to try this out on paper first...

So I embarked upon an entirely nutty adventure in quilting. This is in part because I'm not really a quilter, I figure out a design first and then try to make it happen in fabric and I always try to do this just a little bit differently probably because I think of fabric more as a pliable construction material than anything else and I really like to make things challenging.

This time my endeavor involved using lots and lots and lots.....
lots and lots of tiny squares
of tiny squares of fabric. Over 1600 of them actually. Eventually when all was said and done, the squares ended up creating a 1/2 inch grid - yup, that would be where nutty came in, insane, deranged - pick your adjective.
Luckily, I remembered Elisabeth (Oh Fransson!'s) tutorial for Sew mama Sew on small squares piecing and that saved me. Phew!

The colors come together ~So, after this lovely mosaic was done, I then proceeded to cut it up again - yes you heard me correctly.

Tools of the trade ~

I followed this with a little circle piecing for the final design to emerge. The circle piecing was a little challenging because the pieced fabric was very thick and I paired it with Linen which has it's own challenges. I decided to beef up the linen with some lightweight interfacing and in the end, it came together pretty well. Add some straight line quilting and....

...it's done!

I hope you like it partner because it is coming your way. I'm a bit nervous about this actually because this design is really kind of out there, the colors are wild, it's beyond my comfort zone ~ but there you have it, the evolution of a pillow.

The pillow talk swap was totally a rad thing to do. Stretched my design ideas, got me thinking in a totally different direction than normal and made me realize just how pathetically boring most of our throw pillows are around here. Really, I need to do something about that next...

Happy sewing!

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