Nest Pillow Cover

This started about two months ago as a need to play and a desire to try out improv piecing in response to frustrations with exacting blocks. The pattern that is emerging is of planned, larger projects with clear intentions that get derailed by the boredom of repetition and longer time-line to fruition, interspersed by fast, fun, organic stuff that is in fact more satisfying.

There are a few books out that explore what "type" of quilter you are. I've never been one for Cosmo-style quizzes; the idea here is rather to examine what about quilting attracts you, with the aim of orienting your projects to focus in that direction. It would appear that I like the colour planning, and the finishing. The mindless assembly is only desirable when I either have something to mull over, or a burning desire for a finish.


This started with an attempt to recreate something like Anna Maria Horner's feathers, but without having checked into how they are made. Needless to say, the thought that there would be a template never crossed my mind. Then I decided that a straight stem was boring, but I'd forgotten how to ease in curves. At any rate, I achieved what I wanted, which was a completed feather in one evening.
I pinned it up, unplugged the iron, and turned off the lights.

Unfortunately, none of my family members could identify it as a feather. Turns out this bugged me so much that my "finished" block kept tickling my brain. So I gave it a border. That seemed disproportionate, so I stuck on some asymmetrical white and bordered it again. Better, but what IS it? I don't need another throw cushion. Kids are up - walk away.

Jacquie Gehring's Craftsy class showed me how to ghost stitch letters, and a seed was planted. This could be a pillow case for Big Girl's bed, to go with her bright-on-white quilt, and the detailing could make the featheriness of the central block evident.

Then ALL I had to do was figure out how to install a hidden zipper closure on an awkwardly small piece of canvas I had my heart set on for the backing, cut into the last scrap of paisley I had left from Big Girl's quilt so the bindings would match, invest approximately 7 hours in straight-line quilting (no joke), and screw up my courage to try free-motion feathers for the first time, right smack in the middle of a finished project. All up it took me about 3 or 4 weeks, finished around the end of January.

It's nobody's idea of perfect, but I love it. As a bonus it is extremely comfortable to snuggle on for bedtime story hour.

one of two quilts I've ever sent out for long-arm quilting
The only thing I don't love are those brown flecks which showed up after the first wash.

I used an untreated high-loft cotton batting, and assume that those spots are oil stains from seed husks that were still in the fibres. If anybody knows how to get them out, I'd love to hear it. Until then I'm hoping that repeated washings will help.

No comments:

Post a Comment