When I was young my mother read to all eight of us kids many, many stories. Some of which included those classic historical fiction books like Little Women and the Little House on the Prairie series. In these books life was hard, but the simple joys (or my idea of joy), like sitting around with the other women hand sewing were plenty. My paternal grandmother is a quilter and taught her daughter-in-law, my mother. Not one to helicopter parent, my mom put a needle and thread in our hands as early as we showed interest. Natural consequence quickly taught me how to carefully hold a sharp needle. Growing up deep in the country and with not a lot of money there wasn’t much to do besides play outside, draw our own paper dolls, or do something crafty. I have many fond memories sewing as a child. I learned to sewing on a treadle sewing machine (it runs not on electricity, but by pumping the treadle with your feet). In the summer it might be cross-stitching while watching the dusk fall and listening to nothing but the crickets and frogs. One winter when my grandma was visiting, after dinner we would clear off the dining room table and three generations of women would sit around handquilting together.
Quilting is a craft so rich with history, so utilitarian, and allows us to express ourselves in design and color. Every time I gather stiches on my needle through cozy layers of cloth and batting so many wonderful things happen. I feel intrinsically linked to centuries of women before me. I am flooded with memories of my grandma and mom. I relax. I can quiet myself and think, pray and meditate. Or, more commonly, I can just zone out and watch something distracting and entertaining on Netflix.
I am so excited to share my first pattern with you!! This pattern was inspired by the Triple Irish Chain quilt block. After tweaking many sketches this is were I landed. While it is quite different I am very happy with this version. I’ve combined quilting and painting and I think they make a beautiful marriage. Here painted triangles become part of the quilted pattern to make a modern, unique and beautiful pillow for your home decor.
This is vintage modern decorative throw pillow cover inspired by Aurora Borealis. The fabric design is based off a traditional “Bear Paw” quilt pattern. On the light blue “paw” design I used crayon to shade a darker blue value. I have wanted to experiment with crayons on fabric for a long time. After you color the fabric with the crayon you set scrap fabric over it and iron it. The heat melts the wax and the wax absorbs into the scrap fabric, leaving only the color of your intended design.
The next layer is fabric paint that fades from dark blue to light blue up into yellow-green and mint green. I then hand quilted the pillow top in a light blue thread. The colors are truly amazing and remind me of the magical light of the Aurora Borealis. I love this as many think the origin of the bear paw quilt block was used to guide escaped slaves to food and water. The block was a signal they were on the right track and following the block would lead them to sources of water and food. Even if that isn’t true, I like thinking of that story with “a light in the darkness,” such as the Northern Lights.This pillow is now available in my Etsy shop!
I have wanted to design quilt patterns for so long and I decided pillows are the most efficient and fastest way to try as many as possible. This black and gold triangle pillow was inspired by the traditional Irish chain block. I love that pattern so much. This is different for sure, but I love where I ended up with it.
I have been wanting to paint on fabric for a long time. There are so many different directions to take with it. For this first time I decided to actually piece the black and white fabric and then paint the triangles directly on the quilt top, as if they are part of the pattern. I then hand quilted the top. I intentionally chose to paint the triangles rough and “perfectly imperfect” so it is obvious they are hand painted. I wanted the paint to look as textural as possible. I love combing the technicality and preciseness of the quilting with the artistic painterly expression with the brush.
In the back I added a strip of black with some strips of painted gold. An invisible zipper is allows easy cleaning.
It was such a thrill to see a design through to the finished product! I’m so hooked.