Modern Quilted Pillow Pattern

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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.

IMG_4142Quilting 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.

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My pattern is now available on Etsy here.

Child dress in dark chambray.

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I was walking through a store swooning over the girls’ clothing. I exerted a large amount of restraint and self discipline and told myself to dig through my fabric stash and sew them something myself. While it is more time consuming and less convenient, the unused fabric feels like money just wasting away on shelf. It is so satisfying to make something so utilitarian for your family with your own two hands.

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I have less and less influence over what the girls wear these days. This is absolutely fine. I like seeing what they mix and match and come up with. Colors are getting more pink and purple, patterns more bold and bright. I was concerned that this wouldn’t be colorful enough for them and that it would spend all its days in the closet. When Elise saw it hanging completed her eyes got big and she exclaimed with a slow smile and quiet wonder “It’s beauuutiful!” She wanted to wear it immediately and didn’t want to take it off. (I did insist, after day two.) I am so grateful that they love wearing things I have sewn myself. I am very aware that might not last.

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The pattern is Simplicity 2677  size 8. I try to aim a little large in the sizing so there is room for growth and it will last more than one season. They sprout so fast, those wee ones. I love any sleeveless dress that can be worn alone or layered for the colder  months.