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.

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Blue And White Vintage Modern Star Quilted Pillow

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Here is another version of the Vintage Modern Quilted Pillow from my last post. Again I chose a very simple palette for the fabric colors. I feel like this blue is practically a neutral. When I picture where it would live in my own home, it really would work in any room.

IMG_2988I chose a monochromatic scheme with a darker, indigo blue for the paint. I painted a very simple pattern of lines and geometric triangles.

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I hand quilted it all in a blue as well. That is always my favorite step.

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The pillow back has simple painted stripes across the back and is finished with an invisible zipper. This pillow is now available in my etsy shop!

Gold Hand-Painted Triangle Chain Quilted Pillow

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.

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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.
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In the back I added a strip of black with some strips of painted gold. An invisible zipper is allows easy cleaning.
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It was such a thrill to see a design through to the finished product! I’m so hooked.

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Flying geese for a six year old.

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My six year old sanguine and bubbly middle child has been anxiously waiting for me to finish her quilt. She watched me make one for her little brother and quickly put in her own order. You see her little feet poke out of the last blanket I made her so “It doesn’t fit anymore.” I have a bunch of baby quilts around the house made by three generations of quilters, but she is no baby.

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I picked out the colors with her and her older sister in mind (her sister put in an order too, of course). They are much more bright and girly than I would choose for myself (but ones I still love), but that is who they are for. I chose a Amy Butler print as the starting point for the colors and prints. There is also a lot of Anna Maria Horner, a Kaffe Fassett and random stash fabrics.

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I chose gray as the background color to help neutralize the brightness and busyness of the prints.  Noelle has swooned at every step of me making this quilt. When when the geese were all made I let her help me arrange them. She loved this and took it very seriously.

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This was my first flying geese quilt and my first quilt not using a pattern (well, that needed exact measurements anyway). It was the first time I tried machine quilting. I learned A LOT on this quilt. I made mistakes but I learned so much from each one. I learned I don’t like machine quilting a full-sized quilt. I started that way and then decided to create a pattern of machine quilting some rows (for time sake) and hand quilting the others.

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I find hand quilting so much more enjoyable. It’s more time consuming but I like the final look more. I find it relaxing, cathartic and mindless. It’s a skill tha has been handed down to me from my grandma and mother and there is something very nostalgic and meaningful in that. There is a strong connection to my heritage, women in my life and past, and it is woven into every piece I’ve made.

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The back was made from different grays. I always love the way the stitching comes through on the back.

2015-05-30 09.07.49She squealed when I said it was done and she could have it. These pictures are from that moment. How sweet is that?! That little finger in the picture above reminds me of hours of tracing my grandma’s hand stitches, wondering at lines and patterns and prints as I fell asleep.

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I think she likes it.

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