Aurora Borealis Inspired Quilted Pillow Cover

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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.

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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.IMG_3404-2This pillow is now available in my Etsy shop!

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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Chambray faux bois pillow.

IMG_2408I was supposed to take a class with Blair Stocker on her Faux Bois pillow. A long story short, I had the wrong day and missed the class and all the fun. Having all of the supplies and instructions, of course I made the pillow anyway.

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This was actually my first time machine quilting. All five quilts or so I have made I have hand quilted. This project was so fun and fast. The instructions were articulate and well written. It is so satisfying to whip up something so fast for your home that is unique and beautiful and functional!

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