Monday, August 1, 2016

Thornflower pillow

Know what?  I need to play along with more challenges.  This was fun!

Thornflower pillow

The end product is quite unlike anything I would have designed from scratch on my own.  Limitations, rules, boundaries - whatever you call them, working within a defined framework is one of the springiest boards for creativity.

Thornflower pillow

My Thornflower pattern was inspired by the Tales of Cloth Shape Family Design Challenge,  which runs through the end of September (in case you're wondering if there's still time to play).  By my experience it takes 10 days for a package of paper pieces to arrive from Jodi's shop in Australia to my home in the United States.  In the meantime, you can be choosing your fabrics!  For the challenge, I developed this spiky flower motif with turned jewel shapes encasing a 1" hexagon.  Little equilateral triangles splice the edges together, leaving echo triangles in their wake.

Thornflower pillow

After English paper piecing all of the shapes, I attached the piece to an already-quilted Kona Teal background with about one million pins.  Then I machine appliqued the entire work, including the floating triangles so everything is as secure as can be.

  Thornflower pillow

The pillow is finished with an invisible zipper and a few flannel scraps for a cozy pillow back.  With any luck the heads around here will land on this very inviting pillow back.  It's my favorite trick for pillow longevity.

Thornflower pillow

I wonder, is anyone else participating in the challenge?  I'd love to see what you've come up with - you can share a link in the comments.  Isn't it endlessly astounding how many clever ways there are to do this quilty thing?  I have a bunch of ideas now for what's next.  Some quilts to finish, another couple pillows and a very special work in progress to ressurect and reinvent.  More soon!

Oh, plus we're starting school again this week.  I'm nervous, but glad.  Here's to August!

22 comments:

  1. I love it! Making pillow covers is such a great way to learn and try new techniques!

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  2. I can only wonder how expensive this would be if shown in an interior decorator's display on some handmade sofa? It would be well over $100. Your pillow is very exquisite but also inviting! I so love it. Well done. I cannot wait to finish this fourth wedding quilt and then start playing again. I know my friends in China will be so surprised and thrilled with these quilts, but they are definitely time consuming...

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  3. The pillow is looking great. Love your design of the thorn flowers. Many greetings

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  4. I love that! Not enough to actually do it, but it is terrific. Dondi has a point; that pillow in a decorator display would cost a. lot. of. $$$$

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  5. AND I should have said what a wonderful idea to use flannel for the back to entice resting heads. :-)

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    1. Haha, you know that is the truly clever thing about it ;) For real. I was saving that flannel for baby boy things, but no longer. Yay!

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  6. Well done. I agree 100% that small, bound (boundaried?) projects are where I try things I'd never think of doing on a full-size quilt. My paper pieces have just arrived in the mail (10 days is about right) and I'm fiddling with layouts...

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  7. I love itinerary like it! Pretty but also interesting!

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  8. Spell check-agh! (Always check what you wrote before you publish!). But I like it!

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  9. I would have entered this contest in a heartbeat (mixed die cut pieces?! Swoon!), but it's Instagram-only, and Homie don't play that.

    I enjoyed seeing what you came up with, though.

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  10. Rachel, wow, this is indeed a very fresh and inspiring design. Very pretty.

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  11. Rachel have you got a clever English paper piecing tutorial you could point out to me? One were you do not pierce the templates? I believe some use glue nowadays? I have not tried the method yet and all my old books work with sewing fabric and template together. In those the templates are not meant to be used again. Any useful tutorial would be helpful. Many thanks

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    1. Yes, some folks do use glue. I think Tales of Cloth blog has a tutorial if you do a search there. She prefers glue. I do pierce my templates when I baste, but not when I join the pieces together. It doesn't stop me from being able to reuse the templates many time.

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    2. Thank you, I will go and have a look

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  12. Hand crafted is always perfect. I love this pillow cover.
    I love how you pieced it, and then put it on this gorgeous back ground
    It looks classy and snazzy..... aaaaand in a year, it will be full of slobber and smeared with soggy cookies :-D YAY!!!

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  13. Fabulous! This is very unique and just jumps out at you!

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  14. Fabulous! This is very unique and just jumps out at you!

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  15. I was expecting the flowers to touch. It really adds interest the way you spaced them and used the low volume triangles. All those colors are just lovely together!

    So, how was your first week of studies?

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    1. Hi, Annabelle. Our first week back to school went pretty well. We had to juggle some things because someone in our co-op was sick, but that's how it goes, right? I'm glad to have a way to connect with them directly again. I guess my kids are turning into teenagers who prefer to spend lots of time alone. Hopefully the baby will help us connect more as well. I imagine she will!

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  16. I love the pre-quilted teal on the background - that adds such a great element of texture! I've just this week started looking at English paper piecing as a method, but I can't figure out how, once you wrap the fabric around the paper, you get the paper back out. Kind of crucial to me.

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    1. Hi, Treen! So here's the English Paper Piecing progression as I do it. 1. Wrap fabric around paper and baste through the papers, from the front of the papers. 2. Join shapes at edges, not sewing through papers (very tiny stitches) 3. Remove basting threads (which are on front where they are easy to access) and then remove papers easily from the back. Hope that helps!

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