Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Touch of Blue

A Touch of Blue

That is A Touch of Blue. She is a 20" square pillow / cushion cover I made for A Modern Quilted Pillow Swap. The fabrics are Kona white and a selection of Kona blues and aquas. I quilted it densely with a slightly variegated white/golden Valdani 40 weight thread. I marked the quilting lines about every 3" with a hera marker and purposely made the distances between the quilted lines random but  reasonably straightish.

I wanted the bumpy effect from washing and I wanted to get the shrinking caused by such dense quilting and then washing and drying taken care of, so when the pieces were done, I measured them to be large - I can't recall exactly but I think I gave an extra 1.5 to 2" and trimmed. Then I zig zag stitched all around and threw them in the washer and dryer. Good thing because it shrunk to almost exactly the size I needed. Then I trimmed again, and added all the bindings.

A Touch of Blue - back

The back has an envelope type fold over closure (I bet there is a technical term for this). I machine stitched the scrappy binding in place, practicing Marianne from The Quilting Edge's technique. I managed to get all the corners reasonably well but you can see I missed a spot on the left side. I am repairing that this morning before I ship it off.

A Touch of Blue

Although in my head the first picture is "right side" up, I think this one works in any orientation. I really love playing with these very geometric improv blocks with plenty of negative space, but I still need more practice as it is a struggle for me to stop and embrace the view that less is more.

This swap involved making the pillow in silence and secret, and then sending a photo to the administrator who posted them to the group. I actually found this made deciding on what to make really hard as there was no flickr or blog encouragement. Once I finally stopped trying to decide what people might like and just made what made me happy, the pillow went quickly - although I was the last to finish.

Once the pillows are done, each person in the group ranks the pillows in order of the ones they want to receive - so you are not voting for the best one, rather you are voting for  the one you want for you, in ranked order. It was very hard to rank them as all the pillows were excellent. The pillows are distributed on the basis of that one with the most votes gets her first choice, the one with the second most votes gets her first choice unless already taken, then the next choice, and so on. The each of us receive the address of the person to ship to and it is a secret as to which one you will get until it actually arrives.

Well, to my surprise and honour, my pillow got the most votes! It is off today, once I stitch that bit of binding down. Maybe I should make one for me too, because I really did make exactly what I liked.

I swam in the one big ocean yesterday - well, some call it the Pacific Ocean, some call it the Salish Sea but I learned from David Suzuki that it was one big ocean and I believe him - and it was wonderful. I hope you are enjoying your week too.