Monday, October 22, 2007

Bunny Pillow - complete!

I finished the bunny pillow I started last week. I really think this is one of my favorite patterns so far. I have sketched out how I might execute it as a quilt. I'm feeling very enthusiastic about this - though I've never quilted anything but a small piece of muslin. However, I'm taking a couple of quilting classes at the City Quilter next month - two couple hour workshops - machine quilting and freestyle machine quilting.

I have a few good books on quilting - but I just haven't been able to take the plunge into actually doing it. I'm even intimidated by "stitch in the ditch." I know I should try it on something small like one of my pillow tops, but I hate the idea that I could ruin my hard work on the patchwork by amateurish quilting.

Here's a side view of the pillow - I love the combo of the colors and patterns. I'm sticking with this tangy navy and orange theme for a lot of my patchwork pillow variations. It hasn't been done in recent CB2 and West Elm and the other catalogues or magazines I get, so it feels fresh to me.

Here's one more beauty shot!

Fabric credits:
Orange stripes - from the American Jane series
Bunnies - Japanese import
Border/flowers - Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope series

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Joel Dewberry Pillow Set

I was very excited by how my bunny pillow worked out. I was eager to reuse this particular interlocking grid pattern from my Japanese Quilt Blocks book. Compared to the other patterns I'd tried from the book, this was probably the easiest/least time consuming, and I like it because it conveys the same complexity as the others visually, but with less effort. That is, I think only a quilter would realize this is a less complex pillow to complete than the others.

I decided to go back to this fabric that I already had in my stash, to make a companion pillow for the lumbar pillow and coasters I had made a couple of months ago.

Unlike the bunny fabric, however, the Sparrows (in Almond) fabric from the Joel Dewberry Aviary line is what's considered a "fussy" fabric - which in this context means a fabric that you have to cut and sew carefully to make select parts of the pattern appear where you want to them to. I have only used a fussy fabric once before, which was a large print Heather Bailey fabric for my "Spring Pillow for Fall," and in both of these cases, it definitely added planning and cutting time to the project.

I laid out the project in advance - I did want that middle bird to be off center, but for some reason didn't realize that it would be cut off because of seam allowance. Ah well, grist for the mill - I learn something new on every project.

I finished off the pillow using another faux bois fabric from Joel Dewberry - Woodgrain in Orange. I really like how cartoony the Chocolate version of the wood grain looks applied in this particular quilt block. I like the orange version too, but the high contrast in the chocolate makes the woodgrain easier to "read" - even across the room.

Here's one last shot for the hell of it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

bunny pillow - preview

I don't typically publish works-in-progress to my blog or to my flickr photostream, but I'm so darned excited by this pillow top I just can't help it. I'm also a little tired of seeing my previous project at the top of the page!

I've been working my way through the book Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match, and I've had my eye on the above pattern for some time. I like they way the stripes cross over each other and give the appearance of interlocking, and I've been on the look out for an appropriate striped fabric to try it out with.

The name of the pattern is Yosegi kawari royagoshi - translated in the book as "Prison grille check variation." I am trying to ignore the unfortunate jail reference, and think of this more as a decorative window onto a field of bunnies!

I stumbled upon this Japanese bunny fabric in Purl the other day, and I quickly purchased it. Who can resist bunnies? I really like the simplicity of these, especially against the unfussy background. They also reminded me of some little bags I picked up when I was in Kyoto a couple of years ago, so there's sort of layers of built in nostalgia in this fabric for me - good memories of my pet rabbit Hazel from childhood, and of one of my favorite trips in adulthood.

Here's the finished pillow-top. Weird angle, I know! The orange stripes are from the Peas and Carrots series - I've enjoyed some of the other fabrics from this series - for instance, the kind of cartooney ovals I used on my South Park pillow. The border is from Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope series.

More to come when I've completed the back of the pillow!