Bartering Creativity

Not too long ago (Okay, maybe quite a while ago), I was asked to make a decorative cover for a pillow that sits on the back of a chair. My parents decorate their house in a minimal arts and crafts style, and the drab cover that they had for their foam pillow was just not working. My dad asked me if I’d consider making an arts and crafts style case for the pillow, in cream, red and/or brown. He said he’d trade a piece of pottery for it – he took ceramics in college and he’s just recently started it up again after he retired.

Challenge accepted! Here’s an example of some of the things he’s made recently, and I’d love to have one. Handmade things are the best.

pottery1 197x300 Bartering Creativity

Blue cookie jar

pottery2 184x300 Bartering Creativity

Green cookie jar









I had some scraps of this beautiful fabric, in which the colors fade into one another over the width of the fabric. I wish I knew what it was, but I just had some small pieces. The design I came up with had to take the size of my scraps into consideration, and I built everything else around that. I paired the ombre scraps with some jewel-tone roll-up strips from Robert Kaufman and a bit of light marble print from Stonehenge coordinates by Northcott.

The pillow is 23″ x 27″ and my scrap length was 20″ long, so I had to bisect the panel. The ombre makes up the bulk of the bottom section, and the top section is mainly the jelly roll strips and the Stonehenge, though I used the very last scraps of the ombre here and there in the top part.

pillow1 Bartering Creativity

See the skinny dark strips up top? No good!

This was the design as I had sketched it out. Once I had all the units sewn, I wasn’t too thrilled with the proportions of light and dark on the top section.

pillow2 Bartering Creativity

complete, better and photographed under fluorescent lights.

So I swapped out the offending units and replaced them. It’s an improvement, I think. It’s now layered and quilted in the ditch along the vertical seams. I think I’m going to hang it up and look at it a while before I decide if and where I should add more quilting. If you’ve got an opinion either way, I’d love to hear it!

I still have to make the actual pillow case part but that will be pretty straightforward. I’m planning on a nice quality unbleached muslin for that, since I really don’t have enough of any of the print fabrics used on the top. It should come together pretty quickly, as long as I don’t get distracted by my other favorite hobbies. It’s been fun reading about how quilters like to spend their time when they’re not quilting. Go read the comments and enter our giveaway here.

Hopefully you’re now subscribed to our YouTube channel! And if you don’t follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+, maybe it’s time to try it out! Check out the website, too. Have a fantastic weekend with full bobbins and perfect seams!

About Gigi Khalsa

Associate Editor at Quilters Newsletter
This entry was posted in Gigi, Inspiration, Staff Quilts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bartering Creativity

  1. Janine Huisjen says:

    I really like this. Throwing my 2 cents in, I think quilting that references the long lines/grids in arts and crafts window panes or door panels would be neat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>