This is the type of quilting project you make over the weekend when you’re waiting for further medical tests.
Last week on Thursday I went to the doctor with a health concern, and the doctor ordered some additional tests. The only problem was that the soonest appointment I could get was for Tuesday morning.
Needless to say, it was a long, long weekend. As we tend to do, my mind dwelled more than I would have liked on the worst-case scenarios, and by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday I was pretty consumed with those thoughts. I tried to take a nap, but that didn’t really work. So instead I got up and told my husband, “I need to go downstairs and sew.”
I had sort of started this project the night before when I pulled out a Moda mini charm pack of Aloha Girl by Fig Tree & Co. that I’d gotten at Fall Quilt Market. (This was one bit of Market swag that I did not feel obligated to share with my coworkers. No guilt at all.)
As I wrote in my blog post about the Winter Geese pillow sham I designed using batiks (click here to read about it and see photos), I figured I would need to get started on a spring pillow sham before long. Seeing as how the winter sham took almost three weeks to complete from first sketch to final stitch, I knew I didn’t want to spend as much time on the spring version. Nor would I need to, with such a pretty mini collection in my stash.
So on Friday evening I pulled the wrapper off the mini charm pack and started playing with placement. Since the pillow is 16″ square, and since there are 42 2.5″ squares in a mini charm pack, I knew I’d need to supplement in some way to fit the required dimensions. I took inspiration from Fresh as a Daisy, a bright and happy pillow sham designed by Jen Daly for our Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 special issue. (You can read more about both of Jen’s projects in the issue on her blog; click here.)
Jen used an entire mini charm pack and adapted it for a rectangular pillow form, adding a sweet embroidered-and-appliqued panel to attain the dimensions she needed. I wasn’t in the mood for special touches; I just wanted to get this done, so I turned to fabric I had from Fig Tree & Co.’s Avalon collection (also shown in the Winter Geese blog post).
I removed one cream solid square from the mini charm pack, leaving me with 41 mini squares, and then cut two 4.5″ squares from the Avalon print so I could work with a grid of 7 x 7 2″ increments. The most attempt I made at artistry was to play with a watercolor-type arrangement with the different prints, but I didn’t spend too much time on it.
Once that was put together, all I needed to do was add borders that finished at 1″ on each side.
And that’s pretty much all there was to that. I completed it on Sunday afternoon, hand-finished binding and all. Quilting can be art or craft or (most often) a healthy combination of the two approaches. I freely admit that this was all about the craft and the doing and the process. I didn’t want to have to think much or make many decisions. I just wanted to keep busy with pretty fabrics. Ain’t nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned. But even though I didn’t want to think about it much, this pillow sham now has its own story behind it.
As far as my medical tests went, I got them moved up to Monday afternoon and I’m happy to report that my fears of worst-case scenarios were just that: fears. The tests came back normal and I got a prescription to treat my symptoms, meaning I’ll be more in the mood for artistic decisions soon I’m sure.
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