I was given one of Van Gogh’s “Almond Blossoms” by Susan as my inspiration. I don’t know her very well, but she brought the book “Pillow Pop” for show and tell that meeting, so I used that as my cue. I knew I was going to make a pillow. Beyond that, I’ll be honest, I had a hard time with this one.
At first I talked to Melinda from the DC Modern Quilt Guild about trying to do a paper pieced almond blossom. She explained how I could do it fairly easily, but I still think it is somewhat over my head (at least for now.) I also pinged a few people from the DC Guild to brainstorm, but I really wasn’t feeling any of the ideas.
That’s when I came back to the Schoenrock Cross. It was a pattern I’ve wanted to tackle for a while, and it vaguely reminded me of a flower, so I used the colors of the almond blossoms in the painting to inform my fabric choice. The cornerstones (of Tsuru) were inspired by the Marcelle Medallion quilts that are all the rage right now.
I pulled out pretty much every piece of fabric I own to find the perfect ones for this pillow. As I worked I wrote down the placement choices on a diagram that’s included in the Where Orchids Grow Schoenrock Cross Paper Piecing Tutorial. (She also has a freezer paper tutorial if you’re into that.) It was extremely helpful to refer back to it as I was piecing the block.
Many of the fabrics ended up being from swaps. The blue cornerstones and center text cross were both from the Text Me a Charm Swap. The low volume triangles (gray triangle print and light blue/pink bird print) were both from a Low Volume Fat Eighth swap. The center pink square was from the 100 Fat Eighth’s I won a while ago, and the outer pink squares came
from a scrap swap at the DC Modern Quilt Guild from my friend Amy!.
The border is Essex Linen in Medium Aqua and the cornerstones are Tsuru 1000 Cranes in Cerulean.
I quilted it on the batting only and I didn’t have too many problems with the feed dogs catching. I was expecting a mess and was pleasantly surprised. I used Mettler 100% Cotton 50wt thread in 813 (light cool gray). I did straight line stitch in the ditch, extending some of the lines out into the borders. I also stitched down the middle of each cross bar and diagonally through the center, extending through the corner stones.
The backing is an IKEA print – the same Origami Animals I used on Stripes Squared. I had just enough to cut a single piece for the backing.
This past weekend I went to visit my aunt who’s a seamstress and tailor. She helped me add an invisible zipper and welting (covered cording) to the pillow to give it a really finished look. She also gave me a pillow form for it.
I love how it turned out. I am really happy that I was able to overcome my “maker’s block” and create something that I think my partner will like, and that speaks to the piece she gave me as inspiration.
Edited to add: I’m submitting this to the Modern Mini Challenge hosted by Ellison Lane!