I haven't had much time to participate in online swaps lately, but when the sign-ups for the Pillow Talk Swap Round 6 opened up, I couldn't resist. This is one of my favorite swaps, not only because of the vast talent and creativity of its 100 swappers, but because I think that pillows are fun (and relatively fast) projects that allow me to play with fabrics, design, color, and shape.
My secret swap partner for this round was Jill, who listed Hope Valley as one of her favorite fabric lines, and who specifically requested "no white fabric" as she has young sons and is sure the pillow will be "well loved". Any parent of young children knows what that means!
I pulled the above selection of Hope Valley from my stash and paired it with one of my favorite solids, Moda Cross Weave in a charcoal grey.
I decided to make a rectangular pillow -- as I have in past rounds of the swap -- because, well, I just love rectangular pillows. I made up the pattern as I went along, but it was heavily influenced by the general look of Denyse Schmidt's Stacking the Odds quilt pattern. (Bought that pattern, by the way. I really want to make that quilt!)
I backed it with an envelope closure in a favorite Anna Maria Horner print, which isn't an exact match to the fabrics on the front, but I like the way it coordinates and it's a bit unexpected (which is something I like when backing anything!)
I sent the pillow form along with the cover, since it was a bit of an unusual shape and I didn't want Jill to have to hunt for an insert. I purposely removed about 1/2 of the filling because I like my pillows to be soft and mushy instead of really fat & firm. I was really happy with how this pillow turned out, and even happier to know that it's already being well loved in Jill's home! (See evidence here : )
When it came time to receive the pillow made for me by my secret partner, I was absolutely THRILLED to see that the box was from a return address in Portland. You see, I was (not so) secretly coveting a pillow that had popped up in the Flickr group that had a back just as amazing as its front. And it was screaming my style, so I really really hoped it was coming to live with me.
And it did!
The pillow was made by the amazing Caroline of Trillium Design (who, funny enough, was who I sent these pillows to in round 4 of the swap!) The raindrop pattern on the front of the pillow is simple yet unique, with negative spaced used so elegantly for a modern effect. I immediately spied some of my favorite prints in there from Cloud 9 Fabrics, AMH, Heather Ross, and (eeep!) some foxes from Monaluna's Anika line.
Speaking of foxes, remember I mentioned the back? Well, Caroline included a little surprise on the back of the pillow in the form of a fox, made from Sonja's Woodland paper-piecing pattern. Isn't it just the best?