Thursday, April 7, 2011

Circle of Friendship Pillow

It's funny, sometimes out of sadness comes real beauty.  When I learned that a dear friend of mine was moving for a great job opportunity, I was sad.  She's been a good friend to me, and to my family, and while I'm sad to see her go, I'm excited about this new phase of her life for her.  As I often do when I feel intensely about something, I took to my sketchbook, and sketched out what I was feeling.  Believe it or not, I kept sketching color wheels.  I wanted to make something for her, to brighten her new temporary living space while she works out the details of uprooting and moving her family and life to a new city.  I've spent a lot of time in hotels in my life, and while for a few days, they can be a welcome change of pace, I can imagine that day after day, it can get a bit...well...lonely.  Enter this pillow.


As I worked on my Bottled Rainbows blocks, I realized there was no way I was going to make much of a dent in my scraps.  My scraps are now wonderfully organized by color, which is fantastic, but there's still lots of them, so I started to play with them.  I wound up with a pretty good sized chunk of lime green fabrics, and I decided to cut a dresden leaf from them, using my Fat Cats dresden ruler.

The importance of play

Then, I did some quick math and realized that I could totally do a color wheel with dresden leaves, if I did two of each color, for a total of 12 leaves.  Then, I got to work, and pieced a bunch of random scraps together, and it started to look like a color wheel, slowly but surely.  I cannot find the right words to tell you how much fun it was to just play and cut and let my fingers wander.

color wheel in progress

When it came to finishing this pillow and quilting it, I went super simple with some random straight-line quilting.  I traced the lines I wanted on the muslin backing side of my quilt sandwich, and went to town.  It was a lot of fun, actually, although I normally get bored with straight-line quilting.  I really like the effect it has here.


I hope that this pillow will bring some cheer to my friend in her new journey.  I know it brought some cheer to me while I was working on it and it absolutely re-energized me creatively.


I'm going to enter this pillow in Stitched in Color's fantastic Blogger's Pillow Party.  If you're interested in making a pillow, this is a fantastic place to look for inspiration!!

Blogger's Pillow Party


  1. Love, love, love this! Having spent six weeks in a hotel while moving cross country, with a 3 year old and a 7 month old, I can assure you that this will indeed brighten her days!

  2. Elizabeth, this turned out wonderful. I love the scrappy color wheel concept. I'm sure your friend will love it in her new home.

  3. absolutely gorgeous! and so nice of you. I'm sure she'll love it!

  4. From the first picture, I didn't necessarily notice that each piece was scrappy. I really love the effect, and I think this is one of my favorites for the month so far!

  5. Looks fabulous Elizabeth! I am sure she will LOVE it!

  6. This is such a lovely pillow and a beautiful gift. The scrappiness of it is wonderful!

  7. What a great idea, it turned out beautifully! So nice of you to think of what wouldhelp support your friend during her move.

  8. Lovely pillow, and so sweet of you! I know she'll love it and think of your friendship every time she sees it. : )

    I'm not doing Bottled Rainbows, but I did organize my scraps by color recently. BEST thing I ever did! I'm using up scraps left and right now, just because they're so easy to find!

  9. That pillow is so pretty! I'm sure your friend will love it and think of you everytime she sees it. So bright and cherry :)

  10. it is soo lovely! i think it is perfect!

  11. This is incredible! And that random straight line quilting--perfect!

  12. It's a lovely and thoughtful gift- :)

  13. What a thoughtful and beautiful gift! Lucky friend, its gorgeous!

  14. Hello Elisabeth! I'm sure your friend enjoys this beautiful pillow! and I know how much you enjoyed making it! It's really wonderful with so many colours and different fabrics!

  15. This is just wonderful. I love the scrappy made fabric spokes in the wheel. Very inspirational!

  16. This is beautiful. I'm getting my scraps organized for Bottled Rainbows and this would definitely be a fun little side project--guaranteed to bring cheer just working with all those fun scraps of fabric!

  17. I am the lucky recipient of this pillow and absolutely love it! All the thought that went into it means the world! Thank you...hugs!

  18. this is a gorgeous pillow! love the idea of scrappy dresden. Genius!

  19. That's really pretty! What a great way to use your scraps!

  20. This is so gorgeous. Love your creativity!

  21. Pretty, pretty. I can see how fun it would be to make this. Thanks for joining in on the Pillow Party, again!


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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy nine year old boy and a one year old baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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