The other day I mentioned a pillow that was featured over at Sew,Mama,Sew . I didn't, however, tell the story behind this particular pillow. I don't usually have a back story, but this is an exception. Several years ago I "inherited" a quilt top from my husband's great aunt Irma. I put quotes around that word because inherited is a euphemism for nobody wanted it, they didn't really know where it came from, so they decided to give it to the only member of the family who sews. Although no one seemed quite sure how the quilt top came to be in Irma's house there was unanimous agreement that Irma, a woman who had sworn off all things domestic, had definitely not sewn it.
The quilt was full size and a fine example of the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern. I was pretty sure that the fabrics were depression era and that I didn't really have much interest in quilting and using it. So, I put it in a box. Periodically I'd take it out and try to figure out what I could do with it. I had several false starts. At one point I crafted part of the quilt into a skirt for my daughter, then one for my self. But, I eventually took those apart as well.
At one point I cut the flowers out of the background fabric intending to applique them on to other fabrics and add some embroidery as well. I did that on quite a few, but then they sat around as squares. I still didn't know what I wanted to do with them.
Then, in the course of making pillows for my shop, I came upon the idea of featuring a single flower as a center of a pillow or maybe even a mini quilt.
I knew I wanted the pillow top to be fairly large(at least 20x20") and that I wanted to quilt it intensely and wash it to give it a puckered quality. I also decided to finish the back with buttons at the opening rather than zippers. Right now, I have one completed pillow and two more tops ready to quilt, but I'm approaching this as a series and, given that I have at least 15 usable flowers, I'm really interested to see how they evolve over time. Hopefully they won't return to the box for years before I've finished repurposing all of them.
P.S. I just want to thank the folks over at the CRAFT blog and Jenny Ryan for mentioning my numbers quilt and bag.