Kay’s Pillowcase Quilt

The pillowcases Kay sent me
The pillowcases Kay sent me

I’m embarrassed to say it’s been just about a year since Kay sent me a box of pillow cases and asked if I would make them into a quilt. But I also have to say that if I made the quilt before I went on my trip to Gee’s Bend, it would have been a very different quilt.

Yesterday, when I was still spinning from my visit with Pamela at Blue Star, I did one of the  things that brings me back to myself.  I went to work in my studio.  Sometimes, walking works, sometimes talking or meditating, but yesterday morning I knew if I started working things would begin to fall into place.

So I took out Kay’s box of pillowcases and three hankies and began.  First I hand washed them, then spun them in the washing machine then ironed them and hung them out for a while to dry.  Then I looked through my Gee’s Bend Book for inspiration.  I had choices to make.  Do I used just the pillowcases and hankies or do I add fabric to them.  In the book I saw some of the quilts made from feed and seed bags, all shades of white and off white, strips of slightly different shades setting each other off. I knew what I would do.

I cut off the embroidered edges in different sizes then cut strips from the rest of the pillow cases to build around the embroidered pieces. pillowcase 3When I started sewing the “white” pieces together I saw just how different they really were.  Not only in color but in the fabrics too.  Like Mary Ann Pettway taught me, I worked on one piece at a time, not planning out the whole quilt like  I used to.  Cutting strips of fabric as I went, using the scarps when they fit.

pillowcase a

And I paid attention to the seams.  Some of them are visible through the fabric so they had to be just right.  This is my first quilt where the back is as neat as the front.  But the seams also become a part of the aesthetic of the quilt.  Thick and thin lines, the texture of the seams, how the seams connect the fabric all become important.

pillowcase 2

I top stitched the hankies onto a piece of plain pillowcase…

pillowcase 1

Then added onto them.

pillowcase c

When I had enough scraps, I sewed them together creating another piece of the quilt. (the Freida hairs will not be included in the finished quilt)

pillowcase quilt to beNow the pieces I began to work on and the ones I haven’t started yet are all laid out on my floor.  Soon they will all come together to make a quilt.  Subtle in color and rich in texture.

9 thoughts on “Kay’s Pillowcase Quilt

  1. Absolutely beautiful..so soft and calming .I picture an afternoon nap with a nice breeze blowing and the sun streaming in..so so pretty.Louise from Massachusetts

  2. Maria, I love this. I want to sit with Frieda on the floor and watch you create. The soft whites and creams will be enchanting. Can’t wait to see how it goes together. Thanks for sharing.

  3. As those younger than me would say OMG! This is awesome. I find your thought process so interesting. It’s so fascinating to see how the quilt evolves. I can’t wait to see the finished product. You continue to amaze me with your creative process, Maria.

  4. This quilt is going to be beautiful. It seems so fresh and fragile which seems as though it will
    project peace and tranquility. I hope that makes sense. I am not very good with words.
    Anyway, I like it very much. Can hardly wait to see the finished quilt.

  5. Your blog post is a wonderful example of how when creating something we should enjoy the process creating as much as the end creation itself. I have started to do this when quilting and enjoy this artform more than before. Enjoy your insight and honesty in your blog posts.

  6. Please tell John that I didn’t do cardiac rehab after my heart transplant five years ago. Like John, I know how to eat healthy and I walk daily. For someone like him, I think it’s a waste of time.

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