Fallen Feathers of an Angel Cushions
When I delivered my Lost Feathers of an Angel quilt to Guy he was ecstatic! I was ecstatic! The quilty Gods were ecstatic! It was one giant moment of ecstasy and it was like Madonna called and she wanted her songs back. Then a day later Guy says to me, “I’ll need to get some cushions to go with my quilt.”
Dead. I know you quilty peeps will feel me when I lament: do not tell a quilter that you’re about to go out and buy store bought cushions. The first thing we do is start brainstorming on the perfect cushion, then we’re pulling fabrics left and right, doing some online fabric shopping, popping into Pinterest, sharpening our blades, and making sure the gas is fired up on the ol’ sewing machine. Can I get an amen?! A to the MEN!
If you’ve made an Anna-Maria Horner feather, you know the amount of random scrapola that is left behind. We’re not even talking small squares, we’re talkin’ straight up bits, bobs, strings, and pieces that are too big to throw out, and too small to actually do anything with them. Plus, with all of it being from Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou, how could I throw any of it away? Well, I couldn’t.
I started sewing all of these scraps together to form a larger, more workable, piece of fabric. I would have been worried about all those seams except my Juki ate them like cake. (Mmm… cake). Once I had a rectangular-ish piece sewn up (and miraculously used all of my scraps), I looked down and thought, “Well I ain’t gettin’ two cushions with it like this.” So I grabbed my rotary cutter and bravely cut it on the diagonal.
At this point I still hadn’t really figured out what I was doing. I was just sewing, hoping that inspiration would strike. Fortunately, right about this time it did! This collage of Shimmer scraps reminded me of a big pile of feathers, maybe even those that had fallen off the angel. I knew then I had to grab the spine and lay it out as if it had been shaking those feathers down from above. All of a sudden it just made sense as the perfect companion piece to the original quilt.
When it came time to quilting, there was no question that I wanted to employ matchstick quilting to give these cushions a rigid structure and amazing texture. Aurifil thread on top of Art Gallery Elements: capital D-evine. I used about eight different thread colours, with lines about an eighth of an inch apart. I was nervous at first because my singular thread colours didn’t seem so subtle against the creamy white background. However, after line after line, and trusting my instincts, they all blended into a cacophony of downy, feathery-coloured goodness! Little pops of blue, gold, and silver–what’s not to love?!
Once they were both quilted, I inserted a side-exposed zipper for a more modern, industrial look. This is my favourite zipper method for its easy installation, and the opportunity to bring a pop of colour as a segue to the back side. And who doesn’t need a segue to their backside? Oh, I think I just heard a few more amens! Mmmhmm! I delivered these cushions to Guy this week, and well, I think it is safe to say, he was ecstatic. I do hope your quilting week has been as good as mine!