Shawn's pillow

Date made: November 2002

Shawn's pillow

My oldest DD, Catherine, is in college, about 3.5 hours drive away. One of her good high school buddies, Shawn, was admitted to the same college; both are in the Honors Program and have rooms in the Honors dorm. Shawn was doodling away with a drawing program and came up with a rather nice geometric design. He showed it to Catherine and asked if she thought it would be too difficult to make into a quilt. Now, Catherine is doing *real* good to sew on a button, so she hadn't a clue. :-)

She emailed the design to me for an "expert" ::snarf:: opinion. >Shawn's design is a 5x5 grid of the most obnoxious angles you ever saw. It turned out that while there are 25 blocks in the design, there are 7 (seven! SEVEN!) unique squares. But, it looked interesting and I told Catherine (via online instant messaging ... gotta love it!) that it certainly was do-able though it wasn't going to be a simple project. And we left it at that.

Well, over Thanksgiving, both Catherine and Shawn returned to their respective homes and Catherine asked if I could (would I? would I, pretty please?) make up a pillow for Shawn in his design. Weeeellllll .. one rendition didn't seem such a difficult thing to do; besides, as Catherine pointed out, "you do have 2 days left, Mom!" :-)

So, I replicated the entire block in EQ5 and printed it out for paper-piecing. There was NO way this design was going to be done with templates. Catherine & I went through my stash and found some appropriate fabric in the right combinations of colors and on Friday afternoon I started. It was going so well (other than sewing the wrong fabric in the wrong space ... *several* times on different units!) and I was having such a good time, that it was 4am on Saturday morning before I actually got to bed. :-) (Although I tend to be a night-owl, this was somewhat unusual, even for me!). BUT .. I got all 25 squares of the design sewn together for the one block.

On Saturday, I realized that I didn't have enough of the background fabric to make the back of the pillow, so off to Joann's I went to get some. I knew they still carried this fabric and was lucky enough to find it in stock. Late Saturday evening, I got the borders sewn on, the quilting done in holographic thread in a curvilinear design to offset the geometric lines of the block, the back put on and the pillow insert stuffed into it. I think it turned out rather nicely .. both Catherine & I were pleased with it (Catherine admired it quite a bit .... I think she was impressed that I actually did it!)

On Sunday, when Shawn & his Mom came to pick up Catherine to return both kids to school, Catherine gave Shawn the pillow then. To say he was surprised was a *vast* understatement! It was most gratifiying. :-) He looked and looked ... and kept looking at it. I don't think it was sinking it that his 'paper only' design was physically in his hands in fabric form! Shawn's Mom was wow-ing over it too. I gotta admit, this was one of the best recipient moments for me. :-)

I took some time to go thru the construction and quilting process with Shawn so he would have a little bit better appreciation of it. He didn't realize at the time he drew it, how non-standard angles can be a real PITA. :-) One of the more amusing moments for me was how he *really* admired the quilting design in the borders! I had a 16 inch pillow insert, so I made his block 14 inches and put on 2" borders so that the block design wouldn't get lost as the pillow cover wrapped around the insert. In the borders, I did a VERY simple scallop by tracing the curve of a drinking glass to fit the individual squares. He thought that was the niftiest part!

Anyway, Shawn now has his very own, personal quilted pillow of his own design. He does know, though, that I absolutely, adamantly refuse to make him a *quilt* from this block! [grin]