Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scrappy Pillow Swap and Sudoku

Scrappy Pillow Swap for Bay Area Modern

I used Oh Fransson's Orange Peel quilting tutorial.
We just finished up a swap in my guild called the Scrappy Pillow Swap. Participants brought in bags of scraps and we blindly swapped them.  Each maker turned the scraps into a pillow cover. My partner included some of this great tree print from Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry. There were also pieces of Buttons by Suzuko Koseki, Pearl Bracelet by Lizzy House, Miscellany by Julia Rothman and Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt and Echo by Lotta Jansdotter. An interesting mix!

I knew I wanted to fussy cut the tree somehow. At first glance, the black prints stood out a lot and it was going to be important to either spread them around or make a feature out of them as a binding or a border.  The browns scared me a little. The tree had browns so it would be ok in the end. Right? 

I got stuck on what to do for the longest time and turned to EQ to work it out. After a lot of different ideas and blocks, I decided to go with a simple patchwork. Make the fabrics work it!

My son had been playing Sudoku for the first time that week and I can't help but feel that influenced the design. It's true! The layout is a nine patch within a nine patch. The tree makes up the center of the big nine patch and then I broke down the remaining eight squares into nine patches too. Why? So I could layout the colors Sudoku style!  

It came back to worrying about where the black was going to go. If I made sure it was in a different position in each one it would look balanced and scrappy. Do you see it? Bottom right, top center, bottom left, etc...

Then I added in the brown/taupey color. I really wanted to mix that one in well. One per block please.

Ok, now that I had the foundation down, I could add the rest of the colors.

Layout for the Scrappy Pillow Swap

Isn't it pretty???  I think it would make a good mosaic project. Maybe a framed mirror or something.  Anyway, after all that worrying about the colors, I couldn't imagine this composition without the black and the brown. They look so great all together.

If you are an Eagle Eye, you might be wondering what happened to the light aqua color in the final pillow.  That was something I was going to add from my stash, but I decided not to in the end. It wasn't that I didn't like it, I did, I just wanted to stay true the colors my partner put together.

My partner turned out to be our Vice President, Kathleen! I was so surprised because these aren't colors she's ever used in a project together. She really had me stumped. The best part of all (the part I hold my breath for in every swap I've ever done), will my partner like it?  She did!!!


  1. Cool, love the tree in the centre :o) Sounds like a great idea for a swap to push you out of your comfort zone

  2. Lovely pillow are sooo creative in your layouts!

    happy Mother's Day!

  3. Adrianne it is utterly gorgeous!! Love seeing the process, very clever! The quilting looks fantastic and I adore the fabrics you chose, lucky Kathleen!

  4. Oh my goodness. I know you know I'm laughing at you for using Sudoku to "randomly" place fabrics. I love how it turned out, though!

  5. You are so clever! I never would have thought of Sudoku as the layout plan. So glad you were challenged by the fabrics and did not suspect it was me!
    And, finally, thank you so much for your beautiful work. I love this pillow!



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