Saturday, February 20, 2010

as promised...

What most people would call the guest room, we call Grandma's room.  Other people have stayed in it, but she is our most frequent guest.  Since I try to keep our room relatively gender-neutral, Grandma's room is the landing spot for all things pastel. 

When I was pregnant with Alex, my nesting instinct zeroed in on his room and this room--I was obsessed with tiny details that she probably didn't even notice when she stayed with us after he was born, but they were critical to me.  I'll never forget how I forgot to buy flowers (difficult to do with a newborn and a c-section), and was crushed.

Fast-forward two years.  71 to1, I was the winner of this giveaway from Ashely at Film in the Fridge; in my comment, I thought I'd try a pillow if I won.  This was early in my quilting life.  I didn't have a sewing machine that could handle free motion quilting, and so once I got them in the mail, they sat.

bento pillow close-up

Fast-forward six months.  A new machine, a first quilt under my belt, and a little courage in my heart since I hadn't inserted a zipper since about 1997--and the blocks are, as promised, a pillow.

bento pillow

I spent a really long time deciding how to arrange them (which I'm OK with because in the process I came up with another really fun idea), and finally settled on this design, where the centers face up on one side and down on the other.  I think it best spaces the prints, and adds some movement to the front.  I know the actual bento block design doesn't use sashing, but since the quartered blocks weren't switched out with others made of different prints, I liked the way it broke things up.

The sashing and back are Kona muslin, and I tried a kind of longer stipple on the diagonal, to both echo and contrast the design of the blocks.  Ashley was kind enough to include her scraps, and I used them in the pieced binding (with tips from Malka of A Stitch in Dye) and for the back,

bento pillow back

which I love because it's like the butterfly is flying through the pillow.

These photos employ the time-honored blogger photo technique of cropping out the disaster that surrounds the subject.  When you're remodeling the basement, everything has to go somewhere, and somewhere at our house is Grandma's room.  She had to climb over all of this junk as she made her way to bed on a recent visit, but our Grandma is a good Grandma, and she doesn't complain.  Of course, the pillow is hers.


  1. Lovely! Curious... did you line your pillow on the front? Great job!

  2. I absolutely LOVE it! The layout, the sashing, the pieced binding - everything! I'm so thrilled to see what these blocks became! :)

  3. Very pretty! I love the colors.

  4. Grandma is a pretty lucky grandma - a beautiful pillow, the most comfortable mattress in the world, and you guys.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! Wonderful work!

  6. Thank you (though most of the credit belongs to Ashely...)!


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