"Quilting Happiness": Making the Haphazard Chevron Pillow

Haphazard Chevron Pillow

Haphazard Chevron Pillow - my first project from "Quilting Happiness" by Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland!

Once the pillow was completed, it was quite clear that my "making journey" was actually a perfect example of how Christina's designs and instructions, and Diane's "happiness exercises" came together and produced not only a beautiful project but also an adventure in creating something that is unique and reflects both my love for the natural world and my dabbler nature!

Haphazard Chevron Pillow adventure

I fell in love with Christina's Haphazard Chevron design the minute I saw it! Could have had something to do with that word - haphazard; however, I think it works for me because although it does have structure, the design is completely open to endless possibilities! Widths and placement of the chevron strips can be completely random. Furthermore, I love how the random placement of the bias strips creates a fluid and playful pattern.

However, I didn't know if my quilting skills would be up to it. I am a not-quilter and saw this as a cutting challenge beyond anything I had ever attempted. But Christina's instructions accompanied by her diagrams were perfect and thorough and easy to follow - even for me.

Sun painting in progress!

The happiness arrived as a result of using one of Diane's "creative exercises" called "Morning Seeing". Faithfully completing a month's worth of "noticing", reminded me of just how much I adore and enjoy ferns. Absolutely love them! Fact is, ferns greet me when I walk out my front door, first cup of morning coffee in hand - lots and lots of ferns.  My entire garden is full of them.

And while on a morning "garden wander", I remembered that ferns play very nicely with sun paints!

Using my all too often ignored Pebeo Setacolor Transparent fabric paints would be a perfect way to create my very own fern fabric for my pillow and a perfect excuse to do a little sun painting!

So basket and scissors in hand, I explored all the nooks and crannies of my garden looking for fernsÂ… and flowers. Whatever spoke to me was added to the collection. And thenÂ… paint was applied to the fabric - happiness; flowers and ferns arranged in wet paint - more happiness; a short wait - restless excited happiness; impatient removal of ferns and flowers for the great revealÂ…and YIKES!

Pillow created using "sun painting"

The floral design of my summer garden was altogether entirely too pretty to cut up into strips. I simply could not do it! So I kept it whole and made a pillow cover! Happiness! Unexpected but happiness nonetheless!

Haphazard Chevron Pillow adventure

Returning to my garden and fabric paints I worked to create a fabric design that was less defined - random and more repetitive. An arrangement of plant materials that made me just as happy (ferns just ferns) and would be perfect for cutting into strips for the Haphazard Chevron Pillow.

Although I followed my muse and let her select the first design, I took charge and made more deliberate choices when I created the second fabric.

So - the happiness part? Not only did I create a completely original fabric from something that makes my eyes and heart happy, but I also ended up with two pillows - a mini fern garden inside my home!

Haphazard Chevron Pillow adventure

I absolutely love how the fern design on every patterned strip is different from all the others. How some strips are deeply colored and some light. How some strips are heavily patterned and others almost void of pattern. And I love how the chevron pattern plays with the fabrics and shows them off beautifully.

And did I mention that in following Christina's instructions, I managed to complete the pillow without making one single mistake! Whoohoo!

Haphazard Chevron Pillow adventure

To be completely honest, at first I was unhappy with the amount of "waste" created by cutting on the bias. However, I have since decided that the left over strip sections are perfect for making dozens of hexies - for a hexie pillow! And the left over uncut fabric will be perfect for a small reverse applique pillow!

Once the hexie and reverse applique pillows are completed, I will have a very pretty summertime collection of sofa pillows in one of my favorite colors! And there will be a multitude of ferns on my sofa!

And THAT my friends is Happiness!

Quilting Happiness by Christine Lane and Diane Gilleland

If you haven't ordered your very own copy of Quilting Happiness, you can do so right here! I highly recommend owning this book whether or not you are a quilter. Christina's designs just may inspire you to become one! And Diane's "Creative Exercises" and "Happiness Exercises" can be used to refresh almost any creative well gone dry - whatever that well of creative expression might be - beading, embroidery, cup cake making!

Be sure to add the "Quilting Happiness" blog to your reader - link here - as Diane and Christina will be sharing "the rest of the story" - the parts of the book that they had to delete to meet the publisher's desired size of the text. In addition, they are sharing personal happiness quilting projects and stories and reviews - lots to read and lots of happiness! (And if you missed it, you can read more about the book in my previous review - here.)

Now!  Take one more minute and pop over to "the longthread" blog to see a completely different interpretation of the Haphazard Chevron Pattern.  I would not have recognized it had it not been pointed out!  Check it out here!!

And keep an eye here on this blog because, although I most likely will not be making any big quilts, I will be using the patterns and exercises to create small, "Pamela size" Happiness Projects - and when I do I will definitely be sharing!

I had already decided to

I had already decided to purchase Quilting Happiness for my Mom for Christmas - your project and review are just icing on the cake. What a beautiful couple of pillows, and really look forward to seeing the other projects you make from the scraps!

Wow!  thank you Catherine!  I

Wow!  thank you Catherine!  I LOVE being icing on any cake!!!  And very pleased to hear you like the pillows.  Your Mom will love Quilting Happiness. Perfect Christmas gift.

What I liked about this when

What I liked about this when I saw it in the book is exactly what makes me what to make it with paper -- the great style that makes chevrons so satisfying can be achieved haphazardly. It's still satisfying!

Your pillows are fabulous! I

Your pillows are fabulous! I love the idea of a pillow being used to feature the one that looks picture-perfect + the additional fabric created to be cut. Plus with 2 more planned with scraps - you will have a fabulous new decor scheme!

Thank you Tammy!  Haven't

Thank you Tammy!  Haven't made pillows in quite some time so it is time for a new look!!

Finally popping in to tell

Finally popping in to tell you how much I love this! The idea behind creating the fabric is awesome. It's really something I need to do with Brice. When we were at Powell's we were showed a packet of fabric, probably 10" squares? Maybe smaller. They are all ready for sun exposure and i'm thinking that would be a great thing to buy and try with Brice. Although, it was $15 for 10 sheets, I think. I'm so glad to hear the directions worked out, that's always my greatest fear, that they wont be clear. Working with Diane really helped to make sure everything made sense! :)

I am so glad to hear you like

I am so glad to hear you like the pillow, Christina! I think Brice - in fact almost any child - would have a ball sun painting.  Pretty darn exciting pulling off those bits and pieces to see what the sun painted - even for grown-ups!!  AND you can make him pillows for his room! And YOU won't even need the instructions!! :-)


It was actually way too

It was actually way too pretty to cut into it!! You have a gift with this sun dying, you should do more of it!! (And then turn it into a Spoonflower design, and sell it and get really rich!!) :-)) Your chevron pillow is perfect! You are a great quilter, not a no-quilter, what are you saying!!

Oh my goodness Maryline,  I

Oh my goodness Maryline,  I don't know what to say!  What lovely compliments from a friend who I consider to be a super nova in the world of quilting!!  Thank you, my friend, for your support and friendship.  And for sharing your own gorgeous sun painting projects - which always remind me of how much I love to play with fabric, paint and sunshine!

Are my eyes deceiving me or

Are my eyes deceiving me or did you alter the size of the pillow to be larger? And what good ideas for the scraps created!

Your eyes are deceiving you,

Your eyes are deceiving you, Michelle!!  I followed the directions to the letter!  The pillow is 12x12.

Wow, that sun-dyed fabric is

Wow, that sun-dyed fabric is so cool! Your pillow turned out so cute, and I love that you made part of the design! Nice work, Pam! :)

Thank you, Katheryn!  I hope

Thank you, Katheryn!  I hope you try it out one day.  I just know you and Ryan would get a huge kick out of the whole process!

OOH!!! I saw tons and tons

OOH!!! I saw tons and tons and tons of ferns up north, camping this weekend. Ferns under pines in sandy soil for miles. I love, love, love the fern fabric and sunpainting has been on my list for awhile. I love the chevron pillow, too, but don't know if I could have cut up either of those gorgeous fabrics!! Love that you'll have a set of nature pillows.

Elizabeth!  The next time you

Elizabeth!  The next time you go camping "up north" take some fabric, sun paints and a foam brush!  Capture those ferns and bring them home!

Spectacular! I love ferns but

Spectacular! I love ferns but never had much luck growing them in such a dry climate. Those pillows are dropdead gorgeous! I love the chevron design. Was looking around for something to do for an insulated table runner (the kind of thing you put under hot casserole dishes on a table when you want something prettier than a trivet or old potholder). Well done!

Oh my goodness, Avital!  What

Oh my goodness, Avital!  What a lovely compliment! Thank you.  And i love YOUR idea of an insulated table runner.  And YOU have inspired ME to make one using another favorite pattern in Quilting Happiness!!

Stunning sun dyed results!

Stunning sun dyed results! beasutiful!!

Thank you Lyn!  For the most

Thank you Lyn!  For the most part, i am not into painting fabrics but  I get a huge kick out of Sun Painting!