Monday, December 12, 2016

Modern Pheasant Pillow

Back in October I visited my daughter and her family for a few days. While I was there I noticed a pheasant themed calendar on the wall. I asked about it and learned that my son-in-law is a fan of pheasants. I had been hoping for some gift giving inspiration while I was there, so that was exactly the kind of thing I needed to know.

When I went looking for pheasant quilty things, I primarly found panels and hunting motifs. That is not what I wanted. I wanted a modern pheasant. There was one picture that worked nicely. I blew it up and traced all the parts.

This is not my usual kind of project but I enjoyed searching for the right colors and fabrics.

I was really nervous about fusing all these tiny parts so I laid him out carefully on top of the traced image to make sure I was happy with the shapes and placement. I also realized that I did not have a suitable background fabric. A quick online fabric order took care of that.

I ordered two different colors of Grunge fabric, a lighter and a darker. I settled on the darker fabric. If this pillow ends up on their sofa, it is a dark gray, and this choice should work better with their other decor.

I matched thread as best I could to each section of the pheasant and free motion stitched around all the parts to make sure they would stay securely on the pillow.

Then it was time for quilting. I used a layer of batting and a thin white batiste on the back. I wanted the pheasant to look like he is standing on the ground so I chose a horizon line and stitched horizontal lines for the ground. A large meander (which always makes me think of clouds) is quilted above the horizon line.

The backing is envelope style with an extra fabric added for interest. I like quilting the back of pillows, too, to give them more body. I layered all the pieces together and then bound it like a regular quilt. It was a little bit challenging to get through the thickness where the backing top and bottom overlap, but it worked out just fine.

I don't make enough pillows to be confident with the pillow form size and the pillow. I don't like them overstuffed but I don't want them too floppy either. The pillow itself is 18 inches when laid flat. I used a 16 inch pillow form to fill it. I think it works. Oh, how I have wanted to share progress with this project on Instagram, but they frequently look at Instagram, so it will have to stay right here in blog land for now.


  1. Debora, you are so creative! What a perfect personalized gift! You inspire me. He is going to love it!

    1. Thank you! It was fun and I am more pleased with it that I thought I would be.

  2. That looks fabulous! Love your fabric choices.

  3. Love how you used a pretty traditional looking technique in a super modern way!

    1. Thanks, Sylvia! It was fun to take on the challenge of such a traditional motif. Grunge fabric is about as close to camouflage as I could go!

  4. He loves it! I love it too. Very cool!


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