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Aura Blog Party: Pollen Pillow Fight!

aura fabric blog partyI’m excited to be joining in the fun with Mathew aka Mister Domestic’s Aura Blog Party celebrating his Aura fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF). Fridays are always reason to party, but when you add Mathew’s energy and enthusiasm for life, the party is impossible to resist! I figured I’d throw a pillow into the ring since a pillow fight seems like a great addition to any party, right?

aura fabrics misterdomestic art gallery fabricsWhen I first saw Mathew’s Aura fabrics, of course I immediately dreamed of meticulously cutting them for days. I decided that a Pollen Pillow would be the perfect project to showcase these gorgeous fabrics while maintaining a tropical vibe that does the Hawaii-inspired fabric line justice. The Pollen Pillow is the EPP pattern that is included in the 2019 Quilter’s Planner magazine, and is a baby version of my Pollinate Quilt, distributed by Karen the DIY Addict.

pollen pillow aura fabric epp misterdomestic art gallery fabricsI’m so thrilled with how it turned out!! AND pillows are hard to photograph! I just solved that issue by taking lots, and hope my single monstera potted plant can help bring a bit of tropical vibe to the mid-winter Maine photos.

With fussy cutting on my mind, my initial plan was to meticulously choose individual flowers from the Laki Island Daylight fabric, using 5 individual flowers in the center and then a radiating spiral of each individual flower in the outer piehex shapes. However, the scale of the flowers on the fabric were a *bit* too big to make that happen (or maybe my templates/pattern is too small?), so I had to come up with Plan B.

pollen pillow epp aura art gallery fabrics misterdomesticLooking at the varied and gorgeous flower bundles on Laki Island Daylight, I really didn’t want to chop them up tooo much, so I decided to go wild and fussy cut the fabrics so that the piehex looked like it was an uninterrupted flower bouquet, but with a blue section radiating from the center. I taped 3 templates together for the top half, and fussy cut the bottom 3 so that the fabric pattern was continuous when stitched.

pollen pillow epp aura fabric mister domesticThey aren’t all perfect, but I’m mighty happy with the result! I also love how the blue section emphasizes the center star, while also helping blend into the Endless Paradise AGF denim background. One of my favorite aspects of the Pollen Pillow & Pollinate quilt patterns are how incredibly versatile they are.

pollen pillow epp misterdomestic aura art gallery fabricsHere’s a look at the pillow top after it was pieced and quilted, but before it was stuffed as a pillow, so that you can see the fabric placement details a bit better.  Here are the Aura fabrics I used: Laki Island Daylight for the center star and outer piehexies, Hawaiian Honu Dusk (turtles!) and Hula Dolphins Ocean (tiny dolphins circle around this one) for the star, Loulu Fans Sand for the outermost triangles, Hawaiian Honu Dusk for the turtle diamonds around the outside edge, and AGF Denim in Endless Paradise for the accent pieces in the outer piehexies and the background.  I LOVE the fabric names, too!

pollen pillow epp stitching on the goI used coordinating 50wt thread to hand stitch the full Pollen Pillow design, stitching during travel to QuiltCon, in cafes, or in the car while waiting for preschool pickup. I adore the portability of English Paper Piecing (EPP)! When the Pollen Pillow design was fully stitched, pressed, papers removed, etc., I then stitched it to the backing using 50wt thread in 2000-Light Sand and 1320-Bright Teal. I quilted the pillow with some minimal quilting to secure the pieces while still letting the fabrics shine. I quilted a fun geometric echoey pattern in the background using the walking foot on my Bernina 560, and making it up as I went along. I love using the wide width of my walking foot as a gauge when quilting, since I avoid marking fabrics whenever possible!

zipper pillow pollen pillowEven having made multiple pillows, the insertion of a zipper still gives me the willies a bit before diving in. This time I used this fabulous tutorial by Suzy Quilts and am incredibly happy with my zipper! Mental note for next time, though: when creating a side zipper pillow, you need a zipper that is at least 2″ shorter than your pillow panels. I bought a bunch of 18″ zippers, one of which is shown in the progress photo, and none of which were used for this pillow because they were too long. I settled for a 14″ turquoise zipper, which coordinates enough to seem intentional (shhh).

turtle detail on pillow epp pollenThose of you familiar with my Pollen Pillow pattern may have noticed that I included some extra diamonds on this pillow. The sea turtles just begged to be included more, so I borrowed the center diamonds after stitching the pillow center down, and made a few more sea turtles to swim outward around the edges. I love the effect!

maddie pillow holder extraordinaireHere are just a couple more photos to round out this post. The first is of my daughter Maddie, who really wanted to be a pillow holding model (so helpful!). You can see the most pattern details in this photo, I think, so I’m glad she wanted to help!

pollen pillow fightFinally, here is a photo of my original Pollen Pillow duking it out with this newbie for the prime spot. It’s so fun to see both of these pillows next to each other, since it’s a perfect example of how different fabric choices and color placement can result in very unique aesthetics with the Pollen Pillow pattern.

Thank you for swinging by to help celebrate this Friday finish, and be sure to check out the other stops on Mister Domestic’s Aura Blog Party. The projects are all stunning!

MISTER DOMESTIC’S AURA BLOG PARTY