Beer Label to Quilted Pillow? I'll Drink to That.

It was a hot summer day and Josh and I were out for a bike ride down to Lake Ontario when we decided to stop in at HALO Brewery for a motivating refreshment. While savouring my saison, I glanced over the beer menu and spotted some usual suspects.

I wrote HALO a quick email explaining who I was and what I made, noting that their designs by Underline Studio were perfect for patchwork. 

Some commissions come to you, others you seek out; lucky for me, HALO's creative director was interested in commissioning two quilted pillows based on their New Wave and Magic Missile labels. (I'll save details on crafting Magic Missile for another post).

Once the scope of work had been decided, I eagerly visited my local quilt shop to match KONA solids with the beer label samples. I was thrilled to work with a unique colour palette, but before I could get piecing, I needed a plan.

I've found that when designing pillow covers with central motifs, it's best to leave a border around the design to accommodate for the inserts plushness, this will ensure that the motif won't become distorted by the curvature of the pillow. So I started designing by determining how large I wanted the central square to be (approximately 10in square, in this case).

Transferring the New Wave label into a quilt pattern was all about proportions, splitting the design into equal quadrants was step one. I then identified each familiar block from flying geese in quadrant one to the half rectangle triangle in quadrant four. For the diagonal stripes in quadrant three, I decided to use a foundation paper piecing template for accuracy.

I was in my element!

I was even able to use the twirling seams method to create the four patch in quadrant 4 (pictured below) that I learned during the Summer Sampler QAL; it was shared by Lynn Carson Harris for her Spring Fever block. 

It was refreshing to use a variety of techniques in a single project; the more the merrier in my books! Once I finalized the math and finished piecing the quadrants, I added a solid border to complete the pillow top (18in square). 

I hand quilted a simple chevron pattern for a sense of direction, and finished with my signature caramel binding. 

The greatest lesson: a lot of good can come from a simple email or phone call. This commission is one I will always reflect on fondly. 


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