Saturday, February 23, 2019

Memory Pillow: The Dog Who Loved to Eat

Not long after I became a quilter, I realized I had acquired a superpower: The ability to console the bereaved, in a tactile way. 

A few months ago, my friend Lynn lost her beautiful dog Kenya. She told me how sad it was to come home and see Kenya's empty spot on the bed. I knew I had to make a pillow for that spot. Here's what came out. 

It's not just the finished pillow, or quilt, or whatever, that is consoling - it's the process, talking to the person about their loved one. When I asked Lynn what Kenya enjoyed, I was hoping she'd say something like a red ball, sticks, a teddy bear, something easy to piece or applique. Instead, Lynn said:
"Which food?"I asked.
"All food. And dog bones." 
Fortunately, I had a scrap of dog bone fabric:  

Plus, I own an infinite amount of human food fabric. I pieced together some food fabric strips, cut them them crosswise, and set them in the outer border. 

That border started out wider, but then I had to buy a smaller pillow form than expected (the store range was limited.) So I cut it back. That made the food border on front so thin you could hardly tell what the foods were. That's why I put more of the same food fabric on the back.
The central photo started out like this - Kenya with her younger brother Ziggy. I cropped it Photoshop. 
Then I printed the cropped photo onto a sheet of EQ Printables Premium Cotton Satin. It's pricey but the color comes out well, and it's permanent (Plus, my printer uses Epson Durabrite ink, which is  also supposed to be permanent and waterproof.)  
The goal of this pillow was to make Lynn smile. Dogs whose favorite food is everything are funny. And I hope the grass fabric suggests she's rolling in the lush grass of heaven. 
For more memorial quilt and pillow projects, click on "memorial" in the word cloud on the right.