If you dream big enough, you can fit the whole world on a single pillow.
And that's precisely what I did for Katelyn. She has spoiled me over the years. She did the long-arm binding for me on my first-ever quilt, as well as making me the now-legendary Union flag quilt. We now have an informal tradition of sending each other care packages with handmades and other cutes inside. So this is part of my contribution. I also made her the camera ornament I shared a couple months ago.
This pillow was fun to make, but it took much longer than I thought it would. As usual, I was guided by that crazy voice in my head. 'Paint the whole world,' she said. 'It will be easy,' she said. As usual, she was wrong.
The design process was pretty straight-forward: I enlarged a world map and printed it off to the dimensions I wanted. I cut around the continents [easy] and all the little squigly islands [why are there so many??]. Then I used the negative space as a template to trace the outline onto the fabric. In hindsight, I would definitely recommend either printing your map out onto sticker paper, or
taking the extra step of tracing the map design not directly onto the fabric, but onto a sheet of contact paper, which then gets cut to the outline of the continents and stuck onto the fabric. Doing it that way would allow you to simply sponge paint into the negative space and not worry about the outline of the continents. I was kicking myself for not having thought of that. As I did it, I had to paint with a very fine brush around the inside edges of the land masses. Oh well. You better freaking love it, Katelyn. :)
Once my paint was dried, heat set, machine washed, and re-applied to the bits that washed off the first time, I was ready to begin the long and painful process of illicitly internet stalking Katelyn, to find out the locations of all her travels. Some of this was easy, as we have taken several amazing trips together. I remembered some of her childhood stories, but not all. So I trawled through her blog archive, her facebook albums, and her 'been there, done that' pinterest board. Phew. Stalking is hard work, people.
All the locations got little embroidered hearts, and of course Stuttgart got the biggest one. [This is where we met and worked together]. I'm not entirely sure I got everything, and there may be one or two in the US that I guessed on, but I'm sure she'll make it to all of them eventually. :)