The idea for the cushion started when I posted my initial plans in the Pillow Fight Flickr pool
and Nicky said
'Am going with Log cabins Helen but any of your great ideas are good for me!
Green - love green especially lime, olive chartreuse and blue - more teal, turquoise but
you pick cos you are good with colour!'
Very kind of you, Nicky, not sure about 'good with colour' but you certainly got log cabins and plenty of them!!
For some reason I decided that it would be a good idea to make small log cabins with the logs finishing at 1/4" wide and the blocks finishing at 1 3/4". Which meant that for a 16" cushion (with a 1" border) I would need 64 blocks. Yup, definitely a bit batty! Or barking mad?
Way back in November I made my first block and loved it so much that I risked showing you a sneak peek, albeit in black and white so that Nicky wouldn't see the colours I was using (and remind me that she doesn't like batiks!). Here's the full colour version
I know that purple log on the right is a tiny bit fatter than it should be
but I decided I could live with it!
I can still remember how excited I was when I finished this first block!
I decided to risk using batiks (even though I knew Nicky didn't like them!) because they gave me the colour saturation I needed for this project. Also, as they're a lot more closely woven than other quilting fabrics, they don't fray as much which is just what I needed with such small pieces.
I also decided that I wanted each block to be different and for the colours to be evenly spread across all positions within the blocks so I made a plan
I swear that as I was sorting out this plan I could hear laughter
coming from across the ocean - am I right?!
and then got to work. (See, I do use my sewing room but this is about as messy as it gets!)
I used Tina's business card to fold the paper over before stitching each line- have you seen her teeny tiny foundation piecing?
Each block took about 15 minutes to do, which sounds quite reasonable until you multiply it by 64. After many, many hours (and two 'delayed' deadlines!) I got to this
|Eek!! I love it!|
And then I had to join them...let's just say there were a
few minutes half an hour or so where I thought I was going to have to abandon my plans and accept I'd started something that was way beyond me. The blocks were so small and so thick that they were impossible to join up with anything approaching accuracy and I unpicked the first seam at least four times. I then removed the paper from all of the blocks and joined them 'normally'. I knew it would be fine to do this as there were no biased edges in the blocks and I'd cut all the pieces on the straight of the grain. A couple of hours later I had this and...
|It's surprising heavy for a 14" square!|
...I didn't like it! I thought it was too busy and that I would have been better leaving every other block plain white. Fortunately after a long sleep I realised I did like it after all and didn't have to start again. I like the way that from a distance it looks like it could be a pixelated image...or maybe that's just the way my eyes work!
It didn't take long to turn it into a finished cushion cover (I just quilted along each block ditch as it's already got a lovely texture to it from all the seam allowances) and the green binding nicely picks out the green pieces in the blocks.
If you didn't know it was a cushion cover I think it would pass muster as a mini quilt - pity I can't enter it into the Modern Mini Challenge!
|I love these wine gum buttons!|
|I'm so glad I decided I liked it!|
There are 836 pieces of fabric in the front of this 16" cushion, 4 in the borders and 832 in the blocks! Definitely batty...
I also sent Nicky a mini pincushion inspired by Sarah's tutorial as I thought it would be handy when she was hand piecing and quilting.
I used felt for the back and the strap as I thought it would be more comfy against the skin than cotton. It was a bit of a swine to turn through though! And yes, this block was also planned so that it wasn't the same as any others, just in case Nicky decided to try and find its twin in the cushion!
And then, instead of a second 'goodie' Nicky agreed that I could make her a couple of wonky house blocks for the quilt she is making from her swap blocks (when she receives them!). Inspired by Cindy I wrote little stories about the houses (not as good as hers though!) - I pinched the text from Nicky's post rather than retyping them, thanks Nicky!
This family have built an eco friendly house with a sedum roof, ground sourceheating (so no chimney) and have just started a mushroom farm.
I had so much fun making all these things for Nicky and I'm so pleased (and relieved!) that she likes them - thanks for a fun swap!
I think there's room for one more photo, especially if it's a photo of my favourite dog! I took these on Monday just before leaving Archie to go to a dinnertime sewing club session...
What do you mean it's only February and therefore too cold to lie in the conservatory?It's lovely and sunny in here!
|I'm not moving and you can't make me...|
So I didn't! He'd moved into the kitchen (under his quilt) by the time I got back though!
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend? Thanks for popping in!
P.S. If you haven't already you really need to visit Lynne@Lily's Quilts - she's hosting a giveaway you don't want to miss! Trust me, it's a good one!
P.P.S. Susan @Canadian Abroad is holding a giveaway to celebrate one (wonderful!) year of blogging - it's another one you don't want to miss. Why not hop over and tell Susan how talented and generous she is?