Monday, 21 November 2011

A finish plus some lovely things!

I'm having a great week and it's only Monday!  (I think it's going to be another long post!)

This morning I met my friend's baby for the first time (this is the baby that I made the crocheted blanket and squares quilt for and which they use a lot which is always lovely to hear!) - she's such an adorable baby and quite happy to be held by (and dribble over!) a complete stranger.  I'm seeing them again on Wednesday, I hope she's as happy to be out and about as she was today!

Then I visited the Post Office to post my Pillow Fight cushion.  I put the final stitch in the label at about half past two yesterday afternoon and went straight upstairs to put the pad in and take some photos.  Before I share the 'ta da!' photo I'm going to tease you with some in-progress photos!  (Hope you don't mind seeing some of them for the second time on here!)

My colour inspiration (as well, of course, as my partner's likes and dislikes!)
The fabrics - yes, they are batiks *wink*
Centres finished!
And to give you an idea of the size this is one of the triangles ready to be attached...

I know the seam allowances aren't a perfect 1/4" but in hand piecing it's the stitching line that's important!
And then this...

...became this...

...and finally became this...

Spot the sea fret rolling in!

The label is on the back of the buttonhole band

I've had such a lovely time making this cushion - I do hope my partner likes it.

And that if she washes it she remembers to use a colour catcher sheet or two!

Cushion stats:
Size - 15"x15"  (to fit a 16" cushion pad and be nice and plump!)
Fabrics - Moda Bella white and batiks (probably Hoffman)
Block - snowball/shoo fly variation
Block size - 3" (finished)
Wadding - Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 bleached (so it should crinkle nicely after washing!)
Hand pieced and quilted

This was my first Flickr swap and if anyone out there is wondering whether they are brave enough to dive it!!  It's great fun and you get to meet lots of wonderful quilters!  I hope there's going to be another round of Brit Quilt Swap at some point as I'd love to join in!

Now, a sensible blogger might finish the post there and leave the 'lovely things part' for another post but I'm afraid I'm so excited that there's no way I can wait to tell you about the next two things so you'll have to bear with me! 

As if finishing my cushion wasn't exciting enough, this afternoon I got an email from the lovely Fiona (who is featured in the new edition of Fat Quarterly!) telling me that I'd won her cushion give away!  I was able to choose which of the two fabulous cushions I wanted and I chose this one...

Pinched from Fiona's blog - thank you!
Isn't she a beauty?!  I love everything about this cushion - the fabrics, the colours, the scrappy border - and she's going to be mine!!  I'm so excited!  When I opened the email I squeaked with excitement and then did my Mutley impression/happy jig amalgamation and almost fell off my stool!  Thank you so much, Fiona, I can't find the words to express how excited and grateful I am!

And as if that wasn't excitement enough (I know, it just gets better and better!) I picked up a parcel from the depot- it tried to arrive on Saturday and once again I had to wait until the depot reopened on Monday.  This time I had an inkling of what was in it and the wait nearly killed me!

A squishy parcel is always exciting but wait until you see what's inside!


Double eek and cue another Mutley impersonation/happy jig!

Yes, they would be 'scraps' of the highly talented Aneela Hoey's new fabric 'a walk in the woods'.  Aneela emailed me to ask if I could 'help her out' with the huge box of scraps that had arrived?  Help her out?  You bet I could!!  Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if she thinks I'm a little touched/completely doolally as I emailed her in the height of my excitement and I'm not sure I made much sense!  Now, 'scraps' doesn't give quite the right impression of just how precious these strips are - if there was a fire I think I'd save these second...straight after Archie (and his bone quilt, obviously!).  This photo also doesn't do justice to how generous Aneela has been with her wonderful fabric and neither does it show you just how fabulous the designs are.  Honestly, every one makes my heart sing and the colours are fabulous, that's some talent she's got!  I already have plans for some of it and some of the others will be going in existing projects...the rest will be admired and sighed over until I can bring myself to cut it up.  I may decide to make a whole 'a walk in the woods' quilt or I may decide to eek it out over years of projects - a little bit here and a little bit there!  If this little taster has whetted your appetite for the fabric I think it's out in March.  Oh, and I think I'm going to frame the little drawing/note she sent with the fabric!  Again, I can't find the words to say thank you properly and express just how grateful and excited I am but...thank you, Aneela!  If, for some reason, you've never visited Aneela's blog please go there now (well, maybe wait until you've left me a comment!) and tell her how fabulous she is!

So, now you've caught up!  I'll save telling you about the regional day until another time as I don't know about you but I'm hungry (I had a scone at about 10:30 and forgot to have any dinner) and it's teatime!

I can't leave without sharing a photo of Archie though (it doesn't feel right and I might get lynched!) so here's a photo to prove he'll do anything for a biscuit.  It's not the best photo in the world but I had to take it quickly before he backed out!

Let me at it!

I've often admired Cathi's headless (or nearly headless) cat photos of the dearly departed Smudge (I'm not sure Lester went in for that sort of carry on and I don't think her kitten Baxter stays still long enough!) - I think this could count as a headless dog photo!

Thanks for sticking with me through such a long post - I'll be back in a few days, unless something else exciting happens in the meantime!

Happy stitching!

Edited to add (hopefully before anyone has read the post!) :  Judith over at Needles and Lemons has a fabulous giveaway of five half yards of Kona solids and a reel of Aurifil courtesy of River Fabrics!  Visit Judith's blog to enter!


  1. Wow what a full day you have had and getting a parcel is even better, and I am so jealous to see what is inside... Can't wait to see what you make.

  2. I really love the pillow. What fabric is that on the back? I'm now hoping you don't tell me it's something you stashed years ago, 'cause I want some :)

    Glad you got your parcel. I don't know why you had to collect it from the depot. They're suppsed to redeliver. But maybe that's something they don't do anymore either.

  3. Oooh, lucky you!!! I love your pillow too.

  4. Woohoo doesn't quite cut it Helen.....your swap pillow is divine and I wish I was your partner but I didn't mention those colours. BTW have you noticed how many cushions in the swap have been made in aqua shades?
    Well done on your win, fab cushion and as for the scraps - well - lucky you, I have still to make a start on my Pips I am so far behind with Aneela fabric!!
    And lastly, what a stylish header.........

  5. Fantastic - cushion! Woohoo - to the win! (Though a wee bit disappointed as that means I didn't win.) OMG! - to the scraps. Simply had to be a long post because there was so much to tell. Now give Archie his head back please. I am missing those eyes.

  6. Oh you lucky duck twice over, getting yummy scraps and winning Fi's gorgeous cushion! V.well deserved & a great 'pick me up'. I love how your cushion turned out, it would look perfect in my bathroom actually on my distressed white/wooden chair!!! Jxo

  7. lucky you - love the bag of scraps!! love the pillow - you do wonderful work.

  8. What a day! Your cushion is beautiful and I'm sure your partner will love it. What a lucky duck to receive all those yummy 'scraps', I'll look forward to seeing what you do with them :)

  9. Very lucky! You've got some fabulous stuff there!
    Love the pillow it is beautiful!

  10. What a great day! Love, LOVE your pillow design. Your partner will love it for sure!

    Jennifer :)

    PS I always love seeing what Archie is up to... he's so cute!

  11. I am not a batiks fan at all, but I absolutely love your cushion. the colours are gorgeous and you may have just converted me! Lucky you with all those scraps!

  12. Well they have already said it all Helen! So ditto all that! I'm just wondering whether I can ask Archie to send me a bit of that ever so cute fox of Aneela's! Does he do skullduggery to order!?? I'd send him a biscuit! Hehe!

  13. What great mail! Your batik pillow is very beautiful, I don't usually go for batik but I love the colours and the use of small snatched of pattern against the white really works for batik, it stops them dominating and makes for a cool calm collected pillow. Nice win at Fiona's too!

  14. I love reading your posts, they always make me smile. Wow love the cushion lucky you... and the fabric too! Linda x

  15. Sorry meant to say I like your cushion too...rushing because I am tired and want to go to bed...xxxxx

  16. i think planets are lining up all over the place for wonderful folks - what a fabulous post - congrats for your beautiful cushion, your win and your fabric- lucky girl!

  17. wow Helen, thats some streak of good fortune you're having! Well deserved, enjoy it :-) You've done a fantastic job on your "pillow" too!

  18. Ohh fab mail day for you, your cushion looks great too.

  19. Fun blog post! Wow, love those scraps from Aneela. How FUN! And your pillow is beautiful!!

  20. What a Marathon! (and thats for just us readers)
    You must be still tippy toed and light headed at all the excitement of the parcels / cushion WIN.
    Your darling Pillow Fight looks like a cool white and green marble mosaic in an Italian Palazzo.

    Dont let Archie near those foxies. You are blessed to have Aneela wave her magic wand over you.
    Hope your week stays amazing! and hope Archie didnt find any asthmatic dust bunnies in that black hole.

  21. I have an overdue post to write about winnings ... I must have been too distracted by biscuits to get around to it yet ...

    Today I got an exciting parcel though ... a Christmas cake, baked by my mum! Every year I'm surprised customs let it through (even if it is allowed I expect them to read the label and say "hmmmm, we better test this hadn't we Fred" ... "Right," says Fred, "and lets have a cup of tea while we're at it") ... can you imagine Archie as a customs sniffer dog being told he had to let a parcel of biscuits through? ... quite!

  22. Yay! Happy Monday!!
    Congrats on your good fortune - what a fantastic day :) And I'm not even the teensiest bit jealous of your divine cushion, your fantabulous scraps or your lucky pillow swap partner *sigh*
    I bet you fall asleep with a grin on your face :)

  23. You give a beautiful pillow. You recieve a beautiful pillow. That's Karma, I guess ;-) Congratulations on the win!
    Oh, and if you ever decide to make a coffee-table book with Archie-pics I'd buy it right away! Great one again ;-)

  24. Pillows are just so much fun, and I absolutely adore the one you made for the swap. The pillow you won is pretty spectacular too. Great week for you!

  25. I love your batik pillow and you've chosen a lovely one as your prize. Getting fabric from Aneela Hoey is really exciting - I'll check out her blog now :)

  26. Where to start? Love your batik cushion and you may be converting me to them, love the view from your house, love the cushion cover from Fiona (and I would have chosen that one too) and love Archie of course. Enjoy your scraps!!

  27. Your Pillow fight cushion is gorgeous! You have a very lucky partner :)
    I might squeeze into the envelope when I post your cushion. I will come armed with biscuits for Archie so he doesn't notice me swiping some of Aneela's gorgeous scraps! x

  28. *harumph* We are still waiting for video evidence of the chair dancing/muttley laugh, you know! *grins* What an awesome day! I'm glad, you deserve it!

  29. Whew hew! I am so psyched for you about Aneela's "scraps" - I am loving that red riding hood print and the fox (or is it a wolf?). Fairytale themes are So Big around here right now! I can't wait to see what you do with them!!!

  30. ooooh great post! I love posts full of gorgeous postal surprised either being sent or received!

  31. YEAH how great!! I love the pictures on your banner by the way :) Great cushion and nice to see the inspiration. Fantastic bag of scraps, I like the idea of you using them for years to come!!

  32. I LOVE my pillow, thank you :) I LOVE that you won Fiona's pillow, and WOW, what a package from Aneela! I need to send Archie some more biscuits, he clearly will do anything!

  33. LOVE the cushion you made.. :o) .. and the one you won! And all of the other goodness in this post. This post makes me smile.. I can feel the happy, excited Helen, right through my computer screen. I half expect you to jump into the room doing a happy dance. :o) Stop apologizing for your lengthy posts. Love them!

  34. Gorgeous pillow Helen. I'm loving the colours - yes, even the batiks. ;) I'm sure your partner will be absolutely thrilled.

  35. Love the cushion, just my colours. I think batiks are very under rated.

  36. What a gorgeous pillow!
    Love the headless dog pose -- made me laugh out loud!

  37. You are having a great week! That is a beautiful pillow you made and so is the one you received. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the lovely "scraps" you received!


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