I've had to wait until after Christmas to show you these, because, although I'm pretty certain my sister in law doesn't read my blog, I'm positive my friend Justine does, and as these gifts were made for them, I didn't want to ruin the surprise.
My Melody Miller Bee pillow is all finished and wrapped and as I'm writing this (2 days before Christmas) it's under Justine's tree. She refused to open it when I gave it to her. Damn her.
Justine is an amazing friend and we get on brilliantly. Even our kids get on brilliantly. And Snoop doesn't hate her completely (only a little bit). So when I finished the cross stitch I knew I wanted to make her a pillow with it.
I framed the cross stitched fabric with some of Riley Blake's shaded cottons that Becca at Sew Me A Song sent me. Instead of making a regular block and then quilting, I simply quilted as I went, stitching and flipping the new strips as I stitched it onto the batting. Super easy, and it meant it was already quilted when I finished piecing - time saver too.
I used tangerine and teal on the pillow front and then 2 more colours on the envelope back (I didn't get a picture - how stupid was that of me? And now I can't remember which colours they were either....although I have a feeling it was flamingo and vintage green.) I already had the binding left over from a previous project, so it was nice to use that up.
Here's a close up of the bee stitchery....
I deliberately left a few patches unstitched, so it look a little like an old worn tapestry. It goes really well with the slightly battered look of the shaded cottons. I think Justine will love it, she loved it at every stage as I was making it, so unless she's sick of looking at it, she'll be happy.
Onto Christmas gift number 2.
I think Floressence is an amazing collection from Art Gallery Fabrics. It's so perfectly mis-matched and looks like a really beautiful stack of fabrics from all different collections. It kind of looks like you pulled these out of your stash and thought 'oh yeh - I'm going to put this huge over the top shabby chic rose print with this modern geometric, what of it?' And if you had done that, your friends would all laugh and tell you it was CRAZY. However, you didn't - the crazy peeps at Art Gallery did instead. It shouldn't work, but it really does. And in huge pieces like this quilt you can see the mis-matched nature perfectly.
Trudi quilted this for me and I could not be happier with how it turned out. She used a beautiful variegated pink thread and added just the right amount of quilting - not too much, not too little. It feels amazing. The binding is sketch in lipstick (available here in the UK). I had a pink solid picked out, but it looked to flat when the quilt was all done, so I tried out a few other fabrics and the sketch was perfect.
The weather is terrible here, and I can't get a decent picture at all. I'll keep trying, but I don't want to drag the poor quilt around the mud, because it's not mine.
I added a label (and had to sew it on pretty quick smart, because I was falling more and more in love with the quilt and was starting to think about keeping it)....
...and now it's off to my sister in law and brother in law, who live next door to us and have been amazing in what has been a not so great year for us. I don't think we could have gotten through it without them. Lots of tough stuff happened, and is still happening with a whole massive shift in our lives work wise, financially and every other which way. I don't ever tell them how much I appreciate them, we're not that kind of people - but they know it, and now they have a quilt to remind them of it. Actually, right now, as I'm writing this post, they have Ginge and have given him lunch and are taking him to the movies. We are blessed to have them.
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