Pillow swap!

I really wanted to join an international pillow swap, but I was not sure how to go about getting myself invited to join such a group. Then, I realised I was an idiot and that the best idea was simply to organise one locally among my own sewing group. I asked around, and ten people were keen to take part. We had a pillow swap!

Names were written on bits of paper – along with a few hints about favourite colours and the like – and the bits of paper were put into a hat. We drew names at random; instead of swapping in pairs, we swapped in a crazy, circular, random fashion.

It was agreed that we would keep who was making what for who secret until our end-of-year Christmas party. I asked a friend who was not taking part in the swap to keep track of who chose whose name so I did not have to know. She sealed the list in an envelope for emergencies – such as someone losing her bit of paper and forgetting who she was making for. I did not want to spoil anyone’s surprise, including my own.

I had heaps of ideas for cushions, but when I saw the name (and hints) I had drawn I realised that I had to try to think of what she would like (hints: red, black, white, bold, would look good on her couch), not what I wanted to make (probably bright, pink and floral). I spent a little time scratching my head until I saw Wombat Quilts’ blog post using Piece by Number’s ‘Circle of Geese’ pattern, and I had a plan.

A cushion made using Piece by Number’s ‘Circle of Geese’ pattern.

I tried to create the effect of fading from grey to black to red, as best I could with the fabrics I had. The background was pieced randomly.

A cushion made using Piece by Number’s ‘Circle of Geese’ pattern.

Not sure how to quilt the centre, I ended up sewing two circles, one inside the other.

Black and white cushion back

The black-and-white buttons were a lucky find.

The end-of year party was today, so here is what we made.

quilters' pillow swap

Ten beautiful cushions in the sunshine.

A lot of thought, effort and creativity went into everyone’s work. I was impressed by every cushion. Each was tailored to the likes and dislikes of its recipient. I think the swap was a success and people are keen to do it again next year – perhaps we will make bags next time for a bit of variety.

You will notice from the photo that our party was near the water. We had a Christmas picnic by the river. It was a warm and sunny day, and we were visited by dolphins, pelicans, black swans (and fluffy grey cygnets), galahs and kookaburras. In fact, a cheeky kookaburra swiped some terrine and a Christmas biscuit from the picnic table while our backs were turned.

This is what I received in the swap. I am a lucky duck! Made by Denise, it is gorgeous. I could not be more pleased. I was struggling just with the bulk of piping recently, and yet she has managed to sew all that lovely appliqué, and add piping and two layers of ruffles!

appliquéd and quilted cushion

In the pillow swap, I received this beauty, which has already made itself at home in a comfy chair.


8 thoughts on “Pillow swap!

  1. I have to admit, the Circle of Geese is more my cup of tea too. So much so that I’m going to use it as a feature block on a cot quilt I have to get ready for April. But the one you got is lavish and accomplished, and quite beautiful!

    • That was the coolest part of the swap. Among friends who have very different tastes but know each other, each person thought of what the recipient would like, even if it meant stepping out of her comfort zone.
      I hope you have fun with that cot quilt! I am sure it will be lovely.

  2. I love the Circle of Geese pattern and it so effective in the colours you chose! And the cushion you received suits your chair beautifully!

  3. Pingback: Round robin quilt | Granny Maud's Girl

  4. Pingback: Possum Magic: Round 1 | Granny Maud's Girl

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