Cushion swap

I was going to stay focused on sewing my projects this year and avoid joining bees or swaps, but I could not resist joining the Instagram cushion swap organised by Alison (Little Island Quilting) and Sami.

Steampunk patchwork cushion

I was really happy with this cushion and not at all embarrassed to send it off to its new home.

I secretly stalked my partner, Karen, who said she liked Denise Schmidt and Karen Lewis fabrics, among other things. The four Denise Schmidt fabrics I had in my stash had an obvious star, the bright yellowy-orange Flea Market Fancy floral, and the other colours developed from mixing and matching that with other fabrics in my stash. I was on a fabric diet, so I had to make what I had work.

Flea Market Fancy cushion back

I really was dancing about the sewing room with joy when I successfully matched the fabric pattern across the zipper.

From the stalking and the clues I had been sent, I had the sense that Karen liked bold colours mixed with white, scrappy (but not scrap vomit) and nothing too fussy, dark or frou-frou. I felt that as long as I stayed away from my girly-girl tendencies, our tastes were not too far apart and all would be okay.

When choosing the design, I wanted something new to me. I wanted a slightly challenging project that I would enjoy making, and one I could realistically make before the deadline (no slow English paper piecing, for example). After discarding many ideas, I settled on a Jen Kingwell-inspired steampunk block and drafted my own pattern to get the size I needed.

I made great progress in February, but life got in the way of sewing in March, and I was closer to the swap deadline than I have ever been before, but I got it done and mailed. I even managed to rummage in my scrap box and make a pincushion. The pincushion is inspired by Sunny Day Supply’s free pincushion pattern and used leftovers from my whirligig quilt. I modified the pattern so it had fewer fan blades, was deeper on the sides to fit the ribbon and was slightly smaller to suit the linen scrap. I also English paper pieced the fan instead of machine sewing it. We had a house guest, and hand sewing allowed me to stay sociable.

Pincushion based on Sunny Day Supply's free pattern

The Dresden plate fan blades are a great way to use up pretty but tiny scraps.

The parcel has already arrived in Germany, and I think it has been really well received. Hurrah! Karen takes better photos than I do, so everything looks even nicer in her Instagram feed.

Steampunk patchwork cushion

I took five minutes to snap some photos before dashing to the post office and sending it to Germany.

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20 thoughts on “Cushion swap

  1. I was just looking at Alison’s cushions when your post notification appeared! It sounds as if running the swap has been a bit of an experience for her, but looking at the results, I’d say it was worth it!

  2. Wow Carla…..!! You are such a tease!! Just when I think enough is enough, you just happen to whip up another stunning project! Well, at long last, my DJ mojo has returned!!!! OMG it really is real…Cathy has raised the bar now, so I just have to keep up the momentum with my new pinks from Threadbare on my recent trip to Melbourne..except little Lily Rose aka new baby toy poodle, has filled up a bit of my time…haha I’m loving every second of the baby love!! Keep up the good work Carla! xRaelene

  3. You are a clever girl to draft your own steam punk block! There are lots of curves in those little pieces. Did you applique the centre circles? Great fabrics and colours chosen too!

  4. Oh, just went here to take a deeper look at the lovely pillow. Love the block but for a quilt I find it a bit too daunting. You finished a great project and such a sweet extra … and then I see you send it to Germany. What a coincidence 🙂

  5. Pingback: A bit of this and that | Granny Maud's Girl

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