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.
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.
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.
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.