Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday Finish... a Very Special Pillow

It's finished :(
The vacation, that is.
I am just back from three wonderful weeks away.  Having been on a ferry for five hours this morning on rather rough seas, I am still feeling like the rolling of the waves.
Yes, there was a bit of hand quilting, some button sewing, and a quick seam on a sewing machine in the first few days, but then, no sewing at all.  Who has time to sew when there are rocks to skip, sandcastles to build, kites to fly (OK, we did not get to fly our kite, but we wanted to, does that count?) and hills to climb.  And let's not forget long roads to run accompanied by a little monkey on a bike...

I was with very intermittent internet service - not a bad thing - so this is the first chance I get to post about my early vacation finish.  Remember this?  I was debating making a pillow or a wall hanging, and whether to add buttons or something else for the leaves.

Well, I heard y'all, and I went for a pillow with buttons.  Lots of buttons!

But before the reveal, the story.

Giving is the best

C. is my second cousin: Her dad and my mom are first cousins.  I am sure we have been at family gatherings together as children, but I only have a vague recollection of her at the time.  I met her again four years ago at a big family reunion for our extended family - descendants of our great-grandparents - which includes over a hundred people.

Since then, C. and I have become acquainted through Facebook - a way to get glimpses of each other's lives but without really knowing each other well.  One thing I know, though, is her dedication to our extended family.  Since the big reunion, she has been maintaining a Facebook page for our  family.  Every month, she reminds us of upcoming birthdays.  Announces births (and deaths), and posts pictures of family gatherings.  It is a thankless "job" and I am sure there are many who appreciate her efforts, but perhaps we don't say it often enough.  When I decided to make another quilty gift for an unsuspecting recipient again this year, I knew it would be for her.  It does not hurt that she hits the "Like" button when I post pictures of my quilts on Facebook...

For the construction, I made a slab of low volume scraps which included both traditional and modern fabrics and appliquéd a tree to represent the family (I am that subtle, I know).

The buttons came from my stash - I emptied the green jar and had to dig in the blue and the yellow ones, which worked out great.

On a side note, the buttons were all sewn using Clark & Co's #10 cabled thread I found amongst other treasures in my grandmother's old sewing machine... very fitting!

It's the one with on the left with the green label with anchor.  By the way, if anyone knows of a great resource for antique/vintage thread, do share...

So here's a picture of the almost finished project.  I thought it was finished but there was something bugging me...  Can you notice?

The pillow cover is slightly too big for the pillow form and it is sagging.  I might have let it slide on a birthday pillow for a 7 year old, but not for this one.  And it was a quick fix, too...

Here, much better...

I am happy to report that the pillow was gifted - in person - to C.  I know she was both surprised and touched by the gesture and, well, you just can't fake that reaction... I know she loves it!  That is the best part of quilting.  Designing, making, finishing, yes.  But giving is the best.

Linking up to TGIFF at Ms. Midge and Finish Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


  1. It's beautiful. The buttons look great. Such a good idea to stitch round the edge to make it fit, I wouldn't have thought of doing that.

  2. The finished product is lovely. The flange really finishes it off. In fact the flange is a perfect finish for pillows as it gives it shape(a designer touch).

  3. What a thoughtful gift! I'm sure she lived it. Rcoyle at olemiss dot edu

  4. Too cute, I love the quilting on the tree trunk!

  5. An awesome finish! Love how it turned out. Great idea with the added row of stitching around the pillow. I must try that on two pillows that I have that don't fit just right.

  6. I love how this turned out! How could she not love it! Love the buttons

  7. Lovely pillow and a great story to go along with it! Summer (and vacation) may be over, but we've still got a fabulous Nova Scotian fall around the corner... those crisp evenings have to be good for running (not that I'd know!)

  8. You've taken a wonderful mix of family and fabrics to make the perfect gift. It's gorgeous.


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