September a year ago, she planned to make a surprise birthday gift for her husband. A pillow for his gigantic, newly built and furnished man cave. He and their boys love dragons, magic, and all things Harry Potter, so she sorted through her fabric bins and chose wizards, dragons, frogs, cats and stars. Everything that reminded her of him.
She cut and sewed. She arranged squares and rectangles. She planned fabric placement. She became frustrated. So frustrated in fact, she scrapped (no pun intended) her plans for the surprise gift. She bagged up all of the offending scraps and sent them on their way to Florida with the missive "make them go away".
I think I heard her say more than once "I'm done. I'm done with sewing. I can't do this."
Her unwanted scraps arrived, along with a box of many more, where they were very much appreciated. These particular scraps, however, were set aside for just the right project.
We make what seems like an annual sojourn east and north out of our little corner of Florida up the coast to Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware where much of our family lives. I knew I wanted to make (and take) my friend something that used her special scraps. Even though she'd said "make them go away".
This unfinished ROYGBIV circle of geese block is as far as I got. Of course, I didn't start piecing and sewing until three days before we were supposed to leave. Not a whole lot of time to complete a project, let alone pack and organize four people for a 3 week, 3000+ mile trip. It's that old procrastinator gene that's encoded in my DNA.
So now I have a half-finished gift. What else could I do, because, a half-finished gift is still only half-finished, right?
Oh! I know. Make a smaller version!!! A version so tiny it would require borders to reach the dimensions of a 6 x 8 inch mini flag. And bonus, use even smaller scraps so that you get the wizard's hand and wand, or the dragon's snout, or the kittie's feet, or even a little itty-bitty mouse!! This I could give her to tide her over until the bigger pillow cover was completed.
Done. Trip made. Time spent with friends and family. Birthdays celebrated. Retirement celebrated. Many good meals shared. Many tears shed. Summer science camp for kids completed. Rental house maintenance projects completed. Rental house plans formulated. Many, many miles driven.
This past week, I decided it was time to complete some of the many WIP sewing projects that have lingered.
Because the pillow top itself is so busy, I quilted with simple straight lines that intersect on the diagonal. After four double sets on each diagonal, I quilted the triangles that were formed with 1/4 inch straight lines. I like the texture it adds, plus, it plays up the shape of the geese.
What I haven't mentioned is I used that thinner-than-a-strand-of-hair nylon thread. Holy cow! Not looking forward to using that again any time soon.
Why nylon thread? Two reasons really including the aforementioned fact that the top was so busy. As much as I like seeing how thread adds to the texture and design of the quilt, the person who was receiving this is just the opposite. She hates seeing the thread lines. Everything she ever made for my family was stitched with nylon thread.
A trip to my LQS to pick up a spool of Coats & Clark Transparent Nylon thread. The size says it's .004. As I said, thinner than a strand of hair! Yikes!!!
For the back, I used even more scraps (!!) and created a small improv pieced section. So like me, and so not like the person who owns this pillow. Do you see that little jack-o-lantern piece? Not in her original scraps, but it is October after all. Had to do it.
The back of the quilt sandwich, because I just can't leave it as batting only, is another one of those old pieces from stash that you question why it was ever bought in the first place. No one ever sees the inside of the pillow, so use the ugly is my way of thinking.
I do like the the quilting pattern from the bobbin thread. When sewing with nylon thread, you have to use regular thread in the bobbin.
For all of the heartache these scraps initially gave her, I think she'll be pleased with the end result. I don't think she'll be saying "make them go away" now.
Something I've never done before, I'm linking up with Gemma @ Pretty Bobbins and Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday: