Meet Former Nanny – Because apparently men don’t like cushions

Several months ago I sent my log cabin cushions to Former Nanny and her husband Horticulturalist and she responded with a very kind email, full of praise, but a lengthy explanation about how they will be repurposed as placemats, as men don’t like cushions.  After working as a nanny and housekeeper for more years than it would be polite for me to disclose on my blog, Former Nanny claims that she always knows when the fathers have been home, as the couch cushions are either piled up in one corner, or on floor.  I find this odd, as Nick and I constantly fight over who gets to use the one cushion that’s survived Jolly’s chewing phase – and I will make more when I’m certain that my hard work won’t immediately be shredded by thirteen pounds of chew monster.

Log Cabin Cushions 1

Here’s the video Former Nanny made:

Keep in mind that my former nanny is now someone else’s awesome nanny, and I hope she’s inspiring her new charges to create in the same way she did for me, Miss Roller Derby, and the several children she’s looked after between then and now.


Skulls and Candy – Geekly Chic by Riley Blake Designs Cushions

I’m sure you’re all bored to death me rattling on about my love for Riley Blake DesignsGeekly Chic line, and its ability to save me and my friends from girly quilt tedium.  This is my last Geekly Chic project for the time being.  For those of you who haven’t been following along, you can see my very similar project from this line here, and my somewhat different one here.

Geekly Chic Skulls

I made these for a very dear friend of mine, who I haven’t seen for almost four years, but keep in regular touch with.  Remembering the sorts of things she liked when we were physical, as opposed to electronic, presences in each other’s lives, I thought that this fabric, simply pieced, with some simple quilting, would be just the ticket.  I have a feeling that she’s moved on somewhat since then, and that these probably belong somewhat to another life.  The problem is, I don’t have a distinct idea as to what she’s moved on to, so these are getting sent regardless.  I’m sure she’ll love them anyway, and hopefully they’ll remind her that I still love her madly, despite the infrequency of our communications.

The batting is Dream Orient, which I love as it’s so soft and lovely to work with, and doesn’t add too much bulk to the cushion cover.  The cotton is Aurifil 4670, from the Tula Pink collection.

It’s not completely obvious in the photo, but I think I’ve come a long way with my finish.  The binding sits much more smoothly now than it used to, and I’ve developed a system for machine binding the back that is much more efficient than the one I was previously using.

High Fidelity Finds a Home

I did promise that I’d keep trying to be up to date with my blog posts despite my insane study load, so here’s the first of the new semester’s posts.

High Fidelity Home

Many thanks today to my dancer friend who sent me this pic of the pillows I made for him in their new home.  What good luck that the colors work so nicely with the couch!  I actually had no idea what his home decor situation was like.

Hopefully some of my other friends who received goodies will be kind enough to share their pictures.  I love seeing where things end up.  It makes me feel as though they’re actually useful.

The Cabin at Sunset – Log Cabin Cushions

Log Cabin Cushions 1

Continuing to get through my pile of UFOs by completing a set of cushions that are a something of a colorful interpretation of a classic.  I made these using fabrics from the Kona Sunset fat quarter bundle.  The greens and purples are so perfect for a friend of mine, who was my childhood nanny, and very influential in getting me in to arts and crafts.  She even lent me her sewing machine back when I was in Sydney making all those stuffed toys for my friends.

I quilted them all a little differently, partly to create a bit of variation, but also for the sake of playing around.

Log Cabin Cushions 2

The quilting lines aren’t particularly straight, and I had some thread tension issues in one particular area, which unfortunately happened to be right in the middle of one of the cushions.  Unfortunately the machine Nick gave me in 2012 was great for piecing, but not fantastic for quilting.  I ended up upgrading to a lovely Bernina while I was in Australia, as they’re possibly the only thing that’s cheaper there.  Putting the backing and binding on with the new machine was such a breeze!

Log Cabin Cushion 2

I’m currently looking at the box of cushion cover tops that I put together in early autumn and am a little disappointed in them all.  That’s partly to do with having a more suitable machine now, and partly due to my improved skill.  I deemed them all acceptable aside from one set, which I’ll have to remake when I have some suitable fabric.

Log Cabin Cushion 3

I’m sure Former Nanny will love the cushions; her husband, Horticulturalist, on the other hand, possibly not much.

The batting is Dream Orient, the tops were pieced with Aurifil, and quilted with a green Aurifil thread, and purple Mettler

.Log Cabin Cushion 1


Update:  Thankfully Former Nanny and Horticulturalist both loved the cushions, which is a relief, as I was a little worried about them, particularly as she is a very talented sewist.  For some reason I don’t quite understand, Horticulturalist says they’re they’re so nice that they should use them as placemats.  I suggested that perhaps I could send them some actual place mats once I have a little free time.

High Fidelity – Cushions featuring Geeky Chic by Riley Blake

Completed January, 2013

Of course, I got stuck in to a new project for myself and I began to feel bad about the number of UFOs laying around that I’d began making for other people.  The first thing I pulled from the pile were these cushion tops that I’d put together back in September, and were in need of some backing and binding.

Geekly Chic Riley Blake Cushions
I always find it difficult to imagine what I might make to gift to a grown man, but I desperately wanted to make something for a dear friend of mine.  Riley Blake’s Geekly Chic to the rescue again!  These cassette tapes designed by Amy Adams were just perfect for my friend, who’s an avid and talented dancer.  I did go back and forth between the audio tape and records prints, but eventually decided that not only should I probably keep the design minimal, but also that unlike myself and a handful of others in my circle – currently all in our mid to late twenties – most of my friends have probably consigned the vinyl to a handful of vague childhood memories – no matter how musically inclined they are.

Geekly Chic Riley Blake Cushions

I was trying to keep these as simple as possible, so both the piecing and the quilting are really basic.  Batting is Dream Orient, which is lovely and soft, and backing and binding are Kona, and the cushions are pieced and quilted using Aurifil thread.

Mustachioed – Riley Blake’s Geekly Chic Moustache Cushions.

Created October, 2013

I absolutely love the 2013 Geekly Chic collection from Riley Blake Designs!  There’s always something perfect in there for someone who’s a little unconventional, and I thought this mustache print was print was perfect for my Roller Derby friend.

Mustachioed 1

This was my first experience using traditional quilt binding, and honestly, I found myself completely over the hand finish once I’d finished one cushion.  Still, I persevered, if for no other reason than I was staying with my Dad in Bangkok and had not the faintest idea of how I would access a sewing machine.  Well, perhaps Goong will become interested in sewing one of these days and get her own machine – after all, there is a Bernina factory in Chiang Mai…  Well, I can dream.  And I did; while I was diligently hand sewing the binding to the back side.

 Mustachioed 2

Ultimately, I think this friend’s mother liked the cushions more than she did, but at least someone enjoyed them.

I’m sorry that I didn’t take any individual photos of these, as they were all quilted differently.  I had thought I’d gone a little over board with my choice of quilting thread, which was from the line Tula Pink designed for Aurifil, but it’s not noticeable from this distance, so it can’t have been a terrible choice.

I hope these cushions are currently enjoying their million dollar views of Sydney Harbour from their new home – or the underside of said Roller Derby loving friend’s bed.  It’s a coin toss.