Finishes are like buses, especially if you work on lots and lots of projects at once. Some buses I admit are going to be of the “once a month on a Sunday” variety (hello ripple crochet blankie) but the rest trickle along in a happy gang and then suddenly I find myself on the brink of lots of things being very nearly finished.
And in the case of my Dresden Plate cushion, actually finished.
Last week’s completed circle was taken away, pressed, pressed again and then slowly but surely I undid all of that tacking and eased out my little paper templates.
I never know quite hoe long it’s going to take me to stitch down a binding or an appliqué, it all depends on how well the children are sleeping, whether I have any job work to do, whether I have any writing I want to do, and whether I want to watch telly (needs knitting) or listen to an audiobook or talk with H when I don’t need to be able to look up quite so much, so I cheated a little bit on the next part, and used spray baste to stick the ‘plate’ to the backing and then added pins on top for extra security. It worked really well, everything stayed where it should and I could roll it up and tuck the piece away during the day a couple of times so that no one got too interested in the needle.
Over a couple of evenings I stitched down the plate, made the Suffolk puff and sewed it to the front, and hand quilted each of the petals with a pastel variegated YLI thread (it’s actually called Pastels) to give it that true wonky charm (I’m not very good at consistent hand quilting!)
And then the magic happened. The sort of magic that I thought was years away from coming true, the thing that crafty mothers of lots of small children dream of. Yes my friends, I sewed during the daytime! On my machine and everything.
(Pause for dramatic effect)
Saturday morning, H headed out the door for hockey as I settled Pip for his nap and when I came downstairs the girls were deeply involved in “packing to go to Gran and Grandad’s”, which involves putting large quantities of their toys into our giant shopping bags and moving them around the lounge.
They were happy, not too noisy, clearly getting along very well, and if I turned a blind eye to the fact that one of the sofa cushions was not exactly where it should be, they were the picture of cherubic family bliss.
I left them to it, I snuck away with my little bits of cushion and with the doors all wide open and ears awake for noises from upstairs and down, I sewed. It can’t have taken me more than 20 minutes to stitch it all together and it was bliss.
The hems at the back I folded under but then rather than use a straight stitch I broke out one of the very few embroidery stitches my machine can manage. I love this pattern, it was on my Mum’s machine as well, back in the day when a machine that could do anything other than forwards, backwards and buttonholes was very very exciting and she spent hours sewing this vine pattern around the front edge of her new dressing gown, a soft steely blue cotton on floral flannel.
I used the machine to attach the ties to the back too. It’s a bit of a fiddle and I can see why the instructions suggest hand stitching but as I’m intending this to be for the girls’ room and robust seemed to be the way to go.
Stuffed full of leftover quilt wadding (my favourite stuffing for impromptu cushions) it sat on my desk,plump and technically finished, but here was just something that seemed to be missing. I couldn’t work out whether it was that the corners that were bare and needed a bit of embroidery or I needed more quilting but it just didn’t feel quite finished. So as you do I took to Instagram and back came the perfect answer – you need a button in the middle.
I do quite like the centre hole that you get in a Suffolk puff, I think it adds texture and someday I’d love to make something completely out of puffs, but once the idea of a button was launched, I knew exactly which button I’d finally get to use.
Many many years ago H and I spent a day at Waddesdon Manor. It’s a beautiful house with stunning gardens and we wandered to our hearts’ content, this being in the pre-children era. And on the way out of the gift shop My craft radar picked up a little pot of handmade ceramic buttons. I don’t know who made them or quite how they came to be there but hey we’re beautiful and I couldn’t resist bringing home a little handful. The cream hearts with sea green polka dots were used on a blouse that has now been handed down from Kitty to Elma but the giant dotty button, the last one of its kind at Waddesdon, has been sat in my spaghetti jar button tin ever since.
And with that, it’s perfect, and already looking very at home tucked up in the girls’ room.
Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Crafting On