Friday, February 19, 2016

Pibbles Pillows and Planners

Tish and I met in QBL last summer when we were both a part of the New Bloggers Blog Hop.  I recognized an immediate kindred spirit in her during a multi-email conversation about our fur boys, (aka pibbles, pitties, and officially, pitbulls).  She has two, and I have one.  Sealing the friendship was that we were also each owned by an all-things-quilting cat inspector/cheerleader.
Tish's Oliver and my Bella

Cementing our friendship was a love of FMQ, books, and both traditional and modern quilts.  When she told me she had been asked to construct a quilt for the play, "Quilters", a play that I'd been to years ago with my mum and sister at our Fringe Theatre Festival, I knew this was a friendship that was more than a "surface" online connection.  We shared so many loves.
Heart pillow pibble

Out of a very disappointing incident at the end of last year came two happy occurrences for us at the beginning of this year.  After the New Bloggers Hop was over, we were each given the opportunity to take part in a New Quilt Block hop sponsored by Fabri-Quilt.  Both Tish and I jumped at the chance.

3D Pinwheel Parade by Sandra and Watermelon Taffy by Tish
Funny, until I put them side by side, I did not realize we each had pinwheels in our block!  We were told that Stephanie of Late Night Quilter was doing a Quilter's Planner, and she would be choosing blocks from this hop to include each week in the planner.  We could be published!  A short while after the hop we each got an email letting us know that our blocks had been chosen.  Eeep!  Pretty exciting.

I elected not to order a planner.  Don't get me wrong; I thought it a great idea, I loved my teacher planner from my teaching days, and I lo-o-o-ve organization.  I have a calendar on the laptop that is synced with my phone, a calendar in the kitchen where we write all our goings-on.  I have pretty notepads where I make checklists of what I have to do on a given day or within a certain timeframe, as that keeps me (somewhat) focused and I get to check things off as I complete them. Love that!  I'm also the nerdy type that hangs on to some of these former checklists and looks back with a sigh of contentment that I did get through all those things that may have seemed a bit daunting at the time.  Life stuff and quilt stuff.  However, I am no longer working full-time.  In all honesty, I would rather spend the $35 on fabric and keep my current system.

And then.

The sad occurrence.

Tish ordered a planner.  Why is that sad?  Well, she got it in its lovely bubble-wrap packaging, opened it, and of course, flipped through to find her block.  Nada.  Okay, must've missed it.  Went through slowly, week by week.  Nope. No Watermelon Taffy.  What the H?  Obviously she was quite disappointed, as well as rather embarrassed since she'd proclaimed her publication on her blog and now....  Ouch.  How to handle this?  She talked to me and I encouraged her to contact Stephanie, asking what had happened.  She thought about it; being the sweet person she is, she didn't want to appear whiny.  Eventually she did write to Stephanie.  Apparently there'd been a mix-up of some kind, and much apologizing on Stephanie's behalf ensued.  And?  Stephanie made it right. :-)  She offered to refund Tish's money for the planner.


Tish elected not to have her money reimbursed, but wanted to send me a planner, because she knew what a nerd I am about being organized, and she knew I would love one.  She asked Stephanie if Stephanie would send a planner to someone of Tish's choosing.  Stephanie said no problem.  Tish then asked me if she could send me a planner.  I was gobsmacked, a British expression which I love:  bowled over to the point where one's mouth drops open.  Gobsmacked that someone who I have never met could be so kind and thoughtful.  Could turn a disappointment for herself into an act of generosity to someone else.  I still get a lump in my throat just writing that.

And so it was.

When we arrived in Florida, there was a lovely package waiting for me: my very own planner!  I LOVE it.  Sidenote: so does Bella if you look back at the first photo!

No more bits of pretty notepaper to look back on: I can easily look back at any given week and see what I had on my list and what I accomplished.  There isn't a day goes by where I do not use or refer to it.

I knew immediately that I was going to make something for Tish to thank her.  It took a little while for the idea to simmer, let the temperature rise a little more until, like taffy, it got to the "pulling" stage. ;-) Get it?

As I mentioned in this post, since I made Gillian's Namaste Hug heart lap quilt, I have wanted to remake it in miniature.  I found out that Tish, like me, loves blue and pink combined, so this would be perfect.  The heart symbol as well, yes!
Final arrangement on the design wall
I cut into my coveted Angela Walters 'Drift' fabric for that fabulous blue square of curling feathers in the centre area of the heart.
Block sections pieced (there might be a tutorial in the future)

Quilting...I wanted a lace doily effect around the heart.
I used white Isacord for the FMQ in the Kona Snow areas.
 I made a happy mistake on the 1/4" quilting along the seams of the heart: I did the first one at 1/8".  Instead of ripping, I thought I'd continue the 1/8" and 1/4", alternating a Coats and Clark variegated blue cotton with Essential thread from Connecting Threads in Magenta.  I have fallen in love with this thread!  The price and the quality! No affiliation.
All finished quilting.  Of course there are feathers.  Corner hearts, matchstick quilting, and a rather cool, if I do say so myself, motif of my own design in the "v" of the heart.
Then I needed to get fabric for the back and binding.  Of course, I forgot the cushion cover at home, but I'm so glad I have a pretty good photographic colour memory!  I liked what I brought home! Paradiso by Kate Spain.


As I am wont to do, I threw the finished quilt, in this case, pillow, around our back yard... (not always a good idea as you are about to find out)
The afternoon sun shows off the quilting so well!
The back:

A closer look at that label:

and the photo I iMessaged to Tish that day:
Look just below the arrow!  My initials are FMQ-ed in the pillow somewhere too.
Happy lump in the throat at her end.

And then panic ensued at my end...there was DIRT on the pillow!  On the Kona Snow fabric of course! Nooooo.  And on the back as well!!

Nothing to do but wash it.  Carefully.
Phew!  It all came out.  And crinkled up quite nicely.
Yep, no dirt.  I have no ruler foot for my Bernina, so the lines were done with a walking foot in some places and FMQ in others.
Ready to send to Tish!
threads used-mmm!
You know the saying two wrongs don't make a right?  Well two RIGHTS came out of one wrong in this case.  And I could not be happier.  Both in the receiving and in the giving.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: original design
Size: 22.5" square
Fabric: scraps, stash and purchased Paradiso by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton scraps
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced with Gütermann, quilted with Isacord 100% polyester #0015 in 40 wt, Essential from Connecting Threads 100% cotton Magenta 50 wt, and Coats and Clark 100% cotton in blue variegated 40 wt.

Remember, the hop continues until Sunday! What hop you may ask?  The Craftsy Sweetens Up My Quilting Life hop! Click the heart in my sidebar for the schedule, or here, if you missed some or all of the posts (no worries, we all take breaks from QBL, myself included).  Any class reviewed by a blogger is on sale for 50% off or more (one of the two Angela Walters classes I reviewed is 56% off), through that blogger's site.  Get the inside scoop on fabric purchases (some suh-WEET scores and tips), on tools for our trade, and on patterns, (ranging from free to $2-3, I kid you not).

HOWEVER I'm not done!  There is the giveaway still going on until Sunday!  Click here to enter.  That's it.  You could win a free class (TWO are being given away to 2 lucky people) or you could win THIS grand prize:
The grand prize is the kit to make this gorgeous Crown Jewels quilt by Amy Gibson.  AND Craftsy is also adding to that lovely prize with TWO sets of precuts above and beyond the kit requirements: Boundless Solids 10" squares and a 6" strip.  Gobsmacked everyone?!  I know I am!

One entry per person.  The winners will be announced on Monday, Feb. 21 here at mmm! quilts and at Pink Doxies.  What are you waiting for? You know you want this!

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF hosted this week by another of my QBL friends, Lisa of Sunlight in Winter Quilts.


  1. Sweet...both the pillow and the story.

  2. Wow! Great story! I'm sorry the block wasn't published but look at all the good that came after. Was your block published? I have to go look through my planner now and see if I can find yours. Thanks for the heads up about the giveaway too! I clicked over and entered. :)

  3. I can understand Tish tearing up, this is a wonderful gift. From one lovely person to another. As I've said before love the quilting.

  4. I agree about the planner, it looks very nicely put together, but I too would rather spend it on fabric or rulers!! Sorry Tish's block wasn't in there, so disappointing for her I am sure. But all turned out well for you both have wonderful friendships!

  5. Nice pillow and wonderful quilting. Enjoy the planner.

  6. Love your heart pillow.

  7. Lovely Tish! <3 I hope she will be published elsewhere or next year, to make up for this unfortunate oversight.
    As I said before, this pillow cover's quilting is unbelievable!!
    Oh Bella <3 oh Rocco <3

  8. Sounds like you two are sisters in spirit. Thanks for sharing. I wish there was a mew bloggers hop going on now that I could be part of. I would love to find new bloggers to follow and perhaps they would follow me.

  9. First, the doggie picture grabbed my attention, lol. The story of your connection was terrific. How disappointing for your friend. That kind of thing happened to me once, when I was in a theater production and they left off my picture in the program booklet. The only one left off. wah! And a free planner is not going to replace being published but it's something I guess.
    Your quilting is gorgeous. Love the beaded edge along the heart.
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  10. This is a wonderful story Sandra, although disappointing for Tish. What a great way to make up for it. You guys are the best! Thanks for linking up this great story and beautiful finish to TGIFF.

  11. Such a sweet story! I love the quilting on the pillow and I'm glad the dirt came out in the wash.

  12. Oh, what a mistake! How lovely of Stephanie to try to make it right and for Tish to gift the planner to you. Quilting people are just so dang lovely. :)

  13. WOW! That IS a cool design in the v of the heart! Looks like a perspective view of a sliced open bearing housing! Very cool. Im gonna try this out...instead of Mactavishing, we will call it Walkering! It is so nice to meet folks and have that super connection isnt it. Sometimes, we forget how lucky we are to have that happen. Really like the quilting on the pillow.

  14. I love the story you told about you and Tish - and what great, supportive friends you are to each other! I love this cushion cover and your amazing quilting!

  15. You told me you had a great picture of Rocco with the were not kidding (not that we would kid about something like that) He is so stinking handsome. I think he was thinking, "Mom, you should let me lay on that, I've read your emails to this chick. She won't mind" :) I love that you stitched your initials onto the pillow! And I did find them. You will never know how much this pillow means to me. Your pictures are beautiful, but to see it in person is even more stunning. Ok, tearing up again.

  16. This pillow and the quilting are amazing! Thank you for sharing it and the story behind the quilt.

  17. Oh my, what a lovely story. I had just started a heart mini for a gift when I came over from Confessions of a Fabric Addict. It reaffirms my decision. Have a great week!