Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Small Finish

Every winter, after we recover from Christmas and the rest of the holidays, the online group I belong to puts together our annual Friendship Swap.  This was started many years ago, after one of our members passed away very suddenly. Until now, we have always swapped blocks. This year, however, it was suggested that we swap for a finished item. Many of us agreed we haven't gotten around to sewing all those blocks together from previous years and we also agreed how much we enjoy looking at the other, finished items we  have swapped over the years. So, as an experiment, we decided we would swap pillows. Rather than pack up bulky pillows and mail them around the country and across the border, we agreed on an 18" form as our standard. Each participant created an 18" pillow cover and we only have to mail that. 
I thought it was a great idea.

Our group formed because of a mutual enjoyment of Thimbleberries patterns and fabrics. To date, Lynnette Jensen (the woman behind Thimbleberries) writes some of the best patterns I have ever worked from. The instructions are always clear and the diagrams are very helpful. Her fabrics are rich with colour, and I still have a great stash. But, like many quilters, my tastes have changed, and while Thimbleberries fabrics and patterns do not draw me as they used to, my group of online friends is still very special to me. I appreciate the fellowship of other quilters and am blessed to have met several of them 
in person, on different occasions.

A standard requirement of our swaps is that the items must be made using Thimbleberries fabrics. This is for a couple reasons; one, it is our common interest and so it should meet the taste of everyone in the group. The second reason is about quality control; when we stipulate a certain type of fabric, we can all rest assured we aren't exchanging our hard work and 
quality materials for something inferior.

My stash made this an easy project. My swap partner asked for blues and browns. Some time ago, I had bookmarked this Ribbon Star block tutorial over at Freshly Pieced. I made the block, added some borders and it really didn't take long before I had a completed pillow top.

If I were to make this again, I think I would decrease the width of the neutral border and increase the width of the blue border on the front. I think the blue is getting a little lost. Having said that, I am very happy with how it turned out. Time to strip it off the pillow form and get it packed up and mailed to it's new home. I think it's a great block. The tutorial shows it made in a terrific assortment of modern fabrics but it looks equally as nice in these traditional prints and colours. I think I'll be making this block again.

Hope your Sunday is a nice one.



  1. Your pillow top is awesome. I must go and print off the pattern. What a great gift.


  2. And I absolutely love it! It's beautiful.