Thursday 9 February 2012

The Wonder Swap!

Well I knew Helen was really a wonder person after all she is mum to Archie the Wonder Dog and I guess that sort of rubs off on one!

What I didn't know was that she is also a wonder maker - well actually I  strongly suspected it so when we talked way back last year at the time of the Brit Bee Pillow Fight Swap about a one-on-one swap I quite frankly jumped at the chance and very nearly bit her hand off in the process.  Poor girl!

Anyway we eventually decided on making each other a cushion cover and a couple of extras - though she has cheated and snuck in a few more!

Without further ado this is what I have been truly blessed to receive....

First of all the cushion cover....

Isn't it absolutely fantastic!  I absolutely love it!   The colour, the shape, the precision in each of these 64 - yes 64 teeny weeny logcabins and did I mention there are 64 of them - all different!  

Is she mad ?  I do fear so!  But each one is perfect and for the clear sighted of you they are made with batik fabric!  Eeek!  I hear you exclaim but I do believe that Helen is on a one woman mission to convert us all into batik lovers -  she started with Trudy in the Brit Bee Swap and now this....


I do believe that there is no bad fabric - well apart from some of the stuff in Lucy's Fugly fabric party and I have to say I have seen some stinkers in the nicest possible way!  : )   But I think a lot depends on what you do with it.  And Helen has triumphed here!  I love these batiks!  I think even Hadley would??

Now don't forget the back of the cushion - am loving those buttons which co-ordinate beautifully with those fabrics on the front...

Next up the extras .....A little pincushion to match big mama cushion!  Cute or what?  I can strap it to my wrist - so no excuse for being without pins or someplace to put them!  It is so comfortable I shall be wearing it round the supermarket and on the school run - perhaps even to bed!  Ouch!!

And two beautiful wonky house blocks for my wonky quilt, with siggy block!   But not only did she make the blocks - she also had stories relating to them...and I quote... family have built an eco friendly house with a sedum roof, ground source heating (so no chimney) and have just started a mushroom farm.  

The funny thing is we considered the first two when building an extension to our house!  Her stalking is really good as I haven't blogged about that!  Has she been hacking into the local planning department?  And we had mushroom compost to improve the soil when we first moved here so for a while we did grow mushrooms...  Don't know who the monkey is supposed to be??

The other family live on an island in the Thames Estuary and have declared it an outpost of Scotland but couldn't get planning permission for tartan patterned stones so they went for a royal/peacock inspired look...The locals aren't sure about it but regard the family with fondness and so put up with it!

Personally I think they decorated with a nod to Liberty - which I approve of wholeheartedly!  And Sheila and Katy do you see that Saltire fluttering from the battlements!

There was also some Green & Black chocolate ....though that seems to have gone somewhere else now....!  Oh yes I remember - my tummy  mmmmm!  We have similar seems!

Now what did I send Helen?....I have posted a few sneeky peeks for you but she got the short end of the straw although she seems pretty pleased so maybe I got away with it...and she is easily satisfied!

The cushion cover was made to go with the cushion she got in the Brit Bee Swap - so I took the colours from there!  The design came out of my head sadly - haha - but was inspired by the spool blocks I was working on at the time!  I ended up paperpiecing this - not my favourite technique but I couldn't get the corners right otherwise.

The back was inspired by Helen's mosaic from the pillow fight - some string spools - yes there is a theme here  !  I love strings and scraps so I managed to weave that in. (Well if Helen can get away with batiks I think it is only fair that I dump some scraps on her don't you?)  I also like Free Motion stitching - so a bit of writing and some scissors, a needle and thread followed on the back!

The extras - one bone pincushion - not really for Archie!  Sorry boy!  But he did get some treats of his own though I don't have a photo of either of those!

And either a banner/wallhanging or tablerunner thing with Helen's blog name....and a paw and pic of Archie in his wonder cape and t-shirt!

It was great fun stitching him (not the real one) by machine - wasn't sure I could but I sketched it from a photo on Helen's blog - you may be able to work out which one Archie fans!  Strangely enough I cannot find a photo of the final thing - this is one taken before the finish.  You will have to visit Helen to see what it looks like - oops!

Anyway I think she likes it, but poor girl I got the better deal by far!  Not just because of the bigger bar of chocolate.... 

Still singing, squealing and dancing round the house!   And will be for some time to come!  Cloud nine - here I come!


  1. So glad you like it!! And I definitely didn't get the short end of the stick - I love my cushion, pincushion and wall hanging and I think you're incredibly talented! But thank you for saying such nice things about me! (And thank you for not showing my dreadful FME writing!)

  2. Wow! two fabulous cushions - I love them both!
    What clever ladies you both are!!

  3. Helen sent me over here to read your post and wow! What a great swap you two had!

  4. I think I heard both of you squealing and dancing around all the way over here!!! Her gifts to you are just incredible!!! And your gifts to her are totally fantastic! Good going Nicky!!!

  5. Wow! What a great swap! You can tell you each stitched those cushions with love and attention to details. Each one unique and beautiful. Lovely!

  6. I love that bone pin cushion, saw it on Helen's blog. May have to make some for my Duke' ( me ) lol! And that sketch you sewed of Archie in his cape is just amazing!!

  7. I think you both came up trumps! Well done to the two of you. And it is quite obvious that Archie pesters Helen less than our children pester us because there is no way that I could have managed to pieve those itty bitty log cabins with my girls about. Every time they rushed into a room the pieces would go flying in every direction and I would be teaching them new words!!

  8. I have just come over from Helen's and Archie's blog to say how fabulous your gifts to her are, I love the picture of Archie. Helen's cushion to you is unbelievable I don't think I have ever seen piecing as are two very talented ladies. Linda

  9. I love both sides of this swap, amazing work, both of you!

  10. She's a clever lady that Helen! As are you too! You both made beautiful cushions to be proud of :D

  11. Oh my! More beautiful makes (I've viewed yours over at Helen's). You are both very talented ladies. Di xo

  12. both of the cushions are just fantastic! I love your spools and the stitching is gorgeous. You two are so, so clever!! (and witty, love the descriptions for the house blocks)

  13. Brilliant swap, no wonder the pair of you are delighted :-)

  14. I think you both gave as good as you got! Lovely goodies! Lucky ladies!

  15. Wow, you two both did great on this swap. Both cushions are fabulous and the extras were wonderful too (thinking mostly of the chocolate here-hee hee). Glorious cushions by both!

  16. Awesome gifts from H! You are both v.talented ladies. Your fmq is brilliant N! What a long way you've come in a few short months! Jxo

  17. Well I was envious of Archie after reading her post but now I am a bit envious of you as well. I love that pillow!!!!

  18. I saw the cushion you made Helen on her blog and loved it, and I absolutely love the one she made you! What a fantastic swap!

  19. You are both so talented! I love the cushion she sent you and your super Archie! What a wonderful swap :)

  20. What a great swap, beautiful things have been created - yes, spotted the Saltire, love the story, Helen should write books.x

  21. Hi Nicky,
    what a wonderful swap!!!!
    The pillow you`ve received ist so wonderful - I must save the foto.
    I love log cabins anyway and the kombination with the colors and white ist so effectful!!!
    ...uns so wunderschön dein Kissen für Helen, die Mitte war bestimmt schwierig - sehr schön die Stickereien, auch auf dem Banner - toll gemacht!!!
    So ein schöner Post :-)
    Liebe Grüße aus Germany
    von Sabine

  22. What a wonderful little swap you two had!! I love your FME of Archie and the bone pincusion (and the pillow design and colors, too) that you did for her, and the one she did for you. Sounds like you are both very happy ladies!


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