Julian and I were chatting over coffee on Monday morning. He had his calendar open, planning the days he will work in Melbourne over the next couple of weeks.
Him: Any preferences?
Me: Definitely not next Monday, I’m working an evening and I need you here to put away the poultry
I’m very mundane with my preferences.
Him: Hmmmm … I need to be away for three days, so if I don’t go Monday that means I will be away Valentine’s Day.
Me: Huh! I didn’t even know you knew when Valentine’s was!
Then wishing I could frantically shove those words back down my throat. Julian is thinking about Valentine’s Day! Well, howdy-do!
I think this may be a result of the lovely woman he works with … she appears to have introduced him to all kinds of ways of looking at the world. On his last work trip to London – which she went on too – he went to Fortnum and Masons from which he brought home Christmas puddings and cookies, and a German Christmas Market from which he brought home beautiful and delicately handmade decorations. (Should add here, for all the cynics, she has her own equally lovely partner).
Maybe she is introducing him to the ways of Valentine’s Day. Hmph! Said poultry are probably fine to tuck up once I’m home. After all, they have Maremmas …
Thus – wanting to be just as thoughtfully aware of this upcoming celebration – and in the midst of a bedroom prettification project – and our pillowslips needed changing anyway – I stitched some quilted Valentine’s Day pillowslips.
All the fabrics are from the stash – I love to buy metre pieces of loveliness on sale at Bebeloush and stack them neatly in the cupboard for just the right occasion. Some of these sweet pieces even have little hearts – perfect! And the dark swans are just right for us here on the Far South coast with a huge, glorious flock of black swans living in Wallaga Lake just down the road. The lake has a dear little single land rickety white wooden bridge over one end of it – an exquisite place to be as the sun sets – I’ll have to show you.
The gorgeous navy and winter white striped linen/cotton is left over from the backing of a baby quilt I recently made. I bought four metres of this at Spotlight two years ago to make a dress – which I never made – and it’s so lovely with such a perfect hand and finish that I now know I should regularly buy four metres of linen/cotton and keep it in the cupboard for such occasions. It has made lovely pillowslip backs and edge binding. And there’s still a bit left – new patchwork covers for the little square cushions that sit on our made bed? I reckon so.
I also cut out some Valentine’s bunting using the leftover ends of the pillowslip rectangle pieces – with little hand dyed pure wool red hearts from our favourite felt supplier Winterwood.
There was a little unpicking – I used a cotton batting for the quilting part – something I haven’t done for years and years, but after quilting the fore mentioned baby quilt with it, I am newly besotted. Only I forgot it needed a backing (thank goodness there was calico at hand). And being eternally optimistic (read lazy) – after discovering I couldn’t squiggly wiggly with no backing I thought “Ah-ha! Maybe it will tolerate straight lines!” Which it didn’t. And I never like that effect as much any way. So out with the unpicker. On with the calico and back to the free motion quilting.
My pillowslip is 100% finished and on the bed – I even sewed in the quilting ends and hand stitched down the binding. Julian’s is almost done – just have to top stitch the edges, and hand sew the binding. Easy peasy. Done by lunch for sure.
I wonder if Julian will look at it all and think “Ah yes … she loves me. I could not want more for Valentine’s.”
Hmmm … maybe I should cook something nice too.