Today I was quite happy to give away two surprise gifts. The only thing better as a crafter than giving a handmade gift is when someone is really surprised.
The first was a wee quilted pink heart. Full confession - I meant to make it twice this size, but I've been using so many 1.5" squares lately in different projects I went into autopilot at the cutting table. It was only after I had the strips all ready to sew together that I looked at it and thought, "Hmm. This looks small." So instead of a wall-hanging, it became a mat for a teapot. Which actually worked out perfectly because it was for the lovely ladies that own the bakery and cafe next to my workplace. They kindly offered to host a high tea for a friend and co-worker who is soon going on maternity leave, along with me and another co-worker who are all addicted to their coffee and baking. The heart went under the pretty floral teapot as we enjoyed our finger sandwiches, cookies and then a scone topped with jam and cream. Yummy!
I knew I had the perfect fabric for the back - a bright pink with floral panels that turned out to be just the right size. Here I am assisted by a kitty who decided to stand in as Vanna White:
The mini looks a bit wonky in the picture, but it was quite square. Honest. And look at how perfectly the binding matched in one spot. You couldn't do that if you tried!
The next gift was for the high tea's guest of honour, who is soon having her second baby. I made her a sock monkey rag quilt that she insisted she buy the fabric for, so I still wanted to sew something as a real gift. She told me the baby room theme was safari, so I was thrilled when I looked in my stash and found a bright bundle with elephants, giraffes and polka dots. I picked up a couple more polka dots in different colours for the needed yardage, and white with multi-coloured dots for the back. The result is such a wonderfully bright and cheery quilt good for a girl or boy.
I quilted simple straight lines on both sides of the seams in bright yellow and used every last scrap on the back. I wasn't sure about using a predominately white fabric for the back, but I love it!
The binding was done by machine because I thought that would be more sturdy for a baby quilt that will be washed often and really handled. That's starting to go a bit better for me now after a bit of practice. This time I also pressed the binding toward the front, which I think was a real help. I don't know why I never thought to do that before.
Today I also hit 3,400 kilometres on my bike - thankfully a rain-free ride after getting drenched yesterday. Although the weather is iffy now that fall has truly settled in, I'm trying to get in as much cycling as I can. Autumn is my favourite season and I just love riding through the countryside and soaking in the fall colours, the moody October sky and the farmers busy harvesting the last crops.