Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Purpose of Stash

We're hopefully zooming down to Kent on Sunday to ditch the kids at Nanny's for a week, as long as Ingrid the Volvo is amenable. Other than enjoyment for the kids, there is an actual purpose behind arranging time out of the maternal slammer on licence, but more of that in another post at a later date.

It so happens that Sunday is also the birthday of one of my SILs, and she is having a celebration. We can't simply do a drive-by jettisoning of the kids; well, we could, but it seems a tad impolite seeing as how we don't get down there often.

So began the quest for a suitable gift. DH suggested that since we seemed to have so many knitted scarves lying around, why not give her one of those ? knowing that one of them has indeed been knitted for her, since he'd selected the yarn.

I don't think that men truly understand the concept of having a stash. That scarf is part of the Xmas stash and is intended to be her Xmas gift. If we use it for a birthday gift, then it's no longer part of the Xmas stash, and what will we give her at that time ? Let alone that it's actually quite a warm August and woolly scarves are for winter.

Fortunately, stash comes in handy in times of gift crises like this. I headed up to my wicker chests full of fabric acquired randomly with no project or purpose in mind. This is what I selected from the jumble:

I unearthed the sewing machine, and then had a cup of tea - balm for any troubled soul - to engender the correct mindset:
  • I will be patient
  • I will take my time
  • I will do it properly.
I almost added 'I will not curse like a sailor' to the list, but a reality check got the better of pious aspirations. One must ensure one's goals are achieveable. Repeating this mantra, I set to work. By the end of last evening, I had produced this:

It is the front of a cushion cover in a traditional patchwork design called the Frienship Ring, Aster, or Dresden Plate.

Inside it, along with the cushion pad, will go a mix of herbs to aid sleep: lavender, hops, camomile, jasmine, lemon verbena, rose petals, rosemary, cloves and cinnamon sprinkled with a few drops of essential oils: camomile, lavender, benzoin, sandalwood and the tiniest smidge of May Chang just to 'lift' it. These are marinating with orris root as we speak.

Today's task is to complete the cushion: affix a back and seam it all together. Sew the herbs into a muslin pouch and insert. Sounds simple, doesn't it ?

First, I shall go perform the ritual to re-affirm the mantra: the kettle's on.


  1. Wow! That is incredible. I have no sewing skills at all. How long did it take for you to make that! I also like the idea that you're going to fill it with something other than cushion fluff. That is just a cool idea!

  2. I agree with Trina! Wow! I would have no idea how to even start that!

  3. Wow, I'm impressed! What a fabulous idea and it turned out beautiful! I envy you in your craftiness. :)

  4. That cushion's going to be great! I love it, and the fabrics all look great together! Can't wait to see the finished project.

  5. How wonderful to add herbs to a cushion pad! My husband's grandmother always called that pattern dresden plate. Yours is lovely.

  6. Very pretty! And you speak the truth: men don't understand stash.

  7. Not only do men not understand stash, but what about the fact that we're always the ones who have to sort out gifts full stop? Doesn't matter if it's your rellies or theirs! Still, you've done yourself proud, Viv!

  8. Oh, I love this gift idea. She's going to be a very happy birthday girl.

    And the mantra may just go up over my sewing machine, along with your permission to curse like a sailor. ;)

  9. Thank you all for the lovely comments :-) It is all sewed up and in the machine reay to be washed :-)

  10. Wow! That is so pretty and you did it so fast!

  11. very pretty and what a lucky girl your SIL is!

  12. that's beautiful! any chance of seeing the finished object? : )

  13. wow! that looks lovely. what great talent! :)

  14. That's gorgeous! I have always admired quilting. This is a wonderful gift..


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