Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Precious cargo

In early January I was very excited when Miranda asked me if I would help her with something she was making for her Mother the S-T-B-F-A's birthday.  M had spent nearly a year stitching a piece of tapestry that she wanted made into a cushion cover, this is where I, and a scrap of left over over chintz, came in.

During our planning stage M (winner of Mobius print design award) told me not to be shocked at her choice of backing fabric.  She said when I saw the tapestry I would wonder why she had chosen home counties floral to back such an edgy design but it had special significance to S-T-B-F-A and her.  It was the last scrap of fabric left over from M's granny's sofa cover.  Many years ago M's Granny had had a terrible fire at her house and a lot of her possessions that had reminders of childhood, growing up and visits to Granny were lost.  This scrap of fabric had lain in a chest at S-T-B-F-A's house for years.

When the packet from M arrived in the post, I saw what she meant!  I took a long look at the fabric and the embroidery and thought hard. It would have been fairly straight forward to make up a simple back for the cushion but more interesting to link them in some way.  The only link immediately apparent was a single shade of dark red, which I could use for the cording around the edge

The silver stitching behind the word LOVE gave me an idea.

I love dramatic linings and backings the fact that they are hidden a lot of the time adds to their allure.  Having cut out the main backing I chose one flower from the scraps and machine bound the edge in silver

Cut out the shape and stitched it, by the center only, over a similar flower on the backing itself

Then I posted it back to M.  I posted it on 12 January, by 17th it still had not arrived, nor 18th or, 25th.  On 3 Feb I checked with the post office to see if there was still  a backlog from Christmas (vain hope).  M and I both sent off lost parcel forms to Belfast (postal never-never land).  There was not enough space for all my pleas to the PO to have a very thorough look, so I wrote all around the margin of the form as well.  The PO sent me a nice letter and a book of first class stamps but no hope.

Then on 18 Feb M arrived home from work to find this on her door step

M gave her mother the birthday cushion at lunch very soon afterwards

S-T-B-F-A writes in a shepherd hut in her Cotswold garden  and this is where, after all its adventures the cushion resides.

I asked M if she would like me to stitch initials or a date on the back of the cushion, she asked for MLM 08.01.11.  I used M's own handwriting style by creating a transfer from photocopying and enlarging her note included in the original parcel

I didn't really give the initials a lot of thought, I don't know M's middle names, but later her mother explained it stands for Miranda Loves Mummy or Mummy Loves Miranda, secret code from M's childhood.

All's well that ends well



P.S.  S-T-B-F-A is a bit of a mouthful but after this I think I shall be able to refer to her as the Famous Author - bravo!


emmawindsor said...

Awwww what a wonderful story. The cushion is beautiful, I love how you have brought the two pieces of fabric together.

Tracy said...

I love the cushion and the story and that you made it for your friend. How awful it must have been when you thought that the post office had swallowed your parcel forever.

Knatolee said...

Wow, what a story about the cushion, and what a relief that it arrived intact. It's beautiful!

Catherine said...

Emma, Tracy and Knatolee - thank you for commenting - yes I was mightily relieved when the parcel turned up