Today is my niece's birthday. She is the oldest of all the grandchildren in our extended family and my Mum's favourite. All the other grandchildren won't mind me saying out loud that she is Grandma's favourite.
I like to make something for my nieces and nephews birthday gifts, though it has its drawbacks. In the past they worked out that if I made a messenger bag for one person's birthday it meant that everyone was going to get one on that year. I have recently changed my strategy and now make something less predictable. It's not very exciting being the 7th niece or nephew to receive a messenger bag or a zippered pouch. There's no point in wrapping the gift when it comes to that!
Another niece recently turned 18. We convinced her that we were giving her a pet turtle. Did you know that you need a category 3 licence to keep an oblong turtle in Western Australia? And that you have to be 18 years old to apply for that licence? Anyway, we weren't giving her a turtle at all (though we did make a turtle using a river stone just so we couldn't be called liars!), but gave her the lap quilt that she began sewing a few years ago.
For today's birthday girl I decided to make a cushion. My niece has been an adult for quite a while now and moved out of home some time ago. She also likes cats, so I though a cute paper pieced cat in the centre of a cushion would be a gift that she'd love. I used the free pattern by Janeen who blogs at Quilt Art Designs. The pattern can be found on Craftsy.
Then I decided that I should make another cushion. My niece loves prettyfloral fabrics (and would have been in her element had she been born during the 1980's), so using a floral print from Lily Ashbury's Fancy range was an obvious choice. I thought it might nice to throw her a curve ball and make a cushion that was traditional in design but modern in every other way. I chose a low volume background fabric so as not to scare her too much, and because it has cute little birds on it. Cats go with birds don't they? I chose the Sawtooth star because it looked simple (that decision was made entirely for me) and it is also representative of her name.
I love this cushion so much that I really wanted to keep it for myself. But we are leaving right now to gift both cushions to her.
As usual, I used Svetlana's wonderful tutorial for installing a covered zipper in a cushion cover. Svetlana is the queen of cushions!