A Mixed Bag

Hello! nice to see you here again. We’re back from our trip to Ireland which I have thoroughly enjoyed. It was incredibly relaxing with Grandma and Grandpa entertaining Little Miss Bossy-Boots most of the day. It gave me some time to do things on my own or with Master. We even managed to have a lovely anniversary lunch (7 years last Sunday) with some friends in Kelly’s Bar in Galway. We ambled through a tiny market in Galway where I bought some Echino and Far Far Away III fat quarters and just generally enjoyed some quiet time.

I also found the time to work on my hexagons in peace and quiet.

“Hexagons? I thought you said you were going to do octagons?” I hear you say. Yes, that was the plan but I changed it at the last minute. The week before Easter my friends Nicola and Vicki came over and we made five heart pillows. It made me realise that we have to somehow find the money to buy lovely fabrics to make them with. So far we have been using fabrics that we’ve had lying around and some stuffing that I bought for the first heart pillow I made. It’s ok for now but I really think that we need some cash to be able to buy materials such as bags to put the pillows in and cards to wish the women the strength to fight. I’ve decided to make a hexagon cushion in pinks and reds which I will donate for a raffle. I might find some more things to give away if I have a good look but I thought this might be a start.

Anyway, Ireland was lovely and we were even lucky with the weather. As an added bonus we were allowed to bring the dog and I very much enjoyed walking him along the river in Birr.

One day we even found a friend for him. Although all dogs are supposed to be on a lead there are quite a few dogs that roam freely. One day on our way down to the river we met a gorgeous white dog who followed us on most of our walk before going back home. It was lovely to watch the dogs running around and playing. They chased each other into the river and all around the field. Pure joy!

Sadly we had to return two days early as Master had to attend an important meeting at work.

Now that I’m back I want to make my partner’s name tag for the Fat Quarterly Sewing Retreat. I’ve had a great idea for it but I’m not sure that I can pull it off. I will have a go and if it doesn’t work out I’ll have to put my thinking cap back on. Pressure is on as I’ve seen a few name tags in the Flickr pool and they are gorgeous. On top of that the shipping date is the beginning of May so I really have to get a move on.

Heart Pillow Project

I have found a project that is very close to my heart (or should I say left breast?): The Heart Pillow Project.

I stumbled upon it when my sister gave me a German craft magazine the day before I left Switzerland. The magazine was looking for women who would be willing to sew and donate heart pillows for breast cancer patients. Many operation wounds are in or around the arm pit and the pillow helps to relieve the pressure from the arm on the wound.  I went on the internet to read a bit more about the Heart Pillow Project and discovered it was brought to Europe from America by a Danish nurse, Nancy Friis-Jensen. There are many groups in Denmark who are sewing Heart Pillows for patients and you can see some of the pictures on the Heart Pillow Project website.

Cancer is scary and changes your life completely. I know as I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. Doctors and treatments take over your life, decisions have to be made. I was in a bit of pain after my first operation but I can’t say that it was too bad. The fact that I can’t lie on back to sleep was more of a problem. Lying on my side was painful until I found a millet cushion I could lay under my breast to give it some support. It was good but quite heavy and awkward. In hindsight I wish I had had a Heart Pillow.

Maureen, the wonderful wife of our friend David, was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months ago and has had two operations in the last two weeks. After reading the article and wishing I had had one, I decided to make her a Heart Pillow. I hope that it will be useful to her and relieve whatever discomfort she might feel.

I used some IKEA fabric for Maureen’s pillow which you will see again soon as it’s the lining for my sister’s bag which is going to be made later this week. I love blue and white together and adore this flowery fabric. It looks feminine without being to saccharine.

This pillow was very quick to make. I will make another one and contact the oncology department in our local hospital to see if they would be interested in giving them to their breast cancer patients. If they accept I will get our crafty chatters to make Heart Pillows on Monday evenings. I can’t imagine a better project for us while we have a chat.

If you are interested in making a Heart Pillow here is the pattern and ‘how to’. The only thing I would like to note is that my fibrefill seems to be lighter than theirs. I weighed out 150g but couldn’t get it all into the cushion. The cushion shouldn’t be too squishy but also not too hard. Put it under your arm and check what is comfortable for you, I ended up taking some of the filling out again because I thought my pillow was too hard.