Connecting Threads

“We all need somebody to lean on…” ACET staff will be singing that next week, as we always do, at the annual Friends Remembering Friends commemoration in Rialto. And we do: we need folks around us; we need to connect.

A small sewing flurry I recently completed was triggered, as I recognised part way through,  not just by a need to do something creative and to use up some of my fabric stash, but also – and mostly – by my desire to connect with people.

We have just completed an office move – only up one floor, but into a completely different room configuration. I’m on my own in one space, while the others are all in the adjoining room. In the corner of my cosy room is a built in cupboard that is just seat height: a perfect bench, if you will. Perfect, that is, if you don’t mind hard wood.

“This is where I’ll be,” announced one of my colleagues, sitting down on it. “With my laptop, so I can work and talk to Lynn. Except it just needs a few cushions, and somewhere to put my coffee.”

It took me decades to realise that I am a shy extrovert; I find that when I am working on my own for a long period of time, it is very hard to keep focused and productive. Trigger my creative flurry, as those bits that I’ve been meaning to make into cushions suddenly took shape.


A friend who also works in the building arrived in one day with a small table on loan: “This will be perfect here,” she said, without knowing what my colleague’s wish list for the space was, “just right for a cup of coffee.”



The project:

As you can see, there was a blue theme suggesting itself, so I went with it. The cushions cost little more than time and creative thinking:

  • The striped blue and white linen and the blue on the back of the small one were pieces I picked up in Recreate.
  • The inner pillow of the striped one I sewed from an Egyptian cotton sheet whose elastic had gone, with stuffing I had.
  • The small pillow is goose down with a gorgeous cotton cover, from a charity shop.
  • Zipper: 25¢ from a thrift store, and the velcro for the closing on the linen was from a packet bought in Lidl.


  • The cross stitch was with my mother-in-law’s things. I’m not sure if she or one of her sisters embroidered it, but I’ve been wanting to get it out of my cupboard for a long time. I love it, and the way the plump little cushion fits it so perfectly makes me happy.
  • The stripy blue cushion is from a top a friend bought in India: I sewed up the side slits and bottom (leaving fringe intact), cut it off under the arms, and finished with buttons that I’d taken off a hand-sewn quilt (again, from a thrift store – where else?).
  • The other blue pillow was made by my daughter as her junior cert home economics project – she also likes blue.


You can’t tell here, but the ceiling in my room is 14 feet, with a huge Georgian window. Above this cosy seating area and on other walls are quilts and banners celebrating communities and people, some who we know dearly, and others whom we have never met. But that is a post for another day.


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