Each heart represents a member of the family he left behind when he moved south. Those are musical notes in the upper left heart, for his dad. You can probably guess that the sewing print is me ;- ). His sister and her family are represented by the frogs ~ there's even half of a pink frog for baby Susan! The Mardis Gras print is the best I could do for something to represent the theater that his brother is so involved in. I used the western Washington print to frame up the heart blocks and back the pillow.
One thing I didn't foresee when I was creating the blocks was the big square of negative space that ended up smack dab in the middle of the pillow top. I had to do something about it! I couldn't think of anything in my stash that would work in there so I risked a trip to JoAnn Fabrics and found some commercial appliques. Actually, it was DS#2 who spotted the shamrocks and thought they would be appropriate. In the end I had to agree. And they can remind him of the good wishes we send his way every day.
I have been out early the last couple of mornings, trying to do a bit of Christmas shopping in those very first hours of the store's extended schedule. Yesterday I fared pretty well. Not so good today. But not horrible either. The challenge now is to get back into sewing mode. There are three gifts to finish and at least one more I could begin. Then there are all the little goodies I could make for people like our postal carrier and paper carrier, etc. I haven't yet decided whether I'll go the handmade route for them this year or not. It will depend in part on my energy levels. What I wish I had the time and energy to make this year are gift bags like Tonya's. Not only would they save a ton of wrapping paper going to the landfill, they would be cute decorations under the tree even after the gifts have been removed from them! Go check 'em out!