Tag Archives: cushion covers

Finished in February II

Story Cushions

The first Story Cushion I made was The Very Hungry Caterpillar cushion it’s in the blog for April 2014. You can see it here.

It had been in the making a lot, lot longer. It was actually the catalyst to my long path to free motion quilting and to my beginning patchwork. I had the idea for the cushion and realised it was something I would need to actually learn. I was lucky, I found a great teacher in Kate Higgins and the rest, as they say, is history.

Just before Olivia’s 2nd birthday she became obsessed with very same Very Hungry Caterpillar story so…… on to the net to order fabric and cushion number 2 was on the way.

The panel and the foods fabric were soon cut and the book pocket made.

The caterpillar and butterfly were outlined with this amazing multicoloured cotton thread. I love this and have it in several (rather expensive-but-worth-it) colour ways, this one is ‘primaries’, there must be around 50 colour ways.

Next it was on to the quilting and I have to sing the praises of another sewing thread here. I kept reading about this thread, it was everywhere; it was on just about every professional blog I read; it was in magazine articles; on pinterest; everywhere.  You really can’t miss it and I decided to stop ignoring it and invest in this Aurifil. I bought mine from Barnyarns, simply because I’d had some freebees from them and they really seem to know about thread.                               I am converted, it is ultra smooth and it doesn’t break and I really have to say it’s made a huge difference to the flow of my free motion work. I’m totally sold and don’t think I’ll go back to quilting with anything else. I only regret not trying it sooner!

So it was caterpillar quilting  for the caterpillar side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And butterfly quilting for the butterfly side.

 

 

Now there was one more thing. I’d made two story cushions and I have three grandchildren and although Heidi had the cushion that matched her quilt it’s not a story cushion with a pocket for a book!

So cushion number three. It could’t be the same as Dougie’s,  I didn’t need a particularly good imagination for that bit of sibling interaction! So here is what my search led me to choose.

 

Once again I outlined the motives and then stippled in between on the outside of the pocket.  But this time the  top half was plain/plainish  so I decided to write on that.

After sketching out a couple of font ideas this was my choice. Think I might use it again, simple but effective I think.

I can’t believe how quickly these two cushions came together. The first one took me so long. The quilting was so much easier, having a new machine since I first began has helped a lot. The Pfaff is so much more controllable and the Aurifil is a great find. Mostly of course its all down to experience and I must say that is pretty satisfying really. I think these two are destined to take up residence in the girls’ teepees where they both enjoy having stories read to them and where hopefully, in the future they will curl up to enjoy a book themselves.

Finished in February

 

It’s a great British tradition to complain about the weather and in January and February this year there was plenty to complain about. One of my favourite ways to keep reasonably fit is to walk in the glorious countryside around here. This January I regularly found myself paddling or sinking to my ankles in mud. In February it was the turn ‘The Beast from the East’ and storm Emma and general biting cold winds that upset us so much.

But – and it’s a very positive but – there was no golf, no gardening and so – there was a lot of sewing time.

Enough time to finish Olivia’s  just-about-begun quilt, a story cushion for her birthday and a story cushion for Heidi just so that she didn’t feel left out.

And enough time for a few little projects along the way. The red scraps made their annual appearance just before Valentine’s day.

Olivia’s quilt had been an embarrassingly long time in the making. I was in the middle of making Dougie’s Quilt when we went on one of our long trips to Spain and I decided that while we were away I would hand appliqué the elephant patches. So far so good.

Well when we got back it was summer.  Summer = golf + gardening = very little sewing. Then of course came the autumn and it was all stops out to finish Dougie’s quilt in time for Christmas. So the little elephant quilt was the no.1 priority for January. It was easy to piece together with yellow, grey and white patches to match her bedroom.

 

 

It needed a little bit of planning to get the balance right before piecing and once that was done 

 

 

the next step was simple and speedy and I soon had the batting and the yellow and white pin-spot backing together and ready to quilt.

I wanted a quilting design to fit in the yellow, white and grey squares, the elephant squares would just have simple outlines.  Here’s what I call ‘the pink claw of quilting’. My quilting gloves are actually cotton gardening gloves that have a fantastic bobbly surface perfect for ‘getting a grip’!

Now the next bit is worth posting, I’ll know where to find it rather than having to think really hard to remember it. I don’t have any idea why, but the sequence for binding around the corners  just won’t lodge itself in my brain. So here it is – in pictures.

and in words:

  • having pressed a diagonal fold at the beginning of the binding (see last photo) sew the double thickness binding strip leaving a 5cm tail at the start, using a quarter-inch seam
  • stop a quarter-inch from the corner, secure and break thread
  • fold the binding strip 90º to the right
  • fold the binding strip back on itself level with the edge of the quilt.
  • sew across the folded edge stopping and turning the corner a quarter-inch from the edge. Do this on all corners
  • trim and tuck the end of the binding inside the folded tail  before sewing the last 5 cms.

The   corners turn back really nicely and it’s on to my favourite bit, sitting quietly folding the binding over and hand stitching to finish the quilt.

I hope Olivia enjoys her quilt, if she’s like Dougie and Heidi it will become her relaxing quilt probably becoming part of the soft furnishings of the teepee we gave her for Christmas – which leads nicely on to the next project  … Story cushions’ But that’s for another day.

Time to change cushions

Christmas cushionsI did love the Christmas cushions. They were bright and warm and very cheerful, but they did shout ‘Christmas’ and in the middle of January it was definitely time for a change. The trouble was that having them made the original sofa-matching ones look dull, stiff and over-stuffed. Time to make some new ones. I loved the pop of red, and it picks up on other little accents so keep that.

Bark and Branch

1181_bark_and_branch_fat_quarter_bundle_in_winterI’d bought ‘Bark and Branch’ by Eloise Renouf for Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics some time ago and really wanted to use that.  What to do with it?                Image 03-02-2014 at 22.22 (1)                                                   I added a couple more fabrics from my stash and started with a Disappearing  9 patch but that didn’t work for me at all.                               I searched in all the obvious places for a block I fancied and what came to mind was the Bento box I’d used for the Christmas table runner. It was fun to make and I thought the mix of dark and light in the collection would be good.

Two blocks, quartered and pieced ready for two cushion tops.

I added a red border – for the colour pop then once my quilt sandwich was made it was time to try out the new machine.  I free motioned the centre and the wider pieces but put the machine to work on the narrower pieces and on a little  asterisk  stitch to bring in a little more red. So easy!

Fabric covered buttons.
Fabric covered buttons.

I wanted to try out buttonholes too, so for the back two halves with two fabric-covered buttons. The buttonhole function is so simple; once the foot is on and the size set just sew and cut and there you have it!                                                                                                                                            I made a third cushion adding some red from the ‘Winter’s Lane’ collection I used for my Festive Table Runner to make a spiral block. The overall look of the cushions is a great mix of the blues and reds from the room, the cool winter blues and the hot red. Close up? Well I think I’m making some progress in piecing, design and quilting . Satisfying.