Tag Archives: cushions

Storytime

IMG_4358Eric Carle what did you do? Well apart from inspiring generations of children to read and thousands of art projects in infant and nursery classes everywhere that is. I particularly enjoyed entertaining and teaching my classes and my own children with what is probably the most popular of his books ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ The deceptively simple illustrations are charming as well as educational and the book always contributed to mini-beast science projects.

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Here's the fabric panel that started it all!
Here’s the fabric panel that started it all!

Well this particular version of Eric Carle’s iconic illustration started me on a journey that is still in its very early stages. When the caterpillar and butterfly panels first caught my eye I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I saw a cushion with a pocket for a story book. The butterfly would be stitched with coloured thread that would raise areas and make it tactile as well as visual.

Inside the pocket
Inside the pocket
small caterpillar fabric
small caterpillar fabric

There was only one problem and it was quite a big one! I’d never done anything like it and I didn’t really know where to start. I really had no idea how over ambitious all this was! The next part is a bit of a blur really. I know I had visited Yarnia and I know that Trish had told me about their classes. I had a look at them on the web. I saw Kate’s ‘Free Motion Quilting’ workshop. I’d never heard of ‘free motion quilting’ so back onto the internet. WOW! This was just it!

It didn’t take me long to sign up for the course and although that first day was a total mystery (see here) to me I have persevered through many trials and tribulations; a new and rather splendid sewing machine; an online course (sadly I have moved too far away from Kate to continue under her tutelage) and lots of other sewing projects; classes with Mel since our move to Aberystwyth and finally I felt ready to have a go at my story cushion.

So I bought some extra small caterpillar fabric from Little Fabric Bazaar and this just-right multicoloured quilting thread from AberdasheryIMG_1224IMG_4361 I quilted the butterfly and the caterpillar and used the original polyester wadding since I’m an expert quite a bit better now. It does give  a bit more ‘oomph’ and should be used for baby items because it is more breathable.

I sliced the caterpillar side in half – eek – and added the fabric for the pocket.

Next I quilted the surrounding white fabric. I have to give some credit now to Lori Kennedy at the Inbox Jaunt whose amazingly generous blog has inspired me. Every single week she posts an FMQ tutorial. Her designs are fun, non-traditional in many ways and really appeal to me. I have watched and learned (and will continue to) and have finally felt confident enough to have a go at my own.

So quilted caterpillars for the caterpillar sideIMG_4365IMG_4366And in collaboration with my daughter, Bethan, butterflies for the butterfly sideIMG_4363IMG_4362This has been a long time as a WIP (work in progress) in my cupboard but it has been so much more. It has driven my progress for the past year, nagging at me quietly to keep on. The first class I did with Kate took me back to work with her on my first attempts at patchwork which in its turn grew my fabric obsession and reignited the interest I had in sewing in my younger years.

Stemming from all that has been this blog and so a wealth of things to do with the time I gained from retirement.

So thank you Eric Carle and thank you Hungry Caterpillar and thank you  all the people in-between. I’m enjoying every moment of it. I hope Dougie will enjoy many a story comfy with his cushion!

 

 

 

Seaside Cushions

New House, New Cushion Covers.IMG_4073

I haven’t made new cushion covers for ALL the cushions in the house since moving, but it’s beginning to feel like it. When the $T2eC16hHJFsFFSCCK7H3BRWJewcOs!~~60_35 Laura Ashley Hydrangea cushions were new they were lovely, but they had been demoted to the least used bedroom even before we moved. The lovely ribbon work wasn’t bearing up to the wear-and tear of the Hughes household and was parting company from the cushion.  I wanted  a little bit more of the seaside theme in what has so quickly become know as ‘Dougie’s Room’ cushions are always a quick and easy way to add some colour.

Making this paper pieced block with Mel gave me the idea for the first cushion and the appliqué boat on the first cushion was the inspiration for the second.                                                              IMG_1030

I had plenty of scraps for the block and I felt very satisfied by another attempt at foundation piecing and look forward to a spring course to improve.

I took the block home and the next day I appliquéd the little boat and built up the block with the blue and white pinhead spot and some solid blue.

Buttons

I love buttons. I have a massive button box, many of them inherited from my mother and lots of vintage ones I’ve collected over the years but I’ve always wanted to have a go at the fabric covered ones.

I made the first ones ever on the Bento box cushions for the living room and I had some left so on they went. Nothing quite like them for a perfect match.

Number Two

The seaside fabric I originally thought would be curtains is certainly going a long way, and it hasn’t finished yet. I have  another idea up my sleeve but it may be a way off making.

The beach huts were going to feature on cushion two. There are four different ones and they just fitted along the cushion. So no patchwork, no borders, just the little beach huts appliquéd and some waves and clouds quilted on to the cushion front. This was a really quick make. IMG_4074