Monogram – noun – a motif of two or more interwoven letters : this week Louise made a cushion with a monogram design.
This is a project that I’ve had on the back-burner for a while. I cut the pieces out and pinned the letters in place a long time ago, yet I’ve just never quite got round to finishing it. I know from reading lots of other stitchers’ blogs that this sort of ‘sewer’s block’ isn’t a rare occurrence – but I’m determined not to let it get the better of me. So this week, it was time for the monogrammed cushion to come into its own.
The cushion pattern is just the standard one I always use: three panels on the front and two at the back, sewn together inside out and then turned the right way round.
To make the monogram, I cut out the letters L and C (for myself and my other half) in matching, floral fabric and then carefully pinned and stitched a contrasting ribbon down the centre of each. I also added a ‘shadow’ of white lace to each letter and stitched on some little bunches of heart-shaped buttons. This was all a little bit fiddly – especially trying to keep everything straight and in-line – but I think the finished design is quite effective. What do you think?
After getting a bit punch-happy with my new Cath Kidston Button Factory, I’ve found myself with a china saucer full of colourful buttons and nothing to do with them. My favourite things to sew and make are cushions, so it seems only right that I make another, this time in bedroom colours and this time adorned with my floral button-haul.
The pattern I use to make my cushions is from the Cath Kidston Sew! book – the best sewing book I’ve ever bought, with easy to follow patterns and lovely pictures. It’s a simple square cushion pattern that has two panels of fabric on the back and three (or more – I’ve used 5) panels on the front.
Our bedroom is styled in teal blue and biscuit (not beige!) colours, so I went down to the Remnant House in Harrogate and bought myself some fat quarters in complementing hues. I picked three different – but matching – patterns, as I like to mix the cushion panels up a bit and go for a more patchwork-looking effect.
After sewing all the bits of fabric together according to the pattern (which I now know by heart I’ve done it that many times), I appliquéd some matching hearts onto the front, selected my handmade Cath Kidston buttons and carefully pinned a refined amount onto the front of the cushion in an agreeable arrangement. I love the finished result and it will look great in the bedroom!
I also got a bit bored and made this little stuffed, fabric heart to hang on my bedside table too. The butterfly is from an old necklace that I dismantled and safety pinned onto the ribbon. It was so quick to do, I might make one for every drawer handle!
First of all, Happy New Year! For me, 2012 was a year full of crafting and stitching and I expect 2013 to be no different. Thank you to all who have followed my blog, I appreciate all your views and comments, and I look forward to sharing more projects with you over the coming months!
Over the festive period I made a number of Christmas crafts – some of which I’ve already written about – but this final one is a Christmas project I’ve had to save until after the New Year, just in case the recipients of said craft are subscribers to my blog, thus spoiling the surprise.
So, what is the final Christmas craft? Flannel reindeer of course! I got this idea from a picture I saw on Pinterest and decided that I just had to try and copy it. I already have a multitude of pipe cleaners, Christmas-coloured ribbon and googly eyes in my craft kit so all I had to do was source some reindeer-coloured face cloths and come up with a suitable treat to put inside. I think the original face cloth reindeer are filled with bars of soap, but I decided on a few small sachets of hot chocolate instead. Much more useful!
To make the reindeer, put your filling diagonally in the middle of the flannel and fold two opposite corners of the face cloth neatly into the centre. This will form a tube shape. Pull the two remaining corners together on top and hold them in place with a ribbon. Push in some pipe cleaner antlers, add a face, and there you have it! I made a reindeer for each of my friends back home and think it’s a lovely alternative to a traditional shop-bought gift.
Take a look at this paisley print cushion I made for a family member too. I cut a paisley scarf into strips and then alternated it between two shades of pink material to create a striped effect. The back of the cushion is a corresponding, plain pink fabric with two shiny buttons for decoration. The intended recipient has just bought her first house so I’m hoping this cushion will find a space somewhere on her new sofa!
Anyone who knows me will know that I have a rather large soft spot for soft furnishings. Or for making them anyway. This applies mostly to cushions. I’ve had all weekend to myself so I decided to get a bit creative and make a couple more for the ever-expanding collection. At least our house is comfy.
I was looking through October’s edition of Style at Home magazine and noticed a bit of a trend for fox-print. So, being me, I went straight to Pinterest and searched for felt foxes to see if I could make one of my own. Turns out it’s fairly easy! I didn’t use a pattern (freehand is best) and just used the foxiest coloured felts I could find in my craft box.
I gave the foxes little sequins for eyes and noses and then stitched them onto some flowery cotton fabric (the same fabric that’s the basis for all my other cushions, so it matches nicely). I even cut the material into slits at the corners and down one side and knotted them to give the cushion a bit more texture… not sure if this was a wise decision however, as there are now bits of cream cotton all over the sofa and the carpet.
Another ‘winter 2012′ cushion craze I’ve spotted is that of cushions that look like woolly cardigans. Well, I have no shortage of woolly cardigans so we can all see where this one is going. I recently bought myself a new blue cardigan to replace one that’s going raggy, so I chopped the sleeves off the old one, machine-sewed the holes together and then sewed the top and bottom openings closed too. I slipped the cushion pad inside (actually an old pillow I’d cut in half, the other half which I used earlier in the fox cushion) and did up the buttons. Easy!
My dad is amazing. Let’s get that out there first. He’s also passing through that (critical) moment in life that only a bright yellow car can satisfy. Enter stage right: the Lotus (or Lotie as he prefers her to be called). As you can see from the photo, Lotie is polished to perfection; she sparkles like a diamond amongst volcanic ash, she radiates beauty like Mila Kunis in Black Swan, she puts a smile upon the most downhearted of men.
Yet on the interior, poor Lotie has rather sad, uncomfortable looking seats. Sad face indeed. So – enter stage left – daughter Louise and her sewing prowess.
I’ve been commissioned (Dad if you’re reading this, I’ve recently been known to accept payment in Jelly Tots) to make a driver’s seat cushion & cover to make the long, speedy journeys just that bit more comfortable.
Et voila: one completed car seat. The actual cushion is made of memory foam cut into a big rectangle. The cover (that’s my bit) is made from 7 pieces of green and white check fabric – one piece for the front, 4 long strips for each of the sides side and 2 for the flaps around the back. I didn’t have a pattern for this – I literally measured the foam and cut out bits of material to match.
I had a bit of trouble trying to stitch around the corners due to my incredible pattern improv – but the finished result looks pretty good, right? Now that I’ve completed it I’ve realised it’s basically an ironing board cover in miniature – I amaze myself sometimes. I used a couple of pieces of ribbon to make sure it attaches firmly to the foam too.
Let’s hope Lotie (and my Dad) loves her new coat as much as I do.
Even if I say so myself – this cushion is the result of perhaps one of my finest creative moments to date.
I mentioned previously in my review of Rosebud & Farthing that I loved the idea of an embroidered tree using buttons as blossom and leaves. With a whole Sunday morning ahead of me, I decided to try and recreate this for myself – and here’s the finished result.
I used my sewing machine (and the newly-discovered stitches it can do) to embroider the tree onto a piece of cream coloured fabric in navy cotton. I then stitched the little pink, white and green buttons on by hand. Overall result = incredible.
The cushion is made up of 4 different fabrics altogether – 3 of which I bought in Devon at the Cowslip Workshops. I got the material for my Kindle cover there too. I picked a dusky cream and blue colour theme – one in each colour which have a pattern of trees and birds on, and the third is a mix of the two colours and also has a (very cute) little cat print all over it. I used the cat print down the sides of my cushion and then the blue and cream as the cushion backing – as you can see from the photo.
The fabric itself was designed by Lynette Anderson – a British-born and Australian-residing print and craft goddess. You can see some of her stuff on the website here. One of my favourite items has got to be the Noah’s Ark themed buttons… Lynette even has a blog here. This lady could easily be responsible for me spending my entire month’s wages in one sitting.
I used the same basic cushion pattern out of my Cath Kidston book – a pattern which I can pretty much sew by hand now – so it only took me a couple of hours to complete. I can’t wait to show my mum…
Since the world is fascinated with Tweeting, and since purchasing a rather large sheet of Bondaweb (iron-on backing), I’ve decided that applique and birds are the way forward. They may not have anything to do with Trending Topics, but this flock of applique birds are more than trendy, no?
The cushion I’ve made here is the most basic pattern out of my Cath Kidston Sew! book, which takes about 5 minutes to cut out and sew together. Rather than leave the main panel plain or in patterned fabric, as I have done previously here, I decided to cover the front in little floral birds – a trend that seems to be making an appearance on everything and everywhere in the worlds of fashion and jewellery.
I made an applique bird cushion once before and gave it to my friend for her birthday – you can see it here. That time I hand-stitched the detail, rather than using bondaweb.
For this new cushion, I cut out the same bird template 6 times in different – yet matching – fabrics, and then repeated this for the wings. The idea is that it looks eclectic and random, but all the colours tie in together and don’t look out of place. To jazz it up a bit more I stitched buttons from the same colour palette onto the wing of each bird. The main cushion is made up of floral back panels, pink stripe fabric down the sides and a plain cream for the front panel.
As much as I love the cushion, I can’t help but think that it needs yet more detailing. Perhaps a bit of hand-stitching will do the trick – maybe to gift the birds with the power of sight!
Yiotas Cross Stitch is a website I stumbled across after they (inexplicably) started to follow me on Twitter (@_LouiseH). Evidently they have an EXCELLENT marketing team. Firstly, (I know how concerned you are with my progress) take a look at how my cherry-blossom-esque flowers are coming along – I just need to stitch a few more, place some green leaves in between, et voila - an entire bouquet!
But back to Yiotas… http://www.yiotas-xstitch.com is a website for you to buy cross stitch kits, patterns, fabric, threads – almost everything you’d ever need. There’s an enormous selection of kits in every category under the sun. I do wonder how I’ve never come across this before (probably for the best, I’m not sure my bank account could take it). Prices are surprisingly reasonable – delivery is only £1.49 in the UK, AND they will post worldwide – which makes the site all the more attractive. There’s even the option to buy just the pattern (without the thread) at a fraction of the price, which is incredibly useful for thread-horders like myself. There’s even a section for free patterns which gets updated regularly. Excellent!
Admittedly – a lot of the patterns are, what I’d call, VERY HARD. There are a lot of enormous designs that’d take me a lifetime to complete. If you’re more of a beginner, do dig around… there are some great easy-finds once you start looking! (check this fantastic cat cushion – how amazing is this?!)
You can follow Yiotas on Facebook for news on when free patterns go live
Spring is in the air, and this flower is perhaps one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. It can vary in shade from deep, vibrant cerise to pale, delicate rosewater – and when placed together, cherry blossom is the floral equivalent of finding a Galliano gown at a car-boot sale. Simply wonderful. I’ve just started to cross-stitch some little flowers to applique onto some of my sewing projects – I might do another lot in shades of pink to mimic the cherry blossom. Or perhaps I could place a scattering of pink buttons across a cushion to make it look like the branches of a tree. Either way, this is a definite moment of inspiration. Next stop: Japan.
Here is the latest addition to the mountain of cushions currently breaking it’s way through the surface crust of my bedroom and out into the open.
This time I decided to have a go at applique. I used a flower pattern from trusty Cath Kidston’s book, and cut out three in two contrasting, retro-orange florals fabrics. Bright orange colours are a spring/summer 2011 must have, and I think I’ve almost hit the fashion-nails into the soles of the fashion-wedges with this one.
I used my sewing machine to stitch around the edges of the flowers onto the plain cream backing. I chose a contrasting pink colour so that the row of stitches would stand out, and make the cushion look even more home made. I didn’t put any hems around the edges as I quite like the ’vintage’ frayed look. I then hand-stitched a load of contrasting coloured buttons onto the centre flower just to add a bit more to that eclectic look I was striving for.
The back of the cushion uses the same fabrics as that of the applique flowers. I think the contrasting panels works quite well. This cushion wouldn’t look out of place in a retro fashion store (or indeed my grandma’s living room).