‘Mum’ Cushion Embroidery


Hello there! Just a quick post for you this week as I wanted to share the bit of embroidery work I did on this cushion for my mum’s birthday. I bought the cushion in Asda Living (it’s part of their Mother’s Day 2017 collection)  but decided I could improve the design with a few stitches! Using all six strands of embroidery thread, I simply cross stitched over the ‘mum’ in yellow, did a turquoise blue chain stitch either side, a few back stitches in turquoise and plum purple helped to enchance the leaves and stems around the edges, and I also went over the heart at the bottom with a series of long stitches in coral pink. And that’s it! A quick yet effective update. Happy birthday mum!


My Mum’s London Cushion

applique London cushionMy mum loves London. That’s a fact that anyone who knows her can confirm. My family don’t live there though, we live in Yorkshire, and pretty much always have done. Actually that’s a lie – my Dad had an apartment in Canary Wharf for several years whilst working in the Big Smoke, but it was never really ‘home’ because it was only him that moved there. It was more of a well-placed holiday home for the rest of us!

Anyway, it’s my mum’s birthday this weekend and although she’s swanned off to Paris (via London, of course), I made her this lovely London-themed cushion before she went away. London applique cushionWhat do you think?

The London print fabric that I used is from My Fabric House, sold in fat quarters here. It’s quite adorable and is covered in lots of tiny phone boxes, underground signs, British flags and vinyl discs (I can only assume by someone equally British, like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones). The fabric I used for the appliqué letters is out of my stash, as is the homemade-Cath-Kidston-button-factory-button on the back.

This is yet another simple, envelope-closure cushion, although I did do some striped patchwork to make up the back rather than just using 2 pieces of fabric. The appliqué letters are about 4″/10cm square and attached using iron-on Bondaweb and then London cushion back and applique close uphand-stitched around the edges. I’m really quite getting the hang of appliqué now, albeit fairly simply designs still! I’m a lot more confident with graphic design than I am fiddly detail – sequins drive me nuts so you won’t often see those in my creations!

I’m sure my Mum will love the cushion and it should fit perfectly into their recently decorated living room. Let’s just hope she doesn’t come back from Paris with a love-affair for that city instead!

Appliqué Bunting Cushion

applique bunting cushionAnother year and another Grandma! Just before Christmas I made my very own Liberty print appliqué cushion for one of my Grandma’s Christmas presents. Not wanting to leave the other Grandmother out, however, I decided to make her one too as this weekend we’re off to a family dinner to celebrate her (whisper it) 80th birthday.

The white fabric I used for the cushion backing (an easy envelope closure) has an embossed leaf design and I believe is the same material my Grandma used to make her wedding dress with. I can’t deal with just how adorable this is, or the fact that she entrusted the fabric to me in the first place!

Anyhow, the bunting appliqué design was an idea from Pinterest. To make the bunting, I drew a triangle template about 3 inches high on baking parchment and simply traced around it a few times across some lovely patterned cottons. I then ironed some Bondaweb onto the back of the fabric before cutting the triangles out and applique bunting cushionironed them onto the backing fabric in a bunting-like arrangement.

I then hand-stitched all around each piece of bunting and did a simple running stitch to string each triangle together. I love the finished cushion – yet another item I’m desperately sad to part with, even though I know my lovely Grandma will love it! Has anyone else caught the appliqué bug recently?

Liberty Appliqué Cushion

handmade liberty applique cushionFor Christmas this year, I decided to be a bit creative and made my Grandma this lovely appliqué cushion using Liberty print fabric – what a lucky lady she is!

The template for the appliqué leaves comes from the Liberty Book of Simple Sewing – a very lovely book to look at, never mind sew from! The book has many different projects for all kinds of occasions and skill levels (remember the Liberty table mats and Liberty patchwork photo frames I made before?) and would make a fantastic New Year gift to yourself if it’s not under the tree for liberty applique cushionyou this Christmas time!

The dusky pink backing fabric I used was out of my stash box and I made a simple envelope closing for the back of the cushion. To make the appliqué design, you simply need to trace or draw your emblem onto baking parchment and then transfer it to your chosen Liberty print (the print I used is called D’Ango and is in the pink colourway).

To attach my appliqué, I used iron-on Bondaweb and then hand-stitched all around the edge using a contrasting colour cotton. I even added a few flower-shaped buttons for decoration! I’m more than certain my Grandma will treasure this handmade Liberty cushion forever… now I just need to make another for myself!

Purple Patchwork Cushions

patchwork cushions 2OK, so I know all I ever make is cushion after cushion after cushion, and I know by now I probably should rename my blog ‘Sew Many Cushions’, but if you ever come round to my house you’ll understand the obsession – and you’ll never want to leave because it’s just far too comfy!

We moved into our house almost a year ago and, this year, have finally got round to decorating it how we want. Our living/dining room is now a luxurious plum colour with a matching, damask print wallpaper at one end. All our wood is oak, our furniture dark brown, our accessories cream and our sofa cushions…. pink and red. Do you see the problem?

So last weekend I popped into the Remnant House (if you can call a half hour visit a pop) and bought myself 5 patchwork squares in matching colours and contrasting patterns. The result? A handful (or sofa-full) of purple, patchwork cushions. Lovely!

patchwork cushionsI made up the pattern myself – the first is just a simple square patchwork and the second I decided to experiment a bit with different shapes. The back of each cushion has an envelope closing made using two of the purple-coloured patterns and a hook-and-eye closure. I’ve even got enough fabric left to make one more, but it’s just too warm to sew! If only we had a garden so I could take my sewing outside!

My Monogrammed Cushion

monogram cushionMonogram – 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 monogram lettersthis 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?

Appliqué, Patchwork & Button Cushion

button heart cushionAfter 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.

button cushionOur 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.

fabric heartAfter 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!

Festive Flannel Reindeer

christmas treeFirst 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.

flannel reindeer
So, what is the final Christmas craft? Flannel reindeer of course! I got this idea from a picture I saw onPinterestand 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.

paisley cushionTake 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!

Foxes and Cardigan Cushions

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!

The Lotus’ New Clothes

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.