Knitted MillaMia Elk Cushion

MillaMia Elk CushionI’ve had this knitting project on the back burner for absolutely ages. It’s one of those projects that you pick up and do a few rows of, but then you get tired and have to put it back down again, so it’s been a long time coming! I’m so glad I persisted with it though – doesn’t the finished cushion look great?

For this knitting project, I used the MillaMia Elk Cushion pattern that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate a couple of years ago (I actually bought the Elk Cushion Kit, which contains the pattern and required amount of 4-ply yarn). I was drawn in by the adorable Nordic design on the front of the cushion, which is described as an ‘elegant design of hearts, chain people and elks (or are they reindeer…?)’

millamia elk cushion kit

The cushion uses 100% merino wool, so it’s very soft to the touch. I used 2 balls of Claret (104) and 2 balls of Snow (124), as well as a pair of 3.25mm needles and a 30cm(ish) cushion pad.

millamia elk cushion close up

I think I started knitting the cushion around a year ago and finished sewing it up this past week. The eagle-eyed among you may notice that I knitted the design upside down, with the elks at the bottom rather than the top. Oops. I think it looks fab on my Scandi M&S chair though, don’t you?

‘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!


Blogger Network #3 – Knitted Union Jack Cushion

union jack knitted cushion fairisleFor this month’s Blogger Network post I decided to do something a bit different, crack out my knitting needles and make this fantastic knitted Union Jack cushion!

The pattern is by Sirdar Hayfield and uses their Bonus DK yarn in 3 different colours: navy, merlot and apline. It says to use the intarsia technique to knit the different colours together, which can take a little patience if you’ve never done it before, but the end result is well worth the practice. I actually used the fairisle technique for making mine (I’ve never quite fathomed the difference between the two!) and it worked out just fine. I do get in a bit of  a tangle every now and then but I do love it!

knitted union jack cushion sirdar pattern

If you need help learning how to knit using the intarsia or fairisle technique then head over to YouTube where there are lots of handy guides! It was my mum who taught me but I’m not sure she’d be available to teach the rest of you 🙂

fairisle union jack backHowever, I do find fairisle knitting quite tiring and can only do a couple of rows at a time, so this knitting project took me a longgggg time to finish. And even now it’s still not quite done! You’re meant to knit a flag for both sides of the cushion, but as if I have the time (or patience) to do that. At the moment my cushion has no backing but I plan to use the leftover yarn to do a simple striped back. It looks quite good half-finished though, right? I mean, just look at the reverse side of my flag – it’s almost as beautiful as the front!

What do you think of my (half) finished cushion? It looks quite grand on my chair at the top, don’t you think? Tell me about your experiences with intarsia/fairisle knitting! I’d love to hear that I’m not the only one that spends 50% off the project time in a tangle…

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?

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?

Applique Birds

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!

In Bloom

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).

DIY Union Jack Cushion

Sometime I surprise myself by how amazingly creative I actually am. This is one of those moments. I was in Debenhams with my mum earlier on today, and spotted loads of colourful Union Jack cushions, ranging in price from about £25 to £65. Surely I could make something similar without such a hefty price tag?

Once home I rummaged through Grandma’s Box of Donated Material Scraps and picked out a few florals, pinks and blues that went together nicely. I mostly (make that entirely) improvised on the Union Jack pattern – I simply cut lots of long pieces of fabric, pressed the edges, and then did a long running stitch down the middle to attach them to the background floral material. On the blue pieces running vertically/horizontally I used a zig-zag stitch to make the cushion look even more exotic, and then added a strip of purple ribbon in each direction.

The back of the cushion is a plain, baby pink cotton, and the pattern comes from my Cath Kidston Sew! book which I adapted slightly for my own design. I think it took me about 3.5 hours altogether. Let the bidding commence!