Wednesday, 17 August 2011

More fun with cushions

I speak to you all from between the sheets - unfortunately, though, I am not lying down all snuggled up in bed (more's the pity), but the great tide of bedlinen has abated (I was going to say momentarily, but I now realize it means the opposite across the Pond) for just a moment, and I have been able to sneak back to sit in front of Hermione's sister and say hello, which is very cheering to the soul of a washerwoman extraordinaire.

The moments available for me to sit plying my needle have been far and fleeting, but the project to recushion my world moves on in fits and starts. You may remember the red flowery triangle number I made with my handy dandy little Go! Baby fabric cutter, while the Princess was 'enjoying' (I use the quotation marks advisedly) her sojourn at the Lowood Holiday Camp. Of course, on her return she immediately emitted covetous noises, and hoping to keep this cushion on my kitchen sofa (where it looks very fetching), I promised to make her (another) cushion of her choosing.

And so the unicorn cushion came into being - luckily those jolly nice bods at Cico Books had sent me a book which I had been hankering after for some time - Cute and Easy Quilting and Stitching by Charlotte Liddle -  and it turns out to be a jolly nice book (just as I thought) with lots of pretty things to make. Including two cushions which meet the most exacting requirements of one of the princess class, but the sheets constantly entangling me, I have just made the unicorn one to be going on with.

You will be glad to know that the Princess is most pleased with the result - she oversaw my work very carefully, and we picked out some fabrics that we used in the cushion using the Star Delight pattern which came with the Go! Baby cutter die, and added one or two extra. Being a log cabin patchwork cushion, it is a good design for using up leftovers from other projects, although I did buy a fat quarter of a figured white fabric for the background to the unicorn.

Cute and easy unicorn

You will see from the pictures that we did not follow the instructions exactly - Princess Bunchy vetoed the rosette, and I somehow forgot the lacy edging to the embroidered panel, but luckily no one noticed (I was probably thinking about sheets). We used ordinary embroidery floss rather than cotton perlé as suggested, just because of what I already had in my stash, and all the buttons and beads were from stash, too. The tail was made by plaiting embroidery floss and folding the plait in half to make a double plait, which I then couched down with little stitches and beads.

Why is my unicorn facing the other way?

If you make this cushion, I would suggest doing the log cabin in the normal way by cutting long strips to  width, and then trimming after sewing. The pattern suggests cutting the log cabin strips to fixed lengths, but I found myself in a bit of a pickle when I got to the outer long sides because my strips were not long enough (which I think could well have been due to my inefficiency, as I was a little, shall we say, distracted at the time). It makes a lovely big 18in/45cm cushion, and we (the royal 'we') are very pleased with it.
Lecien fabrics (I think)

There are several other projects in this book on my to-do list - I have just acquired some fat quarters for the tea cosy pictured on the cover.

Moda Fig Tree & Co Strawberry Fields (and another)

I also love the pincushion idea, which I might make as a little present for myself.

And then there is the rosette cushion for Princess Bunchy - I have the rectangular cushion pad (after much searching, I have found that John Lewis is the best place for a really wide range of cushion pad sizes), and the ceremonial selection of fabrics will be undertaken shortly.

And if you know a baby, there is a wonderful pattern for a pair of the most heavenly pair of baby shoes that I have ever seen in all my born days - enough to bring on those broody feelings.

Very cute baby shoes

The only proviso I would make about this book that it is not a learn-to-sew type of book suitable for an absolute beginner - the projects are not difficult, and the instructions for appliqué and embroidery are very clear, but it does help to have a little experience - and actually this is what makes the book more interesting for me, as it goes beyond the run-of-the-mill projects that I have seen repeated in so many books.

So all in all, I think Cute and Easy Quilting and Stitching is a sewing book worth having - there are plenty of things that I will make, and there are some really lovely ideas for embellishments that could easily be used for other projects. It really is a bit different and thus I have found it quite inspiring.

And now, the sheets are calling . . .


A bird in the hand said...

What a sweet cushion (nice book, too...) Now don't get tangled up in all those sheets :)

Annie said...

Gorgeous cushiony cushion-ness! And I love that little pincushion :D

Liz said...

Love your cushion - its gorgeous! The fabrics colours are beautiful!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Awe, that is so pretty, I love the little unicorn. :)
The pincushion is very cute, I would make it if I were you (sheets permitting). ;)

KC'sCourt! said...

Pretty cushion
Julie xxxxxxx

millefeuilles said...

Dearest Pomona,

I have become quite giddy with girlish excitement when I look at your cushion. It is divine.

Funnily enough I shall be posting about a (for the time being unfinished)cushion.

Great minds and all that.

Good luck with the washing, etc.

andrea creates said...

very nice!

Superior Threads said...

What a cute cushion. Thank you so much for taking us through the process. The soft colors are just beautiful.

Nicky said...

Cute little unicorn even if he is facing the other way - he is an individual and doesn't want to follow the herd..!

cathleen said...

Just lovely, Pomona! And thank you so much for the sweet comment.

Barbara said...

Now this feels strange sitting here in the next room being a part of the very thing that helps take you from all this beautiful stitching.

I love the baby shoes.

Little Blue Mouse said...

That's a gorgeous cushion, and I like the look of the pincushion in the book.

Mrs. Micawber said...

The Princess was absolutely right to ditch the rosette. And I like the cushion without the lace - the beads and buttons and embroidery are just the right amount of embellishment.

Those baby shoes! Words fail me (but only momentarily).

Speaking from across that Pond to which you alluded, we also use "momentarily" to mean "for the present brief time" as well as "very soon". (At least I do.) So glad to know I'm not the only word dissector and splitter of linguistic hairs.

P.S. Did you see the washing machine in Andamento's post? Imagine using THAT for all those sheets. :)

Indigo Blue said...

Lovely book. I am especially interested in the tea cosy, wantd to make one for a friend for her birthday but never fround a nice enough pattern/idea to spur me on.

Ruth said...

Love the Unicorn, and much taken by the cushion. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy the sheets, you sounds like you need the rest! Your always so busy :)

VintageVicki said...

Love the cushion - I know a couple of small girls who'd love something like that :)

ted and bunny said...

I've decided that the best part of patchworking is coveting the fabrics, watching other people do it, and admiring the results.
All of the pleasure and none of the disappointment that I'm sure would be the result of my attempts!

susan said...

Nothing makes me feel broody any more. I can look at photos of the girls when little and ooh & aaaw but - qhite frankly - I am eagerly awaiting the future when I can (hopefully) be a grandmother. Between now and then I hope to eventually catch up on all sleep lost over the years. :-))

Lisa said...

Oh so pretty! Just perfect for a little princess.
An I think a present to yourself is a fab idea!
Lisa x

Caroline Lovis (Redneedle) said...

The cushion is of course gorgeous but it's the prospect of 'that' tea cosy being made up that's getting me excited

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

Everything is so cute. I must get myself a copy.
I do admit there is nothing more comforting than fresh line dried linens... even though it can be a full day job to get to that point.
Enjoy the weekend P.
Susan x

Sue said...

Wonderful cushion - no wonder your princess is pleased! I was looking at this book in a shop yesterday and thought it looked really interesting. Those little baby shoes are so cute, but just need to find a baby! In the shop they had the pincushion made up and it does look fun.

Spontaneous Threads said...

I love the unicorn. Sometimes is so worth it not to follow directions.

SewHappyGeek said...

Oh my gosh, how cute is that?! I think I might have to go look at that book! Thanks for linking up :)


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