Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Year of the Cushion

2009 has been the Year of the Cushion here. I've been sewing cushions for loved ones all year, and getting steadily better at it the more I do. I started with this orange and blue log-cabin one for G, back in the spring.

Because every man needs a log cabin cushion with a watery-fruity theme, no?

And then I made a summery, flowery one for my Mum's birthday which I blogged about here. That one was all about using the vintage French doily I bought in the summer and my love of suffolk puffs.

And this week I've made two more. These ones are also embroidered, which just seems to me the perfect meeting of two crafts which I enjoy doing. I don't know why I didn't think of doing this before.

The pink one is for O's 7th birthday - just a week away now - and the blue one is for a dear friend who has recently moved to the other end of the country to start a new life with her man. Both a birthday and the beginning of a new family life seemed to warrant some labelling of the cushions.

For O's cushion I used some fabric from two of her all time favourite skirts which she really can't fit into any more - no matter how much she tries. Both skirts - a Boden strawberry patterned one, and an H&M pink, paisley one - were very faded. But this meant that both fabrics are also beautifully soft and I think will hold memories for O for years to come. I cut around one of the gathered pockets in the H&M skirt and used that piece as one of the panels. I just know that when O is given the cushion that little, tiny pocket will immediately be filled with secret, random 7-year old treasures like marbles, Barbie shoes, stickers, go-gos and hair bobbles.

My friend Janine's cushion is embroidered with all the names of her new, enlarged family. And I sneaked in a teeny-tiny satin-stitched heart as well. Because I'm sentimental like that.

For each cushion I pieced the top, then pressed it and embroidered it, and finally sewed the back pieces onto the top to finish the cushion cover. Using, as always, the envelope back method from Sew It Up, which has revolutionised cushion cover construction for me.
Each of these cushions was made - from start to embroidered, photographed finish - in a day. Which is very pleasing. The family had better watch out - I may have just discovered a quick and easy, handmade answer to presents.


  1. Really, really pretty - and I LOVE the idea of incorporating the pocket. I always cut up the girls' old clothes and put them in the drawer intending to patchwork them one day, and I may even have some pockets!

  2. They're wonderful! What a lovely idea for O's birthday, something I'm sure she'll treasure forever. Loving the fabrics.

    Also what a thoughtful and fabulous gift for your friend to take with her as she begins a new chapter in her life. I wish her lots of luck and happiness.

    Take care,
    Jane. x

  3. really really lovely, the pocket is inspired xxxxxxx

  4. I absolutely love my summery doily cushion and use it every day. I'm sure O will love the pocket on hers... All good wishes to your friend for the future. x

  5. these are really beautiful I really love the colour combinations

  6. The pocket is an inspired addition. Bravo :)


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