Last week I was on annual leave, busy getting ready for Christmas and making presents. I made good progress, making six presents altogether. I’ve already shown you the purses, today its the turn of the cushions!
I was struggling for ideas on what to buy my son’s girlfriend. I asked Helen’s advice and she suggested initial cushions for them both. James has just bought his first house and they are just about to start living together so hopefully they will both appreciate them. Helen was actually thinking of this sort of thing. When I looked at them on line, most of them were only 12″ square, which I think is pretty small for a cushion…so I decided to make some!
I went into The Little Fabric Shop in Skipton, it’s tucked away by the side of the church. He’s very helpful there and has an excellent range of top quality roll ends at very good prices. I told him what I was wanting and he suggested a neutral Laura Ashley Fabric, it looks pretty coarse but it actually feels really nice, it’s a good weight, more furnishing than curtaining and it was only £5 per metre.
I decided to use ‘proper’ felt for the letters, so I walked down to Cool Crafting on Sheep Street where I know they have a wonderful range of beautiful wool felts. I bought some black felt and also some pompom trim. All I had to do was make them…
The initial cushion pads were 18″ and the ‘&’ was 12″, I did my usual and cut the main fabric to 18″, once the seam allowance is stitched it makes a nice plump cushion. Next job was the initials! It took me a while to decide on the font and in the end I decided to just use Times New Roman, I enlarged the letters as much as could on the computer, which was about size 750! Once printed it gave me the templates for the letters.
I carefully traced the first letter onto the bondaweb and ironed it on the felt, only to find that the pencil completely disappeared against the black felt. I had a bit of a brainwave and for the first time in my life I used a tracing wheel, it worked brilliantly, leaving little pinpricks in the paper to cut a long. Once the letter was ironed onto the cushion front it needed stitching.
I decided to use the machine blanket stitch, I’ve not used it to applique before so I had a practice on a scrap, working out my stitch size, where the fabric edge lies and also working out how to turn corners i.e. which part of the stitch to stop at. It was worth having the play as the stitching went beautifully! I stitched the second letter and the ‘&’, even that one worked out well.
The next stage was the pompom trim. I decided to stitch the braid round the cushion first to secure it with a standard foot before using a zip foot to try get as near to the pom-poms as possible whilst stitching the backing on as obviously I only wanted the pop-poms to show and not the braid. It worked pretty well, there was the odd section that needed a closer stitching but I got there in the end.
When I’m making cushions I rarely put an opening in them, I hand stitch them closed, usually they are made from fabrics or tapestries that aren’t really washable so the covers don’t really need to be removable. With these having the felt letter, I decided to do the same. I left about a 3″ gap in the side seam, carefully turned it, all the pompoms looked brill, I reached for the cushion pad and thought, what a ninny!!! I had no chance of squeezing an 18″ pad through a 3″ hole!!! Out came my best friend the stitch ripper!
The second and third cushion went together much easier! My only comment would be that I cut out the smaller cushion as a 12″ square and stitched it up the same, not thinking that relatively the seam allowances would take up a bigger proportion than on the 18″ cushion, so it is considerably plumper!
I think the cushions look great together, they will hopefully fit in pretty well with the decor of their new home.