Archive | Cushions RSS feed for this section

the world in miniature

8 Aug

My sister Amal is a genius doll-maker, and I don’t use the word ‘genius’ lightly. Her dolls are beautiful – at the moment her shop is unstocked (the creatures take a long time to make) but if you take a look at her past sales, you’ll see what I mean. They’re resin ball-jointed dolls, about 9″ tall – very different to what you might have in mind when you think of the word ‘doll’.

To celebrate her birthday, I’ve been having a go at making some mini cushions for these dolls. It’s good timing, since Amal’s just bought a range of chairs for her dolls, and no chair is complete without a cushion!

I hope she likes them! They’re stuffed with cotton wool, and machine-sewed, except for the top edge which I’ve sewn with the tiniest stitches I could manage. I would love to make more of these as they are really cute, but I’m going to wait to see whether the dolls are fans or not – or whether they’d like to see some changes made!


hello sewing machine, it’s been a while

7 Aug

I’ve finally finished my temporary teaching work, which means I can get back to the psychology phd (which has been hideously neglected so far this summer) and also to crafting. How wonderful. This means, I hope, stepping up the frequency of not just making things, but also of writing about them.

I’m off to a good start at least. I’ve been busy sewing quite a few cushions stuffed with old fabric scraps. This is a wonderful way to not just use up the odd bits and pieces, but also to clear out all the unwanted clutter from your sewing corner. Suddenly I have so much more space now that I’ve made use of the scraps I’ve been stuffing into plastic bags.

These lovely little russian dolls started off life as a coaster from Accessorize given to me by one of my closest friends for Christmas (it was a Russian themed Xmas party). But it makes such a fantastic stencil, I’ve been using it over and over again. It’s not just good on fabric (using fabric paint), it also works well if you want to make fancy wrapping paper from brown paper and normal spray paint.

And ta da, next up are those speech mark cushions that featured a while a go on here but as cushion covers. After a couple of weeks of trialling them as cushion covers, I realised that my envelope backs were not going to be a good enough design to stop them from slipping off the cushion and looking a little messy, so I turned them into smaller, stuffed cushions instead. Much better.

I’ve now rectified my envelope back design (two overlapping pieces of backing fabric, rather than simply a flap to feed into the back of the cushion) so they’re a lot neater, and these cushion covers were made in the new way. I’m in love with this floral print – its one of the ones I found in my local junk shop, but I think it’s really charming. I’d love to know more about where it came from – it looks a little 80s to me, especially when I pair it with the black and purple stripe down the middle.


Ah, it does feel good to be back to making things and taking pics and showing them to all of you. It will also be really nice to get back to reading my favourite blogs – most of them crafty, some of them quite random (baggage reclaim in particular, a friend showed it to me as a joke, but I’m completely hooked!). One thing I’m afraid I’m not so looking forward to is getting back to the whole Etsy side of things. I have to say that as the site just gets bigger and bigger, I’m feeling more and more lost on it, and less and less inspired. It’s probably just me, but it does seem like selling things face to face would be a lot more rewarding. Maybe it’s time to organise a local craft fair!

for you…

31 Jul

One of the best things about being a crafter, is that it’s possible to create personal and touching gifts for those you love at short notice. I made this cushion a little while ago, but added a few little finishing touches yesterday…

It’s for the boyf (his name’s Ali) and ever since he first received it, it’s had pride of place on his beloved chair. This is a bit of a given since he lives with me and I’d be rather peeved if it was flung into a corner and forgotten. But having said that, I know that if I received a personalised gift made lovingly by hand, I’d be pretty chuffed. So, with that in mind, I want to start working on a few more gifts for upcoming birthdays.


do punctuation and cushions mix?

10 Jul

So, apart from cushions, my great past-time love in this world is the written word… I can’t get enough of books, and they spill off of every surface in my house. I try to write every now and again, but reading is for me the greatest pleasure. So, as a tribute to this joy, I’m trying to work on a mini-range of cushions and quilts that pay homage to the cement mix holding all those words together… punctuation. I decided to start with some quotation/speech marks because they turned up in my English lessons this week, so it seemed fitting.

I ended up making cushion covers with envelope backs and just using my previous cushions (cheap primark things) inside them. The speech marks are appliqued on in scraps of different patterned fabrics.








I can’t wait to start work on some other  types of punctuation – I’m thinking an exclamation mark and a question mark and maybe an ellipsis… (I’m fond of those). And I’d like to do another set of speech marks using different patterned fabrics on a pink background. It’s very satisfying to mix up to two of my major passions in life. Have you ever included another of your passions in your crafting life?

A while ago I mentioned popping into Poppy Treffry’s sample sale in Islington. I did do this a weekend ago (it was during this trip that I found my wonderful Sashimi) but alas, I didn’t find anything quite right for my life. I wasn’t technologically minded enough to invest in a phone holder, and I wasn’t domestically minded enough to buy oven gloves. The designs though were lovely, and I’m always so impressed by her free-hand stitched writing.

the street where you live

24 Jun

There’s been a flurry of activity here – which is something I don’t often get to say! Another appliqued cushion cover.

It’s inspired by a ‘moving in’ card I received from my bro and his wife at the beginning of the year. It was a street of colourful and patterened houses that made me desperately want to own a house that I could wallpaper on the outside (there must be such a thing as external wallpaper… surely?). For the time being, I’ll have to make do with imagining myself into one of these fabric houses. It would be the middle one for me I think.

Anyhoo, I’m really enjoying making these cushions, and I’m looking everywhere for easy-to-applique (but still meaningful) designs that I can use. I’d like to end up with ten in total – the teapot, umbrella and houses mean I’m currently at three – so please let me know if you have any ideas for other designs! I would be most grateful fellow crafters.

Here’s my handle and here’s my spout…

21 Jun

Ok, so after what feels like a super-duper long stint without being too creative, I’ve finally got it together and made a little something. A cushion… with an appliqued teapot. And before you go getting ideas that this is maybe a bit random, I’ll suggest that it makes absolute sense to have a teapot on a cushion. I drink a lot of tea, and I tend to do it all sitting down (lazy, moi?), resting against a cushion. Cushions and tea – they’re made to go together. The next step is to fashion a teapot with a picture of a cushion on it… hmmm… Now, before I get too distracted by this idea, I suppose I better share a picture of the finished product…

As you can probably see, I machine embroidered the outline of the teapot onto the cushion, then applied different types of fabric onto the design. I like the effect – it’s sweet – but next time, I might try things a little differently. For example, it might work better to cut the patterned fabric in the shape of the teapot, and then applique this onto the cushion straight, then add different fabrics on top of this… I’m not entirely sure, what do you all think? Would love to hear your opinions. Also, can you see that it’s a teapot straightaway? Is that obvious? I feel like I might see that it’s a teapot only because I know I intended it to be one…

I stuffed the cushion with fabric scraps. Along with applique (which you only need small pieces of fabric for), this is a fantastic way to get the most out of fabrics, and to avoid ever EVER throwing anything away rather than making use of it. When it comes to sewing, I believe there’s no excuse for failing to recycle… wouldn’t you agree?