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Posts Tagged ‘cushion’

A silver Victorian brooch arrived as part of a job lot of jewellery I bought online last week. It was perfect – apart from the central dome, which was badly dented and damaged. I gently tried to smooth it out with a doming tool but the metal was too far gone and I ended up resorting to carefully removing it with a jeweller’s saw.

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After some filing and finishing this left me with a tempting little space to fill and I was soon stitching a minute silk ribbon rose onto some ironed out silk carrier rod.

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The completed rose (with a french knot cluster in the centre and lazy daisy leaves round the outside)  is about 6mm in diameter.

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The brooch is only an inch in diameter but the rose makes it look huge!

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The completed ‘Blush Rose’ brooch is in my Etsy shop here.

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I’ve also started work on another embroidered locket piece – this time a little larger but not much!! My idea for this one was a climbing rose on a trellis. Trellis first. This locket was a bit distressed inside so I lined it with some more of the silk carrier rod which you can see through the hole in the front.

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Next I started on the stems of the rose and because I couldn’t resist, have already put in some vivid scarlet roses (french knots of course) in a shade of hand dyed silk called ‘Tart’s Knickers’!!!

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The colours have turned out a bit dodgy on this photo in spite of going outside to make use of a rare bit of February sun!

If you follow me on Instagram you will also have seen the cushion cover which I made this week…

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… a good antidote to working in miniature! The crewel work embroidery is not mine but came from a ubiquitous suitcase of embroidered household linens which friends recently cleared from the house of an elderly relative.

The embroidery on this piece was finished but it hadn’t been made up into anything so there had been no wear or light damage to the linen and I was asked to make it up into a cushion cover, which having had a well-earned rest from the sewing machine and panto costumes, I was finally ready to do.

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I found some fantastic toning batiks to edge the front and create the back. That pop of turquoise makes the soft green of my beloved suite look completely washed out!

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It’s good to think that all the hard work put in by whoever stitched the original embroidery will finally be on show and admired after probably at least half a century.

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And that’s not easy to say after a couple of drinks! In the summer I finished this:

Fused fabric cushion

a cushion cover featuring a panel of fused fabric embroidery on blue silk dupion background.

My son, who is just starting his second year at university in London was very disappointed that it was going to our Embroiderers’ Guild exhibition to be sold and to my amazement, asked me if I’d make him a cushion cover featuring my embroidery for his new flat ( a very expensive bedsit).

Together we designed three long panels of crazy patchwork in shades of blue and white which will go on a white silk dupion background and I’ve started stitching.

Blue crazy patchwork cushion 1

I normally highlight blue with yellow/gold, but as James has gone for mostly white furniture (it was the cheapest finish at IKEA and he knows how to make his pennies go as far as possible!) I’m going to use white and silver as accents.

Blue crazy patchwork cushion 2

 

Lots of silk as usual, both fabric and thread.

Blue crazy patchwork cushion 3

Japanese cotton yukata fabric and a vintage print.

Blue crazy patchwork cushion 4

Hand dyed shibori indigo, batik and embroidered silk.

Blue crazy patchwork cushion 5

Scraps of silk and cotton: plain and printed; commercial and hand dyes.

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Blue crazy patchwork cushion 8

These are a great size to put in my travel sewing kit and work on while I’m out and about. I’d almost forgotten all the things I love about crazy patchwork: working with fragments of gorgeous fabrics, having mini canvases to stitch into and enhance and sections small enough for me to not get bored before the next idea strikes.

Blue crazy patchwork cushion 9

I’m so touched that my son actually wants some of my work on display in his bedsit. Oh and the fused fabric cushion didn’t sell, by the way, so I surprised him with it just before he went back for the new term. He was delighted.

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Back in March I finished this embroidery on a piece of blue and gold fused fabric I’d started several years ago as I intended to use it for a cushion to sell at our local Embroiderers’ Guild exhibition in the summer.

Fused fabric cushion 1

Then it went on hold for adventures in jewellery making and also the fact that I didn’t have a cushion pad – until last weekend.

Fused fabric cushion 2

It was a very straightforward finish. I cut out the circle using the hoop as a guide line and machined it onto a piece of gold/blue shot dupion silk. Then I made some shell edging from toning blue organza ribbon and hand stitched it around the outside of the embroidered piece to hide the edge.

Fused fabric cushion 3

The stitches, both gathering and the ones holding it down, look horribly huge in close up. But actually the effect is less obvious, as in this shot.

Fused fabric cushion 4

After that it was easy to machine stitch the front and back pieces of silk dupion together, pop the cushion pad in and ladder stitch the opening closed.

Fused fabric cushion 5

I know it doesn’t exactly go with the silvery cabbage green of the garden bench but I am inordinately pleased with it! I think the pleasure is as much about how well the finished item works as well as the fact that this has been hanging  around for sooo long and now it can see the light of day and give someone else some pleasure – I hope.

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With the turquoise sea glass commission completed and looking like this:

Finished turquoise sea glass piece

then it’s time to move on to something else.

Our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild is having an Open Day in July and one of the things we will be doing is to make cushions for a  ‘Cushion Challenge’ which will then be sold to raise money for branch funds. If I can, I prefer to use/finish/reuse something rather than starting from scratch and I recently unearthed an almost completed piece of experimental work I’d done from a kit several years ago.

It was a fused fabric kit, with lots of snippets of fabric, fibres, threads, beads etc to be layered on calico, sprinkled with fusing powder, covered with a piece of organza and then ironed together. I enjoyed making the fused fabric so much I had a couple more goes at the technique using the surplus bits from the kit, including the loose cover that goes on my school diary, but this piece lapsed rather…

Fused fabric 1

Because of the way the snippets are built up, the fusing doesn’t always work evenly and so I used oddments of various threads to embroider wavy lines in chain stitch over the surface.

Fused fabric 2

This adds texture and depth and more importantly, keeps things together!

Fused fabric 3

Especially here, where I got a bit too handy with the iron and partially melted the organza. The shisha hides some of it and the chain stitch stabilises the rest.

Fused fabric 4

Fused fabric 5

I’m going to put it back into the hoop and have a look at the overall composition before I finish it off and make it up into the central panel of a cushion cover. I’ve even found some deep blue silk dupion in the same bag that I’d obviously picked out for that very reason.

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