Free motion embroidery fun – A Bird Cushion

image

A year ago little Emily was born, and I made her a quilt in Sophie by Chez Moi for Moda. In fact here it is, hurriedly photographed on our uninspiring then-driveway before bundling into the car to go meet the new wee princess: 

image

You are just going to have to trust me that it’s very sweet when next to a baby instead of thrown over a chair on a driveway

Anyway, she’s one all of a sudden. Yeah, I did mention it was a year ago, but you wouldn’t believe how fast that year has gone, not to mention I am in denial that time is passing this quickly, whatever my grey hairs are saying. And I rather suddenly needed to think up a present. I can’t tell you how much I love this wee girl, she’s just too adorable for words, so I felt like making something special.

Having decided on a freemotion embroidery cushion, I looked to the web for inspiration, feeling too short of time to think up a design – and saw this beautiful cushion which I shamelessly copied (well a little shame, but isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?)

image

It looks like it is made by a German artist, but couldn’t find her name. The link is here; she seems to have a shop of other lovely things:

http://de.dawanda.com/product/33525229-Kissenhuelle-Sommerbrise-40x40cm

It’s been years since I did any freemotion embroidery (I did some bags with birds on very similar to the above and sold them for charity), so wanted simple but effective.

image

I had a 26” x 26” cushion inner from Ikea – these are a great size for a reading pillow in bed by the way – and another moda charm pack in sophie, to match Emily’s baby quilt.

I cut a 17” square piece of white fabric  and chose some charms to cut into 2.5” squares, which I used to cut into the bunting flags. One charm square for the little bird, a scrap for the wing and a scrap of black felt for the dot of the eye. I used wonderweb to fuse the pieces to the fabric and then rougly outlined everything on the machine a couple of times using black thread. Trying to be imprecise goes a bit against the grain, but it was fun, and gave it a “drawn on” effect (as it should be apparently).

image

Then I sewed two strips of 4 charms with 1/4” seam allowance, centred it, sewed to opposite sides of the picture and trimmed the excess. Next I sewed two strips of 6 charms and did the same to complete the “frame”.

I added Emily’s name in pink – I used an alphabet die in my BigShot with Steam-a-seam2 fusible web, but could have printed the  “emily” in Times New Roman font as big as would make the letters about 2” tall, traced it onto the Steam-a-seam2 BACKWARDS, ironed it onto my fabric and cut it out. A bit faffy but worth it. I hand stitched round to secure so as not to lose the neat lines.

image

This is the finished cushion cover lying on my rather rumpled bed. No idea when I will learn to stage my photographs. Although you can’t see in this picture, I backed the front with 100% cotton batting and quilted a straight line round the inside of the big white square 1/4” away from the edge of the charms, and another line all the way round but this time within the charm “frame”. If that makes sense. It’s just to secure it anyway. An envelope back using a pretty wildflower print:

image

And it was all done. It looks quite pretty on the little sofa in the corner of my bedroom. Who says pretty bird pictures are just for little girls? Good thing for her that it has “emily” well and truly stitched on.

image

 And the reaction? Emily’s mum loved it. Ooohs and ahhhs from the other mums. Emily toddled off precariously to empty the contents of a  kitchen cupboard onto the floor, pretty much oblivious. Emily’s 4 year old big brother said “But it’s the wrong ‘E’”.

“It’s art,” I said. “It’s modern”.

“It’s wrong,” he said, and busied himself playing with one of Emily’s OTHER, not-wrong gifts. Pah. I’m going to spell his name wrong when I make him one.

😉

Till the next time,

Poppy xx

Baby Emily arrives! well, she’ll need a baby quilt (and her mummy needs a bigger bag)

My good friend, Jane, just had a baby girl, whom I met for the first time today, just days old! She’s so gorgeous, and tiny and precious. I got all clucky! The kiddo liked her too, but loved more that I had taken car lego with us to keep him entertained – I don’t think he is champing at the bit for a sibling – just as well!

Anyway, I had made her a baby quilt – the collection is Sophie by Chez Moi, cotton batting, stipple quilting, a pretty rose print cotton from Ikea for the back. It’s a charm pack quilt with 1” white sashing, 38” x 43” ish, I think. I just remembered to photograph it as we were getting into the car to go see her, so the backdrop of my driveway is less than inspiring, but here goes!

image

imageimage

And she had requested a changing bag, as her previous one was too small already for her 3 year old, let alone a baby too. The spec –  “not too girlie” “some flowers would be nice” “maybe purple” but “husband would like gender neutral”… Hmmm. I chose a large messenger (15” x 12” x 5”) style, charcoal grey exterior and interior, waterproof interlining (actually I just sewed in some of Ikea’s acrylic coated fabric), interfaced with fusible fleece and flap made from Amy Butler’s Memento in Mulberry from her Love collection. It was hard to keep faith that it would look nice whilst I was working with ALL THAT GREY but once the flap was on, it looks just great, and I hope she’ll be able to use it as an overnight bag/ large bag when her 2 kids are no longer needing changing equipment!

image

image

image

She LOVES her bag and it got a full seal of approval from hubby, so hurray! And I got to use purse feet which I love, I have no idea why I love them so much! Maybe because they are easy to use, but makes the finished bag look so much more professional, win-win. 🙂

image

I’m kind of jealous of this bag. I think I might have to indulge myself  with something smaller but similar. Even with a three year old you still need a big enough bag to lug the water, snacks, sticker books, cars, trains, change of clothes (he’s a boy, if there’s mud, water or muddy water to be found, he’ll find it)… It’s so easy to get bored of the one you have (ahem, ones you have)… I feel some freebird entering my life very soon 😉

till next time,

Poppy x

ps you can email me at poppy@cuckooblue.co.uk

or visit my flickrstream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuckoo-blue/