Sunday, 15 January 2012

This years cushion plans

Over the last few months I've blogged about three cushions I've made that feature animals and little sayings. It's a little theme I've been developing called 'Sometimes you just have to...' where the animal and text link to be kind of an 'encouragement' cushion I guess. Well over the Christmas break I decided that I want to make a set of 10 in all, and I'd like to complete those ten by the end of 2012. I'm taking my sewing resolutions quite slowly at the moment, but as I already made three cushions last year,  I'm hoping that challenging myself to make another seven should be achievable in a year! Here's a list showing my plans and where I am for the ten.

1.Giraffe – 'Stand tall'. Completed and sold. This was the first cushion cover I made, and the theme suggested itself from my finished piece. I can't remember why I chose to start with a giraffe, I think I just had a nice sketch of one in my sketchbook.
This first cushion really gave me the bug for combining animals and lettering
Giraffe sketch evolution
2.Fox – 'Be sly'. I think it's already obvious that I've been on a bit of a fox obsession. Not really sure why, just liking them a lot right now. It'll probably shift over to something else in a while, I'm like that. Anyway, this was cushion number two, and I was really chuffed with how it turned out. I sold him at a craft fair just before Christmas (and it was a little bit happy-sad).
This time I embroidered swirls on the fox to add texture
Sketches for the fox, and a couple of others
3. Monster – 'Just be yourself'. Although this fits the theme, it does feature my signature monster rather than an actual real animal, so I'm unsure yet as to include this in this theme or not. Rest assured that if I only manage to make seven cushions this year (and not the eight I'd need if this wasn't included) then this one will be counted to bring the total up to ten!
Still loving the yellow and white polkadot fabric!
4.Mole – 'Dig Deep'. I already have the fabric chosen and cut for the mole, so he will be the next one to be assembled. I have also finally bought some bondaweb which will be very handy when machine appliquéing the large pieces. Up until now I've just pinned and been pretty lucky that there were no big wrinkles in my finished products! I like to think I'm at least trying to improve the way I work every time I make something.
Sketchbook plans for a mole
5.Lion -  'Be Brave'. I've done quite a lot of sketch work on this fella, but so far he just isn't quite right. I haven't worked on this for a month or two so the time is probably right to go back and get the design finalised. Sometimes you just need that breathing space before you can spot that fatal flaw and tweak that design so it matches the feel you were going for.
Initial lion studies
Getting closer...but not quite there yet
6.Rabbit - 'Hop to it'. Just the barest of sketches for this one, but I'm really happy with the initial design of the jumping (or should I say hopping) rabbit. Again, needs finalised and tidied, but I don't think that this one will change very much at all.
Initial design at the bottom, under some other rabbits that became embroidery a few posts back!
7, 8, 9 &10 - Under construction! My ideas for the last four aren't quite firmed up yet. I have a few ideas as you can see from the sketches below, but they all need quite a lot of design work and then of course fabric selection. The mole as discussed above has passed muster, but the others I'm not sure of yet. Perhaps I need to sit down with a couple of animal books and flick through. One of the perks of being a Natural Science Curator is that I'm not short of inspirational animal material both at home and at work!
The mole is on his way, but I'm not sure if any of these others will make it past the qualifying stages...
I've already sold the fox and monster cushions at craft fairs, so although I will never be able to photograph them all together, I love the idea of working on a little theme and using the same bright selection of colours to link them together. I also love the fact that these lined envelope cushion covers are so simple to make. This means that my meagre machine skills can cope when it comes to putting it together, but I can go wild with the colours and designs and the hand sewing, and know that I will still get a decent functional product at the end of it.

I'm going to focus on getting the mole started and then coming up with animals and words for cushions 7-10. I'll report my progress here as I go! Time to get my thinking/sketching cap on!



  1. I can't wait to see the bat and the bee cushions, loving those sketches already and I just *know* the lion will end up being amazing!

  2. Looking forward to seeing the rest..... It looks as though you have some fab ideas already!!!
    Have a great week.....