One of the pleasures that have come from my new job is being introduced Art Works. The organisers and service users are all brilliant to spend time with. Recently, they've been getting ready for an art exhibition and been collaborating with some great artists. David Thomas and Vicki Fong came up with some wonderful portraits, you can see the original here. I decided to have a go and translate some into stitch.
This is the first one and I've definitely learned a lot from it. I've done applique for some of the different elements and used free motion embroidery to add further detail. The background has been quilted with small 'pebbles'. This one has been made up into a small pillow. I'm pleased to say, it's been a great hit with everyone. Now, I need to pick my next subject and apply some of the things I've learned from this one.
You can learn more about the exhibition here and, if you're local to Sheffield, do make the time to visit. There will be some wonderful pieces to see and many will be available to buy.
I love that my other job overlaps with what I love doing best. I was especially chosen to work with those who had an interest in crafts and this week, one of the girls came home with me to do some sewing.
A couple of weeks ago, we'd gone shopping to Hobbycraft where she picked out a set of fat quarters. Originally, we were thinking of doing a patchwork cushion, but I thought that using a quilt as you go method was probably easier for her to start with.
We got her started with a layer of fabric and wadding, then she cut some strips for sewing. She decided the strips were going to be varying widths.
Here she is sewing at the machine for the first time.....
....and here is the finished top. Once she had finished sewing the strips, we cut it to size, getting rid of the extra fabric on the ends. Now, we just need to arrange another sewing session for her to finish the back. She's going to use some more of the pink polka dot for the backing which should finish it nicely.
I think she had fun. When I took her home, they were talking about getting her machine to do more at home. Can't think of a better result.
Create With Loopy
We needed another cushion to go with Super!, this time for the wife. We wanted them to go together, although they weren't going to be the same. We used the same fabrics, but this time a different design.
I used appliquéd two hearts, the bigger one is in the same cord fabric as the letters so again, tying the two cushions together.
The cushions got packed before I got to take a photo of them filled, but they look and feel fabulous. The brushed background fabric is so soft to touch. I did get a Whatsapp photo so I'll try to get that downloaded to show you.
Now these are done, the table is once again cleared to get the quilt done. It's now ready for quilting, let the fun commence!
Cushions and pillows
It's not very often that I get to make something special for a man, apart from the boys so this was quite a fun thing to do. It was quite good fun making something that quite often is considered feminine but putting a masculine slant on it.
The background fabric is brushed and super soft. The letters have been recycled from an old pair of cord trousers. I cut out the letters and they've been applied using raw edge applique. Over time, those edges will soften.
It passed the Daniel approval test, so I'm happy. The next challenge was to do a complimentary cushion for the wife, something that would become part of a pair, although very different. See what you think tomorrow
Cushions and Pillows
It's been lovely to play with appliqué again this week. I've had two more Thank You cushions to make and, as they are from the same family, they wanted two the same, but different.
I did one each of pink and turquoise, reversing the colours of the stitching thread so keeping unity between the design elements, but giving two different finishes. For the pink one, I've changed the letter fabrics too.
These cushions are extra special, I was asked if I could add a personalised message to them. They didn't want it to be too big, or on a separate label so I've gone for hand embroidery.
I've blocked out the name so it won't spoil the surprise. Each cushion has had 'From ......., 2016' embroidered just below the back opening. It adds quite a nice touch, I wish I had thought of it when I did the first one.
Now they're packed up and ready to be picked up, I think I'll be going back to working on the quilt. Next job is getting it trimmed ready for binding.
If you have followed my blog for a long time, you'll know that my boys were home educated. As each of them got to fourteen, they went to college. Taking into consideration when they had their birthdays and the start of term, Jonathan was nearly fifteen, but Daniel was a very young 14 when he entered the grown up world of college. Each student is appointed a tutor mentor and Daniel has had the same one from the start of college.
Roll on five years and Daniel, now a strapping 6 foot plus almost 18 year old is about to leave college. Through all that time, nothing has been too much trouble for his tutor mentor. She was always there for him if he needed it, and as a mother, I felt it right to say thank you for all her support. Daniel said not to make anything weird, but how could I not resist.
I've used raw edge appliqué to apply the letters and the front of the cushion has been quilted in the ditch. I've used French seams so there are no raw edges. During the years, Clare's hair has taken on many colours, although Daniel, being colour blind, has never been quite sure what colours they were. I had to reflect that in the colours chosen for the cushion. I am hoping, if nothing else, it will make her smile.
Cushions and Pillows
Let me introduce you to Olivia. Olivia is an appliqued owl, with machine embroidery and quilting. Over time, her edges will soften as she has been doing using raw edge applique.
I thoroughly enjoyed making Olivia and you may be pleased to hear, Olivia is going to be joined by some friends. Petal will be next, I'm gathering all her bits together.
Once I've got a cushion pad organised, you'll be able to find Olivia here. If you'd like to make your own Olivia, you can book a place here.
Cushions and Pillows
Appliqué Cushion Class
I had fun with fabric yesterday. This little lady will be joining us for the Appliqué cushion class and I think she deserves a name. There have been a few suggestions on Facebook, but what would you call her?
Today, she will be getting put together and the rest of the design will begin to take shape. There will be flowers.
If you'd like to create your own masterpiece, you can book your place here.
This was a bit of a bonus project this week, and it was quite fun to do. I needed some before and after photos for a page on the website so that meant I had to make a cushion from a shirt of blouse. The boys didn't have, or weren't willing to give up any of their shirts so I went looking in the depths of my wardrobe. I found a blouse that didn't fit me and looking pretty in the wardrobe wasn't what it was meant to do. I rescued it and took it downstairs and before it had time to realise what was happening, it was under the knife.
Actually, I think it looks better after the transformation than it did before. I just hope the process wasn't too painful. I just love that each of these cushions can be so different. I've given the cushion the ties from the original blouse to keep it's personality and it's ended up being a fun make.
I've now got the photos I needed, and I have a bonus cushion which will find it's way here very soon. If you want to have a go at transforming a shirt or blouse into a cushion, all the details are here. It's the free class for subscribing to the Create with Loopy newsletter.
Today, I'm hoping to go back to the planned make, I have an embroidery that is waiting to be put in it's final setting.
Cushions and Pillows
Create with Loopy
Make a Shirt Cushion
Sometimes in life, we come across stories that just can't help but touch the heart. This is how this cushion started. Imagine a little person who hasn't had the best start in life and all they wish for is a home to call their own and to know they don't ever have to leave it. Can you imagine what it must be like to have that home within touching distance, but can't believe that it's going to be for real? The sad thing is, it's not just one story, there must be lots we never get to know about, but it was in my power to do something for this little one and I hope it will make that forever home just a little more special.
I was told that dinosaurs are a favourite, as is the colour blue. We also decided on a cushion, and to help with allergies, we've used a polyester filled cushion pad.
With that in mind, I got pencil and paper out and started with some sketches and then it was time to dive into the fabric boxes to see what I had. Fortunately, I had pieces to match everything I wanted and even some fun blue spotty fabric for the main cover. I've used raw edge applique combined with some quilting and embroidery to attach the pieces. The eye is made up from a sequin and a bead.
All being well, the sun on the cushion will be representative of a bit of sunshine and a period of security for the recipient. The cushion has been personalised with their name so there is no doubt as to who this cushion belongs to. I can't wait to find out what the name they give to the dinosaur.
I had so much fun putting this cushion together, I hope it will bring hours of joy to a rather special little person and their new family.
I have had a lifelong love of crafts which started with being taught how to knit at a very young age. It didn't take long to realise that great joy and satisfaction came from making things. Even now, I get a thrill seeing something that started just as an idea, becoming a finished product, whether I make it, or teach someone else how to make it.