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Adventures with my sewing machine

January 21, 2014

As things are a little quiet on the work front at the moment, I decided to complete a couple of works in progress last week.  My first was the little hexagon fronted sewing case and the next was the hand quilted cushion covers I started last year.

It is pretty hard to believe that it is 5 months since I put the quilted cushion fronts aside – eek!  I was certainly undecided at the time how I was going to make them up.  How could I make sure that the edges with the open silk wadding would be protected when I needed to wash them?  I thought about all kinds of standard cushion construction methods and rejected them all.  Just when I was beginning to think I would just have to zig zag stitch over all the edges of the quilted fronts and that was the best and only practical solution, feedly came to the rescue!

The idea of making the cushion covers up in a way that I could bind the edges like a quilt had occurred to me early on, but I hadn’t thought through how I’d do it.  I follow Maureen Cracknell’s blog and she wrote up a tutorial for quilted cushion covers (here) that were finished exactly that way and I thought hurrah – it can be done!

So I started by making the back pieces for the two cushions from my Kaffe Fassett shot cotton and double seaming up the open edges of all the four back pieces.   The shot cotton is really lovely although it is more like a lawn cotton weight.  My £99 John Lewis sewing machine worked up the seams in no time and I was soon pressing everything, basting the backs and fronts together and making the binding.  Here’s how the finished backs look in situ – amazing to think the colour is called ‘galvanised grey’ – it really is a mixture of blues and oranges and the overall look is more like milk chocolate:

Very soon, all I had left to do was to sew the binding to the fronts of the quilted cushion ‘sandwiches’ before  hand sewing down the back of the binding to cross the finish line.  Of course, my friends, that was where it started to go wrong…

My £99 John Lewis sewing machine said “No.  Not on your life.  I will not sew through all these layers of fabric regardless of what stitch tension or length you use.  Oh, okay, I will, but I will keep bunching up the fabric and pinching things out of shape – how d’ya like them apples?”.  Obviously, I liked them apples not at all, but it was what I had to work with if I wasn’t going to unpick all his stitches and re-sew it all by hand!

After a lot of swearing, I finally cobbled it all together and managed to correct the bits where it went wrong with some unpicking and hand sewing – at least far enough to get to the point where I could hand sew on the back of the binding and make it look half decent…  The finished covers are just fine really and look lovely on my sofa, but I think it’s fair to say that they won’t be showing up as a product in my shop anytime soon – Mr £99 John Lewis just isn’t up to it!

The finished cushions together:

A close up of the fox cushion:

And the deer:

Despite the struggles, I’m delighted to have got another work in progress completed and so pleased that I made something for myself with this lovely fabric collection 🙂

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  • Reply greenrabbitdesigns January 21, 2014 at 10:57 am

    They are gorgeous Debbie worth the hard work! 🙂
    V x

    • Reply crimson January 21, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Thanks so much Viv x They have really brightened up the sofa – am now waiting for the cats to throw up on them though – that is what usually happens to anything I have that is ‘nice’! 😉

  • Reply Diamonds are a girl best friend | The Crimson Rabbit January 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    […] hexagons from some of the chocolatey coloured shot cotton I had left over from making those quilted cushion backs.  How did that happen?  I don’t know what it is about EPP, but it grabs me everytime […]

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