Sunday, 17 July 2011

Hi there!
I recently made this cushion for a friend of mine and wanted to share it with you.

Well, when I say "friend" I mean "beautiful lovely christian psychologist".

Anyway, on one of my recent visits to her she told me of an analogy the Lord had given her explaining the value of the precious peace we've been given. We need to hold onto our peace, and not lose it when we face problems and frustrations.

I thought this cushion might be a nice visual aid for her consulting room. I chose green and aubergine (that's eggplant for you unsophisticates!) as they are the colours in the room.
It was soooo easy to put together, and the best part is it only cost me $10 to make!

I wanted to make a cushion, but didn't really have the time or patience to make it from scratch (it was the school holidays), so I decided to take a shortcut and use premade cushions.
 I toddled off to my local Kmart and found these PERFECT specimens for only $5 each. Don'tcha love Kmart?


First I unpicked the side seams of both cushions.
I did this for 2 reasons: I needed to access the wrong side of the green cushion in order to embellish the front; and I wanted to use the aubergine cushion's fabric to make the embellishments!

After I had unpicked the seams, I ironed the wrong side to get the creases out.

Using WordArt, I typed the word "peace", then flipped it horizontally.
I made that sound so simple, didn't I?
The truth is, I spent about an HOUR trying and trying and trying to do this on Word 2010...ironically I lost my peace in the process.
It did not want to work for me.
Then my incredibly intelligent 11 year old suggested I do it on our OLD computer using Word 2003 (2003!).
After the poor old thing managed to boot itself up, I produced a flipped word in 2 minutes flat.
Go figure.

The next thing I needed to do was scrounge up some "Vliesofix", which thankfully I found a piece big enough to do the trick.
What is Vliesofix?
It is a type of fusible webbing used for applique (attaching fabric to fabric). It comes in a roll, and you buy it by the metre. Quilt shops carry it, but I get mine from Spotlight.

You can see me tracing my word onto the paper backing of the Vliesofix.
After the words/pictures have been traced, cut around them roughly.

Next I placed the word and pictures onto the WRONG side of the fabric and ironed over the Vliesofix (paper backing and all) using a dry iron. I actually used a little steam because I didn't want to melt my fabric. Probably not the exact right way to do it...but it worked for me!

When you cut out the word/pictures the webbing is fused to the wrong side, which you then flip over and iron that onto the RIGHT side of the cushion front.
This is why the word/pictures need to be reversed.
(Does that make sense?)

I wanted a simple, peaceful design and when I was happy with the placement I placed a clean teatowel over the word/leaves and pressed it with a hot steam iron. I could use hot this time because there was a cloth between the iron and the applique piece.

Using backstitch I embroidered a circle and then around some of the leaves with matching green embroidery floss. (I had traced around a dinner plate to make the circle.)
Nearly finished!

With right sides together I pinned around the 4 sides of the cushion.
See how I've put my pins in vertically? That allows the sewing machine to run right over them without snapping a needle, and no pins strewn everywhere.

(I confess that I'm a bit of a shocker with pins. When I was 15 I slid my foot over the carpet in my bedroom and onto a pin lying in wait in the pile. It snapped off inside my foot, jamming itself between 2 toe bones. Youch!)

Starting about 3/4 of the way along one side, I sewed around the sides of the cushion using straight stitch and a seam allowance of 1.5cm.
When I got back around to the side that I started on, I finished off  about 1/4 of the way along. This provided an opening for the cushion insert to go back into.

I then turned the cushion cover right way out and inserted the cushion.
Because the cushion insert was smaller than the cover I had enough room to sew a flange. Simply put it's a seam sewn on the right side about 1.5cm in. This also allowed me to close the cushion opening off neatly. 

So there you go.
A simple, quick and easy way to brighten a room or someone's day.

I hope you have fun with it.

Please leave a comment, I'd love to know how you went!

A bientot,
PS - I need to add that the leaf design was reproduced with permission from Martha Stewart's "Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts" .

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