Three Cushions and a Rainbow…

Hello there… are you having a good Summer?

I’m not sure how the end of August is very nearly here. How did that happen so fast! I don’t know if it’s the same where you are but the mornings have started to feel slightly cooler and at the weekend I heard the first of the geese fly overhead on their noisy journey. This is normally a sign that the Autumn is approaching and for me one of my favourite times of year. I have the same sense of excitement as the Spring and I think it’s that back to school feeling of new beginnings that makes me like the Autumn so much.

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Little Pickle and I managed to visit our favourite local farm a couple of weeks ago and picked a huge bowl of raspberries and blackberries and a small bag of plums. They were delicious and there’s nothing like eating fruit that is still warm from the sun.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve worked on three different cushion commissions. The first was for a very special lady who was turning 80. I was very lucky to be given a completely blank canvas and decided to reach for some Liberty squares and embroidery threads and came up with this…

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The cross stitch pattern came from a book that I first mentioned here and I used the scraps of water soluble canvas I had left over from a free magazine gift to complete the design. There is something sooo satisfying about pulling off the jelly like scraps of waste canvas when they are wet.

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The next commission was for two new babies and the brief was rainbows, hearts, stars and flowers. One for a boy and one for a girl. Now then, I’ve made a rainbow cushion in the past and it very nearly convinced me that sewing wasn’t for me. I vowed that I wouldn’t make another one…no siree, never ever! Well…that didn’t last longer than about five minutes…I decided that this time things would be a bit simpler and straight forward to save not only my sanity but the sanity of everyone in our house! I had great fun ordering nearly all of my supplies from the wonderful Pretty Fabric and Trims and matching up a selection of threads. After lots of cutting and stitching the following cushion babies were born…

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Welcome to the world Zosia and Kenzie!

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   These cushions were also my first cushiony collaboration with my super talented friend Jo. Do you remember the apples from my last post? Well Jo was able to use her fabulous crochet skills and made me the crochet hearts and stars for these cushions. It’s the first time that I’ve added crochet decorations and I’m so pleased that I did and very grateful for Jo’s suggestion!

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In between the Summer sunshine there have been a sprinkling of showers that created some beautiful rainbows. Look at this one taken from the window in Little Pickle’s room. I love how bright the colours look against the inky grey sky.

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I hope that you have a lovely weekend. We’re heading away for a few days on Monday and I can’t wait to be near the sea again.

I’ll be back soon with news of a mini quilt and a Minecraft Bag!

Enjoy the Bank Holiday and see you soon.

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Teacher Gifts and a Farewell…

Hello there…how are you?

It’s been a gloriously hot few days and the perfect start to the summer holidays. Although I’m still working for a bit over the summer it’s been nice to look at the weeks ahead and plan trips to see friends and think of some fun days out for Little Pickle.  On our list so far are the butterflies at the Natural History Museum, fruit picking, the recently re-opened Imperial War Museum (more of this later) and the Cinema. With school approaching in September I really want to make the most of this summer with Little Pickle and enjoy this special time together and hold onto the pre-school bits just a little bit longer….

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The end of last week was a very emotional time and when it came to say goodbye to the wonderful staff at Little Pickle’s Pre-School there were lots of tears. Anyone who knows me will know that I am a bit of a waterworks…even adverts get me started and there was no way that I was going to be able to hold in the tears. Little Pickle looked at me like I was slightly bonkers and said “Mummy, you’re dripping!” I think pouring was more like it! It felt like a huge wrench and even now, a few days later, I’m welling up thinking about it. The staff had been with us through some very tough times and through all of it had been a steady source of love, guidance and support. I couldn’t have wished for a better place for Little Pickle’s love of the world to be nurtured and encouraged and will miss them terribly.

I wanted to thank them all with a special gift and way back before we went away on holiday decided I would ask Little Pickle to draw a picture of the nursery ladies. This is what he came up with….

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I helped him a bit with the triangle because I needed this picture to have a body for what I had in mind. I love the hair…

In a bit of a rush before we went away on holiday I traced the drawing onto some gorgeous linen and got to work embroidering the arms, legs and faces. Next up were the little triangles. I wanted these nursery ladies to have pretty summer dresses and decided on two gorgeous Sevenberry fabrics.

Here they are all lined up in a row…

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I added a personalised message for everyone and finished off the dresses with some pale pink tiny buttons.

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I was almost finished and ready to cut all nine into heart shapes when I decided to add some pink lazy daisy stitches. It took a bit of a late night and stitching at breakfast to get them all finished but I was so pleased with finished result. Would you like to see?

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Each heart was finished with a pale pink and white striped ribbon.

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And backed with coordinating dress fabric. I love these pretty florals.

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 Nine hearts for nine very special ladies.

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Do you remember the crochet apples from my last post?

Well, I had wanted to create some special gift tags to add to my presents but because my crochet skills are still very much at the beginning stage I asked my lovely friends Jo and Kay who are brilliant at crochet if they would make me some crochet apples. I was so grateful for their help and when they came up with these I couldn’t wait to get started and show them off!

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What do you think?

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I used the same washi tape and brown paper bags and very soon had a little row of presents wrapped and ready to go.

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It felt lovely handing them over and was just a small way of saying a big thank you to a group of very special ladies who have played such an important part in our family.

I’m going to make myself another one, this time for framing, along with Little Pickle’s original picture.

Enjoy the rest of your week and this beautiful weather. I’ll be back soon with some cushion commissions I’ve worked on recently that I can’t wait to show you.

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Soldier, Soldier

Hello there! How are you? Sorry I’ve been a little bit quiet over the past few days. I’ve got a very good excuse and inbetween my day job have been working on a lovely commission for a set of new twins. I always really enjoy commissions for new babies and it makes me feel very happy to think that some of my creations have found homes with little new people.

I was given a completely blank canvas for this project and after sleeping on some of my original ideas….pea pods, planes, trains…I woke up and decided on London soldiers.

One for Mummy and one for Daddy…

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The main body of the cushion was a very soft linen. I used applique on the main lettering and decided on some hand embroidery for the  names and dates.

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I decided to create my own Soldier template and after a little bit of alteration and fiddly cutting out I was very pleased with this happy pair.

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I have to be honest and bits of these cushions were a little bit more time-consuming than others. There were a LOT of threads to tie and trim! There were also a few rude words when a seam decided to pop apart as I was about to start stuffing. It was lovely when they were all finished and I hope that they are now happily in their new nursery.

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I’ve also been very lucky this week and have received two(!) gifts. The first came from my special friend C in Ireland. We met a long time ago and I miss her a lot. She knows me so well and when I opened up her parcel I found this inside…

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I wish you could feel the wool…it is so soft and I keep putting my hands in the box just to have a little squish. Aren’t the colours beautiful? They remind me of a little bowl of ice cream.

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I did a felt making course a few years ago and can’t wait to have another try…

My second gift came in this very tempting bag…

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Inside was the prettiest tea towel…

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It’s so pretty that I don’t think I can even keep it for a show tea towel! Does anyone else have these? The kind of tea towels that you just keep for very special visits or is it just me! I hope I’m not the only one…!

Anyway, the pattern on this is so lovely and unusual that I’m planning to turn it into a tote bag.

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I hope that you enjoy the rest of your week. The sun looks set to shine and I hope you’ll be able to enjoy it where you are.

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