Sunday, February 9, 2014

Floor cushions

You know when someone finds out that you sew and gives you a whole load of non-quilty stuff and you're not sure what to do with it. Well, at our guild we turn them into cushions.

This is a floor cushion (about 90cm x 90cm) made from all donated stuff apart from a bit of velcro.

We were given bags of what looks like offcuts from making mattresses. We also had this horrible batting that I've been trying to use up.
I wanted to line the inner cushion with the batting so that it wasn't quite so lumpy. I cut a strip of fabric and sandwiched the batting between the strip and the cushion inner so that I could sew the batting and make a pocket to put the off-cuts into.

The cushion inner is now lined with batting and filled with lumpy bits.

I made the back of the cushion from large curtain samples using velcro as a closure.

The front was made from upholstery and curtain sample books.

These lovely terracotta/pink fabrics were offcuts from a professional seamstress (sewer/sewist, which one do you use?) I was going to make myself some cushions or a handbag but I've had them for over a year and it hasn't happened yet. Time to let someone else appreciate them. These cushions are going to a children's home.

This is my latest project. It is really exciting. Two of these sheds are mine and are destined to become backpacker cabins somewhere lovely.
A couple of summers ago I visited Suz ( and Monika ( They live a beautiful part of the country up north. I also met Miss Lottie ( on that trip. Miss Lottie often posts about the joys of living in the country. I made a decision that holiday that this was the life I wanted and I've been working my way slowly towards it. I'm planning to run a small backpackers and campsite (well, one electric point for an RV) and also build a house, keep chickens, grow stuff and do a bit maths tutoring.
The cabins are being built by students at my school. It will take them all year as they learn the skill for each part of the job. So I've got until the end of the year to find a place to put them.

Fiddler crabs

I had to take these photos with the flash so the colour isn't right. I've tried to adjust it so that you get a good idea of the ugliness of my challenge fabric. Pretty garish! But somehow I saw fiddler crabs in that fabric!

I just need to put a binding on it.

I'm particularly pleased with my little crabs in the distance. I just cut out random oval blobs for the first three and painted legs on them. Then when I went around them in black, they came to life. The very distant ones are just painted and then quilted with a dark grey thread instead. I like this scribble outline technique. It suits my messy way of working!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Painting backgrounds

I've been painting again. This time it's a background for a challenge quilt for our guild. I have a really ugly fabric to go on top of this but I think it will look great when it's finished.

The texture on the brown bit was done by adding rock salt to the wet paint. I used pink Himalayan salt, a bit extravagant but that's all I had. I've saved it for the next project!
I used Epsom salts on the light blue bit below. The darker bit I achieved by running a sponge brush with paint and no water over the wrinkled fabric. I let that dry and then added a wash of lighter blue over the top.  I wonder what a large piece would look like using that method, or adding a wash of a different colour.  Hmmm, more experiments needed.