Work in progress: the cushions

Last week I mentioned how a day out kickstarted my creative juices and I planned to make some cushions. The embroidery I was working on for said cushions became a pair of canvases instead.

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Here they are on my book shelf. I really need to organise that shelving unit better.

Instead I ordered myself some materials and started again. I’m still working on the project between writing, sleep and day job, but I thought I’d show you how far I’d got since the materials arrived on Saturday. I’ll update this post until the cushions are finished.

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I ordered two far quarters of the patchwork material and a pre-cut pack of black 18 count aida, as well as a 5m roll of 1 inch black bias binding. The three different coloured threads are from my stash.

I started by deciding how big the finished cushions should be. I want long thin pillows for my bed, so I folded the fat quarters in half. They look about the right size. Bonus – no cutting!

Then I had to decide on the size of the aida. Obviously they’re going to be smaller than the cushions but have to be large enough to get the design on. It took a bit of folding and checking, but only when I was satisfied did I cut.

First problem – the aida didn’t fit comfortably into either of my hoops. I compromised and used the smaller hoop but only had the part of the aida I was working on in the centre.

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I’m going to have to iron the embroidery when I’m done.

My design was very basic, the canvases were really prototypes. The embroidered sections of the cushions are slightly different.

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Incomplete second cushion image.
Those chainmail-like, interlinked circles took a great deal more time and effort than anticipated. I need to add the last three words and then the images are complete.

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This is the first one. I’m very pleased with the almost-symmetry.

There’s a story behind these cushions

Of course there is, everything can be a narrative if you want it to be.

Last month I was watching the last episode of Sherlock series 3 with my best friend. We got drunk and stayed up stupidly late. It’s rare we get to do that, life and responsibility being what they are. Anyway we started talking about private stuff, things we both need to be extremely drunk to discuss, and I said to Lell, ‘Love is love, everything else is socially constructed bullshit’. To which Lell responded that she liked this  Rosie-quote and it would make a good embroidery. I suggested, if the plan to move to Leeds with another friend goes ahead I could make it to hang by the front door, with the addition of ‘if you have a problem with that leave now’.

We agreed it was a fantastic idea.

The idea stuck.

And that is the story of how a thought that’s been rattling around in my head for the last year or so became cushions.

Edit 1:
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I’ve finished the embroidery! My grandma would be so upset that I’ve sworn on my crafting. I’ve also changed it slightly. ‘Socially constructed’ wouldn’t quite fit.

Edit 2: I couldn’t do it! I’ve unpicked the text and have started again. I’m almost done though.

Edit 3: The first cushion is almost finished.
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I need to stuff it and then sew up the forth side.
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One complete cushion.

One more to go.

Edit 4: Embroidery complete for the second cushion.
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The light is really bad in my room!
I have to trim this to size, sew it on to the material, then make up the cushion. That’s a job for later in the week.

Final Edit: That last sentence was a lie. I’ve spent the last two hours making up the cushion. I have to be up for work at seven (overtime!) and yet I’ve spent prime sleeping time sewing. Once I start something I’m impatient to get on with the work. Here’s the finished project.
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The light really is awful.

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