Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Garden cushions

Decided that I had had enough of  my rather tatty garden seat cushions that I found on Freecycle - so new makeover!

So 4 cushion covers - no tie-ons as planned as each set of chairs has a different back
Also made a bag for them all to go in
a matching cushion with a flanged edge ( to rest my weary head on when zzzzzzzzzzzz'ing int eh garden or reading a book)

This a pic of 'before' - pretty yucky

All these cushion covers were made from scraps brought from ebay - came as 5 pieces of offcuts - a printed linen check
I matched the checks on each set of cushions (because I am a perfectionist)
Had 3 strips left - which made the bag
3 oddments left which made the matching cushion
they ALL fit into the capacious bag - with nice cord to hang it up with when they are not in use
So easy storage

All that was left was a couple scraps and the trims from cutting the corners of the cushions

Now all we need is some sunshine so I can use them in the garden!
G&T anyone....................??

Sunday, 29 August 2010

.....more cushions - boring to snazzy!

Take one boring old gold cushion cover (seen behind fancy one) and a couple of fabric sample squares in organdie and hey presto an instant makeover
This one is red and gold one side and brown and gold the other - a summer and winter side
The gold co-ordinating with base colour of cushion - which will show through the organdie

and this is the other side

You just take one old boring cushion in need of an update
Measure it up - in this case 15"
Take two 16" fabric samples
Tip: Centre designs or place pattern in pleasing place
Trim up side edges - and sew a quarter inch in to prevent fraying
I had planned to fringe the side edges -ut being a double faced jaquard it would not fringe at all!
So a nice string edge
But with right fabric you can fringe the edge for a nice finish
Sew top and bottom (French seams to keep it neat and tidy - or zigzag edges or use a serger) to fit sungly around cushion
Then just slide on the slip-cover
Easy peasy!

Just slip off when season changes or you fancy a change - could not be easier!

You can use any fabric that co-ordinates with the base colour of interior cushion cover
Its quick and easy and cheap to do

Friday, 27 August 2010

New project - Sleek sophisticated notebook/laptop and accessory cases

One laptop case with co-ordinating bag for power cables
These are made in a double faced damask (upholstery fabric so last for ages) - so have made them so one side is the 'positive' side the other showing the 'negative side.
They are totally reversible with a self fringe - no raw edges as the seams use a french seam
The slipcases are of generous size - so you can tuck in your notes and a pen or two and the tops simply fold over - no studs, buttons or buckles to damage the sensitive screens

You can easily slip out the laptop when you have to put them through the X-ray machines at security gates

Here you can see all the accessories tucked into the bag with plenty of room

Here is the matching set - with ribbon closures
These bags have the same side of the fabric showing on both sides but are tied closed with plain grosgrain ribbons

Both are of the same size - the bigger envelope bags can hold a notebook or an A4 folder or notebook - teh smaller bags can either hold the power cables and mouse or make-up or whatever

Plan to write up a tutorial on how to make them and sell the patterns and finished bags (for those who can not sew)
They will be made in both feminine and masculine colours and fabrics and designed to act as slipcovers for notbooks for travelling and/or to act as dust covers to protect the notbooks/laptops
The accessry bags are seperate so that when you travel the power cables etc do not put any pressure on the sensitive display screens - hence the cases have no embellishments to cause any pressure on the notebook case/screen

Here isa  close up of the ribbon closure bag with notebook inside - the ribbon closure allows for plenty of adjustment in case you need to add in files or use it for another purpose e.g. A4 notebook. papers, magazine, folder, clothes for travel etc

Here I have added a magazine for scale - so you can see the larger of the bags will hold a standard magazine with ease.

More catch up projects ............ Pretty Flamingo

This wall hanging I quilted many years ago - but have now beaded the flamingo in the middle and finally finished it off!!

Just to add focus to the wall hanging I beaded the central motif which is the flamingo
His head and legs are encrusted with beads but his wings just ahve the central rib beaded
I used a mixture of matt and pearlescent beads

Here is a  detail of his head - two tones of pale turquoise, lilac and dark blue beads with black, red,  and mutlicoloured beads

and of his wings
I tried to select from the multicoloured beads - the co-ordinating colours for each feather to contrast with the matt lilac beads on the rest of the feathers

The quilted piece now has a border and hanging slot at the top - now to find right place for it in the house and it will need a spotlight at night - so it will have a subtle sparkle to brighten dark winter nights

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Transformed Drawing Room ................ creams and browns

Also been chased up for pics of this project as well .............. a quick change for Summer look in Drawing Room - all cream for cool summer colours. In the winter its all rusts and browns as its a north room (so a cold north light)
So the rust and brown rug has been rolled up to reveal the cream fitted carpet

Curtains in a cream linen damask with two colours of ribbon (brown and coffee coloured) trim along the headers
The other window has been done in the same style as well
I added these to stop the curtains looking bland - those stripes really make the curtains look sharp and tailored as the linen hangs in crisp linen folds

Now leather cushions transformed with new slipcovers in a printed silk - made with scraps I bought off ebay!

Here is close up of -
one of slipcovers - edges bound with the same ribbon as one the curtains
one small cushion made from a scrap
one larger cushion made by cutting two left over pieces of fabric and alternating the strips to make a striped cushion
All I had left were a few tiny scraps of fabric
Case of waste not want not! LOL

New curtains ...................... bedroom 1

Well been reminded that I have not posted pics of one of latest projects - as promised
Ohhhhh ..............  Mea culpa

Well here they are - I have made curtains for window, both alcoves ......and even a matching bedspread
The linings have yet to be slipstitched in and curtains to be hemmed
Then some fabulous heavey fringing to hand sewn on leading edges of the curtains and around the bedspread
As you can see have also sewn two rows matching blue grosgrain ribbon on the curtain headers - to help counteract the strong vertical stripes of the fabric - which is a lovely heavy cotton
The whole lot used my entire roll of fabric - 23m!!      Only 2" left!

Here is bed and window - with curtains in front of wardrobe and a lovely little Victorian bedroom chair I bought 30 years ago

Heres the bed - the blue headboard picks up the blue in the fabric
I trimmed and fringed an oddment of pinky beige wool fabirc I had to act as a temporary throw over the foot of the bed until I have made a new one. 
I shall put one of thingies up on the wall above the bed - so a pair of curtains can fall to either side of the bed -like a canopy or half-tester bed

Here you can see the ribbon trim and burgundy tie backs keeping curtoinas pulled back from the window

I think due to the Jacobean style print that we shall have to name the room - The Jacobean Room
Now to hang prints and photographs and re-organise furniture in there

Yet to make cushions for the bed ...............so quite a few finishing touches to do

Friday, 20 August 2010

My very special cactus flowered again!

My cactus was a present from a really good friend (who sadly died some years ago). It has flowered again this year for the second time and this time has 2 blooms.
They are amazingly HUGE flowers from such a spikey cactus and they start as weird clubby furry growths  and grow from a wierd small furry bud to a flower in 3 days but the flower only lasts a single day :-(

This cactus flowered for the first time last year. At first I thought it had some disease - as several furry growths sprouted ........but then one grew, and exteneded out like a club, I thought I had a Triffid and in 3 days this HUGE palest pink blossom appeared ............... and this year I have had 3 flowers, first one in the Spring and now 2.

This was how the first flower started - its 2nd day of growth - see the little furry fuzzy growths, which are the flower buds?  

So everytime I water this cactus and now especially when it flowers I think of Anne who gave it to me for Christmas when I visited her in Seahouses, Northumberland. She was a wonderful lady who lived on the habour in a fabulous house she and her husband had retired to. He died and she stayed there for many years afterwards. The house had wonderful views of the harbour and the sea  - must have been wonderful to live there all year!

This was the first flower from last year

I met Anne from staying in  Seahouses on holiday with my two children many years ago. We were in a neighbouring house for a weeks holiday and we became great friends and we would see her every time I stayed in the town and when passing on the A1 (when I used to commute up to Scotland frequently) I would stay with her for a night or two.  She was always so pleased to see you - gave a wonderful welcome and great hugs, and was distressed when you left - she made you feel very valued as a firend. We had lovely trips into the hills for picnics, shopping trips, walks along the harbour and once she took me to hear the fisherman choir in one of the churches in Seahouses, (the benches were hard on the bum but the choir was good).

She sadly died the following January after I saw here just before Christmas - when she gave me the cactus as my Christmas present.

I always felt the cactus never reflected her as a person - it was all sharp and spikey whereas she was all warmth and gentleness .............then last year it flowered for the first time and then I could see why she gave it to me ................ the flowers were rare and special a special gift - like Anne was and still is in my memories of her.

As you can see the hover flies were admiring the flower as well ............................

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Catching up with projects ................. cushions

Well been a long time since updated this - as friends keep telling me - so must mend my ways......

Have not been too good with the ME for some months now - had a few setbacks - but odd good days, which have been great and really kept me going!! ONe day I even felt like my old sparkly self - which was wonderful while it lasted!!!!!
Also hands and bones been giving me great pain - but fighting it off and docs say must keep crocheting to keep hands from getting stiff. So with more new painkillers have been soldiering on .......................

Have caught up with some sewing projects, finishing off various things started years and years ago - shameful
Such as the crazy  patchwork cushion above. I had pieced the front last year  ... it is now trimmed to shape, i.e. a neat square and completed the back - so now a new 12" cushion.

 Ditto ................... this floral cushion I padded and quilted 15 years ago ............ so last week I added some beads in some of the flowers to add some texture and sparkle and finally finished it off - now with co-ordinated backing fabric and hey presto another cushion done n dusted.

The close up highlights the quilting and beading of the flowers. As you can see I had just quilted the central bouquet of flowers and selectively beaded the main flowers - just the central bits to give a bit of definition.

The reindeer - I quilted again many years ago - and finally completed into a square ready for Christmas - used a nifty idea - a white shirt as the button back. May be a Chirstmas pressy for friend or relative - we shall see closer to the time.

The airplanes I quilted last year - for my son (as he is into planes etc) - thought he would like these on his bed .sofa - wherever he wants them - lol.

The chair pad I had completed last year - a pieced front (crazy quilted), framed in moire silk and backed with the same and sits on one of the kitchen chairs.

So those are some of the catch up on cushions ................... more to follow tomorrow ............. as lots of ncatching up to do