Way back when I was making my tree picture for our living room, I had this idea up my sleeve that I wanted to use the primary colours that I used for the felt leaves in some cushions for the same room, but make cushions with my favourite little characters from my card making experiments – these long legged birdies.
At the time my sewing skills were so-so, and so I cheated and bought some pre-made cushion covers when I was in IKEA as I couldn’t be bothered to find out how to actually make up a cushion when you could buy them in IKEA for £2 a pop! I also bought some fabric paint and pens and was planning to make the birds out of paint and draw on the legs and beak etc…
Having parked this idea for several months now I come back to it, my confidence has grown hugely in sewing and I thought it seemed a shame to do this in pen and paint when I could use applique and free machine embroidery. Of course now I have done my cushion course too, I wish I had just made up my own covers as trying to sew a patter onto a pre-made up cushion without unpicking it and opening it out is pretty tricky! Luckily I didn’t have one of those horrible – oh god I’ve sewn the layers all together moments.
I was super paranoid. I stopped to check many many times!
So I started off with cutting out my applique pieces and bondawebbing them to the cushion covers and positioning my buttons for the baby birds.
I then drew around the buttons in tailors chalk and then free motioned around the applique pieces and drew in the legs and beaks and eyes and baby bird legs and beaks. Then I sewed on the buttons by hand.
I used to hate sewing things by hand, especially once I got to grips with my lovely sewing machine, but I don’t mind it now, as it is way more portable, and if it is a nice sunny day I can take it outside. Or it can come with me when I am visiting family or waiting in the car for the children to emerge from clubs, or in front of the tv, or even sitting on the train, [although you have to be careful not to poke the eye out of the person next to you with your needle as you pull through! That would not be popular.]
It was fun positioning the birds and deciding where they were going to stand and what babies (or toddlers) they might have.
I then decided it might be nice to edge the cushions with some bias binding tape that matched some of the applique pieces. So I set about making my own bias binding with my shiny new bias tape making tool. And stitched it to the edge of the cushions, being careful to only do one side of the zip edge so that I can still open and close the zip to insert the padding.
However, I quickly learnt that I had no idea how to do this, having not added bias binding tape to a cushion before and quickly became stumped having no idea how to handle the corners.
I tried initially just cutting the tape and folding over and doing a sort of zig zag over the raw edge. Not very neat. So then I did some googling, and learnt all about mitred edges. Doh… of course, seems obvious when you know how. So I completed my next cushion with much more success.
However, I then stood back and looked at them and wondered if the bias edging didn’t distract a bit from the birds, and actually when you look at the ones I had not added binding to, did they actually look better?
So I stopped – quite happily actually as the binding made the whole job take twice as long, and I am not sure the cushions are the better for it.
However I now have two bias binded ones and two plain and cannot decide if I ought to bind up the other two so they match. I’m certainly not going to unpick all the binding I have put on the edged two.
I suspect instead that they will stay just as they are until the wear out. Or I get bored of them entirely and decide to do something else.
Let me know what you think – we could take a poll on edged ones vs non-edged ones. It could be like the Sneetches!
Until next time my friends…