Souvenir Makes no. 1: Cushion Covers

31 Oct

Happy Halloween readers!

Now that Autumn is well and truly here, there is nothing better than spending a day off, cozily crocheting whilst watching black and white movies. I know that there are lots of people out there that lament the end of Summer and the shortening of days, but this is the start of the best part of the year, as far as I’m concerned! I start looking forward to the rustling of crunchy Autumn leaves, hot chocolates and wooly jumpers from the beginning of July!

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I love travelling and try to visit new places as much as possible, but I have a habit of treating foreign currency like Monopoly money, and spending too much of it. Therefore, in order to curb the impulse purchasing, I made a promise to myself  a few years ago that I would only ever buy holiday souvenirs that I could actually use – no more fibre optic Eiffel towers and personalised sticks of Blackpool rock. It’s a rule I managed to stick to in Venice, Berlin and Reykjavik! When I visited the Highlands and Islands of Scotland earlier in the year, I brought back all sorts of yarns, textiles and hand made items, with the plan of making them into new, unique things for my home. Now that the evenings are getting darker, I’ve finally got round to unwrapping all of the items from the Scottish road trip at Easter, and planning some crafty projects. My first make was the result of an afternoon’s idle crocheting, which is certainly one of the most enjoyable pastimes for a lazy Sunday.

 

I have recently acquired a new (well, second hand) sofa, which needed some cushions, so I have turned my crochet experimentation into a cushion cover. The sofa itself is a reupholstery project-in-waiting, but after the trials and tribulations of my last upholstering attempt, I’m still psyching myself up for the challenge!  The natural, undyed yarn is some North Ronaldsay wool, which I bought whilst in Orkney, and the rest are all from Kingcraig. I also tried slipping some fabric remnants behind the central motif of the cushion, but I’m not sure it really adds anything to the overall look – what do you think?

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The central flower has 9 petals instead of 8 – this is the result of absent-minded crafting whilst watching TV! It took some manipulating to get the motif lying flat in the central section, but I think it looks ok now. I kept the main colour design the same for the back of the cushion, but I simply crocheted a simple granny square for the central motif. The edges have been formed into a scallop shape, by joining together the two shells.

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I was really happy with how the cushion cover had turned out, so almost immediately began work on a second one, using the fabric remnants rather than the yarns. When I visited Edinburgh earlier in the year, I picked up a few remnants of different tartans – in the picture below you can see 3 tartans in similar shades but different designs – I wish I’d made a note of the names! I know that the one in the bottom left corner is ‘Flower of Scotland’, and the one on the right is ‘Davidson’, but I can’t remember the name of the one in the top left – apologies.

I wanted to experiment with pleating the materials, to match up the different lines in the patterns. After much pinning, stitching and seam ripping, I was on the verge of giving up! I liked how the different patterns merged into each other on the seams, but the overall effect was too frilly and twee. Time to start again!

I decided to simplify the design, by just using two pieces of material, rather than 3. I also reduced the number of line matches across the seam, which still gave the effect I was looking for, without appearing too fussy overall. It began to look much more appealing to me when I moved the seam from the middle , to just right of centre.

I was much happier with how the project was turning out, so I stitched the pieces together, matching the patterns as neatly as possible on the back of the cushion. Et voila! Two cushion covers to remind me of my Scottish adventure! These will be perfect for snuggling up on the sofa during the cold, blustery Autumn evenings.

I realise that I am a bit daft making the cushions before reupholstering the sofa, but I suppose this project has decided my upholstery fabrics for me – I am now on the hunt for some material that will pick out the blue and green tones from my project.

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