At last, appliqué hearts for the PICK’s support group

Having got my tacky fabric glue and extra sharp scissors, I thought I’d risk an appliqué heart again! Hooray! Although if I’d used a same colour thread on the heart the fluffy bits of velvet would look neater, I’m quite pleased with it.

I’m starting to run low on buttons so raided ye olde zip box. Sadly the one I found was a little on the short side. It took two of us to persuade the cushion pad to go in!

It’s off to Southbourne Dorset, where Jean Tigg is having a cream tea on July 7th for the PICK’s disease support group. This is fronto-temporal dementia, a cruel disease which has a huge impact on the sufferers and their families. I really hope my cushion helps to raise some much needed funds.


Rescued! An owl for Froglife!

I have to be honest, I found it tricky working out what to make for Froglife! They could have a “proper”, sensible frog, but would you want it on your settee? Or a disrespectful, crazy one, but that didn’t seem right, so an owl it is!

I bought this amazing pattern last year from to make a fabulous blue velvet quilt.

I made the smallest size owl (the largest takes 9 hours to sew out!), on a russet moleskin like fabric. Disaster! The dense stitches made the fabric crunckle up! After sleeping on it I thought I’d try cutting it out and using it as an appliqué. I know, my attempts at that so far had been a disaster! I bought some spray on fabric glue so the beastie wouldn’t move on the velvet, bought some very fine, sharp scissors, used a straight rather than a zigzag stitch and kept my fingers crossed! It worked!


Crazy patchwork’s back, for the Carisbrooke Priory

The patient, caring folk at Carisbrooke Priory will receive this cushion on Wednesday.

I’ve come to love crazy patchwork, although you need five or six toning/blending fabrics and I’m making a terrible mess trying to work out what might look good together!

The very sparkly fabric (which doesn’t dominate quite as much as the picture suggests) was bought for grown up daughter, Sam, when she worked as Children’s Librarian at Hayle Library in Cornwall. She created a really special puppet show for the evening the Christmas Tree was lit, and created cuttlefish puppets in this fabric, and with Peter’s help they even had LEDs. They have to be seen to be believed!


Feathers for First Act, Shanklin

Like so many groups on the Island, First Act (a theatre group for people with disabilities) have had more than their fair share of cuts. Here is their cushion!

It’s my last full piece of the jade silk dupion, which I shall miss (although little bits are bound to keep turning up!).

Unlike the other cushions made of this fabric, I used a paper like backing (a sew and tear). I don’t like it usually, but it is better for this, the others were a little wrinkly (sorry guys!), but not this one!


The cushion for Parkinson’s UK (Isle of Wight)

As I’m making a cushion run to the Island on Wednesday, I knew I had to make something for the Parkinson’s UK Group there.

As it’s about people who care for others, the heart had to appear again! It’s interesting how different it looks though, on dusty pink with a silver thread, which looks a bit lost until the light picks it out. It’s a very beautiful velvet (remnants from my Mum and Dads curtains!).

I’m quite fond of this, it’s almost ghostly and more subtle than the other cushions (so far). Although I hope they are all beautiful in their own way!


Time for some crazy patchwork!

I realise that, quite a few cushions in, I’ve got some glorious, toning scraps and have been plotting a racy patchwork cushion! It’s crazy because, unlike normal patchwork, it’s random shapes and sizes. It lacks the beautiful precision of traditional patchwork, but you can create some wonderful effects.



Select your fabrics carefully, put your first scrap, raw edges and all on your backing fabric.


You sew the second piece to the first, back of the new piece to the top of the first, creating a seam at one of the edges.



Flip the second piece of fabric so it's right side up, finger press it and sew a line of top stitching down the seam.


Carry on building the fabrics up by sewing, flipping and top stitching. I had intended to add lots of fancy machine embroidery to the seams, but the fabrics are so rich that I think it would spoil it

For some inspirational ideas for crazy patchwork search for “crazy patchwork” images.

Feathers! This one is for the Countess Mountbatten Hospice

I love feathers! This pattern is from Secrets of Embroidery. The jade silk dupion is a wonderful colour and a lovely fabric to work with. I might need to find some silver in future, I realise I keep using my favourite threads, some-one might prefer something else!

This is for Countess Mountbatten Hospice, one of our local hospices, all of which do astonishing work. I know everyone that uses their caring, compassionate services is so grateful that they are there.


I’ve found some beautiful beads!

I bought these years ago thinking I might have a go at making a necklace, somehow, never did! They won’t make a comfy cushion, but I hope a beautiful one.

I keep seeing cushions with hearts formed from buttons (I suspect one of those will turn up sooner or later). I think the beads will look better as an outline.

There’s no easy way to draw a heart outline on velvet so my cunning plan is to pin on the paper I cut a heart out from, so I can use the inner edge. The beads will be heavy so a bit of scrap fabric on the back will help to hold the weight.

If you need a heart template, just search free heart templates on line. There are lots to choose from. Lots of generous crafters. THANK YOU all!



Puppies for the Winchester and Eastleigh Branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind

The third of the “trio” patterns from is perfect for the Guide Dog Cushion.

The taffeta needed stabilising with vilene (you can see why I love the other, rust fabric!). As its an outline pattern, the stabiliser doesn’t need to be too heavy, for a denser pattern you would need a slightly heavier backing.