The cushion for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance

Babara Kitchenham from Bournemouth got in touch to tell me she was having a charity card party for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance on 23rd May and could she have a cushion to raffle? I think we all know that the Air Ambulance teams do the most astonishing work and all their funding comes from charitable donations, so I’m delighted to be able to contribute something!

As the event is at a private house, we decided not to put the address on line, but if you know Barabara please get in touch with her for more details!

Yes, you’ve seen the cats before, but so many people have admired them, I thought, why not?!


A Cushion for The Variety Club’s Children’s Charity & Jack’s Place at Naomi House

Avril Owton of The Cloud’s Hotel in Brockenhurst asked if they could have a cushion for their annual fundraising cream tea for:

Jacks Place at Naomi House and The Variety Club of Great Britain. &

If you can pop in and support her on Sunday 14th July, it would be wonderful.

Here’s the cushion you could be pottering home with:


Lymington Sailabilty’s Cushion

Lymington Sailability We have many great sailing charities in the Solent and Lymington Sailability is one of those that offers the chance for folk who might not move too well on land to share the joy of speed, the wind in their hair and experience the joy of sailing in one of the most beautiful stretches of water in the world… I’m not biased!

Aly Gunn got in touch to tell me that it’s their first ever fete in Lymington on 8th June and their cushion will be raffled then. Go and support her if you can!

Yes, you’ve seen this before, but I feel the fabric is perfect for those who love watery activities! It will be turning up at a couple of RNLI events, too!


A cushion for The South Atlantic Medal Association

The South Atlantic Medal Association provides a huge range of support and care for all those who fought in the Falklands conflict.

David Leming, the Vice Chairman of the Association in Christchurch got in touch to ask for a cushion which can be raffled at their Gala Dinner on 14th June.

This one uses the beautiful pattern on one of Derek’s fabrics (for several cushions I’ve cut it so I could embroider the centre myself, but I couldn’t resist making at least one with the complete circle of embroidery!)

I’ve beaded it with beads left over from my daughter Sam’s wedding dress – when they catch the light they look beautiful, even if they were wee beasties to sew onto the firm fabric!


Phew, that’s more like it!

Finished six over the weekend and have several almost done! Got a proper ” line” going, so as the cats embroidered out on the machine, I frantically sewed buttons onto backs! Health and safety wouldn’t be impressed though! Sat at a funny angle and am now wondering about like wonky chicken!

Will allocate the new cushions and tell you where they’re off to tomorrow.


Reprieved! A cushion for Scratch!

One of the most useful lessons I gleaned from the tailoring classes I went to for a couple of years (I’d recommend evening classes or workshops for anyone trying to pick up any skills, there’s nothing like hints and tips from experienced folk for improving the quality of your work), is that fabric is very strong and can take a fair bit of unpicking!

Before you abandon anything that seems to have gone wrong, it’s always worth trying to save it!

Carefully unpick seams and iron them to remove the needle holes, take a deep breath and start again!

This is a lovely, rusty taffeta. The picture makes it look more pinky than it is. I had bought it to make a jacket when rust was last in fashion! Might have to do that now it’s time has come again!

This cushion is for SCRATCH in Southampton, who work to help folk who find themselves in dire straits with all sorts of essentials, food, furniture – all sorts of things, including Christmas presents for children who would have nothing without some support.


Cushion number 4!

Ok, after the horrors of this morning, I feel I have cheated because this fabric is both embroidered AND beaded already!

It’s more bluey green than it looks in the picture. I have a much loved top made out of it, and it makes me think of the sea and coral reefs.

It just needed some stiffening and I finally got to use the striped fabric on the back! I also found myself smiling as I stitched on the buttons that the thread probably came from the alteration room of my mum and dad’s wedding dress shop, Barclays of Havant. Sadly, it’s been a McDonalds for a long time now!

This is for a local branch of the Cystic Fibrosis charity that supports those who have this cruel disease and those who love and care for them.


The Cushion for Macmillan at Christchurch

It’s lovely working with such a gorgeous fabric! Had some fun with the pale sequins and beads in the centre of the flowers. Wasn’t too sure about the red bugle beads I used on some of the petals, but husband Peter liked them and having asked his opinion thought it would be rude to take them off!!

So far I’ve backed all the cushions with a pale gold satiny fabric which I’d bought to make a Christmas table cloth of, it looked wonderful but I couldn’t iron the creases out after washing! The joy of it being tightly stretched over a cushion pad is that it looks fine!!

Using a different backing fabric can make a great contrast, save the lovely stuff for the front and, if you’re making buttonholes it’s easier to sew. If your cushion fabric is thick, two layers of it can be hard to stitch together, too.

The Macmillan unit in Christchurch. Offering essential and wonderful support to people facing cancer treatment and their families.


THIS is better!

My cushion for Mosaic, the bereavement counselling charity in Dorset still has a heart, but I found this fabulous embroidery pattern at I used a jade velvet which my Stepmum gave me years ago. It’s brighter than it looks in the picture, and found some little heart buttons for the back.

If you’re embroidering velvet you want to use a sticky stabiliser in the back of the hoop. That way, you don’t need to use the top ring that crushes the pile (although I have done it when I know the velvet will wash). You can also buy stabilisers to put on top of the fabric that either wash or iron away and stop the stitches sinking into the pile. I was annoyed to find I’d run out, and as I really wanted to complete this before the weekend, so risked working without it! I’m pleased with the result but it would have been a crisper finish if I had used it

Mosaic a charity supporting bereaved children, their families and carers in Dorset.