Sunday, 25 September 2011

Another Pushoin

Pushoin? When my niece was a toddler she, like many small children, had her only words for certain things. A Ladybird for example she would call a Ladybaby.  The Moon, thanks to a tv programme that I've forgotten the name of was called, Luna. Cushion got hybridised into a cross between a Pillow and a cushion and ended up as a pushion.

My latest pushion has been very much influenced by Autumn and a tree shedding it's leaves.  It's not been easy going by any means. Now why is it the easy stuff I find difficult?

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I used some of the lovely Aviary 2 wood grain fabric I bought the other day to make a tree trunk and along with a selection of fabric scraps I fused them onto a panel of cream coloured solid. I wanted it to look like the leaves were coming off of the tree.  I did think about using a zigzag stitch on all the applique bits; only I thought it might look nicer if the edges started to fray over time giving some slight texture, so I used sketchy embroidery quilting to attach these.  I then used some 2.5" scrap squares in colours that reminded me of Autumn to create a border.  Once that was done I decided to tackle free motion quilting for the first time.

Disaster struck before I even got started. I don't use my trusty Janome for anything that requires a darning foot because I don't have one. A friend generously gave me their sewing machine when they were downsizing. It was almost new as they'd not used it that much. They had also bought a darning/embroidery foot with the express intention of using the machine for more arty rather than practical sewing. So for a variety of reasons (including having no manual so not knowing how to do things like wind bobbins on this machine - although thanks to Kat I can do that now!) I've been using this machine for embroidery/free motion type work.   Last night when I was getting the Brother out of it's bag the case/tray bit you detach when you want to get into the bobbin area or sew an arm or tube fell off and hit the laminate floor in my dining room. It only fell about 3 inches, but it broke both the plastic bits that attach it to the machine. It is a really cheap/poor design which means every time I've ever moved the machine it's tended to come off and it's a surprise disaster hasn't happened before. Given that Brother has aimed this at the budget home sewer I'm surprised they haven't made a machine with a more robust casing. I'm not a clumsy person. I've bought superglue I'll attempt a repair, but the two broken bits of plastic are smaller than little finger nails, so I'm not optimistic of success. What it did mean is my first attempt at free motion quilting involved wedging a coaster under the tray in the hope it would sit attached to the machine - as I was sewing some areas I could feel it shifting apart so I had to keep odds-ing that! However, I'm really pleased with the result. I did about 20 stitches practice. Then thought no just get on with it!

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No laughing too hard this is a first ever attempt!

It was a bit fiddly going round the tree leaves and I have quilted it far more densely that you would a quilt. I am not sure I'd have the stamina (or thread) to do a whole quilt because it is quite demanding and you do have to concentrate. Once I got a rhythm going I quite enjoyed the process and definitely want to use it in other projects.

I then used some of the perle I got last week to do a few lines of stitching around the border. I decided the tree trunk was looking a bit bare so I fussy cut an owl from one of the scraps from Kaelins destash the other day and had him sat looking out of a hollow in the tree.

Assembling the pushion was when it all went wrong.  I decided to make a simple envelope closure on the back and harvest an old cushion cover for fabric like I did with the last cushion. However, by the time I'd sorted the ends for fraying and then folded over for seams I had such bulk it ended up looking like a right dogs breakfast. So having wasted a lot of time and effort I grabbed my trusty unpicker and decided to start over.  I had some Joel Dewberry fabric in my stash (as it was a whole yard I had wanted to save it for a larger project. But what's the point of waiting and buying fabric when I have something suitable with no project in mind!) so I used some of that and put a zipper in the back.

It was only when it was all finished I realised it was too small for any of my pillow forms. See another simple part of the making I messed up! I had a very floppy old cushion that I stole the insert from and squeezed it into the back.  I still seem to get this problem with the flap to conceal the zip bulging open. I must remember to stitch it down for the next cushion. The zipper went in easily enough. It seems wrong that the zipper was easier and tidier than the envelope closure but there you go!


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So now I have another new pillow for my living room make over!

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I'm linking this up with celebrate colour this month as it was very much designed with Autumn in mind.

Celebrate Color

26 comments:

  1. Your stippling has really got the flow despite having to improvise around the breakage! Lovely cushion Jan

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  2. It looks fab, although sounds like a somewhat traumatic make!

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  3. Your stippling looks great to me! I super glued my old machine together and it went fine. Hope yours will be fine too :-)

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  4. Love your pushion! Love the great story behind the word, too. That's how family traditions start.

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  5. great stippling! It looks great and you'd never know it gave you so much hassle :)

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  6. wow, its a fab cushion: and I love that little owl in the tree trunk. I have tried FMQ'ing and totally agree that it would take so much stamina and concentration to do a whole quilt - never gonna happen!

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  7. That is so adorable. I love it!

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  8. I love it but I also love your asters - great colours!

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  9. Your pushion is so beautiful! I can't believe its your first try FMQing. Well done! You'd never know you had such a rough time.

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  10. Can't believe that is your first attempt at FMQ, I think you did a great job in frustrating circumstances.

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  11. Oh well done, that FMQ looks really professional. Sorry about all the troubles in getting it together, sometimes things flow, and sometimes they just don't! Worth it though..

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  12. It`s very beautiful and sorry about the tough time you had with the machine but your FMQ is fabulous!!!

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  13. Lovely cushion, the wee owly is so cute!

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  14. The FMQing was worth the aggro, it looks great!

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  15. It looks great, I love the way your border blocks really draw out the bright leaves. Your stippling looks fantastic too.

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  16. Oh dear, what an effort! But so worth it for the end result. Your fmq is brill! Well done! Jxo

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  17. FMQing really is fun on small projects but you're right, it's hard going on full size quilts! I stippled my godzilla shoo fly and it's queen size - 20 minute bursts is the only way my tense shoulders cope! Yours looks amazing! I did about your amount of practise - sometimes diving in is the only way to go.

    P.S. Luna is the moon in "Bear and the big blue house"!! They sing the goodbye song together at the end of every episode.

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  18. FMQing really is fun on small projects but you're right, it's hard going on full size quilts! I stippled my godzilla shoo fly and it's queen size - 20 minute bursts is the only way my tense shoulders cope! Yours looks amazing! I did about your amount of practise - sometimes diving in is the only way to go.

    P.S. Luna is the moon in "Bear and the big blue house"!! They sing the goodbye song together at the end of every episode.

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  19. And a lovely cushion at that. You did a brilliant job on the quilting!

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  20. Seriously, is that really your first attempt at FMQ?! Oh lordy, I'm in trouble, I've had several goes and I still can't get it to look that good! Lovely pushion!

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  21. this is stunning! i love the colours and the stippling is great, I refuse to try it because it would drive me insane, i love the effect though. xxx

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  22. Gosh, this is beautiful! I love the colors and the hand-quilting around the edges too. Wow!

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  23. I absolutely LOVE your pillow! I'm going to favorite it on Flickr and try to make one myself (in my copious spare time!) Thanks for the inspiration! Enjoy it-- it's beautiful!

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  24. Gorgeous pushion! And Luna was probably from Bear in the Big Blue House (how sad that I should know - yep, I'm a mum.)

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  25. that is a very lovely pushion indeed jan :-)
    & fab FMQ-ing too!

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  26. Your FMQ is great for your first go, one thing I learnt that helped a lot is to set the stitch size to zero or as small as you can, my first attempt was a tree go have a peek . . . http://rainingcatsanddogs-x.blogspot.com/

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