Tag Archives: sewing

All Washed Up!

One of my favourite projects to date has definitely been the apron that I made from a tea towel, so I thought I’d have a go at upcycling another one in the drawer too (they actually came together in a set from Morrisons)

I’ve made a few projects for the living room recently – bunting for the fireplace, Coco’s basket that sits in the corner by the rocking chair, plus my 2 latest cushions, so I thought I’d continue the theme by turning the tea towel into a simple mini throw with a crocheted edging for the sofa.

 

There were 2 parts to the edging – a blanket stitch worked in embroidery thread, followed by a row of crochet stitches to make the decorative edge.

Using a water erasable pen, I marked tiny dots every 2cms along the hem of the tea towel to show me where I would need to make my stitches.

 

The next part was choosing what colour to make the edging.  I needed embroidery thread and cotton, so I laid all the possible suspects out on the tea towel to help me make my choice.  In the end I plumped for a deep purple.

 

 

Using the embroidery thread, I worked a blanket stitch all the way around all four sides of the tea towel using the dots as a guide.  This gave me a nice loop along the edges into which I could work the crochet stitches.

 

 

Using a 4ply cotton and a 3mm hook, I worked 1 double crochet, 1 half treble, 2 trebles, 1 half treble and 1 double crochet into each loop produced by the blanket stitch.  When I got to the corner, I worked 1 double crochet, 1 half treble, 6 trebles, 1 half treble and 1 double crochet to ensure there were enough stitches to go around both sides of the corner and lie flat.

 

A gentle hand wash got rid of the dots, and then it was simply a case of sewing in the loose ends and deciding which chair to put it on!

 

9 into 1 – with no remainder!

Hidden in my Liberty stash was this rather lovely 9 patch cushion kit by Alice Caroline.  There are some absolutely stunning kits and other bits and pieces on her website (I particularly love the Tree of Life quilt) so it’s definitely worth taking a look – I defy you not to be tempted!

Now I haven’t actually done much patchwork before, and what I have done was a good few years ago.  However I bought some new cushions for the front room at Christmas and was keen to add to my burgeoning collection!  The kit comes with full instructions and everything you need apart from sewing cotton and the cushion pad itself which I bought for £4 from Dunelm.  The fabric is all beautiful Liberty designs and already cut to the right size.

Obviously if you want to use material you already have, you can make your squares any size you like, so long as they’re all identical, and that’s really important if you want nice straight edges and seams that match up.  The best way to cut them to size is using a rotary cutter and a quilting board and ruler.

The 9 patch design is probably one of the easiest patchwork patterns to start with, and this cushion features a basic envelope style back too, so there’s no zip involved either, making it an ideal project for a beginner.

As always, the fun comes in experimenting with fabric choices and deciding where you’re going to put the various pieces.  I had a good play about before deciding on the final layout for the 9 pieces.  Once you’ve made your mind up, it’s simply a case of sewing the top left square to the top middle square (right sides together), then sewing the top right square to the strip of 2 squares you’ve created (using 1/4 inch seams throughout) You repeat this with the middle and bottom rows so that you end up with 3 strips of fabric.  You can then iron the seams open.

Guess what?  Next you sew the 3 strips together so that you end up with one large square – easy eh?!  The trick however is making sure that all your seams line up.  I had to undo one of mine as the seams were out (you can see what I mean in the photo below).

Once you’re happy with the seams, you can iron them all open and you’re ready to tackle the back of the cushion.  The envelope opening is beautifully simple.  You need 2 rectangular pieces of fabric that will overlap by a good few inches allowing you to slide your cushion pad in and cover it up again.  You’ll need to hem one of the long edges on one of the rectangles, then do the same on the other (photo below left).

To complete the cushion, place one of the back pieces on to the front of the cushion (right sides together) then place the other back piece so that it lines up with the side of the cushion front and overlaps the other back piece (photo above right).  Pin or tack the back pieces to the front, then seam all the way around (again with a quarter inch seam).

In order to make the corners nice and sharp, trim them quite close to the seam, turn the cushion the right way round, then using a knife gently push the corners out.

 

In the photo on the right I’ve popped my needle case in the opening that overlapping the 2 back pieces creates so that you can see how you’ll be able to slide your cushion pad in.

 

 

All it needs now is a cushion pad inside, a little fluffing up and it’s ready for inspection by Coco!