This is my first post on this blog and the first ‘crafty’ post we’ve put up, so it’s kind of a round up of a few related projects I’ve been working on. As you can see from the picture, these are a blanket and four cushions. They each have their own story attached…
The blanket is the first one I’ll talk about and it is the one I’m the proudest of, although I have to say that I was pretty pleased with all of them! The blanket has eight colours of wool in it: rainbow, blue patterned, red patterned, two types of purple, yellow, green and a multicolour of mostly orange, pink, purple red and green. Eight colours times four of each colour is thirty two, so there’s thirty two squares. Needless to say, it did take me quite a while to make, but I have to admit that it took pretty near to a year to get it done. First I had to knit the squares, then iron them, then sew them them, and finally, stitch the edges with blanket stitch.
The first cushions that I made were the white and pink ones. Have you noticed how similar they look to t-shirts? That’s because they were t-shirts at one time! I found this upcycling idea in a craft book; if you have old and much-loved t-shirts, don’t consign them to the charity shop bag, give them a new lease of life by making them into cushions, that was the idea. It’s very simple because all you have to do is sew up the neck and arm holes, stuff it and sew up the bottom. Simplicity in itself. The key is to stuff them really well, mine are a bit limp because I didn’t put a lot of stuffing in them and I’ve never got around to re-doing them.
Item number two is the gingham cushion. A product of Home Economics classes. This was done with a sewing machine, the t-shirt cushions were sewn by hand, because I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time. Anyway, the cushion is blue gingham with a felt heart blanket stitched on and two cross stitch boxes. It’s probably fairly standard, but that doesn’t make it any less comfy!
The next one is the rectangular cushion of knitted squares. I have to admit that I can’t claim full credit for this one because I only knitted three of the squares (blue, pink and yellow and purple). These were kindly given to me by my Nan who thought I could do something with them. The squares were originally the beginnings of a blanket that had never been finished and there was already a strip of the squares sewn together (in such tiny stitches, I only realised they were there when I looked at the other side). Although I had the pattern for the squares and could have made more to complete the blanket, I quailed at the thought of making another blanket so soon after the first. Therefore, I decided to turn it into a cushion cover, using the existing strip of squares to determine the length and piecing the others together to fit. I added the three more that matched the sides and made it big enough for me to sew. This I did, and then finished the edge in purple blanket stitch (I’m a big fan of blanket stitch, it’s so useful). Due to its unusual shape, it seemed unlikely we would find a pad to fit it, so we cut up an old pillow instead and custom fitted the stuffing.
The final cushion I’m going to mention is a work in progress (WIP). It began when I started to make a random length of French knitting out of my wool scraps. This grew to about five metres long and has a diameter of 30 cm when it is coiled round itself. This is going to form the front of a cushion cover. The back will be a round piece cut and sewn onto it (probably in blanket stitch). This piece will be cut from an old jumper we felted some time ago but have not yet used. It’s a nice shade of red that I think will go with most of the colours on the front. I’ll probably finish this cushion sometime in the summer.
Anyway, I’ve talked for long enough, what about you? Have you made any cool, creative cushions? Done any upcycling projects? If you have, we’d love to hear! If you haven’t ever made a cushion, it’s a really fun starter project, or a great way to use up spare ribbon, wool, felt, or anything really. Why not have a go, we think you could come up with something that is curiously creative!