Dear little Lucy (Mum’s dog, who’s staying with us whilst Mum’s in Brisbane looking after Nanny and Grandad) is very fond of her comforts. Why sit on just the sofa when you can scrunch up all the quilts and knitting that are on the sofa into a cosy nest that you can burrow yourself into? Nicely upholstered furniture isn’t good enough, no you should drag all the cushions into a pile and knead them into just the right density before you settle down. As for the bed – why would you want to sleep at someone’s feet when you can sleep next to their head – and turn into a growly leaden lump when someone tries to shuffle you along. Best of all, being a cavoodle with thick, slightly oily, woolly fur, Lucy gets pretty grotty, pretty quickly and rubs all of this onto the afore mentioned quilts, cushions, beds and knitting. Isn’t she thoughtful!
So last week – after holding the living room cushions up to my face and sniffing them – I decided they all needed a de-Lucying – a wash and an air. And, given there was an essay due in that same day that still needed a lot of work, what more perfect time was there for me to plan and stitch up some new patchwork cushion covers.
I tried a snail’s trail block – something I haven’t played with for many years – and after some trial and error, hit upon a technique I liked very much – make each triangle way to big and trim it down once all four sides are on. Then, today, with another essay due in at midnight (a discussion of something dodgy I saw or did on placement that I have since “reflected on” and learnt from) I quilted it up and added those bits and pieces necessary to turn it into a cushion cover.
I was going to do the squiggly wiggly, but then thought I should be a bit more adventurous and practice drawing with my free motion foot. So I tried some mandela style flowers. I had to pull the first one out, it was so ghastly, but the following four turned out mostly acceptable. Of course, practice will improve things and I won’t ever get any better if I don’t try. I’m also not the kind of person that can practise for hours on a piece of calico with no purpose, so a cushion cover seems a good compromise.
They look really pretty on the back – woollen blanketing is so very forgiving to slightly wonky stitches. They embed nicely into the soft pile. Not so flattering on the smooth cotton front, but … have to start somewhere :-)
Oh – and Fu thought you might want to meet Gerald. He was Toph’s bedtime companion when she was a puppy. Now he’s Fu’s – she’s not always very kind to Gerald but I do think she’s very fond of him. She ran around the back garden “killing” Gerald whilst I took these photos, then dashed up to me and chucked him onto the quilting. So there you go – that’s Gerald.
And here’s the finished cushion! The colours seem just right for autumn. So many shades of yellow, red, orange and brown surrounding us at the moment – and the perpetually grey skies. These trees – I don’t know what they are – line one section of a very big road that I drove along most days. They are very lush and green throughout spring and summer, but at this time of the year, they truly take your breath away – the very air hovering around them feels as golden as their softly falling leaves.
And the little card chair – I found it this morning on the footpath on the way home from school drop off. English oak arms! And whilst I was inspecting it, the owner came out and we agreed it was a sweet piece that just needed a little bit of tlc – that’s what he was hoping for. Melbourne’s footpath furniture sharing at it’s best.
I have plans for the chair – involving a very even weave, camel coloured, woollen fabric from up the road, a Japanese embroidery book translated into Chinese (because that’s so much more useful to me!) and a bit of metho and steel wool. It will be transformed! But I can’t start it til I finish my fox chair (if you want you can check the instagram photos on the sidebar here) – I’ll show you the start of that little project tomorrow – it’s very addictive – I have to keep dashing out to the craft table and adding a bit more embroidery here and another leaf there!
I tried a little viney flowery kind of thing with my quilting along the borders – almost pleased with it. And that’s my prop assistant – she very kindly offered to carry the cushion, camera and car keys because there was no way she was lugging that chair up North Road. Ah what she puts up with from her silly mama :-)
Here’s the new cushion, insitu. Just right against the syrupy yellows of the white blossom tree quilt. And I know Lucy’s keen to try it out – with all its lovely new, bouyant feathery insert and crisply clean cotton cover. I’m sure she’ll get right into later tonight.
It’s a good thing we love you Lucy!