After dedicating ourselves to building shelters, digging garden beds, planting our Autumn seeds, preserving our small fruit harvest – and fitting in some trips to the beach! – I declared today was the day I would finish the round cushion.
I started it a few weeks back – can’t even imagine now why I wasn’t doing something more important – but after spying a Liberty version on Pinterest, I spent an afternoon hunting through the fabric boxes to find scraps of red to make my own. I’ve wanted to make such a cushion for years – lovely wedges of colour gathered tightly in the middle with a sturdy gusset, something pretty for the middle and a crocheted edging.
You know, I think it was because I had been crocheting squares, and then I had the urge to use the scraps to crochet a mandala, and then the colours of the mandala were so soft and pretty I thought they would look nice with red, and then I saw the cushion on Pinterest. Yeah. That must have been how it went ;-)
I would truly love one in Liberty but everyday here at Wombat Hill I’m reminded that a) we are now soooooooo far away from the shops – especially those that sell Liberty – that there’s a whole lot more of making do that needs to become the norm, and b) there are now sooooooo many more important things to spend our money on then ordering yet more fabric. Like – chicken feed, and wood for building, and fencing supplies, and guinea keets – oh! they weren’t perhaps essential but after seeing the older version running around a neighbour’s property we were smitten!
So … to the fabric boxes. Then, when it came time to stuff. Well not only are there no shops nearby selling cushion inserts, frankly, I’ve never seen a nice plump round cushion insert for sale anywhere. But I do have several Alpaca fleeces I have done nothing with for a few years :-) Deliciously soft and squishy and warm (and dirty) – it made for the loveliest stuffing.
I do declare we will be fighting over who gets to hold the round cushion on our laps come winter, because it is seriously cosier than a hot water bottle. And infinitely lighter. Yep – I mightn’t have spun it and knitted it up but I can surely verify that everything they say about Alpaca fleece is true. Beautifully light and fabulously warm it is.
And dirty. Did I mention it was dirty? You should have seen the state of the grey gingham when I’d finished. I’ve given it a good scrub with some warm soapy water. I’m just hoping it will dry looking a lot crisper. But the most curious thing was – there was not a speck of oil. I’m so used to sheep’s fleece sliding through my fingers and leaving them glowing with lanolin. I kept checking my hands, sure something similar would begin to build up … but no. Nothing. Dry as a bone. Interesting huh!
Then it was onto the crochet. First a round of blanket stitch. Then a round of single crochet. Then a round of trebles. Then a round of double with a chain in between each one. Then finally a shell – with a wee picot in between each one. I learnt the shell stitch a couple of years ago and it was truly a revelation. Yes!! This is the look I have been after for 20 years and it’s so easy! Who’d have thought.
But it did take muuuuuuuuuuuch longer then the sewing up of the red slices. And so … the long finish. And after today’s hours of effort … so very very worth it.
I had to wait until late this afternoon to take it out to the fields to photograph. See, we’re trying to convince our goats that staying inside the movable electric fence is such good fun. (I can hear everybody who has ever had anything to do with goats roaring with laughter at this point – get a goat to do what WE want!!!) Which means we have to carefully avoid walking about the top fields and getting spotted by the three naughties who – if they see us – instantly begin screaming … and escaping.
Ah yes. Here’s Clyde on the wrong side of the fence. Abel and Basil are actually growing up into good goats and cheerfully stay in their little field all day munching weeds. Clyde – he’s smaller so wriggles out the bottom. Then stands on the other side of the fence and yells to tell us he’s done it again …
… until we reward Abel and Basil for being inside the fence, so Clyde quickly wriggles back in hoping to get in on some of that action. He’s always baffled and terribly hurt when we don’t oblige.
One of the things I love about this cushion are all the memories tucked into each piece of fabric. That red floral there on the left – one of my favourite ever students used this in the quilt she and I made together when she was in Year 12. I so loved it – and Ria and her quilt – that I went back to the shop and bought some more to make a skirt that would always remind me of that lovely shared experience. Then the red and pink in the middle – that’s in Noah’s Christmas Quilt I made when he was little. The lovely rose on the right – that’s from the house and girl quilt I made many years back – that I still haven’t finished – and then I used the leftovers of it in Noah’s English teacher’s quilt in Year 9. Such good stuff.
So after all this talk of naughty goats and alpaca fleece and quilty memories, where’s this squishy, pretty round cushion going to live?
Well I think it looks just right on our bed. I’ve painted our walls a soft grey blue. The grey gingham is actually trimmed off the fabric I am supposed to be sewing up into curtains for our window. And not only is there a lovely red, white and blue quilt on the bed already, but I found another lovely, even bigger red, white and blue quilt when we were packing up in Melbourne which is folded up in the laundry, waiting for me to quilt it. So it all fits together quite sweetly I think.
Mmmmmm …. pretty and peaceful. Just what I love.