Archive for the ‘applique’ Category


For our recent ad in Notebook magazine, Lincraft used my hand-painted cushion project.  Detailed instructions available here.   With a little more explanation below.

Wash and dry your fabric before starting.

To hand paint dye on fabric you need to use it in a concentrated form.  We are rebelling from the packet instructions.  Yeehar!  Make up the concentrated dye – but then don’t dilute it – use it in the concentrated form, so the dye can really sink into the fibres and stay where it should go.

You will get some bleeding – which is to be encouraged and that adds an excellent softness to your design, but you can restrict the bleeding somewhat by painting on to the fabric dry (not wetting it as the packet suggests).   The bird (above) was painted on to dry fabric)

This dot effect was made by painting on to wet fabric – for as much bleed as possible.

I painted lots of circles, then filled in the gaps between the circles to give it a white dot effect.  The irregularities give added visual texture.

Once you have painted the cushions – let them dry and then wash them by hand and in the washing machine to take out any excess dye.  When they are finished you might like to embellish your design with some embroidery thread – picking out the sillouette or adding detail, and if you are inclined – add some more detail in the form of appliqued shapes.

Of course you can use any cushion insert, but there is nothing quite like sinking into a down pillow.  Down pillows can be fluffed up to look good again any time (unlike fibrefill) and are – I think – an investment well worth making.


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stitch me a forest

When I had my first baby I was firm about one thing.  I was not going to gender stereotype him.  I found it difficult to find clothes that were not directly aimed at a boy or a girl.  Same with toys – so many of them seemed to ‘celebrate’ the difference rather than provide a middle ground that would support him as a person.

Turns out he was a complete and absolute utter boy who was keen on that being as obvious as possible and who was naturally drawn to things with wheels that made noise, was boisterous and male.  Totally delightfully a boy.

My second was a total girl, and I found myself happily celebrating that difference and having learned that you can’t (and shouldn’t) water that down I just rode that train wherever it lead us.

But I still do feel that there should be beautiful things that are not aimed at boys, or girls, and can be passed from one child to another and back without any worry of gender confusion that seems to worry little ones.

I try to bear that in mind when crafting – because sometimes a project can take time, and patience, and nobody wants that to be tossed to one side quickly.  So I made a forest with scraps, and buttons, small pieces and big and attached it to one of the new canvas bags that will be in store soon.

It couldn’t have been simpler and was surprisingly fast.

Long (and short) strips of fabric for trunks.  Ovals and circles for foliage.  A few creatures thrown in.

I love applique but find pinning small shapes fiddly, so I experimented with a glue-stick – and what do you know, it works!  The shapes stay where they are supposed to – pinned just in case but just once in the middle, which acts as a signpost for areas yet to be stitched.  Bit of running stitch around the shapes to hold them in place and 2 hours later it was done.

Lovely.  And very addictive….. I feel a larger project coming on.

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