Michael: "Do you think we could get rid of some of the mankier cushions?"
Me: "Which ones do you consider 'manky'?"
Michael: [stupidly taking the bait] "well, the red one... and the star one."
Me: "The red one is one of my favourites. But you can have the star one."
A fifty percent success rate. Not bad for a man. I conceded that there were a further two cushion that had actually been made for Mia and could be moved to her bedroom. Each morning, Mia decides which of the dolls and stuffed toys that are upstairs need to come downstairs and are favoured for the day. Today she decided to bring downstairs Poppy the dolly, teddy, doggy, Lily the cat, and one of the cushions I took up yesterday! I have an accomplice!
Anyway, cushions make a good present, so I decided to make a cushion for our child minder and her family. I had this pattern in mind when I was planning the cushion, but I didn't refer back to it. Which is why mine is a little different. I was also working to the dimensions of easy-to-buy cushion pads, which turn out to be 20" x 12".
The fabric I used is Aspen Frost by Basic Grey - it came out a few years ago, I bought a charm pack, cut it into quarters and had great hexagon plans. That never happened because I got pregnant instead. They've sat in a bag in a box in a cupboard until I remembered the fabric when planning this cushion. I added in Painter's Canvas in cream for the neutral strips.
Our childminder has been busy teaching Mia Jingle Bells, so that seemed appropriate for the embroidery. I marked the words free hand with a Frixion pen (I know some people won't touch them, but I think, so long as they are used with caution and awareness of their drawbacks, they can be a very useful tool), then embroidered through the wadding and the top using a red perle cotton. I then used white perle cotton to quilt just inside the seam lines on the neutral strips to make the patchwork stand out a bit.
But the real achievement of this cushion is the back. I'm an envelope back kind of girl. It's what I've always done. Sometimes I've added buttons. Though most of those now need to be re-sewn on! This time, for whatever reason, I decided to try a concealed zip closure. I followed this tutorial by Adrianne @ On the Windy Side, and it's witchcraft! I have no idea how it works, but it does! It's easy and it looks smart too. I might be a convert!
So here are the details: fabric is Aspen Frost by Basic Grey, and the backing is a Lecien christmassy texty print in red. Embroidery and quilting are both with perle thread and I finished it with a bright red zip. It finishes at 12" x 20". Mia would like one for us as well! Luckily for Michael I think I have enough fabric left over!
I still have a couple of Christmas gifts to make, so watch this space!