Kiki’s vintage cushion cover

When my good friend Kiki asked me to make a cushion cover from her late mother’s Biba skirt, I kind of refused. Big time! I love my friend Kiki so much and would do anything for her but cut up a Biba skirt?! She was going to have to drug me first!!!

She texted to say she was on her way with said skirt. It didn’t look like I had a choice. In fact she was at mine before I got back myself! Mr O had a cuppa on the go. I went straight for the wine. This was going to be painful.

Luckily for me, Kiki gets things muddled all the time. (I really should write a dictionary of exclusive Kiki words and terms. I’m sure it would be a best-seller!) What she meant was that the skirt was a Biba-esque-style maxi skirt that her mum had hand-made in the 70s. She couldn’t see herself in it and to be honest, neither of us could get it over our thighs!

Jean's original skirt

Well. That was a relief but still didn’t make for easy cutting up. But I warmed to the idea that Kiki would get daily pleasure from it being on her sofa instead of folding it away in the attic forever.

There’s quite a lot of fabric going on in a maxi A-line skirt. Plenty enough for a 50cm cushion pad!

But there was a moth-hole. Typically right in the middle of where I needed to cut.

moth hole

I’ve not used the darning stitch on my machine before now.

darning stitch

It doesn’t mend totally invisibly but far better than a poke in the eye and a fraying hole!

darned hole

Nothing complicated about the cushion cover itself. Just two squares. Zipper sewn to top edges first. Seamed all round. And Bob’s yer uncle!

Such a great geometric design on this fabric. It’s great quality cotton furnishing fabric of some kind.

geometric fabric detail

And I have to say – I think it looks great on my sofa! Kiki can take as long as she likes coming to collect it!

finished cushion

Little Miss Ooobop’s Fabulous Quiltblock Cushion

quiltblock cushion cover

Let it not be said that my littlest daughter doesn’t finish anything! I am so proud of her and I think you can tell by the photos that she is pretty damned pleased with herself too! And most amazingly, all the photos were bribe-free! No hard cash, no ice creams…. nuffink!

quiltblock cushion coverShe made the central quilt block – a double four patch – back in January. She sewed each little square by hand and made such a neat job of it. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have done any better myself!

So this weekend, when she asked if she could turn the block into a cushion cover I dutifully abandoned any sewing plans of my own, made a dash to the market for a cushion pad, and did some maths to work out the remaining blocks needed for the front panel and two for the envelope back pieces. Actually, the maths, was probably the most time consuming part of this project!

quiltblock cushion cover

I had the powder blue linen in stash so this counts as a minor stash bust too…yay!

And Little Miss Ooobop! cleverly rooted through the button box to seek out these lovely purple buttons for the back.

cushion cover envelope backShe loved being the ‘master of the machine’! And as soon as she’d finished the cover she was practicing the different stitches for her next project!

It is so lovely to share a child’s enthusiasm. Especially when it is focussed on something so basic and traditional. I know I can’t push it too far. I so don’t want to put her off. She has to come to me with her own desire for crafting but I might just happen to plant a little creative seed of thought every now and then!

Quilts and ghosts….

The Art of Quilting

The Art of Quilting

My lovely neighbour saw this publication advertised and bought two subscriptions… one for herself and one for me! I panicked at the prospect of being able to fit in a bit of quilting along with everything else, but in fact its proved to be such a lovely thing to do with Little Miss Ooobop! and it has resulted in some proper old-fashioned quality time together. She was so keen to get started and quickly decided on the cushion cover to make for her room.

double four patch

double four patch

So these are our first ‘double 4 patch’ blocks. See, I didn’t even know that there were such names for different patterns, that’s how much I know about quilting! She is determined to eliminate all pink from her bedroom right now and had already hunted through the fabric stash box to find blues and purples. I am secretly happy about this because I was loving the lime green Brighton Pavillion fabric that came with the first issue! And so I am embarking on the quilt… ha ha…. the idea that I will ever finish a quilt is so funny but worth a try hey? Incidentally can you see how LMO’s block is correct and mine is quite clearly wrong? No? Oh good, well let’s move on then!

I gave LMO the option of sewing on the machine or by hand and she already had in mind that we would sit together and sew by hand. I hid my grimace as best I could but I have to say it has proved to be such a lovely thing to do together. Her stitching is so neat for a 7 year old and I love that we are both learning on the job, so to speak!

double four patch

double four patch, reverse

I made hundreds of little hexagons when I was around her age, some of which turned into ‘flowers’ but none of which evolved into a quilt. I think it’s quite funny that the ‘ghost of the quilting past’ has reared his pretty head again! Clearly he won’t rest until I have made one!