Monday, February 27, 2012

Another cushion!

After all the lovely comments about my Chocolate cushion and having been asked by a few people about how I made it, I decided to make another one (to prove to myself that I could actually do it again!) and also so that I could take some pictures while making it  (pictures speak louder than words!) and then I could  actually show you how I made it.

So, here's the finished result....

This was the spring design that I showed you last time and  the cross stitch chart will be available on my website soon!

I tried googling for instruction on how to make these cushion but nothing even closely resembling this came up, so I have written out my method of making them. This is the method I used to make my cushion, but this is by no means the only way to make a cushion cover. I have to state categorically that I am no expert! I'm a graduate of the School of Trial and Error ;) 

I deliberately didn’t state the specific measurements for this cushion, instead trying to show how to make this method usable for any cushion size. The cushion insert that I used was supposed to be 18 inches by 18 inches but when I measured it, it was actually only 17 inches, so please, if you are going to follow these guidelines to make a cushion cover, please check your cushion insert and adjust the measurements accordingly. I would hate for you to make the cover then find that you cannot get the insert to fit! One last piece of advice would be to choose a fabric with a small repeating pattern so that you don't have to worry about which way up the pattern, or even worse - stripes, should be going.

So, to make a cushion cover you will need -
Stitched Piece
Cushion insert
Sewing machine

Step 1
Take your stitched piece and decide on the area that you want to be seen on the cushion. I place some pins in mine to mark the area, and then lay some fabric over the edges to get a feel of how it will look. Adjust if necessary.

Take some regular sewing thread and  sew a running type stitch around the area that you want to be shown.

Step 2

You then need to work out the measurements you will need for the four fabric strips, top and bottom, left and right sides. Measure the the length and height of the design. Measure your cushion insert. To get the measurements for the side strips, you need to subtract the length of the design from the length of the cushion then divide this number by 2 (since there are two strips, left and right side). For example, a 10 inch design for an 18 inch cushion would leave 8 inches divided by two would be 4 inches plus you need to add seam allowance of ½ inch all round. So you would need two strips each 5 inches by 19 inches. (Remember you may have to adjust these measurements for the actual size of your cushion insert, my insert was slightly smaller than stated on the packet.)

Cut your fabric to the size required.

Step 3

Lay the first strip (with the right side down)  over your stitching and placing it so that half an inch is over the running stitch line on your cross stitch as shown in the picture below.

Pin in place. Repeat for opposite side.
Now, most people would just head straight to their sewing machines at this point, but I’m a bit OCD about things being straight, so…. I then turn the piece over and re-pin on the other side and remove the first lot of pins (hope that makes sense!) so now it looks like this…

The reason I do this is so that when I’m sewing with the machine, I can follow the lines on the aida and know that the seam will be perfectly straight.

Step 4
Sew both sides.

Your piece should now look like this…

I iron the folds on the fabric to keep everything looking crisp and sharp.

Step 5

You need to repeat the measuring process of to get the top strips. Measure the height of the design and subtract it from the height of the cushion. Divide by two and add on the seam allowance. Once you have worked out the sizes and cut the strips you then lay the top strip over your stitching like this…

I then pin from the other side so that, again, I’m sewing where I can follow the aida lines to keep everything straight and also square.

Once stitched your piece will look like this…

Step 6

 Remove the running stitch, iron, and that is the front of the cushion complete!

Step 6a

Make yourself a cuppa!

Step 7

Now it’s time to make the back of the cushion. You need two rectangular pieces of fabric that will overlap in the middle so you can slip the cushion insert into the cover. To work out the sizes you need the height of the cushion plus half inch seam allowance, which for my 18 inch cushion would be 19 inches (adjust to whatever the size your cushion insert is) then for the length I use half the length plus an extra inch and a half for overlap plus the seam allowance. So for my 18 inch cushion that would be 9 + 1 ½ + ½ + ½ + = 11 ½ inches.

Step 8

Stitch the length of the fabric.

Step 9

Take the front piece of the cushion cover with the right side facing towards you and then place one of the back pieces (with the wrong side towards you) over the front piece, so that the hemmed edge is in the middle. Pin in place. Place the remaining piece over the other side again so the hemmed edge is in the middle and overlapping the first piece. Pin in place. Sew together.

Step 10

Turn the cushion cover the right side out and gently iron out any creases taking care not to iron and flatten the cross stitch center.

Viola! One cushion cover!

Phew...what a mega long post! Perhaps we should repeat step 6a!

Anyway, hope that helps answer how I made both cushion covers. I'm off to work on some more Christmas designs!

Until next time...happy stitching (and cushion making!)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cross Stitch Seasons

Winter, Spring, Summer? Well it depends on where you look!

For this cross stitcher/ designer its all of the above! Let me explain..... if you look on my computer you will see the start of some new Christmas designs (yes already!), on my finishing pile, there are the spring designs to be made into ermmm ...something (haven't decided what quite yet!) and if you look at my comfy chair in front of the TV, you'll see that I'm stitching some lovely summery designs. No wonder I'm confused about the seasons!

So, I can't show you the Christmas designs as they're still floating around in my head and only part done on the computer.

This is one of  the Spring finishes...

(This designs tells you all you need to know about my thoughts on housework!!)

And this is the start of one of the summer design that I'm working on....

I'm not sure about the turquoise colour though, it looked great on the computer, but now that I'm stitching it I think it might be a tad too strong compared to the other colours. I might have to do some reverse stitching later today! Grrr!

So, here's my question for today. Thinking about Christmas, especially for Christmas cards, what subject matters do you like to stitch? Do you prefer designs with traditional Christmas colour schemes such as reds, greens  and golds,  or do you like modern  non-traditional colours? I'd love to hear what you like to stitch, so please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you and I'd really like to know your thoughts about Christmas stitching , even though it's only February!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February TUSAL

New moon, new pic!

I know it's kind of a weird angle, but it's the only way I could get a sharp(ish) picture!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Frustration and chocolate!

What a frustrating weekend! You know the kind when nothing goes right? Well, that was my weekend.

I had lots of designs that I needed to do, and when I say needed, I really mean needed!  As a designer, for some things there really is just a small window of opportunity that you daren't miss it! So I had several ideas floating around in my head (always a good thing!) and I was able to sketch them out onto paper and fiddle about with them, tweak them  (make sure they work!) etc and then I decided to get them onto the computer....and that's when the muse left me! I think she must have gone on vacation with my stitchy bug! I just couldn't get anything to look the way I wanted it to. I got so frustrated that I even wanted to stitch my geisha! Yes, you heard correctly, I wanted to stitch her! So, finally, I gave in and stitched for a bit on the geisha. This is how she's looking now.....

Thank you for all the wonderful words of encouragement, and for the suggestion of using thread heaven etc. I did manage to find some beeswax so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that will solve the thread problems. The big chunk of blue (which was very boring to stitch) is her belt and there will be some cording details put on top of the stitching, so it will be more interesting to look at once that is all done. I can now admit that she's kind of growing on me! I don't love her (yet), but I don't want to throw her in the bin that's good!

So, anyhoo, you may be wondering what the chocolate reference was in the title of my post.  Well I'm pleased to show you this..... (can you hear the trumpet fanfare?!!!)

....and it was much easier to make than I had imagined!

I think I may have shown you the Chocolate stitching a while back, but I finally plucked up the courage to make it into a cushion. I'm so pleased with the result. I even managed to figure out how to change the tension on my sewing machine! lol
Here's a close up...

I thought the colour was great match, and the hearts went perfectly with the saying. The blue colour  in the hearts was just enough to stop the whole thing from being too brown.

I have to confess to having some wonderful Lindt white chocolate and coconut while stitching the yes, chocolate is always the answer!

'Chocolate' is one of my own designs and the chart can be found on my website, and at a price of only $2.50 it's even cheaper then a bar of chocolate! Less calories too!

So here's to an industrious week with the rest of the chocolate to keep me going!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Geisha progress

First of all I want to say a big welcome to my new followers! It's lovely to log on and see that there are some new people reading my blog.

So, onto the Geisha. Well I have been working, albeit rather reluctantly, on her. I'm hoping that the more I stitch the better I will feel about her. Thanks to all of you who have been cheering me on with her, it really does motivate me, and I  need all the motivation I can get for this design! lol
This is where I was with her last time I posted...

Here's my progress so far.....

I'm quite surprised at how much I've actually done! I'm still not loving her, and it doesn't help that threads seem to be breaking and fraying quite easily, they really don't seem to be the usual Dimensions quality. Anyway, onwards and upwards - or in this case downwards, as that seems to be the direction the stitching is taking me!

I'm off to get the sewing machine out and have a little play with it. Hopefully I will have a new Tangled Threads finish to show you on Monday.

Until next time...happy stitching!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stitchy bug, stitchy bug....

...wherefore art thou stitchy bug? Yup, he's gone!

Sadly, I haven't done much stitching this week, I really can't get into the geisha at all! But I'm determined not to let her become a ufo...she'll probably just end up one of the longest lasting wip's!!

Luckily for me, I do have some stitching to show you. This is something I did for a magazine a while ago, but of course, I'm sworn to secrecy while I'm working on these projects and can't show you anything about them till the magazine is published. Well the magazine landed in my mail box last week and then the finished article was returned yesterday! So without further ado, here's the latest creation....

I really should have given it a quick once over with the iron....after all it's been folded up and squashed for a few thousand miles!!

I was asked to design a tea cosy with the words I {heart} tea and I thought it would be fun to make the heart from the steam coming from the teapot rather than just an actual heart. Here's a close up of the design...

And here's the inside...all nicely lined in such a pretty rosebud fabric.

And yes, I did use my sewing machine to make it all, in fact I think I was asked to make this the week after I had bought my sewing machine!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Needles and Pins

Sometimes you just fall totally in love with a design, and this is one that I have fallen head over heals in love with.  You know that feeling, don't you?!! I suppose that's rather appropriate since it is almost valentines day!

 Here's the design I'm talking about...

I love the soft colours and the slightly old fashioned look about the design. Needles and Pins is one of a set of three designs that I have for sale  at The three charts cost just $3 (approx £2) that's less than the price of a cup of coffee! Anyway, on to what I have made using this design.

For those of you with a deep rooted fear of sewing using sharp needles, this project is for you! This would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift, which isn’t too far off by the way! (March 14th in the UK and May 8th for those living in the US, not sure about dates for the rest of the world.) Start now and you’ll be done and dusted well in time to sit back, relax and watch others scampering round trying to find a Mother’s day gift as perfect as this…..

Every time I have seen these cubes, I always loved them but thought they would be too complicated for me to make....but I was wrong! They are super easy and look adorable. Here's how I made this one.

For this project you will need-

Stitched piece ( Needleblocks chart from www.TangledThreadsOnline).com
Iron-on interfacing
Foam cube
Co-ordinating fabric ( a' fat quarter' will be more than enough for this project)

Taking your foam cube, cut a square of batting  the same size as the front of the cube and glue in place (of course, I got so carried away making this that I forgot to take pictures of every step) Iron the interfacing onto the back of your stitching.  Place your design centrally over the batting covered part of the cube, and pin in place. For this design I used an 89 x 89 x 69 cube so the edge of the cube was two squares from the edge of the stitching.

I ironed a crease down the edges to make it easier to keep it centralized and also to keep the edges looking neat.

Once pinned in place, fold the edges over neatly like a Christmas present or the old fashioned hospital corners on bed sheets! (Who remembers them?!!)

Push the pins in all the way so that they are flush with the aida (unlike the one in the picture that is sticking out slightly!) These pins will be covered with material so won't be seen. Remove the pins from the front of the cube.

Cut a square of the co-ordinating fabric large enough to cover the back of the foam square and to fold over approx. 2.5 cm (1”)  on each side of the cube.

Make sure you iron out any creases in the fabric!

Cover the back of the square in the same way you did with the front. I used the opposite side of the cube for the folded edges to stop it from becoming too bulky.

Cut a strip of fabric approx. 2.5cm (1”) wider than the width of the cube and long enough to wrap around the cube with approx 1cm extra. Carefully iron the folded edges of the strip to neaten. This strip of fabric should now be the width of the cube.

Starting on the underside of the cube, pin the fabric strip in place and the wrap around the sides of the cube.

Pin carefully when you get back to the start, folding the edge over to form a neat edge.

You can place the pins inside the folded edge although since it’s on the base they won’t be seen.

All that’s left to do now is tie a ribbon all around the cube and finish with as big and fancy a bow as you want (or can make!)

If you feel the ribbon is too fussy, then there are lots of other ways to finish off the cube. There are plenty of fancy trimming that you can buy from the craft store or an easy way is to add some quilters pins…these end up looking like a string of pearls on the edge of the cube and make it look totally different than with the ribbon and bow.

If you decide to finish your cube like this remember to do both the front and the back so that it doesn’t tip over!

So, for a few dollars (none of the individual items were expensive, I think the ribbon cost the most!) you can have a wonderful gift to give someone...or of course, you could keep it for yourself!!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, February 6, 2012


Lots and lots of layers....and not the woolly jumper kind! Although it is cold enough here to be wearing lots of layers of jumpers - I'm talking about my cards!

I spent  a big part of the weekend making cards and using some of that patterned paper I'm so fond of buying! Here's one of the cards I made...

Here's a close up of all the layers I'm talking about..

Six layers! Told you I liked my layers!!! lol

The design is from a soon to be released set on It's a set of six crossword type designs. I thought they would be great for Mother's Day, but they would also do for Mum's birthdays etc as they don't specifically mention Mother's Day. Once Valentine's day is over I will be adding these designs to the website.

I finished my little Margaret Sherry kittie into a card, but can't show you it just yet as the person it's for just might be popping on here and having a nosey - can't spoil the surprise! Once they have received the card I will post a picture for you to see....I have to say, that I LOVE the way it turned out!

As for the progress of the Geisha, I have to report that, sadly, I'm not loving working on this one at all. I'm not sure if it's the colours or the fact that it's quite 'blocky', whereas the Mighty Samurai was all bended colours and such smooth transitions that you couldn't see where one stopped and the next started. I'm hoping that the more I work on her, the more she'll grow on me!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Another little finish!

Well the Margaret Sherry turned out to be a really quick stitch. This is where it was when you last visited...

and this is the finished result....

The back stitching was a bit of a pain to do, I'm not a big fan of 'off the line'  back stitching (I'm sure there must be a proper name for it, but I've no idea what it is!), especially on aida where I can never seem to split the fabric at the desired spot despite using a sharp sewing needle. Anyway,  it took a bit of time to finish the back stitching but the effort was well worth it. I think it's adorable and I have some ideas on how I'm going to make it in to a card...plenty of patterned paper, well at least one bit of patterned paper, some ribbon and a fancy little greeting on the front too! Can you feel my excitement?!! lol

I came across a great thread storage idea while  I was wasting time researching on Pinterest. I'm not sure about re posting other people's pictures so I'm just going to put the link here so you can see the picture/idea. How great is that?  Wouldn't that make a wonderful display?

Anyone else spend hours aimlessly roaming on Pinterest?

Well I've got loads to do today, so I had better get on!

Until next time..happy stitching (and don't spend too much time on Pinterest!)