Before Christmas, I seemed to be in the middle of a cushion craze. I am always on the lookout for links to patterns and ideas I like, and one that appealed to me was this Tula Pink pattern. She calls it her lollipop cushion, and it features in her book Quilts from the House of Tula Pink.
I chose a big, dramatic Philip Jacobs print for the back. All the fabrics I chose for covering the buttons had to coordinate with this print, and I looked for colours that I thought would look nice in my grandmother’s bedroom.
The fabric on the back is ‘brocade peony’; I love this print so much that I bought a metre each in this grey–pink colour and in a brighter colour (the one that has peonies in more natural shades on a light blue background). At the time I had no idea what to do with the fabric; it was just so very pretty. I love florals, and recently I find I am drawn to Philip Jacobs’ floral prints like a moth to a flame. (A moth with a shrinking pocket money account and a growing fabric stash.)
The cushion itself is very simple to make. I varied very little from the pattern other than the following:
- I added a layer of quilt wadding to my cushion front and lined both front and back for a neat finish.
- I wanted to keep the dramatic print on the back as intact as I could, so I positioned the envelope opening at the very bottom. To keep it closed, I sewed on some small Velcro patches. The Velcro was sewn on by machine before the two pieces of the cushion backs were attached to the front.
- I made the border a bit wider: ½ inch.
The trickiest and most time-consuming part is assembling the fabric-covered buttons and sewing them on. The tiny buttons are fiddly, and I suggest you do not try to cover such a large number of buttons if you have a beautiful manicure you want to keep. I never have manicured hands – I chip the polish off when working at a computer all day – but I really scraped and dented my nails that day. It also pays to wait for a sale at your local haberdashery store as the cost of the fabric-covered buttons kits can add up, especially when you need so many.
I think pretty cushions must be a girl thing. Once again, my husband thinks I am nuts: ‘A lumpy cushion?’ I did point out that it can be turned around to show the lovely, lump-free floral side too. All I can hope is that it has some sort of pressure-point therapeutic value. Acupuncture, perhaps?
I gave Granny the cushion for Christmas. She liked it, but grandmothers like (or pretend to like) everything their granddaughters make, no matter what. That is just one of the many wonderful things about grandmothers.
I know it is already halfway thorough January, but I still have a few more home-made Christmas presents to reveal. Stay tuned!