Hours of time wasted staring at Pinterest boards led me to this image of a circular design on a cushion. I had a plan: I was going to make a cushion with a bright blue doughnut thingummy!
I drafted two large circles, one to fit inside the other. Each was divided into four quadrants to make foundation paper piecing more manageable. I marked some guidelines on the paper to help keep everything radiating out from the centre, but I let the size of the scrap determine where the next seam would go, not any markings.
When I had stitched and flipped my way around the eight quadrants, I sewed the two circles together and appliquéd the lot onto a very large piece of Essex yard-dyed linen (flax). I added extra fabric in case the linen decided to fray and so I could judge how much space to leave around the appliqué. I had planned to trim it down a bit, but the cushion stayed large. As I was making it up as I went, I had no idea what size the finished cushion would end up.
I added a plain linen backing (with a zipper) and some piping, and I had a cushion. Ta da!
It is so large that it fits what is called a European pillow here in Australia – one of those giant pillows that you use to prop yourself up in bed with a cup of tea and a good book. I have not yet bought it its own cushion insert, I simply stuffed one of the European pillows off the spare bed into the cover.
To quilt it, I used a length of masking tape as a guide for the circles around the centre. I peeled and moved the tape as I sewed. I tried using the quilting bar that comes with my machine, but the first attempt encouraged me to scrap that idea. The bar jiggles at the gentlest touch, and it sits in such a way that you have to shove the bulk of your project under the machine’s throat. Masking tape was much simpler.
As I was quilting it, I started to see the bright blue doughnut thingummy transform onto ripples on a pond. I felt rather pleased with that idea. Very restful.
Later, when the cushion was finished, Serena of Sew Giving took one look at it and saw an eye, specifically, the iris of a blue eye. My goodness! How had I missed that?
Maybe we can use this as our own cushiony Rorschach test. What do you see? Ripples on a pond? An iris? A bright blue doughnut thingummy? A crazy woman with too much time on her hands who keeps making cushions? Something else?