I was absent for a long time, because I had a lot of homework in the college. I’m ready to pay someone to write my essay, which I need to send in two days. I cannot cope with the number of assignments at the course. Should I improve my time management? 🙂

1-finished-cushion

I love making cushions! They’re such an easy and affordable way to update a room. I recently made the spotty cushion, pictured below, for our living room and had a few scraps of the fabric left over. So I decided to make another cushion in a neutral linen, decorated with some circles from the left over scraps. I’ve done a few cushion tutorials here before, but zippers are often intimidating, so I thought I’d show you how do it again. 

2-circles-cushion

Let’s get started! You will need fabric, and an invisible zipper slightly shorter than the length of your cushion. Measure two squares of fabric 3 cm (1 1/4″) bigger than your cushion insert to allow for 1.5 cm (5/8″) seam allowance around all the edges. Use a ruler and pencil (or chalk) to draw your squares directly onto the wrong side of the fabric, then cut them out. Overlock the raw edges of each square straight away because it needs to be done before inserting the zipper. If you don’t have an overlocker, you can use a zig-zag stitch to overcast the raw edges. It’s important to overcast the raw edges so that you can launder the cover without it fraying and falling apart. Unless you are super clean and never have spills or messes on your cushions, in which case, good on you!

3-fabrics

I decided to decorate my cushion cover with some appliqué circles to match my other cushion. To do this, simply trace circles or other shapes onto the paper side of some fusible web, iron it onto the back of the contrast fabric (with the paper still attached to the other side of the fusible web). Cut out your shapes, peel off the paper backing, iron them onto the cushion square and stitch around the edges.

4-circles

Now let’s insert the zipper. Don’t panic, it’s not as hard as you think! Lay out one of your cushion squares with the right side of the fabric facing up. Lay the open zip next to it. Flip the zip over onto the fabric, with the back of the zipper facing up. Line up the edge of the zipper tape with the overlocking (about 6 mm (1/4″) away from the edge) and pin along the middle of the zipper tape, stopping about 2.5 cm (1″) from the base of the zipper. Using either an invisible zipper foot, or a normal zipper foot, sew down the middle of the zipper tape, as pinned, remembering to stop 2.5 cm (1″) from the base of the zipper. You will notice that at this stage we’re not worrying about sewing close to the zipper teeth yet. First we just want to get it securely in place, on both pieces of fabric, then we’ll worry about stitching nice and close to the teeth. This first step is essentially just tacking it in place and while it’s a little more effort, it’s easier than needing to unpick stitches from close to the teeth.

5-lay-out-zip

 

6-pin-zip

Now for the other side. Lay the square with the zipper on it right side up (the zipper should still be open). Lay the other square right side down on top, flipping back the edge that will be attached to the zipper. Line up the zipper tape the same distance from the edges as for the other side and pin then stitch in place down the tape, like you did for the other side.

7-pin-other-side

Do up the zipper and check that your two cushion squares align. As you can see the invisible zipper is still very visible, but now it’s securely in place so it will be easier to stitch close to the teeth.

8-check-alignment

Undo the zipper again and re-stitch along from the plastic stopper at the top to the place that you stopped 2.5 cm (1″) from the bottom as close to the teeth as you can get. Roll the zipper open with your fingers as you sew to get really close – you may also need to adjust the needle position on your machine. Work slowly to maintain control as your stitch.

9-invisible-at-last

Close the zipper and check out how invisible it is! If it’s still really visible, stitch again, trying to get a little closer to the teeth (there’s no need to unpick the previous row of stitching –  it will just serve to strengthen your work).

10-sew-bottom-end

With the zipper still closed, pin together the cushion squares beyond the end of the zip, holding the end of the tape out of the way. You’ll need to use a narrow zipper foot to sew this portion of the seam to get as close as you can to the stitching of the zipper. Repeat at the top of the zipper, but this time you’ll need to open the zipper to do it.

11-sew-top-end

Open out the cushion cover, close the zipper and press the seams. The zipper is finished and the rest of the cushion is easy-peasy!

12-finished-zip

To finish off the cushion, open the zipper about half way (don’t leave it closed or your cushion will get stuck inside out!) Put your normal sewing foot back on the machine. With the right sides of the cushion cover facing together, pin around the remaining three sides and sew with 1.5 cm (5/8″) seam allowance. Turn the cover through the opening in the zipper and iron it flat.

14-pin-cushion

Insert the cushion and it’s finished! Hooray!

15-final


Here are a few things I’ve made recently. I made the bird and pincushion when we were visiting my family after Christmas (both projects are from the book Scandinavian Stitches, which I was given for Christmas – yay!). I had a lovely afternoon crafting with my Mum, like we used to back when I was younger and still lived with my parents. 

pin-cushion

The two floral prints in the right hand corners of the pincushion are scraps of vintage fabrics that my Mum has kept from my things my Gran made. The bottom one was from a dress of my Gran’s and the top one was from an apron that I think was actually made by my great grandmother. I’ll have to check with mum about that one. I used that same fabric for the back of the pincushion too. It’s beautiful and bright and I like that the tiny scraps of fabric have such history to them.

dress

The dress I made for our niece’s birthday. I used a commercial pattern, rather than drafting one myself, which is a rather refreshing experience for me as I usually design and draft all my patterns myself. I love making kids clothes because they’re small and cute, but I do get nervous about them fitting! It’s a simple, easy fitting design so hopefully it fits!


Hello! Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I’m having a bit of a break. I’m super busy with my new job and a rather ambitious attempt to paint the entire interior of our home… So I’m having a creative hiatus. Well, it’s really just a break from my creative work. I’ve recently started a new crochet project, so I’m clearly not avoiding all creative activities. I want to make a giant ripple blanket for our living room. I finally decided on these gorgeous, warm earthy tones of wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I’ve got no idea how much wool I’ll need, but I’m confident I currently have nowhere near enough! I find there’s something really calming and almost meditative about the repetitive nature of this kind of crochet work. I’m really enjoying it, even though it’ll probably take me a couple of years to complete the blanket!

Anyway, back to taking breaks. Aside from my crochet project and painting our house, I’m not doing much that’s intentionally creatively at the moment. I think it’s okay to give yourself a break now and then. In fact, I think it’s not just okay, but is actually quite important. It gives me a chance to clear my head and get some space. Particularly when this work requires me to be creative and coming up with new ideas all the time and translating those ideas into projects that I think will be suitable for my readers. It can be quite demanding and tiring. That’s not to say I don’t love it, because I do. But having a break allows takes the pressure off for a bit and allows me to come back feeling refreshed, revitalised and hopefully brimming with new ideas.

How do you stay refreshed and inspired? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also does anyone have any idea or approximately how much 8 ply wool I might need to make a crochet blanket that’s going to be roughly queen bed sized? :)


Sometimes it can be hard to stay inspired. Other times my brain is overflowing with so many ideas it’s hard to keep track of them all! I have several notebooks that I use to sketch ideas and designs, but I’ve also created this little ideas box to fill with project ideas. I simply covered a small cardboard box with pretty paper and mod podge. I keep a stack of pieces of card on my desk that fit perfectly in the box. So if inspiration strikes I can quickly sketch my idea, add a swatch if necessary and pop in my ideas box. 

I also have a pin up board that I like to cover with images and other things that are inspiring me. It’s constantly changing and is usually a pretty eclectic mix of colours, fabrics and pictures. Keeping an inspiration board stimulates my creativity as well as making my work space a bit prettier! Here are a few snap shots of my inspiration board at the moment.