Blog, Makes

Embroider and appliqué a Seagull inspired Cushion

Three things inspired this craft project, the sea, gulls and the effective but random looking stitching currently used by many fine art embroiderers. They in turn appear to have been inspired by Asian quilts made out of recycled Sari’s. I embroidered the cushion front in free hand stitches. I wanted to create the curls where the waves turn over themselves and also the subtle changes of colour in the waves and the sky. To achieve the turbulence of the weather I used two background colours of felt and also different colours of the embroidery floss. The changing direction and sizes of the stitches helps to suggest movement.

If you are not happy just doing freehand stitches using a water erasable pen, draw your design onto the cushion front, embroider over the pen lines. To get rid of the pen marks, dampen a cloth and rub quite lightly.

I expect, like you, I am forever taking photographs when I am by the sea. I took the images of the gulls using my phone. I increased the size of them and then printed them out quite large. Before cutting out in felt, I placed the paper gulls onto the stitched front and arranged in a pleasing composition. I then drew round the gull images onto the felt and cut out and then pinned and tacked the grey felt gulls onto the cushion front.

You will need

Piece of felt 100cm x 100cm x 3mm deep in pale blue felt for the cushion cover

36cm square cushion pad

Felt squares or oblongs in Grey, marine blue and purple

Embroidery floss in light grey, white, mid blue and turquoise (Korbond)

Tapestry needle

Sewing needle

Printer and images of flying seagulls

Water erasable pen

Paper Scissors

Dressmaking Shears

Dress makers pins

For the back opening cushion cover

Cut the cushion front 37cm x 37cm and cut the two cushion backs one 22cm x 37cm and the other 30cm x 37cm in pale blue felt .

Step 1

Work on the cushion front, leave a 2 cm border round the edge, and using brightly coloured thread, tack a piece of dark marine blue felt onto another piece and onto the cushion front so it measures 22cm x 32cm

Step 2

Thread the whole six strands of a piece of white embroidery floss into a tapestry needle and sew random sized running stitches from the left side of the felt to the right and back again, creating 7 uneven rows of stitches. Change colour and sew 7 rows in pale blue.

Step 3

Repeat step 1 using the purple felt. Make sure it joins onto the blue felt and will measure roughly 32cm x 11.5cm. You don’t need to cover the whole of the cushion in stitches, the effect you are after is the waves of the sea. Print images of gulls, draw round and cut out in grey felt.

Step 4

Arrange, pin and sew the gulls onto the cushion front. Using turquoise thread, blanket stitch along one long edge of the cushion back. Make an envelope opening for the cushion pad. With the two back pieces over lapping in the centre of the cushion, pin the cushion backs to the cushion front and sew together round the edge using blanket stitch.

Needles

Embroidery Floss

Pins and scissors and erasable marker pen from http://sew.korbond.co.uk

I designed this project for Coast Magazine

Press Show Picks, Uncategorized

Dunelm Autumn Winter 2018 Press show

I don’t know about you, but I love a bargain. I particularly like to see what goodies the high street stores  come up with each season. It feels strange discussing  autumn 2018 when we have hardly come out of winter 2017. However if you read this now, you will be well ahead of the interiors game by the time autumn comes round.  All the product will be in stores from September. Dunelm have four key trends for this autumn. Zen, Fifth Avenue, Homestead and Auburn plus winter warm for good measure. There is some very good design here much of which I would be delighted to put in my own home.

Many of the trends have been carried over from previous seasons, this makes it much easier to add items to your existing decor. For example metals are still evident in all the collections in the form of copper, brass,rose gold and gold. Textures are still strong. 7 metallic cushions

The colours chosen for winter are called auburn and are inspired by the catwalk. A warm pallette of rich claret, red and rust are highlighted with metallic gold foil for a contemporary finish.

6 metallic cushions

Metallic cushions are paired with pinched  velvetDunelm and  warm, marquetry patterned furniture.

4 homestead

 

Homestead  is a contemporary take on vintage. Sheep skin rugs are combined with pale oak wood to create a warm homely feel. floral cushion

This collection has the most muted colour range of the four trends. A delicate pink and grey palette is complimented by dried flowers and lace inspired glass.

5 homestead

The collection called 5A or Fifth Avenue  replaces millennial pink this season with statement golds and monochrome throughout. There is lots of mirror and other highly reflective surfaces. 2 Art Deco

The fabrics  reek  of glamour with sequins, velvets and faux furs and metal details on dark bed linen.  They have introduced  leopard markings with their iconic style and geometric prints to help carry on the glamorous Art Deco theme.

3 art deco

Rustic Japanese influences the flow through the Zen collection. A clean simple palette of black white and indigo is highlighted by lush greens and fresh blues. Water colour prints are  complimented by  materials and accessories inspired by  nature.1 zen

There is some very good design here at very reasonable prices, much of which I would be delighted to put in my own home. Not all the collections are to my taste, but what I like may be horrendous to you, and visa versa.

zen

What is hopeful and inspiring is that as things  get more difficult for retailers, they are really pushing out the stops and coming up with some well thought out  product at affordable prices.

I love this way of displaying faux flowers so, without wishing to start a trend, I suggest you remove all the saucepans that are hanging in your kitchen and replace them with something like this.

faux flowersSo well done Dunelm.

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Press Show Picks, Uncategorized

Oliver Bonas Spring summer 2018

Oliver Bonas seem to improve season by season  this one being no exception. They  have really got their act together when it comes to design and are showing  some fabulous  pieces of furniture, interior accessories and fashion. Here I show their key trends for this spring and summer.

First of all we mustn’t forget to mention alligators that appear in 3D form as candle holders and ring holders and in print on rugs, glasses, door mats and cushions.

door mats

aligator candle holder

aligators

As you can see from the ring holders above metallics continue to be popular and with more than a nod to Art Deco the Oliver Bonas range of cocktail furniture and lighting is very sophisticated.

lux loop tableloop table lamp

Natural inspiration comes from both the sea and flowers but in a stylized form. I haven’t seen Mongolian lamb cushions since the nineteen nineties and here they are in lovely shades of burgandy, blush pink and soft grey.

cushions

shell spoons

jewellery holder

 

Carrying on with the luxury feel  is the use of mother of pearl and other inlays. Velvet in the form of chairs and cushions is another continuing theme but this time with fringing which very much in evidence in both home wares and fashion.

chair round tablesfringed mirro and lamp

My most favourite part of the collection are the wonderful multi patterned quirky cups and teapot with contrast metallic handles.

quirky pots1

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Uncategorized

Marble your own fabric to create these stylish cushions!

Recently I found an ancient, well 1990’s Dylon leaflet about marbling on fabric and so intrigued were we that we decided to create a marbled cushion.

Traditionally marbling was done on paper and was achieved by floating oil colour on water or size. If you try and do this on fabric, the fabric feels hard and unpleasant.

I did a few experiments on different kinds of cloth and the ones that give the best colour and luminosity are Silk and Satin. I have used a heavy slipper satin for these cushions. For best results use a white or light coloured fabric.

FINAL.jpg

You will need

Shallow plastic trough. This needs to be bigger than the pieces of fabric that you are going to float in it. The fabric needs to be large enough to fit over the cushion pad

Bucket or large jug

Whisk

Fabric pieces. Satin or silk

Dylon fabric paints

Tool from one of the following: Knitting needle or a barbecue stick or toothpick

Roll of kitchen paper

Sewing machine

Scissors

Pins

Thread

Ruler

Fabric marker pen

Cushion pad we used a 29cm sq

Lots of newspaper to cover the work surfaces and access to a sink

Waterproof gloves

Spatula

2C2A2125 copy

Instructions

1.Put on your gloves to protect your hands. Whisk the wallpaper paste into water according to the manufacturers instructions, until it is the consistency of yoghurt. Pour into a shallow trough until it is almost full. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes. Tip: Whilst you are waiting for the paste to set, use the time to cut your fabric so it fits in the troughwith enough border to lift it in and out. Cover the work surface in newspaper.

1.whisk wallpaper paste into water

2. Apply drops of colour onto the surface of the paste and then use your tool to swirl them around. This can look pretty messy at this stage.

2 Drop ink onto surface and then draw a stick through it..jpg

3. Carefully lower a piece of fabric onto the paste surface. Leave for a few seconds for the paint to absorb, you may need to push it down with your fingers.

3 another pattern.jpg

4. Carefully lift off the fabric. It will be covered in paste as well as a pattern below the paste. Leave on a work top for at least 5 minutes.

5. Wash off the paste from the fabric under running water. Leave to dry.

6. When dry, iron the fabric o the back, using a hot setting for 1-2 minutes to set the colour.

Tip : To clean the paste between applications use a spatula to remove the surplus colour.

To make the cushion cover with an envelope back

1. Measure the cushion and cut one piece of marbled fabric to that dimension for the cushion front. 29cm x 29cm

4 lay cushion on wrong side .jpg

2. Cut two further pieces the width of the cushion cover by approximately 2/3 the length. (29x 20cm) For the cushion back.

5 meaure mark and then cut out front

3.Turn under by 0.5cm and 0.5cm again and pin and then neaten with a running stitch along one 29cm side of each back piece of fabric .

6 turn under by 0.5cm and again and neaten.jpg4. With right sides facing, and neatened edges overlapping in the centre, pin the 2 backs onto the cushion front and sew round the edge.

7 sew round edge with runnng stitch.jpg

5.Turn the right way out and fit the cushion pad into the cushion

8 Turn right way out .jpg

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Uncategorized

5 Key looks from ARGOS for Autumn Winter 2017

The Homeware team at Argos have really come up with some nice looking furniture and accessories for this autumn and winter.  I have issues with Argos stores and their queuing system and I haven’t always liked the quality of their goods, but not this time. There are five ranges that fit in with today’s trends and lifestyles.

INHABIT

Inhabit 1

The pace of modern culture has fueled a desire and appreciation for relaxed living and understated design. Inhabit is a minimal trend that celebrates a new pace of home life by creating a comforting and calming space that encourages restoration. A pared-back colour palette of soothing neutral and green tones is combined with tactile surfaces, subtle weaves, printed leaf patterns and simple geometric prints.

Furniture designs show a nod to Danish influences with clean lines, minimal shapes and blonde woods.

Products within the Inhabit trend have a simple aesthetic for a softened minimal look in the home.

Inhabit 2

 

NATIVE EARTH

Native Earth 1

Inspired by the arid beauty of New Mexico and South America, the fashion-forward Native Earth trend offers a warm and rustic feel with tribal-inspired designs.

The colour palette celebrates Autumn with rich clay red and burnt orange hues paired with charcoal tones, blue accents and dark woods.

Metallic home accessories and woven materials add a rugged finish to the look, whilst bold tribal textiles and intricately embossed ceramics create a strong visual impact.

Native Earth offers a modern take on the iconic wilderness trend and creates a sense of warmth this Winter with earthy textural tones.

Native Earth 2Native Earth 3Native Earth 4

 

DARK POETRY

Dark Poetry 1

Dark Poetry is a stylistic approach to interiors with a focus on filling your home with products that are both functional and visually striking. With a fusion of elegant design and decadent materials, Dark Poetry creates a sense of luxurious living. Touches of gold, brushed brass and jewel tones add a feeling of warmth for the Winter season.

The collection of furniture and home accessories allude to architectural forms with structured shapes and designs, whilst velvet textiles and soft upholstery add elegance to the room.

Dark Poetry 2.jpg

FOREST FROST

Forest Frost 1.jpg

Inspired by hazy Winter mornings, Forest Frost introduces a soothing and tranquil look to the home. Forest Frost exudes elegance with a soft blue palette balanced with pastel pink hues. Textiles are adorned with watercolour florals, nature-inspired details and diluted ombre ink washes to achieve a serene setting in the home. Furniture and home accessories are delicately rounded in a painted chalk finish. Velvet and fur textiles ensure this trend feels cosy throughout the cooler months.

Forest Frost 2

 

HYGENA

Hygena 1.jpg

Hygena provides contemporary and versatile designs for the modern home. Every piece in the range is designed to perfectly complement one another, offering ready-made design solutions which are easy to incorporate into the home. Accents of ochre brighten a sleek colour palette of monochrome and midnight blue hues, whilst geometric details offer a bold contemporary look. With urban living in mind, Hygena offers space- saving solutions and clever designs at attainable prices.

Hygena 2Hygena 3Hygena 4Hygena 5Hygena 6

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