Sunday, 25 October 2015

Marimekko Unikko Cushions

After two years of major house renovations cushion making has been on the back-burner in terms of priorities. Enough time for me to collect a decent amount of fabric stash in the form of my all-time favourite print the Unikko from Marimekko.

A bit of good fortune and good timing meant that all the variations of Marimekko fabrics were purchased on sale (this hardly ever happens with Marimekko fabric). The big red / green print was a limited 50th anniversary edition from the Marimekko store at St. Christopher's Place in Marylebone purchased at 50% off during their closing down sale : (

The large yellow and blue print came from Skandium in Marylebone at 30% discount and finally all other versions were from the John Lewis sale earlier in the year at 50% discount!
Overall some pretty epic savings over the course of a year..... 

Onto cushion-making. After a little bit of internet research and studying cushions I already own I came up with the following process:

First I measured the fabric I bought and split it into equal sections to accommodate as big a cushion as possible including the usual 1.5cm seam allowance.

Wrong sides together, sew one seam allowance on a basting stitch (which will be for the zip). Iron the seam allowance open and measure where the zip will be. Sew using your regular stitch length either side of the zip including securing stitches at the start and end point.

Pin and baste the zip into the required position.

Turn the  cushion wrong sides together and secure the zip into position using the basting stitches as a guide. After looking at some shop-bought cushions rather than sew 'around' the zip I sewed straight across the width of the cushion on both sides of the zip.

You effectively now have a continuous loop of fabric. The bonus here is depending on where you want the placement of the zip on the back of your cushion you can change the placement of the print depending how the pattern looks. With this bold design, just a few centimetres made a big difference to the aesthetics of the front of the cushion.

After securing the zip in position, use scissors or an un-picker to remove the basting stitches so you can open the zip. Open the zip a little, turn the cushion cover right sides together again and then sew up the side seams.

After completing the final seams use the small zip opening to turn the cushion the correct way around and steam iron to fix the seams in position.

Here are the final cushions below without the cushion pads. I used an online company for the cushion pads called Cushion Warehouse. They sell an excellent range of cushions pads of all sizes and filling types at very reasonable prices.
I would highly recommend the products but the delivery time was long (10 days) and the customer service not so brilliant.  I used the 27" pads with luxury cluster fibre for £10 each. Cushion Warehouse advised to use the next size up for a cushion pad (ie. if your cushion cover measures 26" then go for the 27" cushion pad) for a better look and fill. 

I was so happy to finally use my precious Marimekko fabric and totally chuffed to bits with the end result.

Have you made anything for your home that you are particularly proud of?

Saturday, 24 October 2015

First Baby Quilt Project

Two very good friends of mine are due a little baby in November and back in September I hatched a plan to sew them a quilt. Rather than a cutesy pastel-type baby quilt, I decided to base the palette upon their favourite colours of green and purple.

As it was my first quilting project I chose to use pre-cut Moda solid colour charm packs which I purchased from Ray Stitch in Islington alongside a metre and a half of lovely 100% organic and Fairtrade cotton for extra patches and the backing fabric. I also got just over a metre of organic cotton quilting batting too (£7.50).

I selected two sizes the Moda Solid Colour charm pack 5" and the 2.5" (£10 and £3.50). I used two and a half packs of the 5" and three packs of the 2.5" patches for my final design.

Selecting the colour palette. The charm-pack comes with the full rainbow spectrum so I omitted the reds, oranges and whites
Here are the many variants of design process I went through and I will show you the final result at the end.
First variation with a colour blend from Purple to green. I didn't think it had balance
This next version appears to be a random selection with greens, purples and all shades in-between placed with dark, mid and lighter shades distributed more evenly
Without the little patches I felt it looked a bit too plain!
Patchwork stacks. After establishing my chosen order I stacked them ready to sew together. I labelled them so I wouldn't forget the placement of the patches. You may notice the little patches have a log-cabin-esque border. I forgot about the seam allowances so when the four patches were sewn together they were too small to tesselate with the 5" patches. I had to buy a third 5" charm pack so I could create the borders for these little patches. I actually think made the quilt look better! 
Final order safety pinned ready for quilting.
Quilted with vertical lines running alongside the patches and a line in the centre (that runs through the middle of the little patches too). Green bias-binding has been pinned ready for sewing - think I am going to hand stitch it in place?
Close up of the patches and my slightly wonky quilting!
The final quilt. I am hand-sewing the binding. It may take some time!

What have you been sewing recently?
Have you started any Christmas gifts?
Or some super selfish sewing?