Quilts, cushions, and Scottish tweed

I was up in Edinburgh last weekend for a flying visit, and most importantly a chance to remind my mum about the quilt she’s promised to make me. She wanted me to pick out some fabrics and patterns, so I had a look through her vast selection of quilting books and put post-it notes on all the ones I liked.

I love the vintage look of log-cabin quilts:

Log cabin quilt pattern

And I fell hard for this cute Flying Geese pattern, with the long strips of plain fabric in between the triangles:

Flying geese quilt pattern

I also went through her massive fabric stash and had a go at picking out some combinations – what do you think of this selection? Too bright?

Fabric selection for quilt - greens, purples, yellows

I think these lovely purple and green saturated shades would be nice for the little Flying Geese triangles, with a neutral (like the grey/beige in the middle, or a dull green) for the long strips.

I think I MAY have been subliminally influenced by my surroundings when choosing these colours – see exhibits A and B below:

Colour inspirationOn the left we have the doorway to the block of flats where my mum and dad live, and on the right my new, beautiful double-strap Swatch in lilac, from their hilariously named ‘Lady Collection’.

I don’t think I have the patience for patchwork and quilting. I know people say that about knitting, but knitting is something you can do in front of the TV/on long train journeys/at work under your desk* whereas patchwork requires you to be at the sewing machine, or hunched over a cutting table cutting teeny weeny squares of fabric to the exact millimetre.
*Not really, if my boss is reading this

One bit of sewing I have been doing, however, is making some cushion covers for my boyfriend’s parents, from the the fabric their sofa and armchairs are upholstered in.

They asked me to make these cushions… a little while ago. I’m not going to disclose exactly how long it took me to get round to it.  Suffice it to say that couples have met and split up, babies have been born, riots, corruption, and snowstorms have shaken Britain to the core, and empires have crumbled (if you count the Greek economy), while this bag of fabric sat under my sewing desk.


This is because I am

A: Kindred to the Selfish Seamstress,

and B:  Terrified of making a cushion with piping AND a zip.

However it turns out that, much like going to the dentist, it was fine once I got started. I’m not saying I enjoyed it exactly, because sewing cushions is surely the most boring thing I have ever inflicted on my poor Bernina, but it was extremely satisfying to see the cushions emerge. The fabric is an absolutely gorgeous tweed, woven in Scotland.

Zips close up

These are the first five (I still have 8 to make…)  They’re not really difficult, just time-consuming. Making the piping is actually quite fun, and I can’t wait to try it on some clothes. Cutting out endless metres of bias binding, sewing in zips over 8 layers of thick wool, finishing all the inside seams, and trying to turn out your cushion only to realise you’ve forgotten to unzip the zipper (I did this every. single. time.) = not so fun.

If you ever get the urge to sew your own lined, piped cushions, I recommend sitting down in a quiet place and reading Burda magazines until the feeling goes away. If that doesn’t work, I highly endorse these videos on youtube. There’s no way I could have done it without this guy.

Here’s an EXTREME PIPING CLOSE-UP for all you piping enthusiasts out there:

Piping close-up


3 thoughts on “Quilts, cushions, and Scottish tweed

  1. katzies June 27, 2012 / 6:59 PM

    Oh!! What a nice quilting book. I like the sample of vintage quilts for the pattern. Can you let me know the title of this book? Thank you!

    • yesilikethat June 28, 2012 / 4:02 PM

      Hey I’m really sorry but I’m not sure what the book is called, it’s an old copy my mum has! Any 70s era quilting book will probably have similar patterns in.

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