This project has been a l-o-n-g time in the making!

I block printed the fabric at the end of April, after being inspired to do so by a ‘happy accident’ encountered when I made these at the end of last year.

block printed fabric - two colourways

block printed fabric

After heat setting the printed fabric I put it away and forgot about it for a time. In mid June I hauled it out again, cut some of it to size for a 50×50 cm (± 20 in) cushion cover and started to embroider a sparse little forest of winter trees (once again, as per these, and perhaps inspired by these).

I haven’t attempted embroidery for many moons (apart from adding details to the faces of a peculiar little gang of reprobate cats I made several years ago – which, against my better judgement, I’ll show you tomorrow :)… but I digress) and wasn’t sure how I’d take to it. I remember hating embroidery when made to do it as part of ‘needlework’ classes in junior school (a long time ago!) but this time around I found it a very enjoyable activity – the gentle process of (essentially) drawing with hundreds of tiny stitches is very meditative and relaxing… as I hoped the finished design itself would be.

embroidered tree

Once the trees were all stitched I braced myself for the final hurdle – inserting a zip! I’m an extreme novice sewer and have never worked with zips before, and for some reason I’d built this up in my mind as an impossible and insurmountable task.

I won’t say it was a breeze but will say, for anyone reading this who might’ve similarly convinced themselves of the impossibility of inserting zips, that it wasn’t that bad. *

zips... not as gut-wrenchingly terrifying as i thought

Zips!… not as gut-wrenchingly terrifying as I thought


'winter valleys' cushion cover... finally completed!

‘Winter valleys’ cushion cover… finally completed!
And (below)… looking almost summery :)

'winter valleys' cushion cover... looking almost summery


* Zip help:
I followed instructions in the ‘New Complete Guide to Sewing’ (which is a great resource, albeit with some dodgy 80’s styled photos) and a photocopy, which my Mum brought when she was visiting in June, from (I think!?) the 1977 publication ‘The Reader’s Digest Family Book of Things to Make and Do’ (I have very fond childhood memories of this book! Sadly long out of print). My Mum also talked me through the process while she was here, which was no doubt invaluable in making the actual doing a few weeks later less scary.
Thanks Mum!