I have to tell you am deeply in love with this book [Homespun Style by Selina Lake], it really is one the most beautiful, uplifting, heart-skippy-happy books I have ever owned. The pages ooze creativity, inspiration and fun, and gosh I think the whole notion of Having Fun whilst creating a home is hugely underrated. There are too many books/blogs out there taking decorating and home styling way too seriously in my opinion. Too self conscious. Too hip and cool. This book is just a happy, colour filled, light hearted funfest and I love love love it.
I've already read the book cover to cover a fair few times, and have spent endless hours drowning myself in the images, absorbing the essence of these wonderful, quirky, happy homes. There is much I would like to say about this book and the homes featured in it, I think it's fair to say I'll be chatting more about it in the not too distant future.
One of the (many) things I particularly love about this book is the abundance of textiles. Almost every single page has some sort of delicious patterned fabric on it :: rugs, towels, wash cloths, duvets, sheets, pillowcases, homemade bags, curtains, blinds, crochet and knit blankets, quilts, seat covers, cushions......ahhh pure joy! I am passionate about colourful home textiles (blankets, tea towels and cushions send me into a spin of cosy feel good), and I really enjoy seeing how creative people layer these textile elements throughout their homes.
If like me you are a textile lover, you will adore this book.
Sometimes, on some of the pages, I found the huge array of patterns on the walls a little bit too much (I'm not a wallpaper fan). But generally speaking, so long as the walls are plain I really love to see a heap load of pattern in the soft furnishings. As you know, my own instinctive style is along these lines, I find the overall look really welcoming, laid back and cosy.
Some of the rooms featured in the book just have me with my tongue hanging out, honestly I drool quite a lot when I browse these pages. Luckily for readers like me, every image has it's own credit in the back pages of the book, allowing you to identify the creative genius behind the look. It's marvelous! You get to find out about all sorts of wondrous people living amazing creative lives in fabulously decorative homes. And it really makes you want to do all sorts of things to your own home, it is totally inspirational I'm telling you.
Two things I desperately wanted to do immediately after reading this book were to paint all my plain wooden furniture in bright colours and acquire more patterned fabric items. The latter idea would not leave me alone, and a month ago I found myself searching on Etsy for some fabric scraps. I had an idea that I wanted to make some cushions a bit in the style of Jane Foster, using a patchwork of brightly coloured retro/Scandinavian fabrics. I really have a soft spot for that style, and so imagine my delight when I came across my own vision already in creation! It was as if someone had looked into my mind, taken my patchwork idea and brought it to reality in exactly the way I had imagined.
Of course I could not resist, and the sweetest little 12 inch cushion came to live in the Attic......
Isn't it so perfectly me???!! I adore it. It was made by a lovely lady called Lisa and her Etsy shop is chockablock full of the most gorgeous creations, go take a little look at her shop Made by Lisa Jane.
I love the way the fabric patches are seemingly quite random in their placement, but the whole cushion is still really harmonious and lovely to look at.
This cushion of Lisa's is really lovely too, she describes it as "Bright Mod Florals". I like the bright fabrics, but more than anything I love the way she's added the extra detail :: the ribbons and ricrac look amazing with the fabric patches, I just adore the slightly over the top feel to it. It's exuberant and happy and fun, don't you think?
So. I already bought a little cushion, but I could not stop thinking about making my own patchwork creation. Actually I couldn't really justify buying fabric for this project, so I turned to my own modest collection of fabrics instead.
I had this idea that I could try something simple. I would combine equal width strips of fabrics.....
.....with some ribbons and trims, à la LisaJane. Yay!!! What fun I would have!
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! See what I mean??? Yummy or what??!!
These are the strips and trims laid out on the floor after I'd had a little play, I can't tell you how excited I was at this point. Remember I was working at great speed whilst Little B took his nap, I was working my Window of Opportunity to the max. It was marvelous in a hectic kind of a way.
I managed to stitch the strips together yesterday evening in the 6-6.30pm slot. Happy happy.
This morning Little B was at playgroup and I had another one hour at my disposal. I had to use all my concentration as this sort of sewing does not come easy to me. Decorative sewing I find easy, but construction, not so easy. First of all I did what Lisa advised and backed my patchwork strips with a very fine iron on interfacing to strengthen the fabric.
I then cut out a same size square of backing fabric. Looking good!
Now for the scary zip part....deep breathing and deadly concentration here folks. I chose not to look on the internet for tutorials, chose to officially wing it.
I folded and pressed a 2.5 seam allowance on both edges (patchy front and floral back) which would go against the zip. Pinned the zip in place with the folded edges touching (I'm kind of going for a concealed zip type thingy, see?)
So far so good.
Zipper foot on, deep breath in and away I go.....a little bit wobbly (the pins kept getting caught up) but oooooooooooo I stitched in a zip!!!! I actually did it!!!
I made a bit of a booboo in the shop when I bought a too-short zip, so I ended up with a small gap at each end.
But overall, I am so incredibly chuffed with my zippy zippered cushion!!
I made this cushion cover for Connievan actually. It felt sooo good to pop the yucky brown tufty velvet beasty cushion inside of it's swish new ZIPpEreD cover and zip it SHUT (with a zip that zips, zippety zip, I made a zip!)
Connie's new cushion is delightfully plump and pretty.
See how pretty it turned out? I am in love with my homespun cushion.
But do you know what I forgot? Do you know what I forgot in all the excited zippety zip frenzy? I totally forgot to stitch on the Ribbons and Trims!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Arrrrgghhhhhh!!!!
Never mind, never mind, this sweet cushion is still making my heart flutter. And furthermore, I cut out a good many 2.5 inch strips cos Connievan has 2 cushions that need funky homespun covers. And so cushion number 2 will have it's ribbons and trims attached. And it'll have a full length zipper and (hopefully) un-wonky stitching too. I just need to make time to do it. I shall run Little B ragged at the playpark tomorrow morning and hope that he'll then take an extra long afternoon nap. Good plan. Bring it on.