Make It: Meme Cushion

(*This post contains swearing*)

I love a good internet meme. And this bayeux tapestry one is one of my favourites. I was chatting to my Aunt on the phone a few months ago and I think she might have told me about it – we were talking about other ‘don’t give a fuck’ memes too.

memeWhen she mentioned this meme, I googled it and found someone else had embroidered it on a cushion and thought this was a fantastic idea. I filed it away and planned to make it for my Aunt’s birthday, which is at the end of September. We’ve both had a pretty crappy few months so it seemed even more appropriate by the time I handed it over – a little late, oops!

meme-cushion-1I used the picture at the top as my inspiration and drew a version on paper – an A3 sheet (2 A4 sheets stuck together). I started with the writing – it was quite fun to make sure it didn’t look even or straight! I would not have had the skill to do it neatly! I traced everything onto greaseproof paper, then traced it onto the calico – it’s quite good how you can draw on calico! And because you’re sewing over it, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t all come off.

I like the 2 different kinds of ‘e’ and the random dots at the ends of some words. Also the ‘v’-shaped u’s. I did make one mistake though – can you spot it? (The a in barren doesn’t have the cross part, it’s just an upside-down ‘v’.) I sewed all the letters with really thick embroidery thread from my local sewing shop, using backstitch so the lines were unbroken.

meme-cushion-5I added a simplified version of the house thing in the photo. This is mostly to fill the space above the men! Again I used backstitch.

The men are maybe my finest hour of embroidery – again it’s a good job this wasn’t meant to look amazing! I decided to put just 3 of the men and not all 4 – I thought 4 might be pushing it! I did the outlines in brown embroidery thread – the kind you get with crossstitch kits. I used 2 strands at a time.

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I bought 4 different colours of thread – gold, red, green and black. I used the grey mixed with the brown for the cape of the dude on the right. I pretty much copied the colours from the picture as best I could. I slightly with I hadn’t done the 2 bright colours on the same guy on the left. But he does have an excellent moustache, so there’s that.

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I just used long stitches to fill in the lines as quickly as possible basically – I don’t know what the stitch is called, though.

meme-cushion-4I asked the advice of my friends when I’ve done all the above about whether to add some soil-type lines and they all agreed yes. And they were definitely right – it looked a bit bare before I added them. This is what it looked like before I sewed the front to the back.

meme-cushion-2I had left the piece of fabric quite big so I had room to change the proportions according to the cushion inner thing. But in the end I made an inner cushion and used toy filling to stuff the cushion. I think I stuffed it a bit full, though, because you can’t really see all of the embroidery unless you squish it a bit.

Here is is all finished!

meme-cushion-8And here is is on my sofa – it took so long to make it look good, it was ridiculous! I’m not great at styling I think – any tips?

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My aunt took this photo of it on her chair and made it look sooooo much better! She’s definitely better at styling!

Meme cushionDo you have a favourite meme? If so, please post it in the comments to give me a giggle 🙂 Would you be tempted to embroider it on a cushion? It could be a good Christmas present for someone!

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Book: 200 Crochet Blocks

200-Crochet-Blocks-1Having learned to crochet a couple of years ago, I’ve recently got back into the swing of it, by making an amigarumi pusheen and by making a present for someone, which is now pretty much 2 months over due, but basically finished! I have made a cushion cover using a crochet block pattern and I’m thinking that I would like to make a blanket out of blocks too, so luckily a friend of mine bought me this book a year or two ago.  I’m having the same thoughts about making a quilt – I’m yearning to make our flat nicer to live in I think, but without the ability to decorate properly as we rent.

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This book is really great and tells you how to mix colours and the block designs to make lovely (if slightly dated-looking) blankets.

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And then, of course, come the block designs themselves. I like the ones that are symmetrical and not too complicated looking. I like the openwork square below.

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I really like the Waterlily block, below. I’m not sure how many of these I would like in a blanket – maybe just one in the middle, but I’d like to be able to make one!

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There’s also a page of Christmassy blocks! I really don’t think I make things quickly enough to make something just for Christmas, but I like the tree and the snowflake!

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I like all the blocks below, except possibly the steps square – not sure why.

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I like all the blocks below too, and more so because they’re more in my colours (though I can see the pattern as separate from the colours used in the book, I’m still attracted to blues and greens!).

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I like all of these ones too – I’m not sure how I’m ever going to be able to make a decision on which one(s) to make!

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The book also shows you alternate colourways for some of the blocks, to help you design your blanket in whatever colours you like.

200-Crochet-Blocks-10For blanket inspiration, I think I’ll look to my sister. She has been crocheting a lot longer than me and even released her own amigarumi patterns for a while. She has made loads of blankets!

This one is some lovely earthy colours, which matched her living room in a previous house.

Phoebe's earthy colours blanketThis is a gigantic granny square, with a lovely bright cushion – I really like the idea of bright colours, joined together with bright white. It looks really fresh and modern. I love the gigantic granny square too, it’s a classic!

Phoebe's giant granny square

I love the colours she used here – the bright pink is particularly excellent! I’m not sure I would have had the eye to put these all together, but they look great. And there’s bright white in there too.

Phoebe's pink blanket

I think this all white blanket/ bed spread is a fairly recent one. I love the combo of the different sizes, and different designs of block but all tied together with the colour. I’m thinking of something monochrome and maybe with a pop of a bright colour, like yellow or pink.

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How lovely and clean does this look?

Phoebe's white blanketMy friend Farn, who I learned to crochet with is also excellent at making lovely things:

Farn Cath Kidston Blanket 2

Do you crochet? How do you decide on the designs and colours? I’m hoping that being able to make small things and have the small wins of finishing each square, that I will enjoy making a crocheted blanket and not lose interest and stop half way through as I have done too many times before with larger projects!

Make It: Sarah and Duck cushion

Have you ever heard of Sarah and Duck? Chances are no if you don’t have a small child in your life. But you should watch it, small child or no. It’s a really sweet little short cartoon (each episode is no more than about 5 minutes) about a girl called Sarah and her friend/ pet (?) Duck. It’s narrated by Roger Allam (of Cabin Pressure and many, many other things fame) and Sarah and Duck have other friends like Scarf Lady and Bag, Scarf Lady’s knitting bag. They go on adventures and do fun things.

Sarah & DuckIt is my nephew’s favourite show – it’s pretty much the only thing he watches on tv. For the kids in my life (one nephew and an honorary niece and nephew) I like to make presents for Christmas, and then I generally buy them books for their birthdays. My nephew is about 2 years younger than my friends daughter, for whom I made the Norman Wall Hanging and the Travel Match Game (which my sister has already requested one of, which I’ll make next year when he’s a bit older). I thought about making a wall hanging of Sarah and Duck, but then I decided to make is a cushion instead.

I copied the above image, drew it out myself (although I can’t draw, I am quite good at copying – anyone else?) and then traced my drawing to make pattern pieces. I ordered a load of felt from ebay, cut out all the pieces and sewed them on by hand, using the case of threads my friend bought me for Christmas last year.

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Once I’d sewn all of the felt pieces on, the big job left was to embroider all the edges and features in black. They look a bit creepy without eyes and such, don’t they?! With the ebay felt, I bought some black embroidery thread – it took me back to my cross stitch days!

Sarah-&-Duck-cushion-3Sarah-&-Duck-cushion-4One of the things I’m most pleased with, is managing to pretty much copy the font for the title. I did this in chain stitch, which is one of the only embroidery-type stitches I know how to do apart from running stitch and back stitch!

Sarah-&-Duck-cushion-5This is it in its entirety. The fabric I used for the front was part of the same sheet I used to underline my Striped Laurel dress and I backed the front piece and the cushion with calico – in retrospect I wish I’d backed the back with the sheet too, as now it’s white on the front and cream on the back. Never mind. At least calico is durable. Sarah-&-Duck-cushion-2I tried to take a photo of my nephew with the cushion – it’s so hard to photograph a toddler and they’re always moving! This is the best one I managed to take!Sarah-&-Duck-cushion-6And here he is alseep in the car on the way home from our Christmas get together, cuddling the cushion – aaaahhhhhhh. (sorry the picture is so small, my sister sent it to me on my phone).

Sarah-&-Duck-cushion-7Does anyone else really like making things for small kiddies?

 

Square Cushion

When I first got back into knitting a couple of years ago, I tried to make as many Christmas presents as possible. Since I had no life that Winter, I managed to make 2 scarves (which you can see here) and 2 cushions, both of which were stripy and used mostly the same wool (to cut on costs) but with a couple of differences (you can see the other cushion here). This cushion included pink as it was for my friend Fran and she likes pink. You can find the pattern here – there’s no point me typing it out and I think it might breach copyright or something.

I’m not sure if the colours are meant to match on the seams when you sew it all together, but my tension is always a bit off so mine didn’t but I don’t think it affects the look of the cushion at all.

Square stripy cushion

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Tip: As I said earlier, my tension is always a bit rubbish (i.e. looser than it should be) so I would buy the cushion pad after you’ve finished the knitting to make sure it will fit.

Round Cushion

When I first got back into knitting a couple of years ago, I tried to make as many Christmas presents as possible. Since I had no life that Winter, I managed to make 2 scarves (which you can see here) and 2 cushions, both of which were stripy and used mostly the same wool (partly to save money) but with one or two differences (you can see the other cushion here). This round cushion was for my friend Chloe as she likes red circles. I won’t type out the entire pattern as you can find it here and I’m pretty sure it would be a breach of copyright or something.

When I was knitting the back of this cushion, I seemed to forget how to do purling so the back was done in garter stitch and not stocking stitch as it was meant to be.

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The lovely fat cushion!

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The back, with a big red button in the middle.

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Tip: I used this pattern again to make a rug for my sister and since they hole in the middle of each side of the cushion was quite big, instead of casting on 14 stitches, I cast on 8 stitches and did the first row twice to get up to the right number of stitches.

Tip 2: I waited until I had made both sides of the cushion until I ordered the cushion pad to go inside it as I seem to never be able to knit to the size patterns expect me to and I’m too lazy to check my tension so the cushion might be bigger or smaller than you expect it to be.