Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Patchwork Cushions Class

I'm working on samples for my autumn classes at the moment. It's such an indulgence having the time in the summer to really revel in making every variation of my imagination as samples for my classes.

Even though I'm now the teacher I feel as much excitement as my students for the possibilities of what a class can bring! I try and make my classes the perfect class that I always wanted to take but could never find.

This patchwork cushions class is a great example of this. It's a 3 class beginners workshop style class where we will work alongside each other to make a patchwork and quilted cushion, fitting a neat zip closure and making really professionally finished cushions that can withstand life in a busy household and all the trips through the washing machine that that may entail!

I've always been a huge fan of the quilted cushion. What's not to like? You get to try out a patchwork technique in miniature -no major investment in a whole quilt - just a little single block or panel. It's super simple to machine or hand quilt and who doesn't need an extra cushion or 10?

Also the beauty of the quilted cushion cover in my eyes is that its the perfect gift. I've made  lots of quilts as gifts over the years but they are a really big gift, you know? Time and money. But a quilted cushion is a fab pressie. You can totally personalise it. You get to use up your stash a bit, experiment, build your patchwork and quilting skills and end up with something super practical. Also I have a bit of a thing for handmade items having to be better than the bought item, otherwise what's the point? The joy of a patchwork cushion is that you just can't really buy one. It's not a high st category!

Given that the usual cushion in my house gets sat on unceremoniously, scrunched, thrown, stood on and generally maltreated in a household with 3 kids and numerous pets - the fact that its quilted makes it super resilient too.

For many people the only barrier to making squillions of them is what to do with the back closure. Lots of patchworkers are allergic to sewing zips and other perceived 'fiddly' sewing ( hilarious! as if patchwork isn't fiddly to everyone else?!). Some resort to just sewing closed their cushion cover. Others brave the envelope closure - but it's never hugely satisfying as it always tends to gape a bit and never looks as finished as a zip closure. Never fear. In our class I will hand over to Jeanne our resident sewing expert in all things clothing and furnishings and she will guide you gently through the mechanics of fitting a zip.

We will also add a neat, super smart lap closure over the top - just to show off a bit! Once you've made one you'll be off! Orphan blocks that may have not made it into a final quilt, unfinished projects, patchwork offcuts - they're all fair game to be whipped up into cushions in no time. I'm planning to sew along with this class and make a set of Christmas cushions - the ultimate Christmas decoration - form and function!

If you'd like to join us there is still space on the daytime and evening classes so drop me a note and i'll send you the details.