This is cushion 2 in the series - being a collection of cushions, all with a story, to sit on our library 'under stairs' daybed which we have have commissioned by our local brilliant carpenter known to us as 'Chris the carpenter'.
The post here describes 'the meadowsweet cushion'.
Once I had decided that I would make a variety of cushions I decided that I would do one in hand embroidery. It is years since I did anything like this from scratch but have continued to do bits such as 'mend/ replace' the embroidery on a bag I made from one of my aunt's cushion covers - more about that here.
This was in another league as I was not just embroidering over a transfer pattern, I was going to make the design from a photo of meadowsweet in our lane. So there were issues about the size of the design and placement on the cushion. I did not wish to draw a design in pen / pencil that I then stitched over.
I decided to:
1. Mark out the 4 quarters of the cushion in tacking stitch and also give an outline frame so as not to be tempted to take the design too close to the seam with the back of the cushion. I had already neatened the raw edges of the back and front of the shrunk fabric of the cushion with the overlocker - this had been preshrunk by washing and ironing damp to avoid creases forming.
2. Sketch the design onto a full size sheet of plain paper and use this to mark the main features on the cushion cover by tacking stitches.
Part of my wish with choosing the meadowsweet was to be able to do lots of French knots to represent the frothiness of the flower heads. My other self imposed 'rule' was that the colours should be the colours of the room, mainly greys and tealish/ light royal blue but with cream and taupe of the sofa.
I planned this design for the right of the cushion and with a selected set of embroidery threads I took this little kit with us on our holiday to Teesdale and Cumbria earlier in the year. ( Postcript : the weather was so brilliant that I did much less embroidery that I intended! But who's not to get out and enjoy lovely scenery in lovely weather? )
So when we were back and had recovered from the break, I took up the embroidery with increased vigour and used it to keep me awake in the evenings while 'watching' the TV. I was really pleased with how the meadowsweet flower heads were coming out and I allowed myself to digress from my strict colour scheme to add some olive green for a leaf. This was rather an afterthought.
One morning - in my quality thinking time in the shower - I had a thought that I could add some of my meadowsweet dyed yarns to the left and the choice of embroidery thread in the dark olive would help to tie the two sides of the cushion together.
I am pleased with the cushion which evolved during the embroidery process and is also another item in my meadowsweet series from last year's wool week yoked jumper set.