I have had a week of sewing and have got right back into swing. It feels good, I was missing that great feeling when you make something new, choosing the fabrics, cutting the patterns and then seeing the finished piece.
So, of the many new things in the pipeline, here are Sweet Pea Linen Cushions, finally finished (well the first few anyhow). I will be putting the purple and dark pink into The Linen Cat online shop and Folksy, the pale pink was a special request order for my Aunt.
The new cushions are a good example of my design process. Some things are spontaneous and evolve from new fabrics and a bit of a ‘play’ but others are more traditional in their conception. I had already made linen cushions based on Winter Berries and Magnolias (the Winter Berries cushion is available on Folksy in orange and is also being made in tweed. Both will soon appear on The Linen Cat Online). I knew I wanted to expand the range so I had been thinking about new designs. My inspiration comes from the things around me, in this case my own garden where I grow sweet pea Matucana over the arches on my vegetable patch, it has lovely bi-colour flowers and for most of June and July I permanently have a bunch in the kitchen. I had also recently ordered some lovely silk for making Christmas products that just happened to be in similar colours to the sweet peas.
First I took photos and did some very quick sketches to get an idea of the shape. The sketches are to tone down the detail and create bold simple shapes, I would happily get over excited and make a very complicated appliqued version of sweet peas, but this would be more like a piece of textile artwork and not something I could reproduce for re-sale. It’s just not my style for the shop pieces, I like simple bold shapes that suggest their original source but have a slightly abstract feel. I then work up a pattern on brown paper (my pattern paper of choice. I was taught to use brown paper as a student and I have used it ever since). Quite often I have an image in my head of how I see the finished piece so I work towards this, if I am unsure I will make up one sample or even a toile in calico with the details drawn on in pencil, but in this case I was happy with my pattern so went straight into making them up.
I am really like the new cushions, I love the mix of linen with small splashes of bright silk and it’s a lovely way to remember the sweet peas which are sadly coming to an end in the garden.