Patchwork and applique cushion 3

Today’s ta-dah is the crazy patchwork done in naturals. I’ve used; white Cheviot, Manx Loaghtan, Black Welsh  Mountain and grey Jacob (all available from Adelaide Walker). For someone who likes colour I’ve surprised myself with how much I love this cushion cover. Yes, it’s love, love, love.

Random shapes and sizes of pre-felt again stitched with a very plain stitch in a soft grey wool yarn. At one end of each stitch I’ve added a french knot which has really brought the stitching to life. It’s added greatly to the decoration and is a bit like adding a wool bead, it gives texture. I’ve also cut small discs of pre-felt and appliqued them to the patches.


The photo above shows it ready for final felting. I left the edges irregular as I thought I might cut it down later but again, I’ve left it irregular as it really seems to suit crazy patchwork.


Here it is after felting. On this occasion I’ve added stitching using embroidery thread in caramel, dark brown and chestnut. None of them are difficult stitches, you don’t need to be an accomplished embroiderer to achieve some pleasing results. The edge is blanket stitched in a brown wool yarn. It didn’t look finished untilIi added the blanket stitch. With so much going on elsewhere the edges looked too plain.


Still no buttons, beads or fringing added but there’s no reason not to, except for the time it takes.  I’d love to make more of these but not sure when I’ll find the time at the moment. There’s something about adding stitch to my felt work that seems to slow the process down a little and yet the pleasure it gives is immense.


Patchwork and applique cushion 2

I promised to show another cushion but what I’m actually showing is one side of a cushion. The other side is in natural colours and I should have photos for you tomorrow. Meanwhile …. I began by randomly cutting up and stitching together various pieces of Merino pre-felt (part made felt) in crazy patchwork style.

It’s definitely a style where the more you put on the better it gets. I’ve not only chosen to show my stitching but also to use contrasting colours of wool yarn to stitch with to add to the general craziness.


The photo above shows it stitched and ready for final felting. I’ve cut out motifs and circles from past projects and appliqued them to the cushion. You don’t want to pull the stitching so tight you make the felt form ridges but it needs to be tight enough to stop the pieces separating during felting. Some pre-felts have patterns, carded wool or plain colours and at least one has Ramie fibre added.


I made it larger than needed so I could cut a neat edge if I wanted to but in the end, I decided that the cushion should have an irregular edge and have blanket stitched around in a contrasting pink yarn. I’ve not added any other embellishments but you could easily add buttons, sequins, stitching and items like fringing at this stage.


It’s quite fun, durable and a great way to use up those scraps and to practice your stitching.

Crazy patchwork

More work from Water Street School. Year three were working on a theme of light and dark and I took along some examples of crazy patchwork which was very popular during victorian times. The idea is that you can take patches of varying sizes and shapes and overlap them. Each patch may also be decorated with motifs, embroidery or buttons and each seam is also decorated with embroidery or lace etc. The more you put on the better it looks.

I began by asking each child to draw a triangle and then to work within the confines of that shape. As the theme was light and dark, I had some children working in light colours on a white background and the remainder working in dark and bright colours on a dark background.

I wasn’t sure what exactly I would do with the triangles when completed but thought working on this shape would allow me quite a few options when I came to make the hanging.

I decided the school probably had enough rectangular hangings by now and that three smaller ones would mean they’d have more places where they could be displayed. I understand these will be in the cloakroom area where the children will see them each day.

Bearing in mind that some of these children will only ever have used a needle and thread in school before and are aged 7/8 I think they did incredibly well. A few completed their triangles and even managed to move onto decorating with threads, ribbons and ric rac trim.

If you haven’t seen the work of the other years then you can take a look now. reception, year one, year two