I made a rule with myself to not buy Christmas presents for my adult family members in 2011. Since then we’re largely stuck to the rule and mostly had positive responses. There’s a lot of handmade food and drink items and generally disappear by Boxing Day such as chilli tomato jam, home brewed beer, peppermint creams and redcurrant jelly. This year Mr King has gone all out and attempted rhubarb gin and raspberry whiskey for the gents. God knows if they’re good cos I can’t stand the stuff.
Anyway, Mother dearest does a lot for us during the year. In particular she currently saves us ££ by providing us half a days childcare a week. If you’re not familiar with the costs of childcare in the UK you might underestimate the value of this – but not me! Oh no. Its thanks to her we can afford to go on holiday each year.
Also this year she was wonderful and helped me out when we were all dying of rotavirus, only for her and my Dad to then get it (he’s still quite chuffed at losing 0.5 a stone in 2 days).
So basically it means my Mum deserves a super lovely Christmas present.
Anyone who has ever met my Mum knows to mention dogs very quickly in the conversation. She is absolutely daft about her dogs. I don’t think its a coincidence that as each child left home she replaced them with a dog. When I went to university she had 3 children flown the nest and had 3 dogs at home. I’ve made it a point to NEVER ask who she loves more – her dogs or her children.
Anyhoo my mum is particularly batty about whippets, greyhounds and lurchers. She currently only has 1 whippet (Pickles) after her beloved Bridget the lurcher died last year but has had a whole host of them over the years. She’s also a bit of a feature on the Scottish dog agility circuit as most people have collies but Mum does it with her whippets and lurchers.
Making the Cushions
So onto her present. I’ve seen lots of these cool tweed silhouette cushions with everything from stags to dachshunds on them and fancied a go at making her whippet cushions.
I was lazy and bought the cushion covers from Ikea. They were £6 each and a nice yellow velvet. I actually had to size them down a bit since they were 18″ square and my cushion inserts I had in my stash were 16″ but thankfully that was quite easy with my overlocker.
Next I had to find pictures to go on the front. I simply googled ‘whippet silhouette’ and copied pictures I liked into word and sized them up and printed them out. I found they needed to cover the entire side of A4 to make them big enough.
First I cut round the paper silhouette. Then I transferred it onto interfacing which I ironed onto my fabric and cut round. I figure that will make them harder wearing, less likely to fray and also makes them far easier to applique on.
Initially I started out with a range of different silhouettes of whippets running, sitting etc. Turns out that was a bit of a ballache in cutting. I also didn’t find the images stood out all that much on the cushions – I blame the skinny legs of whippets.
So next I attempted just a headshot in the bottom corner. Firstly it was waaaaaay easier to cut them out. It also meant I could have some fun with my fabric choice. I chose 3 tweeds and 1 denim which I think have a nice juxtaposition of texture against the yellow velvet cushions. I appliqued them on with my machine using a narrow zigzag stitch which was really quick and easy.
And here is my finished product (minus the denim one – I found it really hard to photograph 4 cushions together). I’m not normally one for sewing home furnishings but I think these are really rather lovely. So lovely I may just have to make a few for myself. My husband suggested doing cushions with my dog on the front but I think she’s such a shaggy mutt it would look like a big fluffy blob.