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"Embroidered Memories" Cushion - Inspired by Brian Haggard's Book

I took this picture of my son a long time ago, but have always loved it.  So it seemed the ideal candidate for an Embroidered Memories cushion, inspired by Brian's Haggard's book.

The first step was to change the photo to a sepia print, then print it on some printable linen.  I had downloaded an app to my iPad for editing photos and happily it included black & white, old photo and sepia effects.  I buy my printable fabrics from Crafty Computer Paper and still had a supply.

I dug out all my natural linen and cream fabrics.  Then I dug out some cream-coloured lace and a crochet collar.  I pieced it all together as a crazy patchwork panel, which ended up as a 19" square instead of the 16" square I had intended!  Now for the fun bit, adding the hand embroidery.

I had bought some DMC Perle Cotton #5 to do the embroidery, and decided that apart from rows of decorative stitches I should add a couple of designs.  Brian had added a lovely glove to one of his designs, but I thought I should keep to the 'beach' theme, and add a crab and a starfish!

Here's my crab.  WARNING when dipping the embroidery to dissolve the Sulky Solvy I accidentally wet the printable fabric picture.  It made a water stain and I had to wet all of it and scrub it with an old toothbrush to get rid of the water mark.  SO BE CAREFUL!

I picked through my vintage button collection for cream and neutral colours, and used them for the button flowers.  So cute, such fun. 

I also added an applique kite.  A friend just gave me a curtain samples book full of neutral coloured fabrics which were perfect, and I added a corded 'tail' and some mother-of-pearl buttons.

This is my starfish, outlined in split stitch and filled with double knot stitch (aka Palestrina) and french knots.

The front is finished.  I think if I added any more it would be too much, so now I need to piece together the two back panels.  The fabric I am using is slightly marked with water stains so I am going add embellishments to hide them.

I have kept it simple, just adding strips of cotton herringbone tape, lace and ribbon with decorative machine stitching.  It's an 18" cushion with a simple envelope closure, so the two back panels are 18" by 13.5" for a good overlap.

I turned one long edge under 1/2" twice on each panel, and stitched them in place with a decorative machine stitch.  I overlapped the neatened edges and lay them right sides together on the front panel and stitched them together.  Turned right side out, pressed, and the cushion pad inserted.

My finished "Embroidered Memories" cushion.

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