So...I've finally finished the personalised embroidery cushion I've been making for my friend Tony-from-work's niece Ava Lily...and this is it! I'm very pleased with the results. I'll be sad to let it go...
I wrote the poem on the back for her, which goes:
Babbit the Moon Baby
has many lovely dreams
She burrows in the fabric
of Ava Lily's pillow
and snoozes in the seams.
I modified the poem somewhat from one I'd already written (I'll write it in full at the bottom of this post) which was originally a bit darker, to make it suitable for a 2 year-old girl! I don't think her mother would appreciate the original...
This is the cover of the latest issue of Mollie Makes (you can get it online from here: molliemakes.magazine.co.uk), a handmade crafts magazine I've been reading lately that I've fallen in love with and is a huge inspiration. I've discovered so many artists and crafty people this way, and some lovely blogs. It's also great for the listings and directory at the back, for if you need specialised buttons or fabric...whatever you fancy!
Li'l Babbit with her fluffy-lace tail and button. Her nose, as well as the berries of the vines below, are soft satin stitches.
I got the idea for the design from Aimee Ray's book Doodle-Stitching (http://dreamfollow.com/) that I've been learning how to sew and embroider from. I copied the image of the rabbit from the book by freehand, and followed the instructions for making the cushion; but I applied the lace and button to the tail, and came up with the idea to embroider Babbit onto satin material (that looks more like a sun than a moon but anyway...) and applique the satin onto the material that would make up the cushion. And all of the back piece - the poem and the typeface - was my idea.
The satin material came from an old skirt, the aqua back piece from an old dress with a broken zip and the lace from a charity shop top. The button was stolen from Mum's huge jar of odds and ends.
There are a few things I've learnt (chain stitch, satin stitch, actually finishing a project) and things I've learnt not to do (cutting fabric BEFORE embroidering). And I cannot use a thimble - they only seem to get in the way. So I'm vulnerable to Sleeping Beauty Syndrome (pricking one's finger), an occupational hazard of needlework.
I love the sound of the snag and slice of thread being pulled through fabric...
...and I love doing ivy, vines and creepers for borders and decoration...
I have many more ideas that I'm excited about. Watch this space! But for now, I'm going to watch Fingersmith with my sister that we found in a charity shop and then catch up on Great Expectations that was on tv earlier today then Zzzzzz...
Pleasant dreams :)
* * *
Babbit the Moon Baby
has many haunted dreams,
she lives in the fabric of Matilda's pillow
but kicks and tears the seams.
The pillow is flooded with Matilda's fears,
her father's not been kind;
and the darkness after lights go out
marks her impressionable mind.
The mushroom's been uprooted
and the ivy's gone awry,
the squirrels' scattered, dropping acorns
and the birds fall from the sky.
The embroidery is ruined,
all the stitching's come undone.
There's nothing left for Babbit now
but to run, rabbit, run!
Matilda reaches for her pillow
finding comfort among the tattered seams,
to pet her little Babbit
which will pacify her dreams.
* * *
- Nina x