Family Portrait Cushions - From Start to Finish

One of my favourite things to make are Family Cushions, they are intricate process and take a long time to complete but I absolutely love the creativity involved from the sketching to choosing all the different fabrics and building up the final design, making something that you recognise, a moment in time recorded in fabric, totally unique to your family.
Here I explain the process from start to finish with photos of one of my last commissions.
Step OneI start by collating photos and information provided to start building a picture of your family.
Step Two - This information is then developed into a sketch of the whole image I want to create.
Step Three Each element of the sketch is then re-drawn as individual parts and then broken down again into outlines to create paper templates for every single piece, I then start to choose my fabrics, ironing a appliqué backing to all the fabric pieces I can then start to use the paper templates to redraw the images in reverse onto the paper backed fabric. Next I need to cut each piece out of the fabric using scissors and a craft knife for the small fiddly bits like the hair.
Step Four - Once I have all of the pieces of fabric cut it is then time to start recreating my original sketch like a fabric collage onto the cushion base, ironing each element gradually building up the picture, once this is complete I can start sewing. I use a satin stitch on my machine to seal the raw edges of the fabric pieces and secure the design to the base, every part of the design must be stitched and once I have done all the outlines in stain stitch I then start to hand sew any fishing touches, for example the names carved onto the tree and the facial features all had to be hand sewn.
Step Five -  Once I am happy with the design it needs a long hot iron, this is usually the part where I burn myself on the steam form the iron !!
Step Six - Then all that remains is for me to sew the cushion together and make an inner pad, et voila you favourite family scene recreated using fabric.

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