Tag Archives: muslin

Tree of Life – a bespoke modern patchwork cushion

I had a lovely commission before I went away on holiday … a (belated) wedding gift. It was a fairly straightforward brief – a simple, contemporary cushion cover in white/cream tones, patchworked and quilted. The only unusual part of this bespoke cushion was that the quilting was to be in the form of a line drawing, touching on the artist Rob Pepper’s work, and that (more conventionally) the piece should incorporate their initials and the date of the wedding.

And so evolved the ‘Tree of Life’ … I didn’t want to do a straight copy of a Rob Pepper drawing, but I did want to draw on the spirit of it, but with my own twist – so my design is perhaps less free than his drawings, more stylised, but I felt it appropriate for my medium ;). I’m pretty pleased with the outcome:

Tree of Life - bespoke contemporary cushion, patchworked and hand-embroidered

The patchwork was pretty straightforward – a log cabin variation called ‘Courthouse Steps’, worked in shades of white and cream and a variety of different textures – the geometric lines of a ribbed knit, the denser structure of cotton drill, cotton voile, muslin, silks, linen and cartridge paper (which I interfaced before I started working).

 I loved it as it stood, but I decided on that patchwork structure (rather than a more romantically named block) because it supported the design best, with its strong geometric layout and the way it pulls perspective. I worked the quilting in single strand cotton embroidery yarn – a combination of cream and a dark chocolate brown (using black would have been *way* too heavy) – with gold embroidery silk (again single strand) to work the detail of their initials, wedding date and the lazy daisy stitching to set the leaves on the tree.

I’m pretty pleased with the result … and this project has inspired me to experiment more with different materials in. I already have half in my mind an idea with quilting bark onto silk, with beading …. but that’s for another day 🙂