Wild Olive Christmas Sampler


Wild Olive has released a really sweet Christmas sampler pattern and I just had to have a go.

I used Sulky Solvy for this again (despite it being redwork – red embroidery thread, despite supposedly being colour fast is notoriously colour leachy) and my love hate relationship with Sulky Solvy continues. Sulky Solvy has completely spoiled me with its ease of pattern transfer, it’s just what happens to your work after you’ve washed the stuff off that doesn’t always make me happy. As I’ve said before (and will no doubt say again, I’ve recently started two more embroideries using the stuff), as well as problems with colours leaching sometimes, as you’re getting the embroidery wet to wash the stuff off, it can also make the fabric feel stiff and it leaves your stitches slightly raised. In the specific case of this embroidery, my satin stitching of the word Christmas looked a darn sight neater before it was washed and there was some staining, from I think the glue of the Solvy Solvy as well as some red leaching. I ended up washing the piece twice, the first time by hand and the second time on the hand wash setting of my washing machine. The second wash did get rid of some of the redness and some of the (I think) glue stains but not completely, so there’s some slight black staining either side of the piece, near the gnomes hats. Also, thanks to my unreliable washer – drier and having recently tumble dried my fluffy dark blue dressing gown before I washed the embroidery, it got covered in blue fluff, which I haven’t been completely able to get off. So, as a result I’ve only pinned the piece onto the mount board, I may try and wash it again or do something with it that will cover the stains, but not right now, there’s other things that have got my crafty attention now.



After telling myself last year that I had to stop making cushions (as I was in the habit of making every embroidered piece I made into one and we were beginning to drown in cushions), when we bought a new sofa at the end of last year and we realised that most of our old cushions were either 1) lumpy 2) beyond saving by a good wash 3) just didn’t go with the new sofa or a combination of all three things, I realised I better start making cushions again because as lovely as our new sofa is, it still needed cushions and we are a cushion dependent family.

Some cushions were saved, principally this (well, actually that was brought in from my craft area due to cushion shortage, I now sit on one of the old grey cushions that really needs throwing out when I sew), this and this (if you click on the links you’ll see the common denominator between all three is patchwork in bold colours), I think my new sofa is a very patchwork (in bold colours) kind of sofa. As for the other cushions, I don’t think any of them actually got chucked (despite my intentions), some were returned to the sofa because we couldn’t cope with just three cushions, some were clung to, by tooth and nail by the kids (our tatty floor cushions that spend most of the time on the sofa) as they were too attached to them (I’m planning on buying new floor cushions at some point, as the current ones have already been recovered once and are very lumpy) and other cushions have somehow, mysteriously made their way onto the kids bed. But anyway, I need to make cushions.

It took me about a month of thinking to decide exactly what cushions I’d go for, I didn’t want a mish-mash like last time and I wanted something to go more with the colour of the sofa and the ‘theme’ (if you can call it that) of the room (with the giant New York picture behind the sofa, which we’ve had for years). I also wanted cushions everyone would like, so anything too floral and cutesy is out. Me and Girl Lacer actually did a reccy of the cushion department in John Lewis the other weekend and we both decided we really liked the strong graphic prints and appliques, we particularly fell in love with this cushion (searching for that link just now I also found this one to, which I think is lovely). But I rarely actually buy cushions these days as they’re so expensive compared to me making a cushion myself.

Anyway, so with all this precise, military-esque sofa cushion planning, of course the first cushion I finish since we bought the sofa does not really fit the theme at all.

Elsa Mora cushion

Elsa Mora cushion

It’s actually one cushion not two, I wanted to stitch both of these gorgeous Elsa Mora designs and they felt like they should both be on the same cushion. They’re not too bold and graphic-y are they? But at least they’re patchwork (wonky patchwork, don’t look too closely) and most importantly I love them, goes to show you can’t stick too closely to a theme 😉 (And in my defence these were started in September and I didn’t have my new sofa then, they turned into very heavy going patterns – but worth it). And anyway, I think they look sort of gentleman’s club like, so that goes with the whole masculine vibe thing anyway.

Also finished off today (I’ve spent much of the day sewing cushions, I’m pretty busy at the moment and although I can still squeeze in embroidery time, it’s hard to find sewing time, so I’ve got to grab it whilst I can) was *ahem* a Christmas present for Boy Lacer, also a cushion ( we are a family of cushion addicts), this is from Wild Olive’s solar system pattern. (Please excuse the terrible photos, like I say, I finished late and although I suppose I could wait for better light tomorrow, it’s January, what better light, anyway the first photo, which is particularly bad, is just to show the cushion overall, as it is one big cushion).

Wild Olive Solar System cushion

Wild Olive Solar System cushion - Sun to Earth (and Moon)

(I particularly love the Earth pattern, that was fun to do)

Wild Olive Solar System cushion - Mars to Neptune

Wild Olive Solar System cushion - Uranus to Pluto

Anyway, this cushion isn’t for the sofa, Boy Lacer will drag it round all over the place and then it’ll probably end up under something but he did like it when I gave it to him and that’s what counts.