This is one of my daughter's Christmas presents. She asked me to make her a cushion that was predominantly blue, felt fresh, went well with her quilt and possibly involved Liberty fabrics. I had a look on Flickr for inspiration, but found something so perfectly perfect that it's actually a 'direct copy', rather than an 'inspired by' creation - I hope it's creator doesn't mind. You can see the original design that this is based on here - it's by Ruth Eglinton. After I'd made it, several days later I was trying to track down a particular Liberty print and ended up on Sunflower Fabrics, where I happened to see that Ruth actually has a pattern for this cushion for sale there. Do go and have a look if you'd like to make something similar, but would appreciate having all the maths done for you.
In other news, I've had a few new sponsors joining my blog in the last few months and wanted to introduce them to you. Firstly, Elephant in my Handbag, which is run by Stephanie. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie in real life a few weeks ago as, as well as running a fabric shop, she also co-owns the events company Apple Ducks, which showcases the handmade at events in the south-east (if you're an independent craftsperson creating anything, from handmade chocolates to jewellery to sewn goods, you should definitely have a look at Apple Ducks - Jo and Stephanie put amazing, professional events together and make a phenomenal effort to promote and support the people they work with. Jo is an old friend who I've known for nearly a decade since we took our children to toddler group, and she is one of life's lovelies, so I feel no hesitation in saying that she would be wonderful to work with (as undoubtedly, is Stephanie). You can follow them on Twitter or Facebook). Anyway, back to Stephanie's fabric shop.
Elephant in my Handbag is packed with delicious fabric and offers tiny cuts of things for patchworkers, as well as jelly rolls and layer cakes, and a vast selection of quilting fabric by the metre. The selection is huge with an emphasis on fabrics that would appeal to children - do go and have a look. However, I want to mention something non-sewing related, as I know that many of you possess a talent for wielding a hook in a way that I don't. Many years ago I came across some crocheted Daschund dogs. I completely fell in love with these dogs and even though we really couldn't easily afford them at the time, I made a rare extravagant purchase and bought one for each of my children, partly so that I could enjoy looking at them myself (my son, who was three at the time, curiously named his Sammylotion). I was sure that they'd actually featured a lot on my blog, but the only place I can unearth Sammylotion making a guest appearance is when I'm stuffing oddly shaped animals into sleeping bags to demonstrate how my Three Bear's Sleeping Bag pattern could work for other animals. Anyway, Stephanie has kits for the clever crochet people to make one of their very own of these gorgeous creatures, including all the supplies needed and the pattern. I'm clearly biased in thinking that this is a wonderful self-gift, but when I attempt to wear my objectivity hat, I still think it is rather fabulous…and possibly even nice to selflessly give to others as a finished dog or for them to have the fun of making it themselves. Elephant in my Handbag also offers rabbits and bears, but I'm all about the sausage dog.
You know my love of foxes. There is also a no-hook-required fox kit. My children would think this was fantastic as they seem to share my unfathomable love of foxes (unfathomable, as I'm not actually overly fond of the real creatures, just the image of them).
The shop currently has a large Christmas section that sells everything from Christmassy fabric and ribbons, to very sweet kits that you can make up alone or with any passing children who have a desire to do some stitching. They include everything from baubles to peg doll nativity scenes.
When I met Stephanie her handbag remained out of sight, so I can't report on whether she does keep an elephant secreted in it.
I'd also like to introduce Blonde Design, run by Karen, whose lovely sewing blog you may already be familiar with. Blonde Design's home page is currently awash with red, green and white buttons, fabrics and trimmings and they're offering free postage for the whole of December.
Finally, I wanted to tell you about something wonderful that one of my other sponsors, Dragonfly Fabrics, is now offering. For many years I've used Venezia lining fabric in pretty much everything that I've made that requires lining from small accessories to clothing. It has an iridescence and loveliness to it that no other lining fabric that I've seen comes close to. As far as I'm aware the only place in the UK that sells this is the bricks and mortar shop, C&H Fabric, and I've never previously found it anywhere online. However, I'm excited to share with you that Dragonfly Fabrics are now offering a limited range of colours, but I'm sure if it sells well then more will undoubtedly follow. I've included some images of places I've used the linings in the past, but it's really just the tip of the iceberg. I have these in so many colours and use them often. They are expensive, but worth every penny if you are a person who appreciates the lining of a garment or make-up bag as much as the outside.
You can find them at the bottom of this page - they're the bottom five fabrics - make sure you double-check that it says Venezia in the description if that's what you'd like to buy.