Sunday, 27 April 2014

Crochet Cushion Covers

I'd like to take a moment to show you what I was working on last year at this time. Crocheting motifs to make crochet cushion covers for a wicker chair we bought for our daughter years ago. The chair got left behind when she moved to California six years ago so I decided we would take it to Boulder for her when we drove last August. The chair seat cushion had an unbleached cotton cover but it was stained and showing its age. I decided to cover the seat cushion and buy a square cushion to cover for the seat back. I bought a good sized clean cushion at Value Village for $5 which was less than buying new cushion forms at Fabricland.

I love African flower motifs and so does my daughter so decided to incorporate them into my design. I found a great tutorial for crochet and fleece cushion covers by blogger Bunny Mummy. I liked that her fleece cushion cover was hand-sewn as I am a bit intimidated by sewing machines especially when it comes to threading the needle and loading bobbins. I can do it but it's not my favourite thing.

My daughter told me she loves grey and teal colour combinations so I selected a pretty pale grey mix for the accent and background colour and a combination of sage, medium teal, aqua and purple for the motifs. This is the fleece cover from the back. I love purple and it contrasts nicely with the grey and teal. The yarn used for this project was a mixture of Bernat Satin and Canadiana 100% acrylic yarns. 
The crochet front incorporates an African flower motif with 8 petals in the centre with a border which turns it into a square. I added extra rows alternating all the colours used in the motif to make a granny square finishing with a grey outside border. I think granny squares are fun but adding an African flower to the centre changes the look entirely. Don't you just love the way it turned out? I'll bet it makes you want to try one too. You won't be sorry if you do.
For the seat cushion I made African flower motifs with 6 petals in a hexagon shape. I used 18 hexagons and 7 half hexagons incorporating 5 different colours for the petals. Again, I used purple for the centres and petal outlines.  Grey was used for joining and for the borders. The petals were done using sage, medium teal, aqua and grey. It took a bit of time to settle on a final arrangement for the motifs. You know how that goes. You lay them out and look at them for awhile. Then you walk away, come back and rearrange them all again. Perhaps you're better at making decisions with colour and layout but it honestly took me days or maybe even a couple weeks.

Anyway, I finally decided to start with a grey flower in the centre surrounded by a circle of sage flowers then a circle of alternating aqua and medium teal flowers with a mixture of sage and medium teal half flowers. Once all the flower motifs were joined, I crocheted a border to smooth out the edges and fit the shape of the seat cushion. The border was done using a mixture of half double crochet, double crochet and treble crochet to fill the gaps followed by a couple rows of single crochet. I must admit that I fussed over it a lot but was quite happy with it in the end. What do you think? Was it worth all the fussing?
I followed blogger Bunny Mummy's basic instructions for a removable envelope style fleece cushion cover but had to work out how to join the slightly odd shape of the seat cushion. Again, although I fussed over it plenty, it wasn't that difficult and went together nicely. The only difference being that I had to sew around the half circle edge instead of just folding it over as instructed for a square cushion. This photo shows the cushion covers from the back with the pretty contrasting crochet edge in grey. 
I think it looks great from the back and the front. The photo below shows the chair at its new home in Boulder. Our daughter was happy to get her chair back and loved the new cushion covers too. Remember I have provided links to the motifs and the cushion construction if you would like to try to make one too.
Using fleece and crochet makes these cushion covers soft and cuddly. Our grandson loves to rearrange cushions and get comfy. Chair cushions easily convert into play cushions.
I think he is adorable and love that he likes to cuddle on cushion covers made by me.
I had a few (six to be exact) African flower hexagons leftover after making the seat cushion cover for our daughter so I decided to make a few toys. I made two balls and a cat. The balls were for our grandson and his friend. The cat was for his friend's baby brother. I sewed the hexagons onto leftover fleece to cover the gaps. The balls were light and soft and suitable for tossing inside the house. To differentiate them, I did the side seam in grey for one and red for the other. For the cat I loosely followed a free pattern by blogger Little Woollie here. Isn't this a cute kitty? If a cushion cover seems like too much work then try this kitty instead. It's a nice easy project to finish.
I was so pleased with the way the cushion covers turned out for our daughter, I couldn't resist making a couple for myself as a fall project. To keep it interesting, I used a different motif. I really like the circle in a square pattern available for free on Red Heart's website. I selected some of my favourite bright colours and made two cushion fronts to fit two cushions we had on our sofa. I bought light sage fleece for the base. 

I quickly discovered that fleece comes in different weaves. I bet most of you crafters already know that about fleece but it was a surprise to me. The purple fleece was a relatively loose weave and easy to hand sew. The light sage fleece was a very tight weave and very difficult to get a needle through. The blanket stitch done with yarn for the crochet edge really was a challenge. In fact it was so tough on my fingers that I actually got out my old sewing machine when it was time to sew the edges. Even so I love the way they turned out and think it was worth the extra effort. 
Green edging on the back of one and blue on the other. The fleece is actually a very light sage, not white like it looks in the photos. 
The old cushion covers which are still underneath these new covers matched our curtains. They were nice but these covers provide a much appreciated splash of colour to our family room. Can you tell I love bright colours? 

This week I have been taking a bit of a break from crochet and started watching The Walking Dead series again as it seems to suit my mood. Last weekend, I developed a painful case of frozen shoulder (left side). It's a total nuisance requiring visits to the chiropractor, physio and massage. It always takes longer to fit in appointments after work but it's probably good to space out the various therapies to allow the inflammation to go down a bit.

So far I have only seen my chiropractor Dr. Carolyn Dalgity. If you're in London and looking for a chiropractor, I highly recommend her. She tells me I had a diagnostic ultrasound done on my shoulder 7 years ago which indicated calcified tendinitis of the left shoulder with abnormal lesions on the shoulder joint. Funny I have no memory of that. I must have been in denial all this time as it has been getting worse but has always been tolerable until now.

I'm especially frustrated because I can't ride my bike just as the weather is starting to improve. From what I've read on the internet, it can take months for frozen shoulder to heal. I certainly hope I recover more quickly than that.

Although I am taking a break from crochet, I have started one small project. It's a cute crochet mouse wearing a pretty dress. I will be sure to share a photo and pattern link once I'm done. In the mean time send healing energy my way and wish me luck for a speedy recovery.

6 comments:

  1. Let's hope your shoulder gets better soon

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    1. Yes, ideally it will improve with each treatment or miraculously just stop hurting.

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    2. Enjoyed the up-date on your projects - take it easy with that shoulder - hopefully it will begin to feel less painful very soon.

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