When Jodie and I started to research which manufacturers we wanted to stock in our Little Miss Sew ‘n’ Sew shop there was one manufacturer that really stood out..
Lewis & Irene were two very special people. They inspired not only the name of the company but as parents and grandparents, they threaded love through three generations of family.
Lewis and Irene have a small design team consisting of Jayne, Hannah and Bryan who work very closely together – inspired by their adventures in life and their shared love of nature. They are a small, devoted team, made up of extremely passionate individuals who love nothing more than seeing their designs come to life.
We think their fabrics and collections are just gorgeous and they are printed on really good quality cotton. We stock a selection from a number of their collections, with more to be delivered throughout the year. A favourite of ours is the ‘Welcome to the World’ collection.
Parachuting babies on blue
Marching elephant family pink on grey
Welcome to the world white on grey
Lewis & Irene are proud to once again be supporting Act for Wildlife led by Chester Zoo. They will be donating, from the sales of this collection, to a cause that is close to their hearts. EEHV is a virus that kills young elephants in both zoos and in the wild.
They will be donating specifically to a fund to help identify effective drugs and find a vaccine for this lethal disease …. ‘Welcome To The World’
As Jodie mentioned in our last blog, my favourite thing to stitch has always been cushions, I especially love to make cushions for friends’ new babies, which I think is why I particularly love the ‘Welcome to the World’ collection! With the parachuting baby animals and gorgeous muted colours, it really lends itself to a nursery collection and perfect if making for a gift.
I have put together a little collection showcasing what can be made with a fat quarter bundle with a pink theme or blue theme and shared a few tips to help create your own ‘Welcome to the world’ creations..
A hanging heart is a lovely little gift and addition to a nursery, I have an embroidery machine so love to personalise where possible, a heart can also be personalised by cutting out letters from felt and applique on to one side of the heart before stitching together. If you're unsure of how to cut the letters out, find a font you like on Word, adjust to the correct size, print and then cut out to use as templates. If you attach heat n bond to the back of the fabric and using the templates draw around (on the wrong side therefore flip the letter templates so you're tracing the mirror image), follow the instructions from the heat n bond packet to stick to your heart fabric. Once this is done you can use an applique stitch from your machine (zig zag is good) to keep the letters firmly attached. If you're good with a needle and thread, hand stitching with embroidery thread adds a lovely personal touch!
To make the heart, cut out two pieces from the template provided and sew together using a small seam allowance of about half a centimetre. Leave a gap of about 4-5cm, back stitching at each end.
In order to turn the heart leaving a smooth curve, make notches across the curved parts of the heart and trim some of the seam allowance. Turn the heart the right way round and using a pencil push out the point.
I like to use toy stuffing for the inside, this can be bought from haberdashery stores or from larger chains such as Dunelm or Hobbycraft. The secret to a good heart is to really stuff it well! Cram as much stuffing in as you can, making sure you push it in to the curves of the heart.
Once finished , use a slip stitch to close up the hole. Using some ribbon, create a loop and stitch on with decorative buttons on the front and back, use a strong stitch to pull the two buttons together.
And here you have a lovely keepsake for a new baby!
I’ve also made a selection of cushions using fat quarter bundles. You can really be creative here, as long as you leave about half an inch seam allowance for joining fabrics, you can create your own designs.
I have given step by step instructions on how to make the personalised cushion in our Little Miss Get Stitching Packs, these are great for learning new skills.
To make the non personalised cushions
I wanted the main body of fabric to be 12 inches x 16 inches and the contrasting fabric to be 4 inches by 16 inches (cushion is 16 inch square). Therefore, to incorporate a half inch seam allowance, I cut the main body of fabric 13 inches x 17 inches and the contrasting fabric 5 inches by 17 inches.
Once these two pieces are joined by the length, press open the seams.
To insert a zip
It’s up to you what fabric you use for the back of the cushion, I like to use up my spare fabric. Each piece needs to be 17 inches wide and the length of each piece needs to equate to 18 inches in total (leaving seam allowances for joining front cushion to back cushion and each piece to the zip). On this example the grey polka dot was 17 inches x 6 inches and the pink fabric was 17 inches x 12 inches.
To attach the zip, lay both of the back pieces right sides together.
Lay the zip in place and mark with a pencil or fabric marker either end.
Using a standard straight stitch sew up to the first mark, backstitch and then increase the stitch length to its maximum length. Continue to sew until the next mark (the length of the zip) and backstitch. Adjust the stitch length back to its standard length and sew to the end.
Open up the seam and iron out flat. Pin the zip in place with the teeth facing the seam. Stitch all the way around the edge of the zip securing it in place.
Turn over the fabric and using a seam ripper, carefully open up the long straight stitch to reveal the zip.
Leaving the zip open enough to turn the cushion cover through, attach the front piece to the back piece, right sides together.
Clip the corners and using pinking shears, trim the seam allowance so that it looks nice and neat.
Turn the cushion through and you have finished your cushion cover!
There are so many projects that can be made with fat quarters and you can be as creative as you like with cushions! We have made up some fat quarter bundles to get you started priced at £7.75. There is a Girl themed bundle and a Boy themed bundle and you will find them in our Lewis & Irene page of our Website.
Please don’t forget to share your creations with us either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Facebook page and we will make sure that any creation you share with us gets added to our ‘Hall of Fame’ on our Website!
Happy Stitching! xx
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