Sometimes I start something by accident and sometimes these are the best of times. At the end of 2016 I suddenly stopped making cushions. I had had enough of churning them out on my machine and I wanted a new challenge. This presented itself very quickly when my lack of cushions was noticed! A very kind customer asked if I could make a cushion but this was not just any old cushion. This was a bespoke cushion designed for her daughter who was moving into her first home. We chatted about her daughter and very quickly ideas came to mind and before I knew it the design had materialised and stitching was underway.
If I am honest I thought this was a one off commission and I was delighted to be able to help. Suddenly cushion making took on a whole new meaning. Knowing something about the recipient coupled with the special occasion made the making process so much more enjoyable. Now this cushion might have taken me a lot longer than the cushions that my machine was used to delivering but that only added to the enjoyment. Very quickly I realised that a free motion machine embroidered background was well placed to offer the enhanced canvas for hand embroidery finishing.
When I sent off the cushion in the post I think I held my breath and didn’t breathe properly again until I saw the email from the customer and she loved it. Perhaps more importantly her daughter loved it and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I hadn’t really hand embroidered for a good many years but it felt very natural to be back in that space. The very last thing I did was find a wee corner of the cushion and embroider her name on it.
I can lay no claim to this new direction for my work. It was customer provoked and customer led and I think that is perhaps how it should be for me now.
Since that wee journey into the bespoke and the personalised I have completed six more cushions and have another four in the order book. The design process is sometimes immediate but sometimes it takes a while. I mull over what I know and what that inspires and the design takes a form that I can translate into stitching. No two cushions have been remotely similar so that tests both my design skills and my stitching ability. It is suffice to say I am loving every minute and the feedback has been so uplifting.
My own craft business now has to sit along one with a partner as Crafts & Company took flight last year and has done better than we could have ever expected. At the heart of that business is a need to share crafts through our own range of kits and handcrafted items as well as clubs and workshops. This is really my day job now. That said, you can now find me on my rocking chair quietly embroidering a cushion….. I am a very lucky lady.
I am keeping a photographic record of my cushions both in process and complete forms. I don’t want to ever forget this time and I have no idea how long it will last. I am just finishing a couple of designs for bespoke and personalised bunting because I am quite sure no home is complete without bunting appearing somewhere. So far my cushions have been given for birthdays, graduation, new homes, new baby and in the order book are cushions for weddings, a very special anniversary and a best friend.
If you think a bespoke and personalised cushion is something you would like to give as a gift do get in touch anytime and we can have a wee chat.
Sometimes the best things are accidents……..xx