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What to do with a bag of scraps?


We live in a lovely little village, not quite a hamlet because, by definition, a hamlet doesn’t have a church.

We have a church. And a village hall. Nothing else.

The pub is a twenty minute walk away in the next village which is great in the Summer. Not so on a cold, wet Winter’s evening when you fancy a pint.

I digress. The point is, being a small community of just 91 dwellings, people are friendly and generous and generally get on rather well. (Remember those flowers?)

A few weeks back, I had an email from an artist living in The Old Stables asking me if I would like first dibs on some textile-y things as she was having a clear out of her studio. Of course, I jumped at the chance and popped round that afternoon to have a look. I ended up coming home with a car load of stuff from fabric remnants a few yards long to tiny 4″ squares of silk oddments.

After being quite strict with myself, I kept only what I knew I would definitely use and, with her permission, bagged up the remainder for the charity shop.

There was also a bin liner stuffed to the brim with feather cushion pads which is where I made a start.


No.1 Son is now twenty-three, has his first post-graduate job and is saving hard for a deposit for his own house. He is also amassing quite a ‘bottom drawer’ in readiness for his new home, the most recent being this cute little Edwardian armchair from eBay.


Anyway, amongst the things I found when rooting through the stash of goodies I had been given, was a square of fabric from Anthropologie. Possibly a (very large) napkin in its original incarnation, it was unused with the store tag still attached.


A little bit too ethnic for my taste, I asked said son if he liked it and would he like me to make him a cushion cover from it. Having received a ‘yes’ on both counts, I set to.

There was a small carrier bag full of bits of top quality wool tweed in several shades of grey which were pretty useless on their own, but which I could see (!) would piece together to make a nice back to the cushion.


See? They go together quite well.


I patchworked some strips together until I had a square measuring 20″, the same as the front.


Then, because it still looked exactly like what it was – scraps of fabric sewn together – I added some detail in the form of turquoise top stitching along all the seams.



It was still a bit ‘functional’ so I thought a few appliquΓ©d swirls wouldn’t go amiss.




And a few more….


There, that’s enough. Now it looks more like a piece of textile art than leftovers!


Using some turquoise linen (left over from this dress), I covered some piping cord in a shade that would pick out the blue in the Anthropologie napkin. See, there was a reason for choosing turquoise?!


Piping was basted on first…


…then a random zip from my collection was inserted.


The zip was too long so I shortened it by sewing a new ‘stop’.



Sew round the remaining three sides, turn inside out and – TADAH!


A tip is to make the cushion cover slightly smaller than the size of the feather insert, then it stays nice and plump like this.


The turquoise piping ties the front in with the back.


Actually, there’s not really a front or back as both sides are deserving of top spot!



I thought it looked quite at home in our lounge and said as much – at which point it was “Thanks, Mum” and whisked off to No.1 Son’s bedroom before I got too attached to it!

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

54 thoughts on “What to do with a bag of scraps?

  1. Yes, you are right. The turquoise completely ties the two sides of the cushion together. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the piping. It adds an extra pop. Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooh I am so jealous,,,marvellous to see what another arty brain produces. Absolutely gorgeous and inspiring! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for giving me all that treasure! I am having so much fun playing with it all – I’ve nearly finished making a tunic out of that lovely blue modern floral Rose and Hubble fabric that was in there:)


    • I don’t think he wants to have the typical white box with beige carpets and brown leather sofa! His place will probably have lots of ‘character’ (for which read ‘clutter’)- like ours, lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Re ‘Clutter’..I have a lovely Dutch Architect son-in-law who is a tad minimalistic ! He is somewhat horrified by the amount of ‘treasures’ we have in our house…however, I have told him not to worry ..I have left it all to him in my Will !! Like me I am sure your son will have treasured memories for every piece of his clutter!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the way you stitched the backing!


  5. Super cushion, lucky lad!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Briiliant! I have way too many scraps around. It was nice to see how you pulled this together!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love, love, love the wool tweed backing …I’m pretty sure I would have renegaded on my gift and kept it my self !!!! OMGoodness what type of mother does that make me !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, that’s stunning! I’m not surprised it was soon off the chair and into his room! You’ve a great eye for design & colours πŸ˜ƒ

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  9. That is a beautiful cushion. I can see why your son took it before you got attached. I get that way with alot of the beanies I crochet. I will sometimes wear them for a while before I decide to sell them. Then I will wash them up and package them so I am not tempted to start wearing them again. πŸ˜‰

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  10. Such a lovely lady to send fabric treasures your way! What may be scraps to some, can become little works of art – as you have shown πŸ˜‰ Love the little applique swirls. No1 son is very lucky to have such a talented mum to help create unique dΓ©cor for his new home πŸ™‚

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  11. It looks great and I love how you get the choice of two very different

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  12. Absolutely gorgeous! Bold and beautiful, it looks great!

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  13. Gorgeous realisation for this thoughtful re-use project yardage! Will be great to see what you do with more of the stash!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Really excellent use of the tweed, inspirational in fact! I’ve got some old jeans from my boys, that I was going to make cushion covers with, so I might steal some of your ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love the cushion, great idea! The “front” fabric is stunning, I would probably have used it as well.
    Its very interesting to live with “arty” children. My daughter is a graphic designer and my son in law an artist and graffiti artist. lol. They have a very interesting taste in most things. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, creative minds tend to be interesting souls, don’t they? I am looking forward to helping my son with his new home eventually, although I think my daughter will need my input first as she has already saved a deposit. I wonder is she’d like some cushions…?

      Liked by 1 person

  16. What a lovely colour combination! It is very satisfying making something from scraps, and your cushion is delightful – I prefer the patchwork side myself!

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  17. Wow – that’s lovely! I love how the turquoise brings the 2 sides together, it’s a perfect match for that lovely chair πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I think that’s key in design isn’t it – tying all the elements together with a joint factor, turquoise in this instance. Not sure it goes with the Edwardian chair, but I’m sure it will fit in somewhere:)


  18. Love how you’ve pulled the colours together in this. And what a great make from all those leftovers, no wonder he scarpered with it fast! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You are such a fabulous seamstress! Amazing what you can do with just scraps of fabric. I love both sides of the pillow. I would jump on it too if I were your son. Woo hoo!! Do you have the sound of a sewing machine bouncing around in your head? LOL
    Lots of love and hugs to everyone in the family!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you and, yes, I do actually dream about sewing or knitting sometimes!! Some of my favourite things are the ones that are made from scraps – they seem to bring out my creativity somehow:)


  21. Lovely cushion – so much attention and love poured into it. What a cute little chair that is too πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Brilliant and so resourceful. Perhaps I won’t be chucking out my rather overflowing bags of cut offs! Well done and I love the chair too!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Keyhole Top from ‘Love Sewing’ | Sewchet

  24. It’s absolutely fabulous – a designer piece!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Oooh i just love it!!! Your work is always so beautiful!


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