Dinosaurs and Cushions

As the end of my Long Service Leave looms, I’m trying to fit in as much sewing as possible. Knitting is for the evenings (or watching Madmen during the day!) but most days this week I’m sewing as much as possible. I’m taking a deep immersion approach, wanting to learn lots and get ahead. In essence, I’m setting myself ‘assignments’ every day of something different to make.

A few months ago, Ailsa of Knitabulous sent me a link to an online patchwork course and I signed up right away. The e-course is Red Velvet – Modern Patchwork and even though I signed up right away, I sat on it for a while.  I’m not sure why. I think perhaps I thought the first project looked a bit, well not like what I wanted to do. That was such a silly thing to think because I made the first project on Tuesday and I fell in love.

Please meet two very cute patchwork dinosaurs.


After I made the first one (red) and decided he would be for Miss Alice, I sent a photo to my sister Adele who showed it to Mr Willem and of course I received a request back right away for a dinosaur for him – in orange, no less. Thankfully, I have bit of orange in the stash thanks to a big bag of fabric given to me by Dianne.

Here they are from the back.

dinosaurs back

These were great fun and in the end so simple and effective. Sew together a bunch of coordinating strips, iron, cut out the template, sew, stuff. From here I’ll be making up my own templates and seeing what I can come up with (chickens? You bet!). Oh and they have names, too. I put the call out on Twitter after making the first one for suggestions for names and the very clever Alison from MachenMachen came back with Patchosaurus Rex. Perfect! Let’s hear Alice try and say that! The second one has been dubbed by his new owner, Willem, as Willemosaurus. Naturally.

From cute, to practical. I’ve been wanting to give our lounge cushions a makeover and so found a designer on etsy who has a set of three cushions available. Her website is Lilly*Blossom.

The first was a Union Jack inspired piece.

cushion - union jack

On a background of floral fabric,  the pattern gets you to ‘build’ the cross shape with plain and striping fabric, in several layers until it’s done and then you join it to a plain back that has an envelope opening. Voila!

The second was simpler but I think is my favourite. A Contrast Tied Cushion Cover which I made using a scrap of upholstery fabric I bought from a local curtain supplier (those places are great for offcuts! I got loads last week).

tie cushion

This one is lined with a piece of an old bed sheet and I think it works really well. I’m looking forward to making more of these.

And just to show that my knitting is in no way suffering while I throw myself into so much sewing, I finished a glove yesterday. My first ever glove. This was great fun. Even the fingers. More details when the second one is done.

Knotty Glove

So there you go – lots of fun sewing. Today, my first task is to tidy up the dining table. It’s covered in fabric from the last three days and I can’t start anything new until I can find my rotary cutter and pins!



24 thoughts on “Dinosaurs and Cushions

  1. The cushions look great. I like the glove & have never knitted them before as I can’t imagine knitting fingers. Your glove fits so perfectly.

  2. Oh those dinosaurs are really cute ! ..can’t wait to see the chickens ;D

    Good luck finding the rotary cutter and it doesn’t end up in the bin with the scraps – my usual trick !
    I can’t believe your leave is coming to an end already – my thats gone quick ! ..enjoy the rest of it 🙂

  3. patchwork dinosaurs! what a great idea for making toys (and using up scraps of too-good-to-throw-away fabric). you’re certainly getting lots of piecing practice there. the cushions are wonderful, i really like the union jack one, it looks like it’s made with ribbons. and the gloves are sublime with that little braided pattern. i knitted gloves when i was a teenager, but they were seamed. knitting them in the round would be fun.

  4. the dinosaurs are so cute! I need new cushions in the dining room and for some reason I never thought about making them myself. I’ll have to re think that. Summer is coming and I hate sitting on the plain chairs with shorts on.

    Gloves! I think about them the way some people think of socks. Too hard and too fiddly. All those fingers! I love the braided cable on yours. So sophisticated.

  5. Ooh lovely inspirational sewing over here – just what I needed. The Black and White Quilt is every kind of wonderful – I particularly love the contrast quilting. Very nice work my dear.

  6. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the LSL?! seems like only yesterday I was turning pea green with envy? 😉

    i think the Contrast Tied cover is my fave too, although I am always a sucker for a dino…and some gloves!

  7. Good for you focusing on the sewing – I think it takes more amounts of set time than knitting, which you can pick up here and there. I haven’t touched my sewing machine since the summer because I haven’t had enough free time all at once. I’m hoping that will change this summer again, because those are some cute projects, and I’m getting inspired anew! Love the glove, too – those have been in my queue awhile, but the fingers kept putting me off. Hearing they’re not so bad, though, may also inspire me!

  8. There’s nothing like the end of a holiday to motivate a person!! Such cute dinosaurs and I just adore the cushion with a cross: beautiful fabric and colours!!

  9. I love the dinosaurs – I think there might have to be one in GS#1’s future!

    I love the gloves – can’t wait for the details; well done, Bells.

  10. Oh I’m so envious of this Long Service Leave (we get extra holiday days for long service). You’re using it very productively!

    My favourite cushion is the tie-side one as well. Very stylish!

  11. Great dinosaurs and I love their names! The rose cushion is beautiful. The gloves look fantastic, are they easier than knitting socks.

    • Hmm, not easier than socks but similar. No heel turning, that’s one thing – and the fingers aren’t hard – just the same knitting in the round just on a smaller scale! It’s like of like the toe end of a sock really!

  12. WOW! You have been busy! I just love the dinosaurs! The glove is also gorgeous! I’ve never done gloves with fingers -I think it might be too tricky!:-)

  13. You have been a busy little bee, Bells…(don’t you love alliteration?). And I’m so glad Willem will enjoy the orange fabric…it looks great as a Willemosaurus! Both the dinosaurs are just adorable, and the cushions are wonderful, too. Finishing up your long service leave with a bang!

    Never tried making gloves, but your look really great…I love those criss-crossed cables…

  14. oh so productive! and so much Growth as a Sewer. well done on being brave enough to try new things all the time. and so many pretty new things. you should be very pleased!

  15. I can’t start anything until I find my rotary cutter and pins! Spoken like a true seamstress! Very cool! The cushions are great and the dinos so appealing. Yay you!
    And the gloves – woo hoo! Such a great cable.

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