I am having a lot of fun making cushions with my stash of vintage textiles. For a while I will be allowing the “Pop Life : Art In A Material World” show at the National Gallery of Canada (summer 2010) inspire my choice of fabrics and surface treatments.
I am thinking 60’s and 70’s – graphic designs in bright colours, hippy embroideries, large scale prints, etc. In addition I am working with African and Asian textiles, especially batiks and prints. The cushions are mostly 12″ x 12″ with a down insert and a variety of closures. Just for the pleasure of handling superior textiles I am making some cushions from wonderful handwoven wools and other yarns. I have some really precious wovens too that I am finally allowing to have a new life as cushions!
1. Handy Embroidered Irish Tweed Cushion
First up is a detail of Irish Tweed now embroidered with hands for the “pockets”. The textile was originally in the form of a Miss Marple cape – with pockets.
The whole cushion looks like this:
The fabric is indeed bark cloth and was printed in Hawaii likely in a commercial setting, IOW, not handprinted but still with plenty of WOW. I have made a textile wall panel also from this print. See the Vintage Textile Panels page.
Reverse side of the “Blue Hawaii” Bark Cloth Cushion:
I use the same fabrics back and front for almost all of my cushions. The plastic buttons are the only “chintzy” feature here so I am going to change them to some pretty fabric-covered white ones. The closure is made from the button band on the 60’s style Mu-Mu dress that provided the bark cloth.
3. Belgian Silk Tapestry
Only enough fabric for the front of this cushion. It is a wonderful tapestry woven with a bouquet of flowers, grasses and seeds design. My fave design elements are the poppy seed case and the grasses. I have piped the edges with orange rayon cord for a more formal look. Likely this textile was saved from a very lovely antique Bergere chair or some such.
Belgian Silk Tapestry Cushion : Back
The back is made from Chinese silk brocade in greens and yellows. Picture to follow:
4. Sixties Pink Bark Cloth Cushion (reversible)
A stunning print on barkcloth. Quintessential 60’s psychedelic colours and graphic shapes. The back and the front are the same print . Zippered closure.
See this page for a wall panel assembled from fragments of the same fabric: