A Touch of HistoryWhen I produced my Henry VIII and Elizabeth I mini cushion designs I knew I wanted to create more based on historical themes and in March, the ideal opportunity arose. For the momentous event of the re-burial of a 15th-century King was going to take place, after Richard III's skeleton was found buried under a car park in Leicester in 2012. A documentary about the 'un-earthing' of the King's remains was shown on TV and I was hooked, following it up with watching the re-interment ceremonies at Leicester cathedral too. With the Plantagenet's family crest and other colours/patterns featured through the ceremony, I had enough ideas to inspire a new mini cushion design. I spotted a special edition magazine in the shops on this very subject, which featured a famous portrait of the King on the cover and as you can see in my finished result here, I've included a mini version in my design too. The kit is available on my website so anyone can now stitch a lasting memento of this amazing event. Click on the link for more details: Richard III Mini Cushion Cross Stitch Kit
Still residing in roughly the same period as Richard III, but in the different setting of Mexico, comes my new mini cushion design based on the Ancient Aztecs which will be available soon. This one is in the stitching phase and is full of bright colours - a lovely companion piece to my Day of the Dead design I think.
What a Hoot!
In the past I had received a few requests to design an Owl-themed mini cushion, so I added it to my 'to-do' list for when the idea took hold. Recently I've noticed many stitchers have been working on Owl designs, either realistic versions or 'patchwork' type designs, which made the Owl subject rise up on my list. I wanted to produce a design which featured realistic versions of Owl rather than the stylised, almost cartoon, versions that I've seen of late so I reached for my Bird encyclopedia and carried out some research online of the different breeds of Owl.
I thought it would be nice to show different breeds but also different scenarios such as Owls in flight or stationary, and stages of life from the egg to the Owlets to the adults, with a few studies of feathers thrown in for good measure. Hence the title of this mini cushion - A Study of Owls, which is now available as a kit here: A Study of Owls Mini Cushion Cross Stitch Kit
(The photo above is my second attempt at photographing this mini cushion, since I was photo-bombed by an Owl in the first attempt below!)
I was recently contacted by a lovely lady from the US who has purchased several of my designs and has shown me her unique ways of finishing her mini cushions. Her name is Judy and I just had to show you her lovely work here. Judy loves to add extra embellishments to the finished mini cushions by attaching little trinkets, such as coins or a pocket watch, and she also chooses backing fabrics that feature designs to match the theme of the mini cushions.
First, we have the Oh, Canada design with coins attached and Judy has selected a lovely backing fabric to complement this design.
Next, we have A Mini Tour of London, and Judy has added a little selection of metal trinkets to this one, including a crown and key. Even thought has gone into the cord loop in the corner, with colours to match the design.
Something else that Judy does to the designs to make them more unique is to stitch the faces in petit point. I love the detailed effect and added texture this brings to the mini cushion.
Although I love all of the finishes, I think my favourite has to be the Steampunk design. Those cogs and the pocket watch just set it off a treat. And the inspired backing fabric must make it difficult to choose on which side to display the finished piece!
I find it a compliment that my designs have inspired Judy to create these unique pieces, which are certain to remain as heirlooms for years to come, and I thank her for agreeing to share these pictures with all of us.
If you are interested in stitching these designs for yourself, and maybe adding your own embellishments too, they are available as kits via these links: