‘Indian Birds’ cushion covers

Into every blogger’s life a little rain must fall…

This week there was a glitch! Three weeks ago I wrote and scheduled a post for you, due to appear on 4 February (about my pattern for a laptop case) and something went awry. It became clear that it was sitting in a ‘drafts’ folder by mistake. I can only think that I missed a button (rather like doing up a cardigan wrong!) and then the missing post got published (by me hitting the wrong button?) last week, only a day after the ‘proper’ post about Nancy Hamilton’s nice recycled fabric bibs. If you are a subscriber (and I do so appreciate you subscribers) I can only apologise. The intention is to deliver one emailed blog to your inbox a week on a Monday. Anyhow, here’s this week’s post, which should arrive with you on February 25th!

Issue 60 of Quilt Now is out now.

QN60 Instagram 600x600

and this time my contribution is a pattern called ‘Indian Birds’ to make four appliqué cushions with birds on.

Indian Birds Cushions by Amanda Jane Ogden

‘Indian Birds’ Cushions by Amanda Jane Ogden Photo credit: Quilt Now

I thought you might like to hear the story behind the design. In January 2017, I accompanied my husband to Chennai in India where he was attending a conference.  It was a memorable experience.   I bought a lightweight souvenir to bring home, in the form of a box of very small, carved and painted wooden birds. They are each about half an inch (12mm high). At home I have a print tray hanging on the wall and the small sections that once held the hot-metal pieces of type for printing now contain various small objects, including the birds.

Indian birds, inspiration.jpg

I thought it would be fun to portray some of these little creatures in appliqué. I began by painting them in watercolour, trying to capture their slightly quirky appearance. I then chose the four I liked best and started to work them up into designs that could be appliqued on to a plain background. I wanted to use strong bright colours to frame them, to reflect the choice of colourful fabrics seen everywhere on the streets of Chennai.

customers buying sari fabric in Chennai

Customers buying sari fabric in Chennai, photograph by Amanda Jane Textiles

The whole process reminded me how much I enjoy appliqué (especially when it’s combined with a bit of hand embroidery, as here), so I think there will be more soon! Are you influenced by your travels when it comes to design?

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Sticking with bright colours, here’s my fabric design ‘Summer Leaves’. You can find it here.

Summer leaves

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