Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Colour Collaborative: October - Memories


I saw this piece of fabric at a car boot sale back in September - a single duvet cover and two pillow cases, just tossed on a table, looking unloved and abandoned. I had the strongest feeling that I must buy it because there was something so familiar and comforting about both the colour and the pattern. Plus it cost one pound. That helped, if I'm honest. (Me: "How much do you want for this duvet set?" Woman, shrugging: "A pound?" Me, trying to play it cool: "Err....OK THEN!") I can't actually remember this fabric from any one particular place in my childhood but I felt that I'd definitely seen it somewhere before, and I wanted it very badly. It took two hot washes to get rid of the vintage "scent" (hello mothballs!) and I sprayed it today with Febreeze, just for good measure.


I know fabric like this is not to everyones' taste but I think the muted colours work with, not against, the busy floral pattern. There is something about the palate of pinks that reminds me of calamine lotion and Germolene, that pink antiseptic cream that was applied to all cuts and scrapes when I was little. It's not a sickly, sugary pink or a tropical hot pink. Instead I find it full of shades of beige and stone that give it a dusky, washed out look. I'd planned to use it as a duvet cover on Bella's bed, but she has three bedding sets already so I took my scissors to it. The pillow cases are quite badly faded but the duvet cover is in very good condition. I bought some wool felt in a pale creamy grey colour and decided to use this with the fabric to make a cushion. Because as anyone who knows me will say, we don't have nearly enough cushions in our house. There's always room for one more.



I used applique with straight stitch around the edge - I find this kind of sewing so enjoyable and relaxing. Needle in, needle out, up and down - it's like my fingers know where the needle should go next.



I chose an apple motif. That, along with the pure wool felt said "autumn" to me, but not in a fallen leaves, orange, Halloween and pumpkin sort of way, but more in the way this season gives us the softly fading colours of of a almost-disappeared summer. It's cosy. For the back of the cushion, I used the same fabric in a pillow-style opening because - I'll be honest - I can't do zips yet.


I love how it turned out. The cushion pad is feathered and squashy and very comfortable. I like feather cushion pads and will choose them over foam every time. I like the way you can shake them out and plump them up with your fists.



And, do you know, my mum tells me that we had that exact bedding set - in pink - when I was a child. I am one of three girls and it makes sense that we had a lot of pink bedding in the house. So I did recognise it from somewhere, I didn't imagine it! And she also tells me that we still have a pillow case...in the garage. My dad has been using it as a decorating rag for the last ten years.


Do you have anything that you absolutely had to have just because of the memories that were attached to it? A book or a piece of fabric maybe, or a certain type of bowl or dish, or a picture? It's so often those things that were used with such frequency that they were almost overlooked - those everyday items that weave themselves into the fabric of life - that hold the strongest pull and can take you back to a certain place in moments.


 
What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

60 comments:

  1. I love what you have done with the fabric- a lovely cushion- and I love the story behind it :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a bargain! I love this kind of pattern too and I've made both the girls nightdresses in exactly the same.

    Nina x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now I know what to do with mine I picked some up from a charity shop for a similar amount. I love the cushion just lovely. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. A great use for your bargain buy Gillian. The cushion looks great, and I always say that it would be a crime to knowingly undercushion, so you are just making sure that you have enough cushions! Hope that you have fun with the rest of the fabric! xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's fabulous, I love it. I do envy people who have feather cushions and pillows, they're so much nicer than foam, but both me and Daniel would never stop sneezing if we had them in our house, we're allergy sufferers so we have to stick to man made fillings.

    ReplyDelete
  6. P R E T T Y!
    You are so clever, your cushion is just gorgeous Gillian. I too remember that fabric from my childhood, i think Its very pretty indeed.
    love jooles xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm getting more and more attracted to anything and everything relating to my childhood in the 70's/80's. TV programmes, homewares, pictures etc. I don't know what it is about getting older, but we seem to become so much more nostalgic. You've created a cushion that has a great balance between old and new. I think it's no coincidence though that you were attracted to it, seeing as your Mum confirmed you'd had the exact same set as a child. Somewhere in the memory bank you knew it had meaning. Your recycling efforts are lovely Gillian x

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's really pretty. I don't have it yet but if I ever find it, I'm going to grab it...I had a dish set (plate, two nesting bowls and a cup) when I was a child. It had a Wizard of Oz theme, each piece with a different scene on it. They were melamine and probably very cheap but I loved them. The smallest bowl had Toto printed at the bottom, I think, and I remember eating my cereal from that bowl when I was little. I'd love to have even that one little bowl again. I would love to help you learn to do zippers, Gillian. I wish we could sit together and I would teach you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lol - when I saw your first photo - I thought I recognise that!!! Not sure from where - your cushion looks lovely xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lovely cushion! Love the colour and the apple motif. I've got the same pillowcase (not lucky enough to find a matching pair&duvet cover). Still not sure what to use it for but will definitely make more cushions. Reading this made me realize we're undercushioned in this house!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Gillian
    you are so clever - the cushions gorgeous. I totally agree with you about the colours - and didn't you just LOVE the smell of germolene ? Your hand stitching is so perfectly neat.
    Kate x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love what you've done with it - and so the memories will live on in your own children who will in years to come, remember the lovely apple cushion that their mum made.
    Well done!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love the cushions and the print, pretty sure I had a similar blue version. A lovely old lady down my street gave me a purple version of this type of cover - I do use it sometimes but have been waiting to do something clever with it. You are so clever, might have to copy you x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your fabric is boot-iful! What a great way to use a little bit and not be overwhelmed with it. A nice little Autumn project there. Jo x

    ReplyDelete
  15. The print looks very familiar to me as well, I think it was our bedding which was cotton/cotton mix from 'Brentford Nylons' - does anyone else remember them or am I just old?!!!!!
    Your cushion is lovely, I always do the envelope opening - much easier, we have a leather sofa and in the past zips have scratched the leather.
    I found my bargain bedding at a charity shop, a new flat sheet and 2 pillowcases in a very pretty small floral pattern, I have used it for so many various projects and still have bits left that will come in useful for something at sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I simply love what you have done with it! what a genius. it's so nice combined with the wool and I do love apples. Heather x

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Color Collaborative is an interesting project, Gillian! Just as you had a strong response to the material you bought, I have an especially strong positive response to Helen Philipp's Blog palette. Whatever she does with color causes my heart to hop with happiness when I view her posts. I have not figured out why...I just enjoy the joy of viewing her work :)

    I love that you figured out why your boot-find-material is so special to you, and I really like the pillow you made with it. I don't know how to put in zippers either, and my efforts to do so in the past were abismal. I think for a pillow your closure is better anyway...no cold or scratchy metal to ruin a good pillow cuddle :)
    Gracie xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very pretty, i have a strong pull towards black fabrics with bright colours like neons on it as i seem to remember it from my childhood. I have no idea what it was but whenever i see black fabric with lots of bright coloured shapes it stirs so distant memories. I have yet to find it x

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a fab cushion..your stitching is so beautifully neat. I'm also of the opinion you can never have too many cushions (although I know that isn't shared by all members of my family) I recognise that bedding pattern too I'm sure we had something very similar at home when I was growing up. I remember my parents' airing cupboard containing an avalanche of printed sheets and duvets! I wonder if they still have them? Something to ask my Mum tomorrow :)
    N

    ReplyDelete
  20. Would you recommend the Rose Prince book? I've been tempted but have yet to see a copy to make up my mind...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it very much. It's perhaps more full of inspiration than meal plans, but it's beautifully written and I like the authors ethos and attitude to food (particularly family eating) a lot.

      Delete
  21. What a great find! And you've made such a lovely cushion with it, clever you. I'm laughing about your dad using a pink flowered pillowcase when he's doing man stuff in the garage. My other half has a tea towel hanging on his golf bag for wiping whatever it is that golfers have to wipe when they're doing their thing. Not everyone could carry that off. Hope you all have a good weekend Gillian.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's a fabulous cushion ... I love the fabric, the apple applique, the neat stitching ... and what a happy reminder of your childhood it's turned out to be :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great cushion.. Your appliqué is very good

    ReplyDelete
  24. You've painted such a cosy, inspiring picture with that vintage fabric, Gillian. I really enjoyed reading about your memories and how you turned it into something with which you will live happily.

    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  25. Stunning, I popped back to it a couple of times to look again. I'm so drawn to the dusky pink on the white, and the apple is so pretty. Thank you for sharing :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  26. There is something quite nostalgic about those fading pinks Gillian, it's looking real pretty that apple applique cushion you have made. Something precious to capture and hold onto for years to come. There is always something always so comforting about cosy sleepy time fabrics. I once found an old wade ceramic dish with lid that my dad used to keep bits and bobs in, it belonged to his dad before and it brought back so many memories of mr as a child loving looking at hat he had put in it that I had to buy it :o) x Penny

    ReplyDelete
  27. Remember those flannelette sheets in candy coloured stripes? Yeah those! Can't find anywhere!!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Remember those flannelette sheets in candy coloured stripes? Yeah those! Can't find anywhere!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Gorgeous print and colours. The cushion is just so darling!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Love the cushion. Funnily enough, I've got some of this material as well. Not sure where it came from. x

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lovely cushion :) it reminds me of the wallpaper on my bedroom wall as a child.....

    I have an upholstered swivel chair that takes up far too much room in my living room when my parents were going to get rid of it I just had to make room for it, it is full of memories for me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh, we had those sheets at granny's house. She sadly passed away in the summer and I have asked for her old sheets (much to the bemusement of cousins) x

    ReplyDelete
  33. I recently found 2 sets of pristine pillow cases in this fabric, one set pin k like yours and the other set yellow and brown ... both sold off my stall immediately, so they are popular, very retro! I have seen this fabric when out and about on my travels, and I'm definitely going to snap it up in future. Love your cushion, it's divine (anything with hearts on floats my boat!) Will be visiting your neck of the woods on Monday, visiting my lovely boy in Leeds, but sadly it will be a very short flying visit ...

    Love Claire xxx

    ReplyDelete
  34. Yes, yes, I have exactly the same memories of that quilt. I'm sure we must of have one. We definitely had something very similar in yellow, I remember that being used as a decorating sheet for years afterwards but back in the distant past, I'm sure there was a pink one too... I'm sure we must be about the same age as our child hood memories (this sheet, the 70's boot) seem very similar! The cushion is lovely too, it does look very squishy and comfy, just as a cushion should!

    S x

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love how effective the printed apple looks against the plain neutral background - it works perfectly!
    Maria x

    ReplyDelete
  36. lovely cushion, well done. I have also bought a sheet in this fabric from a charity shop and have made lovely aprons with it and other bits and bobs.
    I also have a very similar one in beige, orange and brown, very 70s but lovely in a faded nostalgic sort of way.
    Yes I do remember Brentford nylons!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I really like what you've done with the fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I think the cushions look great and what a wonderful use of some vintage fabric

    ReplyDelete
  39. I had that duvet set when I was young but in yellow. I also had the matching wallpaper and curtains and a mustardy yellow carpet. Can you imagine! I loved it at first, as I grew older I got rather sick of it. I managed to hide the wallpaper at least by covering it with posters of Duran Duran and Depeche Mode until it was eventually all removed when I left home...

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hey Gillian,

    I so look forward to all the colour collaborative posts. I gasped as I scrolled the picture of the cushion up. Gorgeous.

    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  41. What a great idea! The pillow is so beautiful! I have decided to start up my own 52 Weeks of Happy. Thank you for the inspiration! I have linked to your blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I had that quilt cover as a child and my sister had a purple version. I remember it so clearly on my bed and when I saw the photo it brought back a feeling of joy and comfort. The power of our memories is a strange and deep power (starting to sound a bit weird now) but the fact that your photo gave me those feelings is great. Plus, your cushion is lovely. I'm liking your work!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have a pillowcase on my bed in that exact print and D has the same but in blues/greens. I too bought them because they made me feel nostalgic - I had the yellow version on my bed as a child.

    Love how you've made the cushion and your stitches are so exquisitely neat!

    Have a super weekend.

    Hxx

    ReplyDelete
  44. What a pretty quilt cover, I bet you were delighted to find it. We are off to a car boot tomorrow and I am hoping to pick up a couple of nice pieces, even half as nice as this. I love your cushion, it's gorgeous and your stitches are so so neat!
    Marianne xx

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love what you have done with this fabric, the end result is really gorgeous Gillian!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  46. It's gorgeous Gillian and I agree your stitches are so lovely and neat. I have a stash of vintage sheets just waiting for the 'right' project. I have sewn for years and still dislike putting in zips. I have seen the lovely ones with lace either side that you lay on top, rather than inserting....what a fab idea!! Have a lovely weekend. Sarah xo

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love that cushion and the story behind it. Well done you. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  48. What a great find! I love the muted colors. And the cushion cover is gorgeous, and looks so pretty on your sofa. I also love the handheld candle holder on your table. I seem to be having a hard time finding something like that here.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I love this fabric and cannot believe it was 1 pound! The universe if obviously looking after you in the frugal thrifty time. I too found a yellow vintage sheet I just had to have ( even though yellow is not a favourite colour) turns out it was on my mums bed most of my childhood but I didn't realise either until she told me. mel x

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Gillian,
    Just found your lovely blog so have become a follower. Your blog is very inspirational so I really must get and buy some yarn for a crochet project. I look forward to reading all your posts. Best wishes. Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  51. Gash Gillian so many comments these days! I cannot believe that as soon as I saw the cover I remembered my mum had it! Ad you are right as soon as you mind goes back to one thing others start flowing, unfortunately in my case this included carbolic soap and TCP! But it also takes me back to favourite books and I recently bought a picture cut from a book for£2 of Winken, Blinken and Nodd which I loved. Happy memories. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  52. I love how fabric and prints can carry us back in time ... your apple cushion is lovely ... Bee xx

    ReplyDelete
  53. What a perfect way to incorporate your special childhood fabric into your home now. Looks brilliant. I've found fabric before in the op shops that I've bought purely because we had it in our home growing up, and same goes for books, crockery, tablecloths. Actually a lot of things I pick up I do simply because I get a kick out of seeing things I used to use or have in the home as a child :-) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  54. Your cushion is lovely. How nice to find that you did have that bedding as a child. A while ago I found one pillowcase in a charity shop, same design but in purple.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Im sure there is a carry on film with one of the women who wears that pattern and she has a hat as well made from it.

    I love the different pinks in it

    ReplyDelete
  56. The cushion looks really good. I'd like to make one for my place too.
    Isn't it funny how even something as basic as fabric can bring back so many memories?

    ReplyDelete
  57. My mother has that bedding set in yellow and one in purple too if I remember rightly! Good for you snapping it up and transforming it.

    ReplyDelete
  58. loving the cushion!!! and your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I love it. Love your cushion, You've created a cushion that has a great balance between old and new.I do envy people who have feather cushions and pillows, they're so much nicer than foam, but both me and Daniel would never stop sneezing if we had them in our house, we're allergy sufferers so we have to stick to man made fillings.

    ReplyDelete

Hello there! Thank you for leaving a comment. I read them all and I always try to answer questions, although sometimes it takes me a while.