Cushions and quilts are some of the most popular projects among sewists, but it can often be difficult to find unique designs to inspire or challenge you. Jo Colwill taught Kirstie Allsopp to create one of her beautiful cushion designs on Channel 4’s Kirstie’s Handmade Britain, and Jo’s first book, Cushions & Quilts, features 20 charming project ideas that you can create too.
There are some truly stunning designs featured in Jo Colwill’s first book, Cushions & Quilts. Jo runs regular patchwork and quilting classes at Cowslip Workshops in Launceston, Cornwall and the influence of her rural surroundings is clear in the projects. There’s a strong countryside theme running through all of the designs and the applique motifs are highly characteristic of her trademark style.
Jo Colwill gives an insight into her inspiration behind the book:
“Animals, the countryside and country life have inspired me since I was a young girl and provided endless ideas for sewing. Cushions & Quilts offers some of those ideas in a collection of lovely cushions and quilts to enhance your home or to make as gifts for family and friends. Inspiration is all around me on the farm where I live and work, including the glorious Cornish countryside, the day-to-day farming tasks and also my dogs and horses. I love the flowers in spring and enjoy capturing the lovely vibrant colours of buttercups with swallows flying low over them. Each season brings with it unique colours, skies and textures just waiting to be captured in fabric and thread.”
Jo has cleverly designed the projects to suit a range of styles and abilities. One of my favourite projects from the book is a simple Vintage Frill Cushion, which is perfect for beginners, but many of Jo’s designs include her trademark applique motifs, such as the beautifully stitched One Man & His Dog Cushion.
Jo Colwill offers advice on how to use her new book, Cushions & Quilts:
“You can make the projects just as they are or modify the ideas to create your own individual style. For most of the projects, patchwork is combined with appliqué and hand embroidery and the sewing techniques are clearly described to help you achieve beautiful results. You can use needle-turn appliqué (my favourite) or fusible web, which is usually faster. Each project lists the materials needed, followed by step-by-step instructions with diagrams and photographs to help you make the project. The templates needed are included and general techniques and embroidery stitches are described at the end of the book.”
The book also includes a free pull-out pattern sheet for Jo’s Advent Quilt project, which is sure to become a treasured Christmas decoration. Having a full-size pattern sheet for this design is so handy and makes it really easy to create this gorgeous festive accessory!
Check out Jo Colwill’s Cushions & Quilts for more unique project ideas to inspire you. It’s also available as a downloadable PDF ebook, so you can start sewing straight away! Take a look at the Cowslip Workshops website to find out more about Jo and her quilting classes in Cornwall.
Do you enjoy creating cushions and quilts? What is your favourite design from the book? Post a comment below or share photos of your projects on our Facebook page!
What will you create today?