When my friends at Riley Blake Designs asked me to be part of their Flannel Showcase Blog Tour, I was so happy to say yes. In all my sewing experiences of the past few years, I hadn't yet sewn with flannel, so I was excited to have the chance to work with this type of fabric at last. They sent me an incredibly generous package full of the Sidewalks collection by October Afternoon. When I showed the fabric to my family after it arrived, my parents were absolutely charmed by the designs. "That's my childhood," said my Dad, and truly these adorable prints look like they came to my house straight from the 1950s.
Flannel is different from cotton, but not so different that it's terrifying. It reminds me a little bit of working with linen in that it's a little more fiddly sometimes, yet even then it doesn't stretch out of shape the way that linen can. In some ways, flannel seems more forgiving if your seams don't come out precisely the way you want them to. Since I've heard that shrinkage can be a problem, I washed all my material first, something that I never do unless I'm making clothes. Flannel comes out of the dryer so incredibly soft and warm that you just want to sit there and cuddle with it all afternoon. The only downside is having to iron out hundreds of stubborn wrinkles if you forget about it and let it sit in the laundry basket for a day or two...
Everyone at our dinner table has a chair with a built in cushion except my youngest daughter who sits on a vintage wooden school chair. I've been meaning to make a cushion for her seat, and this soft flannel seemed like the perfect material for the job. I wanted to keep my design simple and classic, so I decided to make nine hourglass blocks which I stitched together without any borders or sashing. The blocks are quilted in a pale aqua thread by Aurifil. For the back of the cushion, I chose a blue print since that's my daughter's favorite color. There is no insert for this cushion. I just filled it with stuffing and sewed all the way around the outside edge, a method I love since it adds the illusion of piping and neatly closes the opening in the side of the pillow.
I debated adding ties to fasten the cushion to the chair, but in the end I decided not to. It was a good decision. As you can see, the cushion fits nicely in the middle of the chair, making a cuddly spot for Mouse which can be easily moved if needed. You American Girl fans out there will recognize Kit's dog Grace modeling for the camera here. My Mouse decided from the start, however, that this dog's name was Snuffy, and she carries it with her everywhere...yes, even to the dinner table.
Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more flannel mania!
10/3 Just Let Me Quilt
10/7 Jedi Craft Girl
10/10 Rose and Odin
10/14 Sew We Quilt
10/17 Haberdashery Fun
10/21 Leigh Laurel Studios
10/24 The Cottage Mama
10/28 Flannel Queen
10/31 Lucy Blaire