I thrifted this lovely upholstery weight, wool, check Laura Ashley material from Freecycle years ago. If you're not on Freecycle and you're into sustainability, recycling and generally trying to live lightly on the planet, you should definitely get involved. You join your local group and people give things away for free, to save them going into landfill. It can be anything from old vacuum cleaners to tiles left over from tiling your bathroom, to sewing and knitting materials or off-cuts of carpet. It's a great group and although I'm not as active in mine anymore, I definitely gave and received my fair share back in the day!
I received a bag of Laura Ashley curtain material from a lady in north Edinburgh and still have the odd bit floating around in my stash. For this cushion, I was going for a hunting-shooting-fishing outdoorsy vibe, as a housewarming present for a friend who lives on a shooting estate in the country. Homewares with animal silhouettes seem to be everywhere at the moment and I've always thought it would be something that would be easy to make myself. I didn't have quite enough to make the front wide enough, so I had to cobble two bits together. I'm pretty pleased with my pattern matching though, it's certainly not immediately obvious that's it's two pieces sewn together. Recycling you guys!
I used some golden yellow fabric, again from the stash (go me!) for the dog outline and back. I inherited the yellow material from my friend Mary Jane after her parents cleared out some fabric from their farmhouse. It's a lovely, golden yellow colour and complements the check material perfectly.
I wanted a simple, professional finish so I stuck to a style I knew I could do well i.e. no zippers or buttons! Much as I love buttons on a cushion, I can't always guarantee that they'll turn out well and since this was a quick, stash bust project, I just wanted to keep it simple. I appliqued on my dog, then sewed the front and back right sides together, leaving a hole to turn it inside out. I then stuffed it with recycled stuffing from a dead pillow and hand stitched the hole closed. Using the same stitching pattern I use to close a bitch spay. Just so you know.
Overall, I'm really pleased with the finish. It looks smart and the recipient didn't even realise it was handmade! In retrospect, the dog looks a little chubby (or maybe pregnant) so next time I would give him more of a waist. He is supposed to be a working dog after all.