Having bought my Janome 15000g2 last October I have been busy experimenting and trying things out over the last few months.  I’ve also recently bought MBX 4.5 to learn digitizing my own designs, so all this has kept me busy.

My first attempts on calico (muslin for those of you in the US) with tear away and cut away stabilizer using some of the designs on the machine turned out ok, so then I thought I would try something thinner – cotton sheeting, plus a few designs I digitized myself and one using the automatic embroidery via the Corel Draw element of MBX.

This did not turn out brilliantly.


The dragon head (which we have as a decal on our boat) is the automatic embroidery and turned out well.  The rest of the designs I did myself.  The Hornet is good and I was pleased with the lettering, and the flower was more or less ok – but Winnie the Pooh was a bit of a disappointment.  He was fine before I did the final colour which was the black outline – you can see the registration is not very good at all, plus the thread kept breaking! On top of the issues you can see there is a lot of pulling, which means I need a firmer stablizer for the cotton sheeting.  I was using a medium weight tear away and I probably needed a cutaway.

I decided that I wanted to make something for my neice’s wedding in April, but because I am only just learning it needed to be something simple and straightforward.  Those of you who remember learning to sew may have started on a simple cushion, so I thought that was the way to go.

Then I started thinking.   My niece has two girls and I didn’t want them to be left out, so a smaller cushion for each of them in a similar but not quite the same design?  – Maybe some piping? Should I use feather or polyester cushion pads – and what size should they be?  Then zips – should they be concealed, sewn into the side seam or just a lapped one across the back?

I found a design on the machine of Art Deco roses that also had a smaller matching one and these seemed ideal.  My niece’s wedding colour is purple so that was decided before I started but what shades?  I also found a free butterfly design.

My local Dunelm Mill sells lots of reasonably priced cushion pads, feather or polyester, and in all sorts of shapes – not just square – but I settled on a 14in square one for my niece and two 12in square ones for her two girls

I used Horizon Link Suite to pull in the machine designs, add the butterflies, add the lettering, and size and rearrange them all before sending each one to the machine to stitch out.  I didn’t bother saving them on the machine with it’s limited memory.  I just loaded each one into the editing window as I wanted to use them.


I decided on a zip insertion that didn’t interfer with the seams and piping.  I came up with my own process for inserting them and intend to write that up at some point!  It all went very well!


The final stages proved to be a bit traumatic.  Whilst trying to get the zipper foot as close as possible to the piping when stitching the backs and fronts together I managed to get a needle through the side of my left middle finger next to the nail!  In all of 50 plus years of sewing this is the first time that has ever happened!

It didn’t start bleeding right away and my first thought was thankgoodness I didn’t get any blood on the finished articles!