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Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

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And I made a cushion too

Ralph Lauren Koi fish cushion top

There is something truly satisfying when a modest charity find turns into more than originally imagined. When you spot something you like, take it home, and find the perfect place for it. Doesn’t always work, but over the years, I have had a few notable wins.

Take the half finished curtain I found a few years ago. As soon as I spotted the blue fish, I fell in love with the fabric. So I paid the princely price of £2 (I know, unbelievable – and it was lined) and brought it home.

charity shop fabric Ralph Lauren

It was too long for the bathroom window, so I cut the bottom off and hemmed it. It really worked well in the bathroom. I discovered, printed on the selvedge “Ralph Lauren – Home”. Hmm. I have expensive taste.  Somehow it seemed even more of a bargain for my £2 investment.

bathroom curtains

The curtain is still in use in the bathroom. It has survived the dirty hands, and been washed many times. This is good quality fabric. It’s showing no signs of needing to be replaced.

Ralph Lauren Koi fish cushion materials


This left the cut off fabric. It has been sitting in my fabric cupboard, all this time. Making me smile every time I see the fish. They are so beautiful. I needed to make something from the fabric. This week, I finally took the plunge. (pun intended)

After all, I have a good reason. For the first time, I’ve got a dedicated sewing room. Happy times! No longer do I need to clear my current project away, every time we sit down, as a family, to eat. I even can grab the odd 10 minutes to sew. Oh bliss!

sequin helper

I wanted to make something special for my new work space. There was enough fabric to make a cushion. Even allowing for a bit of fussy cutting, to position a whole fish on the front. Using my rotary cutter, I sliced the fabric into three pieces, to make an envelope style cushion.

Hmm. What do I spy? It seems my new area has attracted a helper. Just the right height for him to stand and play assist.

sequin fish

The fabric is lovely. I love the fish, but I wanted to make it mine. Like a fairy godmother, I added a splash of mini pom-poms and a sprinkle of sequins. Maybe not quite so many sequins as my assistant suggested, but one in each of the fish eyes would do.  (I wonder if he would have suggested so many if it was left to him to sew them on………..)

Ralph Lauren Koi fish cushion top

We had a bit of a debate about which way up this particular fish was meant to be. Fortunately, an “up” symbol was printed on the fabric (first time I’ve seen this symbol – very useful), which proves that this is the way the fish is swimming. Swim, fishy, swim.

Ralph Lauren Koi fish cushion back

On the back, I managed to position two more fish. Ideally, I might have avoided some of the extra blue, but there really wasn’t much fabric left to play with.

pincushion pot in new sewing room

Now my new sewing room has a cushion. Before I show you where I put the cushion, do you fancy a quick tour of my new area?  So glad you do. Come this way. It’s alright, we haven’t got time for me to show you everything, just the layout.

I have a sewing table, where my machine is permanently set up. Remember the pots I made and turned one into a pincushion. It’s looking quite at home by my faithful machine. And very useful it is too.

bureau in sewing room

Next to the table is my bureau, which used to belong to my Grandma, and before her, my Great Grandfather. I’m using it as my work desk. I can swivel around on my chair from the desk to the sewing table and around again to the ironing board. Even my fabric cupboards are in easy reach. I couldn’t have designed it more perfectly.

Everything is white (at the moment), apart from the bureau and the floor. This is the one room in the house that I cannot reach the ceilings. Really, I mean it. Most of the rooms I can reach without resorting to standing on tippy toes. Old cottages have low ceilings. This room used to be the old wash house. Tacked on the side of the cottage. When we renovated it, we raised the roof just that little bit more and added velux windows. I’m hoping to maximize the light.

Ralph Lauren Koi fish cushion on chair

So there you are. End of tour. The cushion is to live on my chair. And very comfortable it is too. Avert your eyes from the dangling cables. I’m still setting every thing up. Although the sockets could not be better positioned.  Instead, take a sneaky look at the work-in-progress, hanging up to the right, that is next on my list.

My thrifty find, four years ago, really did work out well. I now have a beautiful bathroom curtain plus a fun cushion. And the fabric cost me not a penny more than £2. Just goes to show, it’s worth popping into a charity shop, on the off chance of a bargain. You never know what you will find.

Linking up with Thrifty Thursday.

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