Sunday, 21 September 2014

A mystery cushion!

It was a 100% cloud cover day, somewhere on the teddy bear shaped isle of Ireland.....(no, really, it is, it's shaped like a sideways teddy bear!)

"♫...If you go down to the woods, today, you're in for a big surprise.......... a Teddy bears.....♫"

"What's that? A new cushion!! "

" it, I wish my knees could bend.....I wish I had knees to bend!"

Some time, A LOT LATER.......

"Flippin' eck! Next time I need to get a crate to stand on, that took forever to climb"

"Ahh, what have we got here then, THIS is definitely new!!! Looks a bit like it was made in the same manner as the rug actually, what was it called?...needlepoint!"

"Let's see if she has improved her stitches. Hmmm?,'ll just throw it down!! TIMBER!"

"Hello Bear. Is that new?" 
"Oh..It's, I'm just coming down to have a look at it, it was, er.. just lying there......"

"Ooooh, let's see it!! Oh, by the way.....don't tell anybody I can get off this wheely thing, I don't want to end up glued onto it forever, I like the freedom and, well, it is actually a bit cumbersome"

" Yes, sure Donkey, I SAW NOTHING, I KNOW NOTHING!! I hope your hooves are clean! Get a look at these stitches, they're unbelievably neat and tiny, which is strange, as Sarah's stitches are...uh...different."

"Oh yeah, you're right there Bear!"
"Yeah, look at that bit over there, by the wave thing" 
"yes...bit irregular here and there, stitches are a bit messy by that flower beside the border"
"I see that..."
" know, do you think..... is it possible Sarah didn't make this new cushion?!"

"Where'd you get that from!" interrupted Becky

"Alright Becky, haven't see you in a long, long while! We just found this cushion, a bit earlier on. I see you're still not finished?" said Bear.

"NO, I am not!! But she needed an extra character. So far she has only managed to get my rear done, and a bit of the beard, leaving my profile looking a lot like Abraham Lincoln, despite the fact that I am a lady, and she said something about my back legs not being right, something about too fat, too stumpy, then she chopped off my ears as she said those were too thick." 

"Oh she did that to me too! She's going to replace them with fabric ones, they will look much better, honestly, look at mine, so much finer than fimo ones, that's how she did Bears' ears too"

"Easy for you both to say, you're finished.......well, except you Donkey, you've still to be glued on to your skateboard thingy"


 "I wouldn't worry, she does takes her time getting things done, look at me, how many years has it been??....2? 3?...I'm freezing!!, about this new cushion" said Becky.

"I love the design, it looks like a puzzle! It matches the rug perfectly, don't you think!"

 "indeed" "yes, it does, hmmmmmm yes " "absolutely"

"I really like the swirly border"

"and aren't the colours nice together"

"I think it looks like a flower"


"a Geometric flower"

"No, it looks like a maze, with a border of....maze"

"Looks a bit Moroccan to me, Tunisian perhaps?"


"What was that, Becky?"

"....those stitches are much neater and tinier than this rug she made!"

"eh........yes, we suspect she didn't make this one!" admitted Donkey.

"hhhmmmmmmmm....well, if she didn't make it, who did?!"

"AARRGHH!! THE HEN!" shouted Donkey, jumping back, but remaining expressionless.

"Oh I am sorry, did I startle you? It's not my fault she forgot to take the photograph of my grand entrance into this story! So this is the new cushion, is it? Very neat stitchwork!! and a beautiful design, looks even better in person!!"

"and how did you know about it?!" asked Becky.

"Well, whilst you have all been in that practically abandoned house in the back bedroom, I have been in the much worked on conservatory in the front room, where she makes all of our possessions. She was busy in there making some seaside themed swap possessions for someone called Geneviève, in return for a needle point cushion for us!"

"Ooooooooo" cooed Donkey, Bear and Becky.

"Well then" said Hen, "this must be that needlepoint cushion from Geneviève, all the way from France. According to her etsy site, it is stitched on 56 count silk gauze so this cushion has approximately 3000 stitches, embroidered with real silk thread from Au Ver à Soie, so that is 56 stitches per inch, across and down, which means it has even smaller stitches than this rug on which we are all congregating, which is of 40 stitches per inch, across and down, so 56 count is 16 more stitches inside an inch than the 40 count rug...Do you follow?" 

".....................What's an etsy site?.."asked Donkey.

"Right, enough, could you please get your dirty feet off my cushion, Hen?!" shouted Bear,

 "and you can all bog off now! I have some very important sitting about doing absolutely nothing to do!"

"Don't be so obnoxious Bear!!  Who said it was your cushion anyway!" called back Hen.

"Well, it was on my chair, so it's obviously now my cushion" replied Bear.


"IT IS, I was placed onto it, I am the only one here that is ever placed on to it, therefore.. IT MUST BE MY CHAIR AND THIS IS NOW MY CUSHION!" said Bear.

"Uhh...Goodbye then"

"Right, I'm off"




WAIT.......not you, the story isn't over! :D

"It was a heck of a lot easier getting this down, it's quite heavy......what is it filled with, little glass beads or something!!"

I'm not sure, but I think so, said the narrator.

"I hope my leg doesn't fall off, it feels a bit loose on my right! I am never acting for you again!"

I have some glue for that, if you need it, said the narrator.

"And we'll just set you!... PERFECT!" said Bear.

That looks just right! said the narrator.

It's fantastic, I love it!! Thank you so much Geneviève!! said the Bear (and the narrator)

The End.

Needlepoint cushion by Geneviève
Spindleback Armchair by Colin Bird
Needlepoint rug kit by Bobbie Schoonmaker

Geneviève has an etsy shop, Les Broderies de Genevieve, where she sells her own charted designs in PDF format and some finished items made from her own designs.  She regularly tell stories using her growing miniature collection, on her blog, Genevieve's miniacollection.

A little visual guide for any budding needlepointers out there, who are curious about the finished result of the various counts available. I only have three to use as an example, but I think they also happen to be the most commonly used in 1:12 scale work. The 32 count bolster is a kit by Janet Granger, the 40 count rug is a kit by Bobbie Schoonmaker, and the 56 count cushion is by Geneviéve.

P.s. Thanks to all of you that let me know that Blogspot is having issues regarding the reading list not showing up, I now know it is not a problem with my computer software, which is usually the case :D


  1. What a gorgeous pillow. I love the colors and the design. Teddy is adorable as are his mates. Too cute.

    I have been doing petit point all day looooong. I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was so nice to see something beautiful that is finished. That rug is lovely!!!

  2. Una historia divertida!!! Y un cojín precioso!!!!

  3. Hahahahahha, you are madder than a box of ferrets. Thank you for making me laugh on this dreary Monday morning =0D
    Love everything in the scene - even the bare Becky and kneeless teddy haha...still laughing

  4. Thank you for the picture with 32, 40 and 56 counts gaze, You can clearly see the differences.
    Geneviève cushion is incredible, I can't see the stiches in the first picture.
    I like your rug and the donkey.

  5. Mi piace la tua storia " Genevieve Style" in versione animalesca! ;-D
    Fortunato il tuo swap, sono curiosa di vedere cosa tu hai creato per Genevieve!
    Adoro la casetta di Genevieve, semplice ma piena di tesori preziosi!
    Mi piace tantissimo anche il tuo blog pieno di consigli altrettanto preziosi! ;-)

  6. Fantastic pillow and nice story =) The bear is sooo cute <3 Hugs Eeva

  7. Beautiful and fun story with fantastic photos.

  8. О! Какое наслаждение!!! Замечательная история! Прекрасные персонажи! Великолепные декорации!!!!
    Женевьева большой мастер! Ах, как мне понравился ваш умный медведь:) :) :)

  9. Hi Sarah, I did know you can make gorgeous miniatures, but I didn't know you are also a comedian ;o! Loved to read this fun story: silly bear and his friends.....
    The embroidered cushion and the rug are both wonderful, I really like the colors of the rug, so soft, stylish and feminine.
    Hugs, ilona

  10. What an adorable story. My two great fascinations are bears and miniatures, so I enjoyed the story so much. Every time something goes missing or wires get tangled, I know it is the antics of one of my bears and this reminded me of them.

  11. Qu'elle est belle cette histoire, c'est en effet un superbe coussin ! Les petits animaux qui la commentent sont très mignons. Merci Sarah pour ce petit divertissement ... lol !
    Bises. Joce

  12. Well Sarah, I was literally LAUGHING OUT LOUD! What a hoot and what a menagerie of unfinished characters. I especially like Becky's lines and donkey's exit on his "skateboard thingy" I always knew that you had a great sense of humor but now it it is confirmed!!!! Well done with the story and Well Done with your wonderful rug and the animals that seem to know your style, inside out! :D
    How Marvelous that you have a Now FAMOUS, Needle point cushion from Genevieve. Her needle skills are truly remarkable..... and so are yours. I could never do what either one of you talented ladies have been able to realize and so I Loudly Applaud you Both.... Take you Bows!!!!

    I'm still laughing :D

    1. I was heavily inspired by your storytelling Elizabeth!! :D I think our bears are related!! I am thrilled with the cushion, and of course it is blown up here, so you can see the stitches, just about, so you can imagine what it is like in reality. Its delightful!

      Sarah :)

  13. Loved this little story =) Your animals are sooooo cute! And the cushion is great, so very tiny stitches! Great to see different sized stitches next to one another like that!! (And all your pictures are so beautiful)

  14. Sarah, thank you so much for showing my cushion and thank you even more for this great and sweet story. I enjoyed it a lot and it made me laugh a lot. Your animals and the teddy are wonderful, I hope one day you'll show us Becky finished, she deserves it. The carpet is great, I love the pattern and colours. You're really so talented.

  15. La historia es tan bonita, como el cojín bien hecho! ¡que gran trabajo! La alfombra es perfecta...Pero sus animales y osos son ¡maravillosos! Un abrazo

  16. Hi Sarah! Thanks for visiting my blog today and leaving a message. Now I realise YOU are the key lady and am definitely going to give these a go based on your tutorial. Lea Frisoni's book is fab and full of lots of good ideas. I am not going to make one of her houses in the foreseeable future as I have a long long list of other project ideas in my head that I have to make first. I am intrigued about you mentioning Ireland in your story above. Are you based in Ireland?

    1. Hi Sarah, I used to live in Belfast as a child for a couple of years, centuries ago! Who else blogs from Ireland? There is Maria of Pretty Things Ireland, you, me and.....? I have added you to my sidebar so I can keep up to date with your shenanigans.


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