Fine Cell Work – Embroidered Cushions
We are always championing crafts and beautiful handiwork – the touch of the craftsman’s hand always enhances the story behind a piece. We regularly work with the charitable social enterprise Fine Cell Work, founded over 20 years ago by Lady Anne Tree with the aim of helping prisoners to develop new skills, earn money and acquire the self-belief to stop offending. Skilled volunteers currently work with inmates in 32 British prisons, engaging with over 500 prisoners each year.
We have created a collection with Fine Cell Work which we regularly add to. The collection showcases how these skilled, detailed and strong designs can be realised. Never underestimate the cushion, it can be that uncomplicated accessory that can revamp your room. Here are some of our favourites that we have designed with Fine Cell Work…
Fine Cell Work asked me to design a cushion that incorporated applique and embroidery, so that stitchers of all levels can create the design.
This romantic design, inspired by the play of sunlight on fallen leaves in the rain, is made up of loosely floating flowers and leaves, accented by French knots. The design has so many layers creating depth and exquisite detail. The linen base cloth is made up of multiple tonal threads to add to that depth. A border of cross stitch and contrast piping frames the design, which is especially versatile and takes on a different dimension in each of its three sizes.
This generous sized cushion tells a story which adds detail and impact to a room. The felt applique pops from the tactile boiled wool background. The versatile colours work with every scheme. I love the starry sky, friendly bear with a strong heart and the yellow bibbed stag walking by the river.
Circles is the latest cushion completed whilst on lockdown. It adds to the collection where we have embellished Blithfield’s Peggy Angus designs. The fabric designs are fantastic to begin with and I love how the colourful threads add to them. We have used a running stitch to outline the circles and accentuate the negative spaces between them. You can combine the green and blue colourways because the threads work together.
This is my folk art inspired rabbit frolicking in the undergrowth, with a friendly bird to keep him company. I admire the way folk art doesn’t look overworked and meticulously finished. I aimed to reflect that in this design, which unlike many cushions, is not symmetrical. Instead each element balances the composition. The work that has gone into creating this timeless design is incredible. You really need to hold a cushion in your hands to see the French knots and chain stitch details.
Our ‘Heart of Oak’ cushion design for Fine Cell Work reflects our love of colour and hand embroidery. The stitching is a combination of French knots, stem stitch and chain stitch onto a thick British boiled wool from Savile Row. Because of the complexity, only a handful of Fine Cell Work’s stitchers have the necessary skills, so production is in small, limited batches which makes it even more special.
We are always thinking of exciting new ideas to add to the collection. This ‘Tree of Life’ cushion is a work in progress, inspired by one our headboard designs.
CLICK HERE to explore our full collection with Fine Cell Work.