The History Of The SewnByCarol Reading Book Cushion

The History Of The SewnByCarol Reading Book Cushion

Apr 20 , 2021

Carol Sparrow

The history of the SewnByCarol reading book cushion. Ever since I was young I’ve always loved sewing. I got my first sewing machine when I was in my teens and began making my own clothes. As I developed my skills and progressed to better sewing machines I began making more complicated things - even progressing to making my daughter’s wedding dress!

A Passion For Sewing

As my passion for sewing developed further I began going to some of the big exhibitions and it was at one of these shows that I was introduced to the embroidery machine. What these machines can do is amazing – you simply make your design, convert it to the specific program format, transfer it to the machine and away it goes! It doesn’t quite do it all and there’s still a lot of manual involvement but it’s able to embroider complicated designs in a fraction of the time it would take to do them by hand.

They don't come cheap but, needless to say, I had to get one of these machines and so I invested in a Janome.

This opened up a completely new world of sewing to me. It meant that apart from making things I could also embellish, decorate and transform fabric. That got me thinking about how I could make best use of these new opportunities.

How The Book Cushions Started

One of my other passions is reading. I love a good book and encouraging others to read too. For much of my life I've worked with autistic children and reading was particularly relevant. Because of that I decided to make and embroider a book cushion to give as a gift. It was only supposed to be a one off but it was so well received that I was asked to make another … then another ... then another and so the story began!

I love sewing and embroidering them because each book cushion is different to the next. Different designs, different colours, different fabric, different occasion and different recipient. I never get bored of just sewing the same old thing. To be honest they’re not too complicated to make but the designs make them quite time consuming and fabric doesn’t come cheap (especially the quality cottons I like to work with).

My Book Cushions: Unique & UK Made

My studio is located in Staffordshire in the UK and everyting used in the manufacturing process is also sourced from the UK. 

I sew the book cushions to fit a standard 16” square padded inner which I buy in from a couple of reputable UK suppliers. The back of the cover is made so that the book cushion pad can be easily inserted and removed. The front features the book cushion pocket which I like to make out of a quilted white fabric which makes the designs stand out.

The embroidery designs are varied and I like to add new ones regularly to keep the collection fresh. Some are designed for adults, some for children, some feature images, some words and some both. My aim is to have something for everyone and every occasion. The fabric I use is chosen to complement the design.

You will notice that I don’t use any fabric or designs featuring favourite Disney or TV characters. I would love to but I want to ensure that I don’t infringe any licensing laws relating to these characters.

Reading Book Cushions - Unique Gifts

As I said, every book cushion is different. They are all hand sewn by me and hence are completely unique. I often use the same embroidery design but use the colours in different ways and try to keep the cushion fabric designs varied to make sure no two reading cushions are ever identical. Unfortunately I’m not able to make to order but if there’s any sort of design and colour scheme you’re looking for let me know and I’ll make something as close to your specification as possible, upload it to the site and, if you like it you can buy it and if you don’t someone else will (hopefully!)

sewnbycarol book cushions

As demand for my book cushions grew locally I began to think that perhaps I could create a small business around them and so the SewnByCarol brand was launched. My husband helped me set up the website and keeps the business as simple as possible so that I can just concentrate on the bits I enjoy … the sewing and the customer service. It has rapidly developed to the stage where I was able to give up the day job to focus on this.

And Finally

And that’s pretty much where we’re at right now. At the moment the focus is on getting the website established and building up more and more stock of varied designs. I am also planning to diversify into other related products too so watch this space.

Finally I would like to thank you for your visit to today.Please check out My Collection Of Reading Book Cushions - I hope you find something you like. Feel free to interact with me on social media as I really appreciate ideas, suggestions and feedback.