Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Maharajah's Palace- Mini Cushions

This post 1st appeared on Day 92 of My Maharajah's Palace:

In India, where furniture was not introduced until after the 16th century and even tables and chairs were regarded as Western and untraditional, an important furnishing must surely be the floor cushion.

Even in decor books or movies on great Maharajah's palaces, I often see vast sitting rooms of beautifully tiled walls and intricately carved columns standing on floors that appear to be covered in miles and miles of the most luxurious carpets with nary a piece of furniture. But always, there are pillows, bolsters, floor cushions.For even the Kings and the Queens sit on the floor.

And thus these floor cushions were made using my most precious material, so that they be fit for the most delicate of bottoms.

The most exquisite jacquard ribbons I have ever seen, I found them in a quaint little shop on a side narrow lane in Delhi, India.

For those of you who do not feel like clicking through to Day 21-22, this is what I had written about the shop:

"I shall not tell you how badly I was fleeced at the lace shop but no, no, no regrets for it is the most incredible tiny 3 level lace shop I have ever seen. Can you imagine 3 levels of lifesized room boxes filled with nothing but ribbons, laces and tassels of all shapes and sizes and every colour ever conceived or not? Yes, I swear I met a few new colours at the shop!"

It was a good thing I only had 10 minutes at the shop or I would have been completely broke.

With this range of ribbons, I already knew they were going to be fashioned into floor cushions because of the designs. Each "mandala" is a 1 3/8" square and there are 2 alternating patterns and 4 combinations of colours. So each ribbon can make 2 different cushions with 2 different sides.

I cut 2 "mandalas" for each cushion and used glue instead of threads. This ensures that the integrity of the designs remains with no unsightly sewing.

I then stuffed the cushion with dried shells from bean sprouts before the last side was glued.

The eventual cushion measures 2" by 1 5/8" (because of borders). I believe they are the perfect scale for the smaller life sized throw cushions.

I am going back to India, even if it is just to buy more ribbons.

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