1840 Journal

Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.


Fabrique 1840 - The Butter Flying Fabrique 1840 - The Butter Flying

How to Make a Lemon Cushion in 4 Steps.

Inspired by colourful and whimsical children's rooms, Sylvie from The Butter Flying gently lulls toddlers to sleep with her lovely cloud-shaped mobiles. For over 10 years, the designer has created a wonder-filled world with cumulus clouds, stars, moons... and now fresh fruit!

After several weeks and several steps, the very first lemon cushion has come to life. Let's take a look at how this creation came about.

The Butter Flying - cloud-shaped mobiles The Butter Flying - cloud-shaped mobiles

Step 1: Inspiration

The idea for a lemon cushion came from Sylvie’s desire to rethink production at The Butter Flying, a company that makes everything by hand. "I had a lot of wasted fabric from my moon and star-shaped cushions, which are bigger," explains Sylvie. "I really wanted to recycle as much as possible." With this environmental concern in mind, the designer had the idea to make small fruits from the fabric scraps, using trendy shades for summer 2019, like earth tones and ochre, which are absolutely everywhere in fashion and decor. Cushions in the shape of lemons, apples, and pears quickly started to grow!


Step 2: Research

Once the idea germinated, it was time to tackle the design. "I worked hard on the shapes to optimize the recycled fabric. During the drawing stage, I had to find a simple and effective graphic shape that would be nice to look at. I wanted to make something decorative that would please the eye." It took several attempts for Sylvie to achieve the perfect shape, and it wasn’t without some funny accidents along the way. “When we looked at the pear and the lemon horizontally, they looked like fish! I had to rework the design several times so that the object was able to be recognized at a glance.” In her search for shapes and materials, Sylvie selected on-trend colours, like mustard, ochre, and terracotta, which are easy to work into a room without being boring. Other artisans, like Velvet Moustache for instance, also love using neutral colours for children's toys.

Lemon Cushion in 4 Steps, by The Butter Flying cLemon Cushion in 4 Steps, by The Butter Flying

Step 3: Prototype
Next, the designer moved on to the prototype stage. She sewed the first cushion to see the final size and look. She lent it to her colleagues and friends in order to get their opinions. "We also did polls on Instagram to find out what our loyal customers liked best." Every new idea was carefully tested to see if it would work.


Step 4: Production
Each item for The Butter Flying is hand-sewn to order at the company’s Montreal workshop within a period of two to three days. To make something beautiful, you have to take your time!

Sylvie, a former interior designer who dreamed of leaving her computer behind to handcraft objects from start to finish, continues to be captivated by the freedom that the world of childhood brings. "Baby decor is super colourful. You can explore lots of different subjects and it’s never limiting. I have space to grow without anything holding me back. I hope to take the theme of fruit and recycling even further. I’m already designing prototypes for small fruit baskets, with lemons, cherries, oranges, and bananas. I might even be inspired by vegetables, too!"