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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Framed Patchwork Cushion to Showcase Beautiful Fabric

It has been months since I shared a cushion ...weird!
I seem to have this thing with cushions. This thing being that I have many many cushions (12 on my single bed at last count) but never have TOO many, y'know? Well, recently I have been restrained but when I went fabric shopping this week, a cushion just popped into my head so I had to go for it!

A couple of years ago, my parents spent three weeks in America - they started in San Francisco and ended up in Las Vegas, taking in several places in between. Being awesome parents they wanted to get me a nice present and, well, they couldn't have done a better job. They arrived home armed with chocolate (of course) and fabric! Native American inspired fat quarters to be precise. Beautiful batik patterns, gorgeous colours and bold prints. I was in heaven. But they were so gorgeous that I didn't know what to do with them. It had to be perfect and I didn't want to waste them. I made a wall hanging with some of them to showcase the fabric, but the rest has been sat in my sewing box ever since. Occasionally I would get it out, marvel at how pretty it is and then put it back again as no inspiration hit me.

Well, as I was saying, this week I was fabric shopping when I found this gorgeous fat quarter. It only cost me £1 (bargain!) and it was a night sky complete with moons, stars and swirling clouds. And then it hit me. Finally, inspiration struck and I knew that this fabric was destined to become a cushion, framed by some of the American fat quarters. And here it is!

I thought I would share the tutorial for this cushion because
 a) it is simple but effective 
b) It is a great way to showcase fabrics without them getting lost in whatever patchwork pattern you have decided to construct.
c) You can adapt it to the sizes of your fabrics - increase or decrease the number of frame fabrics, change the size of the centre panel, whatever you want!

Cushion inner (mine was 17"x17")
Main Fabric
Backing Fabric
(I use sheeting for the backing)

1. Map out the sizes of your strips and centre piece. Add 1/2" seam allowance to the length and width of every strip. 
My strips measured...

Centre - 8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
1.  2" x 8 1/2"
2. 2" x 11 1/2"
3. 3 1/2" x 11 1/2"
4. 3 1/2" x 15 1/2"

To make a cushion with a centre panel and two frames, you will need 1 square and 8 strips of fabric.

2. Sew the strips on in the order denoted by the numbers on the above diagram. Simply pin the fabrics right side together and sew down the edge with a 1/4" seam. Press open the seams



3. Continue adding strips until you have sewn all of the strips onto your cushion, pressing the seams as you go along. 

4. Cut out your backing pieces, they should be 1/2 an inch wider than your cushion (e.g. 17 1/2") and 2/3 as long (e.g. 12-13"). Add an extra half an inch to the length and make a fold over hem along one long edge on each piece. Pin one piece on top of your cushion square, right sides together. Pin the second piece to the bottom, as shown in the pictures, to create an envelope back.

1st back piece

2nd back piece

5. Sew all the way round the square of your cushion. Turn right side out and insert your cushion inner.

And that is all there is to it! 

Do you have any fabric that you are saving for the perfect project?

Love Rebecca

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  1. Oooh your cushion is gorgeous! I have quite a bit of fabric too special to use, mostly small bits of tartan and tweed that is odd colours!


  2. I agree with you, you can never have too many cushions. This one looks extra special!


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