Stuart Hillard – Pretty Patchwork Cushions
A gorgeous sewing project to get stuck into in the darker months, these beautiful cushions are perfect for brightening up your home and can be personalised to suit your own style. Read on for the exclusive project from patchwork expert, Stuart Hillard…
Lots of pretty strips are sewn together to create this beautiful bedroom cushion. Cotton bobble trim adds a smart designer touch, while an easy envelope back makes this a straightforward project you can whip up in next to no time.
You will need:
- Strips of fabric at least 30cm (12in) long and in various widths, from 4–8cm (1½–3in)
- Two panels of fabric for the envelope back, each 30×32.5cm (12x13in)
- Matching sewing thread
- Approximately 60cm (24in) cotton bobble trim
- 28x50cm (11x20in) cushion pad
Finished size: 28x50cm (11x20in)
- Sew your strips of fabric together down the long 30cm (12in) sides using 0.5cm (¼in) seam allowances and varying the width of the strips until you have a piece of ‘patchwork’ fabric that is approximately 30×52.5cm (12x21in). Trim your patchwork fabric to this size if necessary.
- Make the envelope back. Take one panel of backing fabric and turn under a 1cm (½in) hem along one 30cm (12in) side. Press and turn under again to make a double hem. Topstitch along this hem with matching sewing thread. Repeat with the other backing piece.
- Cut your bobble trim into two lengths, each 30cm (12in) long.
- Place your patchwork panel right sides up in front of you. Lay the bobble trim along each short end with the bobbles facing inwards. Lay a backing piece on top, right sides down. The hemmed edge should be somewhere near the middle of your patchwork top and the raw end should be even with the bobble trim end. Lay the other backing piece on top, right sides down again at the other end. The two hemmed edges should overlap in the centre. Pin all around the outer edges making sure that the edges and the bobble trim are all neatly pinned together.
- Sew all around the outer edges of your cushion cover, this time using a 1cm (½in) seam allowance. Turn your cushion cover through to the right side and make sure that everything is as it should be. Check that the envelope back is in place securely and the bobble trim is neatly applied. If it isn’t, unpick and have another go. You really don’t want to try unpicking an overlocked edge so for the sake of checking, it really is worth it! If everything looks lovely, turn it back inside out, trim off the corners and overlock or zigzag the raw outer edges.
- Turn the cushion cover back through to the right side, push the corners out with a point turner or a chopstick and press. Insert your cushion pad.
- You can adapt this method to any size or shape of cushion; just sew fabric strips together and trim them down to the size required for the front.
- I like approximately 8–10cm (3–4in) of overlap on an envelope back. Any less and your cushion back may bulge open, revealing the cushion pad.
- If you don’t want a patchwork front just cut a panel that is 30×52.5cm (12x21in) from a single fabric.
- Replace the bobble trim with a beaded trim, tassel trim or leave the trim out altogether!
© Sew Fabulous by Stuart Hillard, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback on 28 August 2014, price £20 / eBook £10.99