Cosy Cushion

Materials

  • 20 x 45cm (8 x 17 1⁄2in) plain red tweed for top panel
  • 7cm (3in) square of plain red tweed for patch
  • 20 x 25cm (8 x 10in) large red check for lower right panel
  • 15 x 60cm (6 x 24in) strip large red check for the letters
  • Two 10 x 50cm (4 x 20in) strips small red check for side borders
  • Two 10 x 60cm (4 x 24 1⁄2in) strips small red check for top and bottom borders
  • 25cm (10in) square small red check for lower left panel
  • Four 6cm (3in) squares and one 12cm (5in) square of assorted cotton checks for patches
  • Two large buttons
  • Toning sewing and quilting threads
  • 45cm (18in) square of muslin
  • 45cm (18in) square of light wadding
  • Bondaweb
  • Two pieces of backing fabric 40 x 60cm (16 x 24 1⁄2in)
  • 45cm (18in) cushion pad

Finished Size

Approx 58 x 58cm (23 x 23in)

Skill Level

Beginner

Chris used locally woven Welsh tweed for her very cosy cushion, but you could find something similar in a charity shop. Look out for nice 'old' tweed skirt suits or coats. A couple of unpicked skirts would yield more than enough fabric. You will need three toning tweeds for the cushion, preferably one plain and two checks, plus a little cotton checked fabric. Chris used a complementary dark green; a nice warm winter combination.

Handy hint If you are using checked tweed, try to use the lines in the weave as a stitching guide. If your stitching goes off at an angle to the lines, it will not look as good in the finished cushion.

APPLIQUE THE LETTERS

  1. Copy the letters, from the Pattern Sheets Page 1 and Page 2, onto the paper side of the Bondaweb. The letters have already been reversed to help you. Press Bondaweb onto the long strip of large red check.
  2. Cut the letters out carefully on the drawn lines. Remove the backing paper and place the fabric letters right side up onto the plain red tweed piece. Do not press them yet.
  3. Tuck four of the cotton squares in amongst the letters, as in Fig 2. When you are happy with the layout, press the letters in place, securing the cotton patches underneath the letters.

ASSEMBLE THE PANELS

  1. Stitch the right and left check panels together. Stitch the plain red strip with the letters on it, to the top. Make sure the letters are the right way up.
  2. Pin the large cotton square at an angle in the centre of the large red check panel. Pin the small plain red square in the centre of the small red check panel.
  3. Layer the whole panel with wadding and a muslin backing, and tack or pin in place. Machine zigzag around the letters (see Fig 1), taking care not to catch the loose cotton patches; these should peek out. You could hand sew a blanket stitch all round, if you prefer.
  4. Stitch the large cotton square and the small plain red square in place, leaving a border around each for fraying. Sew a button to the centre of these patches as in the picture. Fray the cotton patches as desired.
  5. You can quilt the cushion as much or as little as you like. Chris simply echo quilted the dividing lines between the squares, because the fabric is quite busy.
  6. Trim the wadding and muslin to create a neat square. Stitch the shorter red check strips to the sides of the cushion panel. Trim to size. Stitch the longer red check strips to the top and bottom of the cushion panel. Trim to size.
Figure 1
 

BACK THE CUSHION

  1. To create an envelope back for your cushion, sew a double hem on one long edge of each backing piece.
  2. Lay the cushion front right side up. Lay the fi rst backing piece on top, right side down, with the seamed edge across the middle and the raw edges aligned with the top and sides of the cushion.
  3. Lay the second backing piece on top, right side down, with the raw edges aligned with the bottom and sides of the cushion and the seamed edge overlapping across the middle.
  4. Pin and tack the pieces in place. Machine stitch all around the edge with a 1⁄2in seam. Try to follow the lines of the weave if you can. Trim the corners to reduce bulk. Zigzag all around the edges to prevent fraying.
  5. Turn the cushion through to the right side. Topstitch all around the cushion, about 1⁄4in from the outside edge. Also stitch around the inside of the border strip, to create a wide freestanding border. Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and relax with your comfortable, cosy cushion ...

First published in Popular Patchwork January 2008