Strawberries and Cream


Materials for both cushions based on 112cm (44in) fabric

  • 50cm natural calico for the background
  • 50cm plain red for the cushion backs
  • 50cm assorted red prints for the blocks
  • 25cm red print for the borders
  • Scraps of two different green prints,one light and one dark, for the appliqué leaves
  • 10 x 25cm piece of medium iron-on Vilene for appliqué
  • Two 50cm squares of natural calico or butter muslin for lining the cushion tops
  • Two 50cm squares of 2oz wadding
  • Two 38cm (15in) zip fasteners
  • Two 40cm (16in) cushion pads
  • Pack of 4mm iridescent amber beads
  • 4m of cream cushion cord

Finished Size

40cm (16in) square

Skill Level



The materials used in this project are available from all good quilt shops


Cut for both cushions:

  • Four pieces 9 x 16 1⁄2in from plain red for the cushion backs
  • Four strips 2 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2in from red print for the side borders
  • Four strips 2 1⁄2 x 16 1⁄2in from red print for top and bottom borders
  • Nine squares 4 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in from natural calico for the cushion fronts

You can cut the following pieces ready for each block, alternatively cut them as you sew each foundation piece.

  • One quarter square triangle cut from a 3 1⁄2in square in natural calico - piece 1
  • One 1 1⁄2 x 2in strip in assorted red print – piece 2
  • One 1 1⁄2 x 2 3⁄4in strip in assorted red print – piece 3
  • One 1 1⁄2 x 2 3⁄4in strip in assorted red print – piece 4
  • One 1 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄2in strip in assorted red print – piece 5
  • One 1 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄2in strip in assorted red print – piece 6
  • One 1 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄4in strip in assorted red print – piece 7
  • Two half square triangles cut from a 2 1⁄4in square in natural calico – pieces 8 and 9
  • Two half square triangles cut from a 3in square in natural calico – pieces 10 and 11
Figure 1: Piecing the strawberries
Figure 1: Piecing the strawberries

Cutting Triangles

To cut half square triangles, cut a square in half diagonally once. Half square triangles have the straight grain of the fabric along the two short sides of the triangle.

To cut quarter square triangles, cut a square in half diagonally twice. Quarter square triangles have the straight grain of the fabric along the longest side of the finished triangles.

Cushion detail

Making the Blocks

  1. Make four blocks for one cushion and five blocks for the other cushion. Draw the block design onto foundation paper, transferring all seam lines and numbers.
  2. Cut out the strips and triangles as listed. Place the triangle for piece 1 RS up on the unmarked side of the paper. Hold it up to the light to make sure that the piece covers the whole area marked 1 and extends beyond the drawn lines on all sides. Secure with a pin.
  3. Place the piece 2 strip on top of the piece 1 triangle with RS together and pin in place. With marked side of the paper uppermost sew exactly on the seam between pieces 1 and 2. Begin by sewing a couple of stitches before the line begins and extend a few stitches at the end of the line.
  4. Trim the seam allowance to 1⁄4in. Fold open the piece and press. With RS together sew piece 3 on top of the other pieces in the same way. Trim and press as before.
  5. Continue to add pieces in numbered sequence until the block is compete. A 1⁄4in seam allowance is allowed on the pattern, so trim excess fabric and paper to the outside lines. Note the pattern for each of the blocks is the same but try to vary the fabrics as much as possible between the blocks.

Assembling the cushions

  1. Refer to the layout diagram in Figure 2 and arrange the blocks and the calico squares in three rows of three blocks for each cushion. Take special care to place each block in the right direction.
  2. Stitch the block and calico squares together in rows and then sew the rows together. Before pressing remove the paper from the seam allowances, but leave the rest of the paper intact until the cushion fronts are compete.
  3. Sew the shortest borders to the sides of the cushions and sew the longest borders to the top and bottom of the cushions. Press and remove all the remaining foundation paper. If you find it fiddly to remove, a light spray of water helps the pieces tear away.
  4. Make a card template from the leaf motif. Place the template on the WS of the iron-on Vilene and mark around the template. Cut out the leaf on the marked line. Place the Vilene leaf on the WS of the light green print and iron it to the fabric. Cut out the leaf adding a 3⁄8in seam allowance. Tack the seam allowance to the WS over the Vilene shape. Make a further 17 leaves, nine in dark green print and eight in light green print.
  5. With the RS up, applique two leaves, one light green and one dark green, to the top of each log cabin strawberry.
Figure 2: Cushion Layout
Figure 2: Cushion Layout

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Layer and tack each cushion top with the wadding and calico. Quilt ‘pattern A’ in the centre of each calico square and quilt 1⁄4in inside each square. Quilt the heart ‘pattern B’ in the centre of each log cabin strawberry and quilt 1⁄4in inside each block. Quilt 1⁄4in inside the red borders. Sew 36 beads, evenly spaced, to each strawberry sewing through all the layers. Trim the excess wadding and backing fabric.
  2. Place the zip RS down and 1⁄4in from the raw edge on one of the pieces for the cushion back. Using a zipper foot on the sewing machine, sew down the length of the tape close to the teeth of the zip. Neaten the raw edge of the fabric by turning the 1⁄4in seam allowance underneath the zipper tape (to the WS) and zigzagging it to the tape. Sew the opposite side of the zip to the other piece of fabric in the same way.
  3. Fold one piece of fabric underneath the other so that the RS are together; this means opening the seam on one side of the zip, the two pieces of fabric should lie flat on top of one another with the zip to one side. Sew through both layers of fabric at each end, from the edges of the fabric to where the metal part of the zip begins. Sew across the metal zip ends.
  4. Open out the piece, RS uppermost, and press the fold gently over the zip. Pin or tack the fold in place over the zip. Stitch through the zip tape from the WS, right across the cushion back from edge to edge. Remove any tacking.
  5. Open the zip a little. Place the quilted front on top of the cushion back, RS together. Pin then tack the back and front together. With the cushion front on top, sew a 1⁄4in seam around the cushion using the outer edge of the cushion top as a guide.
  6. Zigzag to neaten the edges then open the zip and turn the cushion RS out.
  7. Cut the cord in half, 2m for each cushion. Ladder stitch the cord to the edges of the cushion making a small loop at three corners and tie the ends of the cord into a tassel at the fourth. Remove the tacking. Complete the second cushion in the same manner.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 14 Number 3 - March 2006