This quilted cushion cover project was written by Maeri Howard. Photos by Maeri Howard; illustrations by Louis J. Eales.
Maeri has created this simple patchwork project as a confidence builder for those that have tried patchwork and want to move on to a more structured piece. This is not a difficult project and is intended to give the user the experience of measuring, cutting and piecing.
If you fancy a quick make, you can finish it as a cushion (as in this tutorial) or you can create more blocks to make a small quilt.
You will need
For the four blocks – two fat quarters of complementary fabric, 100% quilting cotton (we used fabric from FreeSpirit’s Violette collection by Amy Butler)
For the border and backing – one half metre of main body fabric, also 100% quilting cotton
Cotton thread in matching colour
One 18″ cushion insert
1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance used throughout.
The fabric for this project isn’t prewashed. Instead, you can wash the fabric after completing the project as it gives the cushion an aged, wrinkly look.
Press each seam open after sewing, always pressing in the same direction for each seam (either all up or all down).
Unless you are told otherwise, when asked to sew strips together, you always prepare them for sewing by having them facing right sides together.
It is worth paying attention to the lines of the quilt when piecing the block to the border fabric (see section 3). If you can get the lines to ‘match up’ (with the border in between) that would help make it look more polished. The estimated time to complete this project is between 3 and 4 hours once the materials have been prepared).
Finished size 16″ x 16″ (18″ x 18″ cushion required to make a plump cushion when finished).
For the border – Two strips 2″ x 6 1/2″ (these will join the two panels together on the left and right sides)
Three strips 2″ x 13 1/2″ (for the left, centre and right strips)
Two strips 2″ x 16 1/2″ (for the top and bottom strips)
Backing fabric for envelope back – Two pieces 10 1/2″ wide x 16 1/2″ high
For the Blocks:
Three strips of the flowered fabric, 2 1/2″ x 13″ each (Fabric A)
Three strips of the green check, 2 1/2″ x 13″ each (Fabric B)
Making the Blocks
You will be creating two sets of two blocks (so a total of four blocks).
Take one Fabric B strip and line it up with a Fabric A strip and then add a further Fabric B strip.
Sew the right side of B to the left side of A and then the right side of A to the left side of B, making one block of fabric.
Open up the seams and iron them flat.
Measure half way down the length of the block and mark across to the other side.Cut across with a rotary cutter. You now have two blocks!
To create a second set of complementing blocks, you will invert the strips so they are the opposite layout as shown above.
Take one strip from Fabric A, line it up with a strip from Fabric B and then a third Fabric A strip.
Sew the right side of A to the left side of B and then the right side of B to the left side A.
Measure half way down the length of the block, mark across to the other side and then cut across with a rotary cutter.
You now have the second set of blocks for a total of four blocks.
Connecting the Blocks
Take the four individual blocks that you created in section one and lay them out as you would like them to appear on the front of the cushion.
Take one of the 2″ x 6 1/2″ strips of border fabric and sew the bottom of the top right block and the top of the bottom right block, using the border strip as the join to create one long block.
Do the same for the left side. You now have two long blocks ready to be joined by the remaining strips of border material to finish the front panel.
Take your two long strips of blocks and lay them out in front of you as desired.
Take one of the 2″ x 13 1/2″ border strips – the right side of this border strip will be sewn to the left side of the left panel.
Using another 2″ x 13 /1/2″ strip (centre strip), and stitch the left of the centre strip to the right side of the left hand panel. Sew to the left of the right hand panel.
Take the remaining 2″ x 13 1/2″ strip and stitch it to right panel.
Make sure that you match up the sections so the strips on the left panels continue on with the right panel making a continuous line across across the front of the panel.
Adding the Top and Bottom Borders
Working from the top of your panel, stitch one of the 2″ x 16 1/2″ border strips to the top row of the panel.
Add the remaining 2″ x 16 1/2″ strip to the bottom of the panel.
Envelope Back to Finish the Cushion
You can complete the back with either a zip closure or an envelope style back. Here are instructions for the envelope style back as this does’t require any additional items.
Lay both backing pieces next to each other, wrong side facing up, Taking one piece, fold the centre edges over by 1/4″, press and fold again by 1/4″. Stitch the hem. Repeat on the other panel. You now have two neat edges.
With right sides facing and the neat edges in the centre, lay the two back pieces on top of the front piece, matching outer edges. The two back pieces will overlap like an envelope.
Pin the panels in place and stitch all four side seams using a 1/4” seam allowance. Clip corners and turn right side out. Poke the corners out gently with a pointy but not sharp object.
Press once more to give it a finished look!