Monday, February 27, 2012

Another cushion!

After all the lovely comments about my Chocolate cushion and having been asked by a few people about how I made it, I decided to make another one (to prove to myself that I could actually do it again!) and also so that I could take some pictures while making it  (pictures speak louder than words!) and then I could  actually show you how I made it.

So, here's the finished result....

This was the spring design that I showed you last time and  the cross stitch chart will be available on my website soon!

I tried googling for instruction on how to make these cushion but nothing even closely resembling this came up, so I have written out my method of making them. This is the method I used to make my cushion, but this is by no means the only way to make a cushion cover. I have to state categorically that I am no expert! I'm a graduate of the School of Trial and Error ;) 

I deliberately didn’t state the specific measurements for this cushion, instead trying to show how to make this method usable for any cushion size. The cushion insert that I used was supposed to be 18 inches by 18 inches but when I measured it, it was actually only 17 inches, so please, if you are going to follow these guidelines to make a cushion cover, please check your cushion insert and adjust the measurements accordingly. I would hate for you to make the cover then find that you cannot get the insert to fit! One last piece of advice would be to choose a fabric with a small repeating pattern so that you don't have to worry about which way up the pattern, or even worse - stripes, should be going.

So, to make a cushion cover you will need -
Stitched Piece
Cushion insert
Sewing machine

Step 1
Take your stitched piece and decide on the area that you want to be seen on the cushion. I place some pins in mine to mark the area, and then lay some fabric over the edges to get a feel of how it will look. Adjust if necessary.

Take some regular sewing thread and  sew a running type stitch around the area that you want to be shown.

Step 2

You then need to work out the measurements you will need for the four fabric strips, top and bottom, left and right sides. Measure the the length and height of the design. Measure your cushion insert. To get the measurements for the side strips, you need to subtract the length of the design from the length of the cushion then divide this number by 2 (since there are two strips, left and right side). For example, a 10 inch design for an 18 inch cushion would leave 8 inches divided by two would be 4 inches plus you need to add seam allowance of ½ inch all round. So you would need two strips each 5 inches by 19 inches. (Remember you may have to adjust these measurements for the actual size of your cushion insert, my insert was slightly smaller than stated on the packet.)

Cut your fabric to the size required.

Step 3

Lay the first strip (with the right side down)  over your stitching and placing it so that half an inch is over the running stitch line on your cross stitch as shown in the picture below.

Pin in place. Repeat for opposite side.
Now, most people would just head straight to their sewing machines at this point, but I’m a bit OCD about things being straight, so…. I then turn the piece over and re-pin on the other side and remove the first lot of pins (hope that makes sense!) so now it looks like this…

The reason I do this is so that when I’m sewing with the machine, I can follow the lines on the aida and know that the seam will be perfectly straight.

Step 4
Sew both sides.

Your piece should now look like this…

I iron the folds on the fabric to keep everything looking crisp and sharp.

Step 5

You need to repeat the measuring process of to get the top strips. Measure the height of the design and subtract it from the height of the cushion. Divide by two and add on the seam allowance. Once you have worked out the sizes and cut the strips you then lay the top strip over your stitching like this…

I then pin from the other side so that, again, I’m sewing where I can follow the aida lines to keep everything straight and also square.

Once stitched your piece will look like this…

Step 6

 Remove the running stitch, iron, and that is the front of the cushion complete!

Step 6a

Make yourself a cuppa!

Step 7

Now it’s time to make the back of the cushion. You need two rectangular pieces of fabric that will overlap in the middle so you can slip the cushion insert into the cover. To work out the sizes you need the height of the cushion plus half inch seam allowance, which for my 18 inch cushion would be 19 inches (adjust to whatever the size your cushion insert is) then for the length I use half the length plus an extra inch and a half for overlap plus the seam allowance. So for my 18 inch cushion that would be 9 + 1 ½ + ½ + ½ + = 11 ½ inches.

Step 8

Stitch the length of the fabric.

Step 9

Take the front piece of the cushion cover with the right side facing towards you and then place one of the back pieces (with the wrong side towards you) over the front piece, so that the hemmed edge is in the middle. Pin in place. Place the remaining piece over the other side again so the hemmed edge is in the middle and overlapping the first piece. Pin in place. Sew together.

Step 10

Turn the cushion cover the right side out and gently iron out any creases taking care not to iron and flatten the cross stitch center.

Viola! One cushion cover!

Phew...what a mega long post! Perhaps we should repeat step 6a!

Anyway, hope that helps answer how I made both cushion covers. I'm off to work on some more Christmas designs!

Until next time...happy stitching (and cushion making!)



cucki said...

it is so beautiful..thank you for showing how to make it..
love cucki xx

Rebekah said...

Ooh! Nice tutorial! I'll have to try making a cushion soon.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Darling pillow and great instructions! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful. Love the color of the cushion. Thank you very much for the tutorial ! I am pushing my luck here, but any chance of seeing some geisha progress? I am so looking forward to that ;-) Ann

Pumpkin said...

Great piece!

Thanks for posting the tutorial. I'm sure it will be useful for a lot of people :o)

Hippywitch said...

Gorgeous cushion and great instructions to teach people how to do it too :-)
Lori xx

Lynn said...

Beautiful work Rhona! Thanks for the tutorial too. I'd love to give this a try myself.

Mouse said...

heheheh must borrow your instructions some time :) it looks gorgeous well done :) can't wait to see what you come up with next :) love mouse xxxxx

Catherine's Sewing Corner said...

Your cushion is fabulous and thankyou for sharing your instructions on how to finish one
x catherine

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

That was a great tutorial. Unfortunately step 6a is about the only one I could manage myself. So here's my guide:

Step 1 - make a cuppa
Step 2 - look around Blogland for someone giving a cushion away in a giveaway
Step 3 - enter giveaway
Step 4 - keep fingers crossed
Repeat until successful!

Anne said...

Love the finish Rhona!! And the tutorial! I've made a pillow like this during Christmas time but your steps are much better than the steps I took!! I'll use yours for my next pillow!!

quilt happy said...

love that its beautiful

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thank you very much for the amazing tutorial! Great way to explain this amazing project!

Phyllis said...

Thank you this is just what I was looking for. I have framed my cross stitch projects previously, but have had trouble finding the right frames. My projects are usually too small to spend the money on a custom frame. I am not much of a sewer, but this doesn't look too hard.