Patchwork Cushion

18 Sep

Today I tried my hand at machine patchwork using instructions from Queen of Crafts. It’s more technical that I thought, there’s a lot of measuring involved and so you need to be patient and careful.

It took approximately four and a half hours and cost £1.75 for the cushion. The fabric was free as I used scraps from curtains I’ve shortened or other past projects.

Having chosen and collected all my fabric scraps and a cushion pad (in Queen of Crafts she suggests using cushion filling rather than a pad but I think either is fine) I measured the cushion and divided by five to work what size squares I would need. The cushion is 35x35cm so that’s 7cm per square with a seam allowance of 1cm either side so 9cm squares. Queen of Crafts says to use a 6mm seam allowance but 1cm seemed easier to measure precisely. I then cut out a card template and used it to cut 25 fabric squares. I then ironed each square.

Now for the painstaking bit – using dressmakers chalk (I didn’t have any so used blackboard chalk!) measure your seam allowance on the back of each square and mark with a ruler.

Lay out your pattern on a flat surface moving pieces around until you get the pattern you prefer.

Then it’s time to start sewing. Using your machine stitch right sides together (chalk marks facing out) using a straight stitch until you have done one line of the patchwork. Then do the other lines as separate pieces.

Next sew the strips together. This is a difficult stage as you need to make sure all the edges of the squares line up and mine didn’t always. I adjusted things by sometimes unpicking and resewing seams to make it all fit. When you’ve sewn all the strips together you have your piece of patchwork. Iron it all flat, pressing out seams where you can. I say where you can because my erratic sewing meant that sometimes I’d sewn in different directions and sewed edges of seams down as you can see here. It looks fine on the right side though.


To make the back take one piece of material and cut larger than 35x35cm. I didn’t have one piece that big so sewed two together. Sew the front to the back on three sides with right sides together and snip the corners at an angle so that it doesn’t bulk up when you turn it right side out.

I sewed one patch on either side of the open edge, turned it right side out, pushed out all the corners and then squeezed the cushion pad in through the opening. Finally hand sew the cushion closed using  stitches as neat and as small as you can.

Ta da! A patchwork cushion. As I used plain fabrics rather than patterned I might go back to it at some point and embellish it with some beading or applique and will share my results if I do.

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