Embroidered patchwork cushion

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My final tutorial for 20 Embroidered Flowers is a patchwork cushion using two repeating patterns that you can find in the ebook; Camassia and Elderflower (I altered the elderflower pattern for this slightly, changing the suggested white to black).

The cushion pad that I used for this 50cm x 30cm, each patchwork square (not including the seam allowance) is 10cm x 10cm, so I obviously had fifteen squares of various random cotton material. If you’re using a different size cushion pad, simply alter the number of squares accordingly.

I used a 1cm seam allowance, so each square, when I cut them out, was 12cm x 12cm. With the embroidered squares, I printed out the patterns on Sulky Solvy and cut out a 12cm x 12cm portion of each design. I didn’t cut the material for the embroidered squares to size until after I had done the embroidery, you need to allow yourself some extra fabric, whilst you’re stitching, so that you can move the piece around whilst you work. If you don’t want to use Sulky Solvy, you could use a removable marker, marking out a 12cm x 12cm square on your fabric and using a light table or window, to transfer just 12cm x 12cm worth of pattern.

Matching up the seams in patchwork takes practice, I will readily admit that I’m far more an embroiderer than a sewer, so I’m still in the practice stage when I do patchwork. If you were to look closely at this cushion, you’d be able to see that not all my seams precisely line up but it’s good enough for me, and if you don’t do something like patchwork because you think that you’re going to get it wrong, you’re missing out. Things that help matchy seams are

1. Cutting out your squares precisely – using a quilting ruler, a rotary cutter and a self-healing mat really helps.

Once you have your 12cm x 12cm squares, including your embroidered pieces, it’s time to sew them together. My cushion was three rows of five. Work out where you want each of your squares to go. My embroidered squares were in the top left and bottom right, but you can put them wherever you want. Another thing that helps matchy seams is

2. Being really careful with your seams (obviously) – take extra care lining up your pieces, pinning them carefully. When sewing, watch that seam guide closely and stick to your seam allowance.

patchwork cushion tutorial 1

Make sure when pinning your squares together, to pin right sides together. Sew each seam carefully with a 1cm seam allowance. Continue until you have three strips of five squares each (or however many you’ve worked out for your cushion).

patchwork cushion tutorial-02

Pressing each seam open (with an iron is best but you could use your fingers), pin the top strip on top of the second strip, right sides facing. The final thing to help matchy seams is

3. Take extra care when pinning patch worked strips together, making sure that each seam lines up together.

patchwork cushion tutorial-03

You now have the front of your cushion. Cut a piece of fabric the same size as your patchwork panel (so 52cm x 32cm) and right sides together, sew together, remembering to leave a large gap to insert your cushion pad. Trim the corners carefully (not cutting into your line of stitching), turn the right way round, insert cushion pad and hand sew the cushion cover shut. You now have one embroidered patchwork cushion!

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