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Friday, December 16, 2011

Tutorial: Patchwork Floor Pillow


With the cooler months of the year upon us, this versatile cushion is the perfect seat for warming up next to the fireplace, snuggling up for a Christmas movie, or relaxing with a good book. Whip one up today and you'll be sipping hot cocoa by the yule log in no time!



Here's what you'll need:


  • Assorted Fabrics and Coordinating Thread - I used home decor weight fabric to give my cushion extra durability
  • Two 22" x 22" x 2" Pieces of Foam - I used high density foam so that my cushion would be firm
  • Quilt Batting
  • 12/32" Cotton Filler Cord
  • 1.5" Cover Button Kit
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter, Acrylic Ruler, and Mat
  • Upholstery needle (not pictured) 
  • Heavy weight thread (not pictured)
  • Iron (not pictured)
  • Sewing Machine (not pictured)
* Unless otherwise stated, use a .5" seam allowance.

Step 1: Cut out eight 12" squares and four 23" x 5" rectangles from your assorted fabrics.


Step 2: Decide which four squares you'd like to use on each side of your cushion and arrange them into two 2 x 2 grids. Sew the top two squares of each set together and the bottom two squares of each set together. Press seams open.



Step 3: Sew the joined top rows to the joined bottom rows and press seams open.


Step 4: Decide on the order of your edge rectangles and sew the short ends together forming a large loop as pictured below. Press the seams open.


Step 5: Time to make the cording! Cut 2" strips of whichever fabric you want to use for the cording. The proper way to cut cording strips is to cut them on the bias (45 degree angle). Cutting the strips on the bias gives them more flexibility and makes the fabric lie more smoothly (full disclosure: I got a little lazy with mine and didn't cut my strips on the bias). You will need approximately 5 yards of cording. Join your cording strips together by sewing the ends together on the diagonal as shown below. Stop when your pieced strip is a little over 5 yards long. Once sewn together, trim the seam allowances down to .5" and press open.


Step 6: Fold the cording fabric in half around the cotton filler cord and use a zipper foot to stitch it closed around the cord. Do not stitch too close to the filler cord as you don't want these stitches to show on your finished cushion.


Step 7: Pin your cording around the perimeter of the right side of one of the pieced four block sides of the pillow. Stitch it in place, leaving a two inch tail at the beginning. When you reach the end, open up a few inches of the fabric that is stitched around the cording to reveal the cotton filler cord. Trim the cord (not the fabric) so that it is flush with the starting end of the cording. Cut the cording fabric three inches longer than the filler cord. Fold the end of the fabric in so that there are no raw edges showing and overlap it with the starting end of the cording as pictured below. Stitch in place. Repeat, using the remaining half of the cording for the other four block square.


Step 8: Pin the edge loop fabric around the perimeter of one of the four block sides, right sides together. It will work best if you pin the four seams of the edge fabric loop at each of the corners first, then pin the middle of each edge strip so they line up with the seams of the four block sides. This will ensure that the edge fabric is evenly distributed around the perimeter of the pillow and all of the corner seams will be in the proper place. Use your zipper foot to stitch the edge fabric in place, making sure to stitch as close to the cording as possible.

Step 9: To make sure the cording is tightly stitched into the seam and to reinforce the seam, stitch around the perimeter of the square again, pressing the cording up against the zipper foot as you sew.

Repeat steps 8 & 9 to stitch the other four square side to the opposite side of the edging, but leave one side unstitched so that you can insert the foam.

Step 10: Turn the pillow cover right side out.

Step 11: Time to prepare the foam insert!  Cut two 22" x 52.5" pieces of polyester batting. Stack the two square pieces of foam on top of each other and wrap one of the pieces of batting around them, the ends of the batting should meet up as pictured below.


Step 12: Take the other piece of batting and stitch the short ends flush together using a ziz-zag stitch as pictured below.


Step 13: Slide the batting wrapped foam through the sleeve of the batting that was zig-zag stitched together as pictured below. Make sure to orient the foam wrapped batting so that the sides with exposed foam are inside of the sleeve. This step helps to hold the two pieces of foam together.


Step 14: Determine where the center of the foam is by drawing diagonals from corner to corner across the cushion insert.


Step 15: The finished pillow has a button in the center which creates some tufting. To make it easier to add the button once the pillow cover is on, create an indentation in the center of the foam by tying several pieces of heavy thread in the center of the "X" you drew. To do this, use an upholstery needle to sew from the top to the bottom and then from the bottom to the top so that you have two ends of thread on the same side of the foam. Knot the thread ends together tightly to create an indentation. Repeat this several times so that the indentation is secure (as you can see in the photo below, I didn't have an upholstery needle so I made do with a yarn needle...but I would definitely recommend the upholstery needle, this step would have been much easier if I'd had one!).


Step 16: Place the foam insert into the pillow cover through the opening you left in the cover.

Step 17: Hand stitch the opening closed using the ladder stitch.


Step 18: Follow the instructions on your cover button kit and cover the buttons with the fabric of your choice.

Step 19: Sew the buttons, one on each side, in the middle of the four square blocks. I found that it worked well to sew from one side to the other, catching the button on the back, returning the needle to the top, catching the other button and tying the ends of the thread into a tight knot, securing both buttons at the same time.


Step 20: Snuggle up with a good book!

15 comments:

  1. Love it...can't wait to make one!

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  2. I was just thinking how I was going to go about making something like this, and then there you were. Thanks, I love it.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial and this beautiful cushion!

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  4. I really like how these turned out. Thanks for posting.

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  5. Really cute pillow, and I love, Love the colors you chose!

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  6. Adorable! I have to try this at once!! Thank you so much for your creativity!!

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  7. Great project and love the book your reading

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  8. I have been wanting to make some cushions just like this for a while, but wasn't sure how to do it exactly. This tutorial is fantastic! Thank you so much for posting this!

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  9. We could use a few of these in family room. I think I will also have to make some for my granddaughter's playroom otherwise I will have missing pillows. Great tutorial!

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  10. Thanks so much for all of your nice comments!

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  11. Gorgeous floor cushion, thank-you for sharing!

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  12. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial and this beautiful cushion!

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  13. this is awesome! thanks!

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  14. Great project! Did you find the precut foam at a fabric store such a Joann? Thanks!

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  15. You are making some good points given unique and fascinating content.

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