Phew – it’s been a crazy August (in a good way :)) which hasn’t left much room for time in the sewing room. So it was utter bliss to shut myself away today for a few hours , just me & the Featherweight & a pile of Liberty Charm Squares. Hurrah!
I’ve been a bit cloud obsessed of late (here too!) for which I make no apology ;) & when I received a delicious pile of charm squares from Jo I kinda knew they were destined to be another cloudy project.
So I share with you today how I made a patchwork cloud cushion cover with a custom insert, which means if clouds aren’t your thing you can make whatever shape takes your fancy - a star, or flower, hexagon, triangle or a crescent moon perhaps…. make whatever size suits your needs & also, you can change up the patchwork - instead of squares, you could go improv, or log cabin, or stripes or wonky, use up orphan blocks, or a favourite piece of vintage of vintage fabric, or or or….!!!
This is more of a process of the steps I took along the way with some pictures rather than an overly structured tutorial. I was so enjoying just sewing sewing sewing & creating as I went along that I hope you get the gist of what I was up & it’s not too much of a ramble!
How to make a Liberty Charm Square Cloud Pillow with Custom Insert Tutorial (or any shape that takes your fancy)
What you will need: (sizes & qty will depend on what size you want to make your pillow – mine is approx 18″ x 12″)
Liberty Charm Squares (or scraps of choice)
Paper & pencil to draw a template (you’ll need enough paper to make 2)
Calico or cheap cotton fabric – enough to make custom pillow insert & to line the pillow front.
Fibre fill for pillow stuffing
Wadding/batting/ or Pellon
Tag or ribbon trim & button – entirely optional
First make your cushion shape template. Draw this on a big piece of paper at the actual size you want your finished cushion to be, remember to include seam allowance. Cut out 2 & put one to one side for the time being.
Use your template to cut out 2 shapes from the calico – these are for your custom pillow insert.
Place them right sides together & pin. You will need to leave a gap to turn your custom insert the right way out. I always place pins in an ‘X’ to remind me to leave a gap!
Carefully sew around your shape with a 1/2″ seam allowance (you want it to be a tad smaller than your cushion cover for ease of fit when it’s all complete so sewing with a slightly larger seam allowance than what you will sew the cover with sorts this out for you with no drama :) ) Back stitch at the start & finish.
Clip the curved edges – be careful not to cut into the stitches!
Press the seams open along the gap you left – this helps for when you turn it right side out & come to pin & sew the edges closed.
Turn your insert cover the right way out & stuff it with fiber fill or crafty stuffing of choice to firmness of choice. Some fillings can be a bit lumpy so you might need to massage & manipulate it a bit as you go. Take your time & make sure you fill to all the edges.
Pin the opening hems together and either slip stitch the gap closed or if you can fit it in your machine, a zig zag stitch should do the trick (that’s what I did)- remember this is the insert & won’t be seen so you don’t need to be super duper neat, just make sure the gap is closed up good & proper :)
& your custom insert is complete! Yay! Pop it to one side while you make your cushion cover.
Sew together your charm squares (or fabrics of choice in design of choice) – make sure the finished piece is large enough to accommodate your cushion shape template. To avoid fabric wastage you might like to sew your fabrics in an odd shape without corners as you will probably be cutting those off anyway. As I was using charm squares it was just easier to sew them all together and then add the off cuts to the scrap bin.
Iron all your seams as you go then make a quilt sandwich with lining fabric (I used calico), wadding/batting or Pellon (I used Pellon) & your cushion front. Baste with pins, spray or hand stitches.
Quilt as desired. I quilted about 1/4″ either side of the seams.
Place your template over your quilted piece and pin in place once you’re happy with the positioning.
Take a deep breath & cut our your patchwork cloud!
Next let’s prepare the back of your cushion. We need to get the templates ready first so grab your 2 paper templates. Place them on top of one other. Eye up the centre & mark it with a pencil & ruler if you like. I like my envelope closures to have a nice wide overlap so the insert doesn’t end up peeping out – that’s not pretty at all! I usually aim at about a 4″ overlap. So from the centre line, measure out 2 1/2″ either way (this includes 1/2″ seam allowances) If you prefer a wider or narrower overlap adjust accordingly. Or you might prefer a zip closure which would be fab & you can show me how ;) . Also I like my envelope closure flap (& most other things in my life ! ;) ) to be off centre – if you like yours aligned with the exact centre then adjust accordingly.
Press your pencil really hard when you mark the right hand line so it scores the template underneath. With your ruler mark the scored line on the second template.
Cut along the 2 1/2″ line on the left on the top template, discard the smaller piece.
& then cut along the 2 1/2 line on the right on the other template & discard the smaller piece on the right hand side.
You now have 2 templates that will overlap to make one whole one again if that makes sense.
Use these templates to cut out your cushion backing fabric. I used some corduroy, a) because it’s what I had in the stash & b) because I like the contrast texture with the super soft Liberty Tana Lawn. If your finished cushion shape is not symmetrical ensure you cut them out the right way around so they will fit correctly with right sides together with the cut out cloud cushion front.
Hem the edges that will overlap (the 2 vertical straight edges) - fold over & press a 1/4″ & then another 1/4″, press, pin & sew. I also added a row of hand stitches along the outside piece, just because I couldn’t resist popping some hand stitches in somewhere!
If you are adding a ribbon tab or trim, now’s the time to do that. I like to baste them in position before I sew the cushion front & back pieces together. Place your ribbon tag in position with right side to right side of cushion front with the raw edges of the ribbon in line with the raw edge of the cushion front. Pin & sew in place at approx 1/8″.
Rigthy O, let’s get this cushion all sewn up! We’re almost there!
Place your cushion front right side up, over lap your backing pieces so they align as a whole so to speak, & place them right side down on top of the cushion front, lining up the shapes so it all matches up neatly. If you added some hand stitches to one edge of the backing fabric like I did then make sure this piece is directly against the cushion front so it shows when it’s all turned the right way out.
Pin & sew all the way around with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Clip your curves & turn the right way out – pop your insert in & voila!
The cover is removable so should your cloud get a bit grubby you can easily slip the cover off to give it a wash – I would advise hand washing though as there are lots of raw edges on the inside with all that curve clipping so that will just be a bit gentler.
If you make a cushion inspired by this tutorial we’d love to see! You can share your pics in our Liberty Scrap Challenge Flickr Group :)
If you fancy making one just like mine, Jo has Liberty Charms packs available in her shop ,The Organic Stitch Co as well as scrap packs, fat 1/8ths & more!
Our guest challenger this month has had a crazy busy month too but is busily preparing her project – Jo & I are super excited to see what the Queen of Scraps has in store……..Eep!