how to make a simple cushion

How to make a simple yet beautiful Cushion


What can you do with your wonderful stitching once it’s complete?

This is a question I often get asked and the most obvious answer is to frame it and hang on the wall. There are other choices though and a simple cushion is a great way to display your embroidery…

Hand Embroidered cushion

Just by adding a border of complementing fabric to your design it can transform it into a fabulous addition to your home or a gift to be treasured.

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Here’s how to make this simple cushion…

Before you purchase the fabric to make the cushion, you will need to decide how big you want your finished cushion to be.

The following is based on a finished cushion size of 16inches…

Materials Required:

1. Backing Cushion Panel with zip insert…

This one measured about 17inches square. These are really great as they have a stitched edge to prevent fraying and half the job is already done for you.

You can easily find these in most craft stores.

2. Complementing Fabric for the front…

Depending on the design you are making in to a cushion – you will need to find a fabric that complements it and will make it stand out. This will be used to frame the design so take your time choosing the right one.

Since I was framing my Plantopia Design – I wanted a floral fabric but had to be careful to choose one that enhanced the design rather than swamped it. I decided on a gorgeous fabric called William Morris V&A collection – Clover.

3. Cushion Insert…

I chose a feather filled 16inch cushion pad – again these are easily available online from most craft stores.

You will also need…

A Sewing Machine (you could sew by hand but it would take a lot longer).

I know a lot of my lovely customers have a sewing machine to hand – like me they usually dabble in all sorts of sewing crafts! However, if you don’t and are not sure how to do this by hand – I am working on a tutorial for a completely hand sewn cushion cover as well which will be on the blog soon.

Step 1: Prepare your embroidery panel:

I don’t like to mess around with my finished embroidery too much as I am always mindful of how many hours I have taken to stitch the piece and the thought of ruining it at this point makes me shiver!

If you want to finish your stitching and not have your piece need anything more than to be pressed with an iron – here’s how to do it…

  • Stitch your design on a big enough piece of fabric so the couple of inches around the design don’t get mucky from constant handling. If this is difficult use a grime guard or similar on the hoop. I have used flexible bandage around the edge of the hoop sometimes as a cheap and easy way to keep the edge fabric clean.
  • Stitch the design in a frame big enough to access the whole of the design easily so you don’t have to take it in and out.
  • Store your project in it’s frame in a poly sleeve like this one when it is not being stitched – saves a lot of heartache especially in a house like mine with kids and dogs!

So, now your stitching is complete and it’s all ready to go…

Remove the embroidery from it’s frame or hoop and press with a hot iron on the reverse.

Cut away the excess fabric from around the design leaving a sufficiant amount to create a space between the design and the border fabric.

I decided that for the Plantopia design – I would cut away the excess leaving 1.25 inches (1 inch for the space and a 1/4inch for the Seam Allowance (SA).)

Here’s the panel complete with a 1.25inch space around the whole design…

This will now determine the size of the fabric border based on the finished cushion size. The above panel is 9.5 inches (not including SA).

The finished Size needs to be 17 inches (size of back panel) so:

17- 9.5 = 7.5inches. Divide this by 2 again (for each side) = 3.75 – add on the 1/4 inch SA and this is the size that each of the fabric strips needs to be – 4inches.

I cut 2 strips 4 inches x 10 inches and stitched these on to the sides of the embroidery panel with a 1/4inch SA…

With a hot iron, press the SA at the back to the side of the patterned fabric to create a nice crisp edge at the front.

Now you just need to add on 2 more strips – longer in length but same width – to the top and bottom to create a square…

Make sure your Front cushion is the same size as your back panel and then place them right sides together (make sure the zip is open!).

Stitch them together with a 1/4 SA along each of the 4 edges. When complete, turn it right side out through the zip – insert your cushion pad and you are all done…

The Fabric I chose is William Morris V & A Collection – Clover

I really hope this gives you a bit more inspiration for your finished embroideries and if you are not quite ready for cushion making then take a look at the following posts for 2 different ways of framing on your wall…

For those smaller designs you have stitched in a hoop – why not decorate the hoop for display. In this post I show you 5 different ways of doing this…

Decorate your Embroidery hoop

Show me your Cushions!

If you have transformed your stitchdoodles embroidery into a fabulous cushion – send me a pic and I’ll add it here for more inspiration for others to enjoy.

Happy Stitching!

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