Tuesday Treats: Not all hand stitched gifts have to be quilts.

We’ve been busy this week putting the final touches to our stand for the Australian Quilt Market, the wholesale trade event, held in Melbourne on 24 -25  November.

This year we thought that we would use a summer theme to decorate our stand so we have been madly stitching display pieces to fit the theme.

Our cushion with a seaside theme

At the same time as we were making the cushion I happened to read a blog by Ivory Spring about making cushions for gifts when you don’t have time to make an entire quilt . You must pop over to see her cushions in her  Virtual trunk show .

Anyhow, her article set me thinking about how quick and easy it really can be to make a cushion as a gift.

Simply find an appropriate fabric panel, or gorgeous print, and get started!

Choose a printed fabric panel, a gorgeous print or a novelty story print for the cushion front

We hand quilted around the birds, and frame on our panel, using Cotton Mako’ 12 to create some texture (well Ladybirdee did),  however you don’t even need to do this if you are in real hurry.

Ladybirdee used Cotton Mako’ 12 to outline quilt the birds and the frame around the panel to add texture to the cushion front

Then I used the “pillowcase/envelop” method to add a back to the panel to make the cushion cover.

I call this overlapped closure a “pillowcase/envelop” method.

To make the cushion back I used two pieces of fabric, each approximately 2/3rds the height of the front panel.

A deep hem, 2.5 cm (1″) creates a firm closure on the back of the cushion cover.

  • Turn a 2.5cm (1″) hem on both back pieces

Put the first piece along the top edge when positioning the back pieces. This way the opening will “face’ down when the cover is turned right sides out

  • Position the back pieces right sides down on the right side of the panel

I like to overlap the two back pieces by approximately 10cm (4″) so that the opening stays closed, even if a “fat” cushion insert is used.

  • Stitch around all four sides
  • Trim the corners

Trim the points off the corners to make it easy to turn the cushion cover right sides out

  • Press the seam open

Pressing the seam open will give a neat edge once the cover is turned right side out.

  • Turn the “bag” right sides out
  • Fill the cushion cover with an insert & you are done!

All that is left to do is to pop the cushion insert into the cover and you have gift ready to give to a favourite person.

Easy Peasy!

Of course you can get fancy and use a zipper placket on the back,

A zipper placket closure can be used on the back of the cushion cover

or add nice buttons over the hem, or simply use some velcro inside the opening.

You could always use this method and turn the back of the cushion into the front, by stitching some feature buttons over the opening

But it is not really necessary, a beautiful fabric, or appropriate panel, and a simple finish will make a quick cushion cover when a gift is need in a hurry.

More cushion inspiration to get you started:

Ivory Springs Virtual trunk show  gave me the idea for this post.

More interesting ways to incorporate embroideries and fabric panels into cushions.

You might like to start planning your cushions for next year with this Cathedral Window pattern

Or if you can’t resist Cathedral Windows, make a pin cushion.

This “roll up” cushion is a clever idea for summer

See More of Ladybirdee’s quilted cushions

Not an instant gift, but you could plan ahead to make a beautiful cushion like the one Knitsnquilts made earlier this year.

More of Ladybirdee’s hand quilting

PS:  Don’t forget to call back on the weekend to read more about the Australian Quilt Market.

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