The next tutorial I want to share with you uses just one Petit Four block and is based on the cushions I made for my Festival of Quilts stand. It's a quick, fun project that makes a 14" x 24" cushion: perfect for cheering up a bed or sofa.
I made mine using my Honeybee Hive block and a new-to-me fuseable batting product by Quilters Dream called Fusion - bought here - which is ideal for small projects like this. I've tried similar polyester-based fuseables, but I find them uncomfortable to handle. This cotton batting was lovely and I'll definitely be using it again. If you’re thinking of trying it too, here are a few tips:
Cut the batting about an inch bigger than the cushion front and follow the manufacturer's instructions to fuse it to the fabric;
Lay a pressing cloth - I use an old baby muslin - over the exposed edges of the batting to avoid getting glue on your iron;
Add a few safety pins to the outside edge to secure the batting, as this area gets handled a lot when quilting.
To make a 14" x 24" cushion you will need...
14½" square Petit Four block
1 fat quarter of contrast fabric
½ yard of fabric for the the back
½ yard of fabric for the lining
16" x 26" piece of fusible batting
14" x 24" cushion pad
1. From the fat quarter of contrast fabric cut 2 5½" x 14½" pieces.
2. From the back fabric cut 2 14½" squares.*
3. From the lining fabric cut a 14½" x 24½" piece.
* Please note that this measurement has been updated to reduce the overlap slightly, making the cushion pad easier to remove for washing.
Please read through the pattern before you begin. Fabric is always placed right-sides-together and joined with a ¼” seam allowance unless otherwise noted.
Preparing the front of the cushion...
4. Join a 5½" x 14½" contrast piece to each side of the Petit Four block, pressing towards the contrast fabric.
5. Centre the cushion front on the batting and fuse, following the manufacturer's directions.
6. Machine or hand quilt the cushion front. I chose to hand quilt my Honeybee Hive using the Simple Blossom design from this post.
7. Trim away the excess batting and check the dimensions of your cushion front, trimming down your lining and back pieces to match if necessary.
8. Prepare the back pieces by making a ¼” double hem on one short side of each.
Assembling the cushion cover...
9. Lay the quilted cushion front right side up (a) then lay the two back pieces on top, right sides down, overlapping the hemmed edges (b) and (c) before, finally, laying the lining piece on top, right sides down (d).
10. Sew around the perimeter, ¼” from the edge, leaving a 5” gap at the bottom - as shown - to allow the cushion to be turned right sides out, trimming away a little of the seam allowance at the corners before you do so.
11. Take care to gently push out the corners using a knitting needle, or something similar, before stitching the opening closed - either by machine or hand - and inserting your cushion pad into the envelope back.
The lovely thing about this method is that all the raw edges on the cushion cover are hidden, so it can be machine washed and tumble dried on a cool setting. And you could easily change the dimensions to suit a different sized cushion pad, adding borders to your Petit Four block as required.
Cushions provide almost instant gratification in between larger quilting projects - and you can’t have too many you know - as well as being a great way to experiment with new techniques or more complex blocks. And of course they make gorgeous gifts...just saying ;-)
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