Pencils and colouring pencils, air soluble pens
Sewing machine with a size 80 needle and a darning/embroidery foot
A selection of fabrics, including linen and those for the motifs
Water soluble fabric
Iron and iron cloth
Beads and buttons
Rotary cutter and blade
Wool for cushion insert
You will need to be handy with a sewing machine to do this successfully, and ideally have experience of applique, embroidery, quilting and sewing. Practice makes perfect!
Water soluble fabric costs under £5 for a 100cm x 50cm length; rotary cutters are around £10; 30 sheets of freezer paper cost around £5.
Allow at least an hour for each of the sections of the cushion. In total, allow at least a weekend.
Measure out and cut a big section of linen. This cushion was created with a piece 30cm square. This is the main front section of the cushion, on to which the various design will either be applied to directly or sewn onto separately.
This cushion has four pieces of fabric for the patchwork section (top right); one to represent each of the four seasons. The size depends on how large you want your cushion cover to be. Cut your squares evenly with a rotary cutter, using a cutting mat to protect your surface. Pin then sew the four squares together by machine.
Cut out another section of fabric for a small border around the four seasons patchwork. Pin it on and sew around the patchwork to create a border. For more on patchworking, see our How To Make A Patchwork Quilt Cushion.
Draw a hare onto a piece of paper. Place the freezer paper, shiny side down and trace the hare template shape. Cut it out. Select fabric for the hare. Iron the paper hare onto the front (patterned side) of the hare fabric. Cut the hare shape out of the fabric, allowing approx 4mm seam. Use tiny sharp scissors.
Using small appliqué needles and matching thread, hand sew the hare into position with small hand stitches. Fold the fabric seam in over the paper, and sew close to the outside of the hare, rather than towards the paper. By sewing just to the edge of the paper, the fabric will hold still while you are working, and keep the shape accurate. Iron the appliqué piece on the back, on a towel. Peel the paper off to reveal the appliqué hare. For more detailed instructions, go to our video on creating the hare.
Cut the hare shape out leaving a 0.75cm seam allowance for turning under. With needle and thread, turn under the seam allowance and baste to the freezer paper and press. When cooled, remove all thread and freezer paper, the appliqué is now ready to sew down, with the edges all turned under. For more detailed instructions, go to our video on creating the hare.
With green thread, create many stitches which will be the storks of the flowers. Create French knots and sew buttons and beads, as the heads of the flowers in other coloured stitches. For more detailed instructions, go to our video on creating the button meadow flower.
Take a piece of soluble base fabric and cut a square (this cushion used one about 10cm to 15cm square). Put the soluble base fabric into a wooden embroidery hoop. Sketch out some roses on a sketch pad. Using pencil or air soluble pens draw the design onto the water soluble fabric.
Lower the feed teeth on the sewing machine. Use a size 80 needle and a darning/embroidery foot. Put the sewing machine tension onto 'ordinary sewing tension'. Thread the machine embroidery thread up into the machine. Wind and fit the bobbin spool into the bobbin case. Place the fabric filled hoop under the needle. Bring up the bobbin thread from underneath. Place your foot onto the pedal and your hands onto the hoop; as the foot is pressed onto the pedal, the hoop is moved and so the stitch line is made. Continue to press onto the pedal with your foot and move the hoop, and then carry on filling in with the machine stitch, creating machine embroidery. When all the desired amount of stitching has been achieved lift the needle out of the base fabric and cut away the top and bottom threads, change colour and repeat if necessary.
Once all the stitching is completed and the motif is finished, take the fabric out of the hoop. Place the work in a bowl of warm water, all the fabric will disappear leaving only the machine embroidery, which when dry can be placed onto the cushion and hand stitched down to keep it in place. Dry it with a hairdryer.
Pin then machine sew the four seasons patchwork to the linen piece.
The rose can be attached with outline quilting (by machine); you can also quilt the outline, radiating out across the cushion, or quilt rose shapes across the cushion. Quilting will add texture and depth.
Measure out and cut a piece of polyester. Measure out and cut a piece of plain cotton. These will be the backing of the front section of the cushion. Sizes will depend on the size of your cushion. Pin these together, with the polyester in the middle. For more information on stuffing the cushion, go to our video guide.
Create an envelope backing. For more detailed information, go to our guide on creating a cushion cover. Stuff the cushion with British wool and dried lavender. This cushion was closed with a pie crust finish.
With thanks to Linda Miller and Jo Colwill
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