How to Sew a Star Burst Cushion
Origami and fat quarters? Yes! Use three feature fabrics and some clever folds to create this stunning star burst cushion using linen.
Designed by Ruth Singer. Final size is 17.5 inches square.
From Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, 50 Big Ideas by Amanda Carestio, published by Lark Books.
- 3 fat quarters » – 1 of fabric A, 1 of fabric B, 1 of fabric C
- 1 solid-color fat quarter » for the cushion front (fabric D)
- 1 fat quarter » for the cushion back (fabric E)
- Rotary cutter » (optional)
- Cutting mat » (optional)
- Sewing clips »
- 16 inch/40cm zip »
- 2¼ yards (2.1 m) of cord for the piping , ½ inch (1.3 cm) wide – available in store
- 2¼ yards (2.1 m) of bias binding for the piping » , 1½ inches (3.8 cm) wide
- 18 inch/45cm square pillow insert »
1. Using the rotary cutter, mat, and ruler or scissors (as preferred), cut fifteen 4-inch (10.2 cm) squares from fabrics A, B, and C; you will have 45 squares total.
2. Begin by folding a square in half diagonally; press. Fold again in half and press the fold, then unfold; the center line is marked.
3. Fold one side over as shown in Figure 1. Hold with a sewing clip. Fold it back on itself so the fold lies on the center line, like a paper airplane (see Figures 1 and 2). Repeat on the other side. Clip both edges.
4. Keeping all the layers together, sew through from top to bottom (see Figure 3), catching all the layers. Keep the stitches small so the wings can spring back up. Repeat with the remaining 44 squares.
5. Cut an 18-inch square (45.7 cm) from fabric D. Mark dots to show the placement of the center of each starburst; essentially you’re creating a grid of nine points, 5 inches (12.7 cm) in from each outer edge (see Figure 4).
6. Position five airplane points together on the center mark to make a “starburst.” Pin in place, adjusting to fit, so the edges all match up. Repeat for the other eight starbursts.
7. Hand-stitch each starburst in place, starting with the center point, then work around the star, catching the two edges of each airplane where it meets the next one. Stitch through the X stitch as well to hold the airplanes firmly to the backing (see Figure 5). Stitch the end tips down too, if necessary.
8. Cut an 18-inch (45.7 cm) square from fabric E. Fold and press to mark a center line. Mark 1 inch (2.5 cm) in from each edge along the line. Cut along the line and make a Y-shaped cut at the top and bottom, ? inch (9.5 mm) wide. Fold the long edges and the little point at the top and bottom to the reverse side. Press. This should produce a long rectangular box opening in the center of the cushion back.
9. Put the fabric right side up (folded-under seam allowances underneath) and position the zipper underneath so the teeth show through the opening. Baste the zipper in place, keeping the edges straight. Using a zipper foot, sew all around the box opening, through the zipper tape, close to the folded edge of the fabric. Take care when sewing across the short ends so you don’t break the needle on the zipper teeth.
10. Make piping using the cord, bias binding, and zipper foot. Pin, then baste, the piping to the cushion front, along the seam line, clipping to go around the corners. Make the join by unpicking 1 inch (2.5 cm) of stitching and cutting away 1 inch (2.5 cm) of piping cord so the ends butt together. Fold under the lose end so you have a neat edge, then wrap the loose fabric over the other end of the piping cord. Baste in place.
11. Unzip the cushion back and place it face down on top of the face up cushion front. Using a piping foot or a zipper foot, sew as close to the piping as possible.
12. Trim the corners if required, and finish the inside seams using a zigzag stitch or serger. Turn right side out and insert the pillow form.