How to Sew a Modern Quilted Cushion
Create a modern, geometric cushion – perfect for practising your quilting skills and in turn creating a beautiful decorative addition to your home. Follow the guide below by quilting expert Lorna Slessor who explains each step with imagery.
Seam allowances are quarter inch throughout.
Press seams open, unless otherwise instructed.
- From the white fabric cut:
Four (4) 2.75in x 9in strips.
Two (2) 16in x 10in pieces.
One (1) 18in square for the lining.
- From the grey fabric cut:
Four (4) 2.75in x 9in strips.
- From the green fabric cut:
Two (2) 9in squares.
Piecing the strip sets
- Take one grey strip and one white strip and sew right sides together along the long edges, using a quarter inch seam allowance (there should be markings for this on your machine/foot, otherwise consult your sewing machine manual). Press the seam allowance open at the back, using a hot iron.
- Repeat step 4 with each of your grey and white strips, sewing into pairs and pressing open. Then sew the pairs into two sets of four strips, making sure the colours are alternating. Press (Fig 1).
Piecing the Half-square Triangles
- Take your two green 9in squares and use a ruler and a marker to draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the reverse of each square (Fig 2). Don’t worry about what pen you use for this, as you won’t see it in the quilt block.
- Place each square on top of a grey and white strip set square, with right sides together. One pair should have the grey strip positioned vertically on the left, with the green diagonal line going from top left to bottom right. One pair should have the grey strip position vertically on the left, with the green diagonal line going from bottom left to top right.
- Pin the squares together and sew a quarter inch either side of your drawn line, lining up the quarter inch marking on your sewing machine foot with the drawn line to achieve this (Fig 3).
- Place your squares on your cutting mat and, using a rotary cutter and a ruler, cut directly down the drawn line (Fig 4).
- Open up the two halves to make two Half-square Triangles from each pairing. Press the seams open, using your hot iron (Fig 5).
- If your Half-square Triangle blocks aren’t perfectly square, you may want to trim these to 8in square. When you do this, make sure to line up the 45-degree line on your quilting ruler with the diagonal seam, so that the seam always ends in the corner of your block (Fig 6).
Piecing the cushion front
- Arrange your four Half-square Triangle blocks in two rows of two, referring to the image to make sure the blocks are positioned correctly.
- Sew the blocks into pairs. Press the seam on the top pair to the left, and the seam on the bottom pair to the right. This will help the seams ‘nest’ together to reduce bulk (Fig 7).
- Sew the two halves together, pinning at the centre seam to make sure they match up. When doing this, pin either side of the seams, rather than directly through them. Press well (Fig 8).
- Cut a piece of wadding a few inches larger than your quilt top. Lay your white lining fabric out flat, then place the wadding on top, and place your pieced cushion top on top, right side up (Fig 9). This is called a quilt sandwich. Baste together using your preferred method – pins, safety pins, large tacking stitches or basting spray.
- Put a walking foot on your sewing machine ahead of quilting. Starting from the middle at the top, start quilting straight lines down your quilt sandwich until you reach the green. When you do, put the needle down, lift your foot up and turn the quilt sandwich so that the edge of the foot lines up with the edge of the green triangle. Put the foot down and quilt a few stitches forward.
- Repeat the method in step 16, putting the needle down and rotating the quilt sandwich so that the edge of the foot lines up with your first line of stitching. Quilt all the way back to the edge. Repeat this, filling in all of the white and grey areas with lines of back-and-forth quilting with white thread.
- Change the thread in your machine to green (or whatever colour you used for your chevron). Start from the bottom right hand corner and line up your machine foot with the diagonal seam. Quilt all the way to the centre seam, put your needle down, rotate the quilt sandwich and quilt all the way to the bottom left hand corner.