Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Cushion Tutorial: Black and White Rectangles

Hi there!

Today I'm sharing with you a little tutorial for a cushion cover with rectangles. You could of course also enlarge it for a whole quilt if you wanted.

What inspired me to make this was actually a wallpaper I saw somewhere.

Fabrics Needed

You'll need two different fabrics. I used black and white, but of course you can use whichever two solids you like - or even prints (best would be small prints, as the pieces are too small to see bigger designs).

Cutting and Sewing

Cut 3" strips from both fabrics, then cut them up into 3" squares. It depends on the size of the pillow you need to cover, mine was 50cm x 50cm (20" x 20"), so the instructions are for that size. But you can easily adapt them for your own pillow.

You'll need about 4 strips per colour, which yields at least 50 3" squares (or 100 total).

Lay at least one black and one white square on top of each other (I did it with 2 each, it gets too tough with more than 4 layers for me). Mark the white square both on the top left and the bottom right one inch from the corner (example on the left in picture). Then place your ruler on both those dots and cut the squares in half. If you're using one sided fabric then you need to cut 22 of each fabric as mirror image (example on the right). If you're using solids or any other fabric that looks the same on both side, you can just flip them whichever way you need them to be!

Now lay out your cut pieces by exchanging one side with the opposing colour. You'll need 55 blocks like the one on top and 44 of the one on the bottom.

 To sew them together, pick the two pieces up and overlap them slightly:

I actually eyeballed it, but you can also measure them. Of course, that'll take quiet some time, after all, you're making 99 blocks!

To help you with eyeballing it, here's my tipp: Your needle/seam should go into the angle where the two pieces meet (red line), which should be 1/4" from the straight edge of the two fabrics (blue line).

You can chain piece them all, but make sure you make two different piles for the two different blocks. This makes assembly far easier! Press all seams to the dark side.

Now take one block from each pile and sew them together. Make sure the colours are always opposing. They should nest nicely, so no pinning is needed!

After sewing them all into twos, you should have eleven left from one type of the blocks. Sew them to eleven sets of two.

(For the cushion, I actually sewed them together the other way around,
starting with them bottom ones, see below!)

It's best if you lay out all the columns so that you don't mix them up! Add two sets of twos to another, making sets of four, add them to another set of four, add to each one of the sets of three (Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of that whole procedure).

Remember, you'll need 11 identical columns with 9 blocks each. All of them have to start with the type of block you made 11 more. For example, I always told myself "small black top left corner" as a reminder that I had to start all my columns (and therefore also all sets of two, etc.) with a block that looked like this:

Once you've finished your eleven strips of nine, take them to your ironing board. Press the seams in 5 of the strips towards the top, and the seams in the other 4 strips to the bottom. Make sure they don't bend and stay as straight as possible.

Take a strip each and sew them together. The seams should nest, as the seams go in opposite directions. Repeat 3 times. There's one strip left over. Now add the strip sets of two to another strip set, etc.

You'll end up with a rectangular shape. Cut back all sides symmetrically so that you end up with a square shape:

I added a cotton batting to the back and did some SITD, but, again, that was basically just to attach it, not to add structure. The backing was added as described in a previous post, with two pieces cut 20" x 26".

And that's how it looks like finished:

Front of the Rectangle Cushion

Back of the Rectangle Cushion

I hope the explanations are clear. If not, feel free to ask! :)

All the best,

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