I am pleased to tell you (also pleased with myself!) that I have completed another cushion, this time to replace one I made about 15 years ago which has now become faded and needs to be retired. For a while the new cushion “makings” resided in my patch work project pantry, which featured in an earlier post. http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/do-you-have-a-ppp/
The pattern I used is by Deborah Kemball http://deborahkemball.com from her book Beautiful Botanicals, and features many tiny applique components which I needle-turned in place. It also uses some very narrow bias strips for the stems. I previously posted a tutorial on making bias strips without using bias bars as described in Deborah’s book. If you missed this post you can find it at http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/making-bias-st…s-without-bars/
Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the applique in process, but here is a close up of part of the cushion, showing details of the applique, embroidery and bugle beading on the ends of the stamen. I used Aurifil Cotton Mako Ne 50 for the applique, Ne 40 for the machine piecing, and Ne 12 for the embroidery, and have on hand Ne 28 should I decide to add quilting.
To ensure a neat and firm closure I inserted a zip in the middle of the cushion back. You can also make a button closure, use press-studs or Velcro, or simply have a large enough overlap with the back pieces, so that the opening doesn’t gape. However, if you like to have a full type of filling (a fat cushion as opposed to the skinny variety), I have found that a zip works well. Don’t be tempted to make the opening too small, as this makes it difficult to fit in the cushion insert.
To finish the edges of my cushion, I used a binding, just as I would bind the edges of a quilt. I have used this method before and found that it works well. I used a double fold binding which I cut 2 inches wide, which resulted in a neat narrow finish.
The binding is machined to the cushion front with the corners mitred in the usual manner. Then the binding is folded to the back and stitched down by hand.
Since I used some embroidery in the cushion construction (in the stamen, tendrils and flower centres) and sewed through both the top and the batting, the cushion top and batting are satisfactorily sandwiched together, so from a construction point of view, there is no need to add additional quilting. Quilting in this case would be for decorative purposes only, and I don’t think I will add any, as the top is already quite full and busy, but I will live with it in situ for a few days to see what I decide.
Here is the finished cushion in place on its chair.