We meet an artist, designer and mother from Portland Oregon. She specialises in beautiful designed home wares which are often made from hand printed designs. Appliqué apparel and items for children are also part of her varied collection. High quality craftsmanship and locally sourced produce is an important part of her work. She shows us how to make a Lifestyle inspired appliqué cushion which will brighten up any sofa!
1/2 yard (50cm) iron on fusible webbing of your choice. Read the instructions for the webbing you choose carefully before starting to use it
1/2 yard (50cm) medium weight cotton or linen in a solid colour (for your cushion background)
1/2 yard (50cm) Liberty Lifestyle cotton for the contrasting back of your cushion
1/8 yard (15cm) – 1/4 yard (25cm) of each of your appliqué fabrics from the Liberty Lifestyle Collection
100% cotton thread in colours to match your appliqué fabrics, one spool for each colour of fabric you choose
One 14” x 14” (35cm x 35cm) Cushion insert
A sewing machine
*A note about choosing your fabrics: Get creative. Select the Liberty Lifestyle fabrics you are excited to use in your design. Do not be afraid to mix your colours and patterns- choose what you love!
First begin by cutting the fabrics you are using to the construct your cushion –
Cut one 14” x 14” (35cm x 35cm) square from a solid fabric of your choice – this will be the front of you cushion.
Cut two 10” x 14” (25cm x 35cm) rectangles of Liberty Lifestyle patterned cotton – these will form the contrasting envelope closure (back) of your cushion.
Set aside the 14” x 14” (35cm x 35cm) cushion front and two 10” x 14” (25cm x 35cm) rectangles for now, and begin preparing the fabric for your appliqué.
Trace the appropriate number of model pieces from the templates provided in your pattern on the paper side of your fusible webbing and cut them out. One side of the webbing is a very thin web of heat sensitive gum, the other side is a paper that can be drawn on easily – it is transparent enough to see through and trace your pattern pieces with a pencil or pen.
When you have finished tracing the pattern pieces onto the fusible webbing cut out all of your shapes and use a hot steamy iron to adhere them to the WRONG SIDE (BACK) of the similar fabrics.
Make sure your iron is on the “cotton / linen” setting and set it so that there is abundant of steam.
**TIP: Do not peel the paper backing from the appliqué pieces until you have fused them onto your fabric. It is much easier to handle the appliqué pattern pieces when they still have the paper backing in place.
When you have ironed your space in place on your fabrics, carefully cut the shapes out around the perimeter of the paper, and peel off the paper backing. After you steal the paper, there will be a very thin layer of heat sensitive glue remaining on the fabric.
Next, following the guidelines on your model image, place your cut out pattern pieces onto your 14” x 14” (35cm x 35cm) cushion front. When you have everything where it should be, use your iron to slowly set all in place onto front of your cushion. The heat from the iron will fuse your appliqué slice to your cushion front and eliminates the need for pins.
To prevent the sides of your appliqué pieces from fraying, sew around each individual appliqué piece with a tight zigzag stitch. Each sewing machine is different so you will have to adjust your machine’s stitch settings, varying the width and length of your zigzag stitch. Adjust you machine until you have a zigzag that is the width you like, with a short stitch length so that the stitching is nice and tight and will stop the fabric from fraying.
Centre the stitch over the outer edge of your appliqués and simply sew around the perimeter of each piece. I sharply suggest using a thread that is the same colour as the appliqué piece. It will hide flaws and make your finished cushion look much cleaner and professional.
**TIP: Since you are using all curves in this pattern, take the time to cut out an extra a circle, and practice your stitching on a scrap piece of fabric- you will be very happy that you did!
When you have finished zigzag stitching almost the perimeter of all of your appliqué pieces give your finished cushion front a good press with the iron and set it aside.
Now start work on the two 10” x 14” (25cm x 35cm) rectangles of the contrasting Liberty Lifestyle print fabric that will make up the envelope closure (BACK) of your cushion. On each of the rectangles, fold over and press a 1/2” (1.5cm) seam, and then fold over and press again, pinning into place. Run a straight stitch with your sewing machine through the centre of the fold creating a finished edge. Repeat on both slices of fabric.
When you have sewn complete edges onto both 10” x 14” (25cm x 35cm) rectangles that make up the back of your cushion, place them RIGHT side down on top of your finished appliqué cushion FRONT. The right sides should be square and the seams of the envelope closure overlap. Pin all sides of your project together and sew around the edge of your cushion using a straight stitch and 1/2” (1.5cm) seam allowance.
When you have sewn all sides of your cushion together remove all of the pins, turn your pillow right side out and press until it is flat and crisp. You can now open the “envelope” that was made at the back of your pillow by the overlapping rectangles and place your cushion insert inside.