Knitting · Patterns · Sewing

One In, One Out

Now I do love my cushions, and a bed or sofa adorned with luxuriously plump ones in all manner of shapes and soft textures is a beautiful thing. The husband however, favours actual sitting space on the settee and appreciates being able to get into bed without ejecting a hundred cushions first. So, ‘one in, one out’ is the rule around here.

Spring has well and truly sprung in the UK and a change of season is a great time to update a room. A few new cushion covers made from your stash and flowers from the garden in a recycled jar are such easy ways to give a room a fresh and free facelift.

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In my Four Bags Full post, I made tote bags from designer offcuts. Here’s the other fabric I bought from Standfast & Barracks. I recognised it as Emma Bridgewater straight away. It’s called (no surprise here) ‘Pomegranate’ and would usually cost about £50 per metre.

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However, as this offcut was a second I was able to knock up a pair of cushions for just a couple of quid, cutting around the imperfect areas. I added pink pom-pom edging to highlight the jewel-like pomegranate seeds.

They were so easy to make, by cutting out a square the same size as the cushion pad for the front and two overlapping rectangles to make an envelope opening for the back.

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Princess Leia approves and finds them very comfortable for napping on when placed in a sunbeam. The string of bobbles dangling from the sewing machine during construction was added entertainment!

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In my stash there were also some single balls of Scheepjes Sunkissed yarn. I settled on these five shades to make a striped cushion front.

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To fit a 16″ (40cm x 40cm) cushion pad, I cast on 114 stitches on 3mm needles. Wanting to make the stripes a bit more interesting, I chose the colour sequence randomly and made stripes of either two or four rows long, checking the work looked fairly balanced as I went along.  I’m not sure if this stitch has a name but it’s a simple stocking stitch with a lifted knit to break up the stripe.  This soft cotton yarn defines the lifted ‘V’ beautifully. To work the stitch, this is what you do:

On the last RS (knit) row of the first stripe, k2, *slip one purlwise, k3 and repeat from * to the end.

On the last RS row of the following stripe, k4, *slip one purlwise, k3 and rep from * to last 2 stitches, k2.

Repeat this sequence until you have 156 rows or a square.

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This is how it looks on the back. I rather like it!

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Once you cast off, the sides have probably rolled in and the square may seem a bit small for a 16″ cushion pad. But if like me, you like your cushions really plump and luxurious, you’ll be able to block it hard and stuff in a nice feather pad. Alternatively, you could use a smaller cushion pad or add more stitches. You will need to cast on a multiple of 4 + 2.

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For the back I used a fat quarter of a Tissu de Marie fabric, adding lightweight iron on interfacing after turning the hem for the zip to give it a bit more strength.

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I fitted a 14″ (36cm) central zip with some matching thread.

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I stitched some pink piping around the knitted square with my zipper foot, then stitched the front to the back, right sides together, leaving the zip open so I could turn it through.

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Ta-dah! We’re all updated for spring and summer now. If you’d like to make your own cushions, I would recommend this Debbie Shore book as it covers all the basics and is so easy to follow, even for a beginner. In this video tutorial she covers the simple envelope backing I used and how to add piping. Have fun designing your own!

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