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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
This is how it looks on the back. I rather like it!
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.
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.
I fitted a 14″ (36cm) central zip with some matching thread.
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.
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!